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Lights, Camera, Action with the June 3, 2006, classic show!
Featuring Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly, Meryl Streep,Shelby Lynne, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Garrison Keillor Tonight is an evening of stand-up, storytelling, audience song, and poetry. One man, one microphone. There are sung sonnets, limericks and musical jokes, and the thread that runs through it is the beauty of growing old. Despite the inconvenience, old age brings the contentment of LESS IS MORE. Your mistakes and big ambitions are behind you, nothing left to prove, and small things give you great pleasure because that’s what’s left. (“I was unhappy in college because it was a requirement for an intellectual, but then I went into show business and discovered that people won’t pay to be made unhappy, their kids will do it for free.”)
There is the News from Lake Wobegon, a town booming with new entrepreneurs, makers of artisanal firewood and gourmet meatloaf, breeders of composting worms, and dogs trained to do childcare. But some things endure, such as the formation of the Living Flag on Main Street, citizens in tight formation wearing red, white or blue caps, and Mr. Keillor among them, standing close to old neighbors, Myrtle Krebsbach (“Truckstop”) and Lena (“Bruno, The Fishing Dog”) and Clint Bunsen. And an a cappella sing-along with the audience singing from memory an odd medley of patriotic songs, pop standards, hymns, and ending with the national anthem. Here are a few upcoming concerts (click for tickets):
I come to California to smell the ocean breeze To sit on a hill beneath the tamarack trees With a few thousand personal friends of mine Bless my soul We're at the Bowl I'm the cheese and baby you're the wine.
To promote the release of the Robert Altman movie based on A Prairie Home Companion, many of the cast members gathered to perform on the LIVE radio show. The program broadcast from the iconic Hollywood Bowl where special guest actors Meryl Streep, Virginia Madsen, and John C. Reilly joined the Royal Academy of Radio Acting. The featured musical guests, none other than the incomparable Shelby Lynne, Sally Dworsky, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.
Highlights include Pat Donohue and the Shoe Band with “Goin’ to California,” Garrison and Meryl singing “All Alone,” Shelby Lynne rocking the stage with “Baby” and “One with the Sun,” Doyle Lawson with “Blue Train,” plus more than a few scripts and the latest NEWS. Use this link to listen. (You can also find it on our social pages on Saturday evening.)
The Robert Altman-directed film A Prairie Home Companion was released in 2006 and was his final movie before he passed away in November of that year. Robert Altman was so revered in the film industry that when he called, actors would drop whatever they were doing in order to work with him.
Other featured guests on this week’s show:
While always making her own music, Sally Dworsky has steadily sung in a variety of collaborative roles: she co-fronted (with Chris Hickey) the LA alt-rock band Uma and harmonized — on stage and in the studio — with R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Shelby Lynne, Teddy Thompson, Jonatha Brooke, Rodney Crowell, and others. Her singing and songs have been featured in numerous TV shows and films, and she provided the defining voices for lead characters in animated films including The Lion King, Prince of Egypt (both won Oscars for the songs she sang), and Shrek.
Born in Virginia and raised in Alabama, Shelby Lynne moved to Nashville in her early 20s. There she recorded a few demos and finally landed a spot on TNN's Nashville Now, which led to a recording contract with Epic Records. She had moderate success, made a few albums, and even won the 1991 CMA Horizon Award (for top emerging artist). But it was only after relocating to Palm Springs, California, that things really started to happen for this talented singer/songwriter. She released the album I Am Shelby Lynne (Island Records), and she won a Grammy Award for "Best New Artist” — even though she'd already chalked up five CDs and more than a decade's worth of performing. She has released over 20 albums with the most recent being The Servant on Extreme Records.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Doyle Lawson was born in East Tennessee-where he still makes his home-and grew up in a family that sang gospel music. He remembers looking forward to Saturdays when the Grand Ole Opry was on the air and he could hear the likes of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. At age 11, Doyle taught himself to play the mandolin, and when he was still in his teens, he got a job playing banjo with Jimmy Martin. In 1966 he joined J.D. Crowe and five years later went to work with The Country Gentlemen. He started his own band in 1979, calling it Doyle Lawson & Foxfire, before settling on Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Doyle’s recent recording is 2021’s Roundtable.
From Our Store:
This week’s show along with the movie features the song “Goodbye to My Mama” as performed by Meryl Streep. It is a song that Garrison wrote about his own family, and he recorded it with the Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band for the album When I Get Home. A Prairie Home Companion listeners are frequently treated to a song — sometimes a familiar tune and sometimes an original composition with words by Garrison Keillor. In them, he sings of home, love, friendship, family, faith, and various humorous topics. These sixteen songs, specially recorded for this collection, are some of his best. Purchase the CD or download by clicking here.
Here are the lyrics to the song:
“Goodbye to My Mama”
Goodbye to my mama, my uncles and aunts. One after another they went to lie down In the green pastures beside the still waters And make no sound. Their arms that held me for so many years, Their beautiful voices no longer I’ll hear, They’re in Jesus’ arms and He’s talking to them In the rapturous new Jerusalem. And I know they’re at peace in a land of delight, But I miss my mama, too. Goodbye, Eleanor, and Aunt Franny and Jo, Goodbye, Uncle Jim, and Elsie and Don, Goodbye to my mama who went to lie down, And now is gone. Whose hands are these so rough and hard Nails all torn from toil and care? Who cleaned the house and kept the yard, Touched my cheek and stroked my hair. Thank you, Mama, the lord give you peace. Bless your voice and the songs you’ve sung. Blessed your arms and your hands and your knees. How you loved us when we were young. The lord’s my shepherd I’ll not want. I have my mama, my uncles and aunts. Waters so still and pastures so green. Goodness and mercy following me. Goodness and mercy following me.
The day of reckoning has come to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, home of A Prairie Home Companion. The show is closing, the theater is going dark. Radio station WLT has been sold to a broadcasting conglomerate in Texas. The wrecking ball is poised to swing as the regulars arrive for the last broadcast in a state of disbelief - the Johnson Girls, Yolanda and Rhonda, and the singing cowboys, Dusty and Lefty, crooner Church Akers, and announcer Garrison Keillor. But when the Dangerous Woman appears with her golden Botticellian hair and dazzling white trench coat, the final curtain catches them all by surprise. Click here to purchase.
Here is the Duct Tape sketch from the movie:
A collection of merchandise curated by Garrison Keillor & staff relating to Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac.