"We intended the show to last for a year, or maybe two, but just as we were about to quit, the show started to draw an audience, fifty, a hundred, two hundred people coming to see it on Saturday night, and we kept going so we could figure out what we were doing right. The formula is simple: a variety of music that appeals, radio actors who can do noir, or horror, or soap, strong writing, a Midwestern ethos, and the thrill of live radio. And a support staff to do the work. It isn't what I planned to be doing for forty years but luckily for me my plans went awry. It's a good show. People have grown up listening to it and now they are middle-aged and still like it."
Since A Prairie Home Companion first went on the air, July 6, 1974, a steady stream of great musicians has crossed its stage — Chet Atkins, Greg Brown, Emmylou Harris, The Every Brothers, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Peter Ostroushko, The Wailin Jennys, Robin and Linda Williams, Iris DeMent, Willie Nelson, Odetta, Doc Watson, Jean Redpath — plus the radio detective Guy Noir, sound effects artists Tom Keith and Fred Newman, and the good people of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. An all-star roster of favorite performers joined thousands of fans to celebrate the anniversary on the lawn of Macalester College in St. Paul, a stone's throw from the hall where the first broadcast was made. In this, the most comprehensive collection ever of highlights from America’s favorite live radio show, we are pleased to present 85 tracks (five hours!) of the finest performances from the vast archives of A Prairie Home Companion, including highlights from the 40th anniversary celebration and a souvenir booklet featuring rare photos and a new essay by Garrison Keillor.
- Hello Love — Garrison Keillor, Steven Gammell, Buzz Kemper, Craig Ruble
- Tiger Rag — Chet Atkins, Jethro Burns
- Frankie Jean — Bill Hinkley, Judy Larson
- Powdermilk Biscuit Theme — Brian Barnes with Stoney Lonesome, Butch Thompson, George “Red” Maddock
- Red Dancing Shoes — Peter Ostroushko and the New Prairie Ramblers
- Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out — Odetta, Butch Thompson Trio
- Dreadful Wind and Rain — Mike Seeger
- Mouth Music — Jean Redpath
- Please, Mr. Conductor — Helen Schneyer with Lisa Neustadt, Lisa Null, Claudia Schmidt
- AJUA HOT SAUCE — Garrison Keillor, Pete Anderson and Stoney Lonesome, Butch Thompson Trio
- New Ulm Polka — Douglas Dickover
- Minneapolis Blues — Red Maddock, Butch Thompson, Bill Evans
- Candyman Blues — Soupy Schindler
- Why Should I Be Lonely — Steve Gammell, Craig Ruble
- Tennessee Waltz — Cal Hand, Bill Hinkley, Judy Larson, Dick Hedlund
- SPONSORS, 1980 — Garrison Keillor, Adam Granger
- My Fate is in Your Hands — Butch Thompson
- DIET SQUAD — Studs Terkel, Garrison Keillor, Les Podewell, Joe Trimbach, Kate MacKenzie, Peter Ostroushko, Butch Thompson Trio
- Sweet Lorraine — Butch Thompson Trio with Charlie DeVore, Brian O’Connell
- St. Louis Blues — Jethro Burns
- Way Downtown — Doc Watson, Bob Brozman, T. Michael Coleman, Peter Ostroushko, Butch Thompson, Merle Watson
- Little Sadie — Doc Watson, T. Michael Coleman, Merle Watson
- FEARMONGERS SHOP — Garrison Keillor
- On Raglan Road — Cathal McConnell
- San Antonio Stroll — Chet Atkins, Johnny Gimble, Peter Ostroushko, Bruce Calin, Red Maddock
- Vincent — Chet Atkins
- TOM’S NEW DOOR — Garrison Keillor, Tom Keith, Johnny Gimble, Kate MacKenzie, Butch Thompson
- Eriskay Love Lilt — Jean Redpath
- Tuna, the Food of My Soul — Jean Redpath, Garrison Keillor, Prudence Johnson, Philip Brunelle
- He Wipes the Tear From Every Eye — Jean Redpath, Abby Newton, Peter Ostroushko
- WILLIE’S CATS — Willie Nelson, Garrison Keillor, Johnny Gimble, Peter Ostroushko, Butch Thompson, Henry Strezlecki, Randy Hauser
- Riding Down the Canyon — Johnny Gimble, Willie Nelson, Garrison Keillor, Chet Atkins, Peter Ostroushko, Butch Thompson, Henry Strezlecki, Randy Hauser
- Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie — Taj Mahal, Carlos Andrade and Band
- Key to the Highway — Brownie McGhee
- If I Needed You — Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White, Dorothy Skaggs, Hobert Skaggs.
- Somebody Touched Me — Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White, Dorothy Skaggs, Hobert Skaggs, Garrison Keillor
- Cara Mia — Bobby McFerrin
- Drive — Bobby McFerrin
- Barnyard Dance — Bill Hinkley, Judy Larson, John Angus Foster, Marya Hart
- Pattin’ that Cat — Bill Hinkley, Judy Larson, John Angus Foster, Marya Hart
- Stop That Thing — Pop Wagner, Bob Douglas
- Iowa Waltz — Greg Brown, Kate MacKenzie, Peter Ostroushko, Andy Stein, Dave Moore, Paul Yandell, Johnny Johnson
- Blues Stay Away From Me — The Everly Brothers, Chet Atkins, Buddy Emmons, Albert Lee, Greg Hippen
- EVERLY DUET CONTEST — The Everly Brothers, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Vince Gill, Garrison Keillor, Kate MacKenzie, Robin and Linda Williams, Richard Dworsky, Heather Kolbreck, Pat Donohue, Buddy Emmons, Gregory Hippen, Arnie Kinsella Jr.
- Cascades — Butch Thompson, Steve Barnett and the Night O’Rest Motel Orchestra
- When I Awake Up To Sleep No More — The Hopeful Gospel Quartet
- Jordan — The Hopeful Gospel Quartet, Chet Atkins, Paul Yandell, Johnny Johnson, Randy Hauser, Butch Thompson
- Brownie and Pete — Garrison Keillor, Chet Atkins, Leo Kottke, Kate MacKenzie
- Early — Garrison Keillor, Becky Schlegel, Brian Fesler, Richard Dworsky, Pat Donohue, Gary Raynor, Arnie Kinsella
- Driftin’ Too Far From The Shore — Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Emery Gordy, Carl Jackson
- HEAVENLY CELEBRITIES — Tim Russell, Garrison Keillor, Richard Dworsky
- Boy From Laupahoehoe — Puamana
- Queen Bee — Taj Mahal, Carlos Andrade Band
- Nostalgia in Times Square — Rob Fisher, Seymour “Red” Press, Andy Stein, John Frosk, Jack Gale, Jay Berliner, John Beal, Arnie Kinsella Jr.
- Mary Lou Williams Blues — Rob Fisher, Seymour “Red” Press, Andy Stein, John Frosk, Jack Gale, Jay Berliner, John Beal, Arnie Kinsella Jr.
- A Straw Hat Full of Lilacs — Ivy Austin, Rob Fisher, Dean Magraw
- Pepper Steak — Rob Fisher, Seymour “Red” Press, Andy Stein, John Frosk, Dave Bargeron, Jay Berliner, Jeff Carney, Arnie Kinsella Jr.
- GUY NOIR & THE TANGLEWOOD CAPER — Garrison Keillor, Arlo Guthrie, Fred Newman, Tim Russell, Richard Dworsky, Pat Donohue, The DiGiallonardo Sisters
- Our Town — Iris DeMent, Andy Stein, Dean Magraw, Gregory Hippen
- Banks of Marble — Leo Kottke, Iris DeMent
- MEIKO TRIBUTE — Garrison Keillor, Richard Dworsky, Pat Donohue, Richard Kriehn, Gary Raynor, Peter Johnson
- It’s A Lonesome Road in This World of Sin — Hopeful Gospel Quartet, Albert Lee
- FRED FARRELL ANIMAL CALLS — Garrison Keillor, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, Tom Keith, Richard Dworsky
- Stride by Stride — Richard Dworsky
- The Weary and Farewell Blues — Richard Dworsky, Pat Donohue, Andy Stein, Gregory Hippen, Arnie Kinsella Jr.
- RHUBARB — Garrison Keillor, Fred Newman, Sue Scott, Tim Russell, Richard Dworsky, Andy Stein, Pat Donohue, Gary Raynor, Arnie Kinsella Jr.
- In the Garden — Meryl Streep, Garrison Keillor, Richard Dworsky, Andy Stein, Pat Donohue, Gary Raynor, Arnie Kinsella Jr.
- Crazy People — The DiGiallonardo Sisters, Richard Dworsky, Pat Donohue, Richard Kriehn, Gary Raynor, Peter Johnson
- Sitting on Top of the World — Sam Bush, Richard Dworsky, Stuart Duncan, Pat Donohue, Howard Levy, Gary Raynor, Joe Savage, Peter Johnson
- Amor de me Vida (Love of my Life) — Los Texmaniacs, Richard Dworsky, Stuart Duncan, Richard Kriehn
- Bright Morning Stars — The Wailin’ Jennys
- CATCHUP ADVISORY BOARD — Garrison Keillor, Sue Scott, Tim Russell, Richard Dworsky
- Make Me a Pallet — Gillian Welch, David Rawlings.
- THE HITCH-HIKERS — Garrison Keillor, Tim Russell, Fred Newman, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Richard Dworsky
- Paseo Romantico — Richard Dworsky
- Where Will You Be — Sara Watkins, Garrison Keillor, Richard Dworsky, Pat Donohue, Richard Kriehn, Gary Raynor, Peter Johnson
- GUY NOIR BLUES — Garrison Keillor, Aoife O’Donovan, Fred Newman, Richard Dworsky, Gary Raynor
- Visions of Mother and Dad — Robin and Linda Williams, Richard Dworsky, John Niemann, Gary Raynor
- Orphan Girl — Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, The Wailin’ Jennys
- FRITZ ELECTRONICS — Garrison Keillor, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, Richard Dworsky
- Too Gone — Pat Donohue, Heather Masse, Richard Dworsky, Richard Kriehn, Gary Raynor, Peter Johnson
- CAT DISCIPLINE — Garrison Keillor, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, Fred Newman, Richard Dworsky
- Bird Song — The Wailin’ Jennys
- Fiddle Medley: Liberty/Whiskey Before Breakfast/Big Mon — Sara Watkins, Richard Kriehn, Richard Dworsky, Pat Donohue, Gary Raynor, Peter Johnson
- Six Days On The Road — Garrison Keillor, Russ Ringsak, Paul Rishell, Annie Raines, Richard Dworsky, Andy Stein, Pat Donohue, Gregory Hippen, Arnie Kinsella, Jr.
Other 40th Anniversary Products
The Keillor Reader
By Garrison Keillor
Includes an exclusive download of the Lake Wobegon story "Chickens!"
The Keillor Reader represents the best of Garrison Keillor’s 40-plus years as a writer, whether it be a Lake Wobegon story for the show, a piece for Time or an excerpt from one of his books! Each piece is selected and annotated by Garrison himself.
This collection uses fan input as well as staff suggestions to assemble what represents the "very best of Garrison Keillor" (so far). Lake Wobegon has been Garrison Keillor's fictional home town and America's for 40 years. Many of us have grown up with the little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve. Now you can celebrate the simpler times with this wonderful 4-CD collection.
40th Anniversary Shirt
A Prairie Home Companion's first broadcast originated from the Janet Wallace Auditorium on the campus of Macalester College on July 6, 1974. Our new shirt design marks the 40th anniversary of that show with a design that is simple, yet understated, just like the show itself.
40th Anniversary Hat
Designed for the 40th Anniversary festival and the following 40th Anniversary season, this cap features a handsome low rim, cotton hat bearing the 40th Anniversary logo. Hat is adjustable so one size fits most.