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Classic Musical Instruments from 2006
featuring The New Custer Brass Band, Becky Schlegel, Tim Sparks, Nick Curry & Susan Gray
At the age of 80, Garrison writes about the beauty of aging and having a positive outlook on life, discovering life’s possibilities, setting aside conflict and divisive topics which will all lead to a more cheerful life.
“Cheerfulness is a choice, and you make it every day, Even if you have anxieties — and we all worry about the world and our country — but you make this choice, and it’s a great strategy: You put the past behind, and you move on.”
It’s a traveling history show as we trek back to 2006 with a visit to South Dakota to play and pick musical instruments on loan from the National Music Museum in Vermillion. Featured guests include The New Custer Brass Band, singer Becky Schlegel, and USD faculty cellist and pianist Nick Curry and Susan Gray. Plus, Pat Donohue and Tim Sparks explore the history of the guitar, playing their way through a collection that would make Andrés Segovia lightheaded. Also with us, the Royal Academy of Radio Acting (Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman), The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, and much more. Join us for a lively listen on Saturday night via our Facebook page at 5 p.m. (or by using the link below).
Highlights include Garrison talking about the Corn Palace, reciting the poem “Ode to the Cello,” and singing Greg Brown’s tune “Early” with Becky Schlegel. Pat Donohue delivers “Nine-Pound Hammer.” We catch up with Guy Noir, the Cowboys, and much more! (A few images from the show)
When a college friend gave Becky Schlegel a couple of Reno and Smiley albums, the die was cast: She got hooked on bluegrass. She left her South Dakota home, moved to Minnesota, and became a favorite on the Upper Midwest music scene — named Bluegrass/Old-Time Artist of the Year at the Minnesota Music Awards four years running. After living in Nashville for several years, she headed back to Minnesota. She continues to record, paint, and perform.
When Tim Sparks was growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a bout of encephalitis kept him out of school for a year. To pass the time, he started picking out gospel and country tunes on an old Stella flat top. Later, Tim studied classical guitar at the North Carolina School of the Arts, while he worked up guitar adaptations of Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, and Fats Waller compositions. After moving to Minnesota, Tim recorded three albums with the vocal jazz ensemble Rio Nido. And he keeps branching out: He adapted Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite to the guitar — a feat that ultimately earned him the 1993 fingerstyle guitar championship in Winfield, Kansas. He developed an interest in the music of the Balkans; he played Greek music and Klezmer; he studied fado and Portuguese guitar in Lisbon. Tim continues to play and teach throughout Minnesota.
The Lives of the Cowboys features a couple of jingles throughout the sketch, including this little ode delivered to Sue Scott’s character, who had reminded our favorite cowboy of the rule of flirting in South Dakota:
“Let me remind you there is no flirting unless the person you want to flirt with gives her permission in advance and in writing.”
To which our cowboy croons:
Dreaming of you and your eyes so blue, I’ve loved you forever, it seems. Longed for you, dear, and wanted you near, You are the girl of my dreams. And since I have found you just now, I will tell you of my love somehow. If I could but win, your heart …
The Writer's Almanac
As National Poetry Month comes to a close, we ask that you give our little gem of a podcast a listen. Click the 'manage my subscription' button and choose to add The Writer's Almanac. You will then start receiving the classic daily episode in your in-box every morning featuring a bit of history or trivia plus a poem or two read by Garrison.
She brought you forth out of the cloud of genetics and fed and clothed you and taught you to wipe yourself and say Please and Thank you and never expected you to pay her back, only that you behave appropriately and try to make something of yourself and not land in prison but if you had, she’d still love you because after all she’s your Mother.” - Garrison Keillor
A Prairie Home Companion celebrates that one person who manages to make you feel that you’re special and that you aren’t living up to your potential—all in the same sentence. Sketches, songs, and stories from Garrison and the regular cast cover the gamut of all that goes into and comes out of motherhood.
Motherhood is a popular topic on A Prairie Home Companion, and not just on Mother’s Day. It’s about time someone gathered the best bits into an homage to Mom. This funny, affectionate, poignant collection honors the woman who gave up her own sense of self-worth for a life of mindless drudgery, day in and day out, all for you. The woman who sticks around when everyone else in your life turns away. Who insists “Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. All I need is to know that you’re happy.” Who doesn’t leave messages because motherhood is not about messages, it’s about love. Share it with your mom or give it to a mom you know. If you’re a mom yourself, hand it to your child and say “Listen.” It’s the least he or she can do. Here is a wonderful sketch featuring Duane and his mother learning facebook. Click here to purchase.
Who is more important than the one who brought you into this world? Garrison wrote this wonderful poem for all mothers, featuring the wisdom and rules that have helped us get this far.
Mug is microwavable and holds a generous 11 oz. Comes in a set of two, because you probably know at least 2 cool moms in your life. Click here to purchase.
Features the words "I'm A Mother" on one side and the below poem on the other:
Don't put yourself down
Mind your p's and q's
A smile gets you more than a frown
Never buy cheap shoes
Too late smart, too soon old
One door opens when two doors close
If you don't want to catch cold
Wash your hands before picking your nose.
Keep your mind on what you're doing
Life is not fair
Close your mouth when you're chewing
And always wear clean underwear
Time brings all things to light
Your mama told you and she was right.
A collection of merchandise curated by Garrison Keillor & staff relating to Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac.