A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor

Your Memories

Sometime in the 1980s, in the far north of Minnesota, near Frostbite Falls, International Falls for you non-Bullwinkle fans, I lived, worked, and first heard about some popular radio show called A Prarie Home Companion. In the 80s I never heard the show, only commentary about the show which was all super positive. Being more like a lone wolf I tended to think that whatever the masses liked had to lack true goodness. The rising fame of the man named Garrison meant nothing to me. Many years passed before I finally, accidentally listened to the radio when the show was on the air. I can only guess that this happened sometime in the late 90s. At first I was not so easy to be had. But little by little I learned to like it, the variety of each show kept it interesting. Then when I lived several years in Germany, listening to the show online became very important to me. A Minnesotan living far from home could hear the show and experienc e such exquisite yearnings and purge a few tears to keep homesickness manageable. I say, well done Mr. Keillor and staff. Thanks for helping to keep my heart soft and warm.



During the pre-show, the wonderful way Garrison worked with both WW II veterans on their scripts. It was a warm heartfelt experience. Thank you Garrison, and my utmost respect to both vets.

—John V.


I remember when Bobby McFerrin was on the show and did the entire Wizard of Oz story, which was apparently a surprise to GK. It was a great show.

—June J.


The reading of the poem about St Joe, by Leigh Lenzmeyer. The poem captured my memories of downtown.. Linnemann's...Loso's...THE MEAT MARKET .. thank you

—Richard M.


So many memories-- beginning in 1974 when we retired from the AF to settle in Minnesota and MPR was on all day long. We were at your live show at Concordia where I had gone to school, and years later I got to sing with Garrison, Robin and Linda, and all the gang at the Hymn and Dance Fest at Concordia. While in school there, dancing was forbidden, and here we were, not only dancing in the gym but waltzing to ""The Old Rugged Cross"". Hearing the beautiful old Lutheran hymns sung in harmony on the shows through the years is perhaps one of the best memories of all.

—Helen W.


I cannot exactly remember the year, but The Prairie Home Companion came to Edinburgh, Scotland some years ago, and I had the utterly wonderful experience of sitting in the very front row for the whole thing. I laughed so much that my stomach hurt for days. Come again soon, PLEEEEEAAASE! love, betsy

—Betsy B.


There are so many, including the 3 times I've seen the show from Wolf Trap and the Kennedy Center and getting Garrison to read my announcements the first two times and the third time getting caught in a major downpour on the Wolf Trap lawn that started precisely at 6:05pm. The one memory that really stands out was the Blizzard of '93 show from Birmingham Alabama. That storm came out of the Gulf and went all the way up the East Coast. I was in grad school in Charlottesville at the time and was snowed in by myself with 17 inches of snow coming down. I turned on PHC at 6:00 to find out that Garrison and the PHC crew were also being affected by the same storm down in Alabama. From what I remember, in a case of ""the show must go on"" members of the audience who managed to get to the theatre were helping out and somebody's mother was running the sound board. EmmyLou Harris was the guest that night but her bus had not arrived from Nashville when the show went on the air. She was whisked onto the stage when she finally did arrive about halfway into the show. I got a lot of comfort from listening to the show by myself knowing that I wasn't the only one going through it.

—Scott F.


I can't call this a favorite, but many years ago Garrison read a greeting from someone in the audience who thanked ""the gentleman out front before the show who gave us his extra ticket. May he fare much better with his next relationship!"" I remember that after all these years...because I lived it. Twice. (Sigh.)

—John S.


Whenever he does a News from Lake Wobegon monologue that includes tomatoes I laugh. I grow them, my mother grows them, and we crack up over his descriptions of tomatoes, the neighbors, and the whole deal. I also enjoy the mistakes. The most recent one by Martin Sheen was quite funny.

—Andrea A.


Our daughter interviewed Garrison (via phone) in the mid 90s when she was a journalism major at St Michael's College in Vermont. Since then our family has enjoyed APHC often as our annual Family Day activity at Tanglewood. Thank you for bringing much needed relief to our complex world of political, economic and social issues.

—Charlie N.


I was about 10 years old and my mother listened to NPR all day and read and on Saturday nights APHC would come on and I'd sit and make fun of it, well...you, and I didn't get it. Why wasn't she watching TV? Well, 15 years and an English degree later, I turned on NPR and there was APHC again. I couldn't help myself. I listened with a smile on my face and just began to bawl and bawl and bawl for most of the show. It was good crying, if you know what that means. Very cathartic crying. The day came when I quit my job at the local alt-weekly newspaper in order to write my first novel. I skipped down the street singing about Powdermilk Biscuits. Until a policeman saw/heard me and made sure I wasn't on any kind of substances. He had never heard of APHC and wasn't an NPR member to say the least, so I told him about the program. He drove away looking disgusted and told me "Next time..." Every time I'm sure I made the wrong decision and shouldn't have left my job or NYC for Nevada of all places, I listen to APHC and feel like I have family on the radio. Well, it's not always so perfect like that, but it's the closest thing to it I knows of. It is what it is, but so much more. Thank you!

—Peter T.


First Favorite monologue - November 1984, the woman who was slyly leading her grandchildren to think like Democrats in opposition to her son-in-law who enjoyed hearing himself say "agenda." Most moving song, "We Shall Overcome" in observance of MLK Birthday a few years ago. Thanks to all for 35-years of interesting, enjoyable, memorable and moving Saturday nights.

—Ben F.


To find out that there really is a war hero who is often named during the Lake Wobegon monologue was amazing. The German name seemed to have been created and now we know that this war veteran earned 5 bronze stars and lives on today.

—Mary W.


I will never forget a late summer night while driving a long distance home many many years ago. Listening to NPR and hearing the story of the 1949(?) car that was once used as a septic tank, and needed to be pulled out. The Dad got it out on a flatbed and towed it behind a tractor and ... found himself in a parade down main street.... I could visualize every detail and laughed most of the way home! Thanks for a goood story! I have been trying to find the episode ever since. I hope I find it someday.

—Patrick P.


First heard driving north on a lonely South Texas highway, October 1985. In a pensive mood having just seen my Navy flight training haunts from decades before. On the radio come strange sounds. A show live from the "World Theatre" in St. Paul? But I'm in Texas! Country singers named Johnny Gimble and Prudence Johnson? Advertising for Powdermilk Biscuits? An MC with the deepest baritone voice I've ever heard? The Grand Ole Opry is in Tennessee, can't be that, and anyway, this kind of show disappeared in the 40s! And then MC starts a story from where? Lake Wobegon? Is this for real? Story of a man trying to quit smoking, throws pack of cigarettes in the snow, then tries to retreive them, jams his little girl's fingers during the night, etc. This is wacko, surreal, but I'm laughing so hard I pass my destination by 10 miles. Afraid to relate the experience to anyone when I finally arrive. But a few weeks later, cover of Time magazine reveals all -- life's never been quite the same since!

—John D.


We enjoy all of the shows, BUT our very favorite show is the monologue about international adoption. Garrison got a mega-bullseye on that one, capturing every nuance of the emotions and ambience involved in international adoption from the decision to the wait to the arrival. It was amazing! We'd love to find a copy as it portrays such an important part of our now grown children's history. Sadly, this beautiful monologue seems to have disappeared.

—Charlie & Jamie R.


in August 1998, I was stipping wallpaper in my first grand child's to be bedroom with my daughter. There was a guy on the show named Jeff Murdock (maybe)something who sang a western folk song, when we received a call that our niece had been in an automobile accident and could we go to the hospital, she had died, and we waited for her divorced mom and dad (my wife's brother) and their other three children to arrive and I counseled them as their uncle and Catholic deacon. The show was typical Gary Kiellor, but the memory and fondness that it brings will never leave my mind. Sad but very memorable. JIm Martin St. Louis

—Jim M.


Years and years ago, one of the News from Lake Wobegon segments had a story about a trailer with a used septic tank coming face-to-face with the Homecoming Queen and her court on their float in the parade. Funniest thing I've ever heard, and that includes "Who's On First?"

—Cathy S.


I was frustrated at 16, had had it with my California lifetime of exposure to success meaning money and beauty. Probably because I had little of both, I was made available to more in life. I asked my parents one June 102 degree evening in our Walnut Creek, California home "Where do REAL people live?". My parent's answered "Why don't you go live with your sister in Minnesota for the summer. " So I did. And here it was the end of summer, my sister having just ending her paralegal job for HUD in Eveleth on the Iron Range was traveling back to law school in California by way of Spokane. We were driving her friendís packed tiny boxy Honda civic, the old kind that resembled a toaster. It was a few hours into my shift for driving and we were just outside of Montana when I was about to plop in the little Hondas only musical companion, a cassette of Ricki Lee Jones' debut album. I stopped myself realizing I couldn't bear hearing about Chucky being in love more time and decided to try the radio and its duct-taped bent-wire hanger antennae again. I stopped when I heard a roar of laughter I was in bliss, being totally entertained, feeling homey in a tin can and smiling with a tear now and then to its sweetness. . I had caught PHC for my first time. My sister awoke in the passengers seat next to me at one of my outbursts of laughter. I bubbled out my enthusiasm over this great show I had been listening to. I went on and on and she just nodded looking forward. I asked her why would she move away from a State that had this kind of talent as a Public Radio Show, it was amazing! She paused, winced and said very quietly "Snow"

—Catherine F.


Only One? PHC causes my heart to swell, my mind to calm & life makes sense. So much to be thankful for, I've enjoyed the show since the early 80's. Much Love to you all.

—Jeanne S.


I was kneeling in the cool deep green lawn of my back yard made lush and buggy by the frequent use of a Slip-n-Slide, weeding St. Augustine grass from around the snowball dahlias given to me by my husband's uncle in Ohio where they themselves grow like weeds, as the shadows grew longer. I don't remember what was on the show. It was the 80s or 90s. Near downtown Los Angeles, a brown place, but as bucolic and summer-dreamlike as anywhere USA in those pleasant two hours.

—Julie W.


My husband I started listening to you about 1981 while we were gardening in SLC, UT. As I am a Unitarian Universalist I love your jokes about UU's. As a whole we are a group with a good sense of humor and we are able to laugh at ourselves. My saddest show was your last before leaving for Sweden. My favorite was when we found you had returned. Thank you for the many years of shows. My one wish is to see the show live before I die.

—Mary K.


When Garrison gave the tribute to Chet Atkins upon Chet's death. It was as touching a tribute as I have ever heard. You knew how much Chet meant to Garrison. I turned in the week that Studs Terkle died because I knew how much Garrison enjoyed Studs and I wanted to hear that. Another touching moment.

—Chuck W.


Listening to the show in the mid-1980s from the front porch of our bungalow on Goodrich in St. Paul, beer in one hand, new daughter Robin in the other. Her daughter, Dylan, is now 16 months, and we are back in a bungalow again (now in Texas), so I'm looking forward to repeating the experience of listening to the show on our front porch in one hand, and granddaughter in the other.

—Rob B.


I moved to California from Minnesota in 1980. I discovered I was an instant celebrity because I knew all about powdermilk biscuits and rhubarb and had come from a farm near Rice, MN, which of course is right next door to Lake Wobegon.

—Carolyn M.


The Tom Keith "radio Club" bit about him paying dues. Belonging to something worthwhile and fun can trandsend money. Thaks for all the memories Garrison

—Craig J.


Jean Redpath's singing "Sonny's Dream" and mouth music on the first TV broadcast, in 1985(?).

—Nat C.


Loved seeing Garrison Keillor in his white suit back when it cost a dollar to see the show.

—JoAnn K.


September 1986, I was in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal. My British friend switched on BBC news and the PHC music began. Two months later I relocated to St. Paul and went to a live PHC with my husband to be and we've been regulars ever since.

—Jane A.


My favorite moment of APHC is the introductory song, "Tishomingo Blues" by Spencer Williams which Garrison began singing in his previous show, American Radio Company of the Air where I lent a hand. Congratulations on 35 years to Garrison Keillor and the entire cast and crew.

—Roseann F.


Revelation From the One in your Womb I jumped, too. -- Time told. That's how I got Here, too. Sometime you don't know Until you get the messages-all-around And you know it-is-time for prayers. That's when the Memories start. That's when you Know to Care. Only keep the important ones Remember the Good The ones that keep you most Safe To the Future PS: Enjoy the time.

—V B


I can't remember when. The story about the mustard plaster = a cure for a bad cough. I love all the stories, Garrison always lifts my spirits.

—Olga C.


1981 Morning show the first time I heard it. I was new to St.Paul, fresh from Minneota, Minnesota and unaccoustomed to big city life. I was lonely in my first big girl apartment. I had no TV so I tuned into the radio and picked up the show. Being from a small prairie town I didn't realize it was spoof for about three minutes. Garrison was doing ads and news and it sounded so much like KMHL from Marshall, MN I was fooled. I still laugh to about it and tell my friends how naive I was at 20.

—Nancy P.


Several years ago, there was a skit about the Tollefson boy going to college. Being my name is Tollefson, and I'm a 100% Lutheran Norwegian who went two yrs. to Augsburg College, I could relate to this.

—Duane T.


Thanks for the spectacular season of satire, including recent Ravinia show and "its gallery of good Polish names," (with an exception of Otto, which, I think is Germanic.) I missed its original air date not being able to find it on a dial at the foothills of Sangre de Cristo, wonder if you broadcast there. The acrobatics of Slavic phonetics was like watching Circus De Soleil: breathtaking, somewhat scary, but performed seamlessly to a loud audience applause, and safe landing. Great PR for Polish cause, be it churches or elephants. Best Wishes and Happy Fourth!

—Cieszyrad P.


Cats. That song Garrison wrote about cats not being able to make up their minds about whether or not they want in or out. Its not that I particularly like that song, or cats in general; but now and then some brain synapse of mine fires that little song off just like a jukebox with a short circuit. I guess thats an endorsement of some kind.

—Val T.


Having been a recording engineer in NYC, I had recorded Fred Newman doing voice overs for commercials. I left the business 20 years ago and sometimes still miss it. But every time I hear Fred and his sounds, it brings me back.

—Guy L.


I have many great memories from the show. Most immediately a show from late 2008 or early 2009 where a singer was featured singing I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire. I would dearly love to have that recording to dance with my new husband at our wedding August 1st. Can you help me get that? Love the show & thanks for having it.

—Best regards, MarySue Rhode


I have attended several PHC shows at the Fitz, which are memorable moments in themselves. But my favorite memory is from 1979 when we had moved out of Minneapolis to a farm I purchased in rural Wisconsin. We had the woodstove warming our farmhouse from the cold whirling winter winds outside, while I danced around the living room with my two young boys (ages 3 & 2) to the wonderful music of PHC. Thanks for the memories.

—Kevin G.


I love every show I can find, usually a pbs special presentation. But, as Garrison says, you are coast to coast on the radio and I'd like to know what station and or time can I find that. I am located in the East on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Help me find you, Please!!!!! I love the show. I am 1,254 miles from Lake Wobegon but wish I could see that wonderful town you describe.

—Sincerely, Joan P.


Hello! I think it was 10 or 15 years ago when my son and I were riding in the car on Saturday evening with the radio on and tuned to Prairie Home Companion as always. There came on a segment where Tom Keith, I think it was, made the sounds of a variety of animal farts. Well, you know we completely broke up with laughter. When he did the sound of the mosquito fart, we laughed so hard we had to pull over until we could recover enough to resume driving. I have tried to look for that segment on the archives but I have not been able to find it. I would love to be able to hear it again. Thanks for more enjoyment than I can recount!

—Eric E.


My fave memory is when you did the show from O'Shag auditorium at the College of St. Catherine. (Now St. Catherine's University) a few years ago. I was a student worker there, and I was SOOO excited to maybe meet people from the show. However, we were told in no uncertain terms, "Not to talk to any of the Talent". We backstage students were not even allowed to view the show...we just got to listen. I loved it anyway! So I am soooo excited to come to this one!! Sincerely, Kendra Reynolds

—Kendra R.


"When you sang alternitive verses of "a Snow White Dove ", perhaps a simple memory, but I carry the lyrics with me, and on occasion they just come to the surface, and I have to hold back a chuckle, sometimes my friends and neighbors here in Tenney wonder if I had eaten something that had gone bad... "

—Oscar G.


"When Iris Dement was on and sang "I'm Walking Home Tonight ". It was amazing how she belted out the first note. Also I loved it when Mr Keillor asked her a question and she answered with a nod, at first, forgetting she was on the radio. This must have been around 1998? "

—Anna W.


"It was in the early 80's and my wife and I were visiting a highschool friend who was teaching at O.U. in Norman OK. Both of us played the prodigal son from Cokato, MN who relocated to the south to experience suffering beyond normal Lutheranism. Whenever we visited we had to tune in PHC if for no other reason than to catch up on local gossip and decide if we really did miss the place. Imagine our surprise and amazement when Garrison introduced a poem that had been submitted by Carlton Lee, a writer for the Cokato Enterprise. Mr. Lee was known throughout town as the fellow who always had a smile and a wave, always spoke well of everyone, and made a person proud to be from Cokato. The man had been my Sunday school teacher, for Pete's sake...Garrison read the poem describing how the trains didn't stop in Cokato any more, and both of us stood still, barely daring to breathe to interrupt the flood of memories about a place we couldn't wait to leave and suddenly realizing we would never be able to return to... "

—Craig I.


The radio drama "Diet Squad " (1985?) with Studs Terkel as Lt Frank Fettuccine. Also Howard Mohr's sketch on Getting married in Minnesotan (a romance language)

—Gordon A.


"My husband and myself love the variety of the show and how every performer seems to be enjoying them-selves, Thank You "

—Julia K.


"About 10 yeras ago (before Garrison wore red shoes, I believe) I attended show in Dayton Ohio, with my future wife and her family and we couldn't stop snickering at how a man in a black suit, red tie, and white shirt could have matching red socks and black shoes! We love the show, especially since we're also from the Midwest(Toledo) and hope Garrison keeps it going until he's 90! "

—Dave L.


I Belieeve it was in Red Wing when you first told the story of the fish loving dog who interupted some sort of reception when he saw the jellied whole salmon on the buffet table. We were there and I will not forget the large belly laughs emenating from everyone. My daughter and I will try to be at Avon.

—anne S.


"Over 25 years ago, the talent on the show was truly homespun. Why, there was the guy who played whole songs with his hands (you know--farting sounds). And, Garrison's "tomato butt " monologue is memorable because of the stomach pains it caused by laughing so hard. Thanks, Garrison, for bringing us "home " every week! "

—Reva M.


"Feb 25, 2006 Lakeside Ballroom, Glenwood Minnesota. (my home town) On the shore of Lake Minnewaska, that night a dozen fish houses were dragged into shore, decorated with twinkle lights and city street signs, and of course the fishermen sitting in lawn chairs watching the show from the frigid cold. The show was perfect, the church supper served and additional hour of music and dancing made the evening the best ever in Glenwood, Minnesota. However, I must say the nights only rival, was the performance by Fats Domino, a night long long ago. "

—carol C.


"I moved to MN in 1974, from back east (Philadelphia)and I loved waking up to Garison's morning show on MPR. Then after PHC got really popular, I liked to brag that when I first started going to the show, it only cost $1.00 -and that bought you a ticket, coke and popcorn! My favorite shows were the ones in the summer under the cotton wood trees next to the old Science Museum... Thanks for 35 years of great radio! "

—Babs P.


"Thanks, Garrison, for so many great shows and great memories - I especially loved the bluegrass and folk tunes in the late '70s while a U of MN student - from a wandering Lutheran Minnesotan now in Oklahoma. My kids are sure I'm crazy when I sing the Powdermilk Biscuit song with you on the radio. "

—Melissa S.


"I don't recall the year. Scott Revard was with the show. The celebration (anniversary?) started at the World (Fitzgerald) and was carried to the State Capitol grounds. I recall sitting on the porch of the house on stage, thanks to Scott. I was a volunteer when the World was remodeled for the show. I still have a button with: "I SAVED THE WORLD " Thank you "

—Virgil D.


The news from Lake Wobegon: story of a guy who ends up frozen to the roof...maybe 15-20 years ago

—Harriet T.


"I was about eight years old, and attended one of the first autumn shows in September that was kicked off with a street dance, corn-on-the-cob, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes & gravy. It was so cold that I was covered head to toe in my Minnesota winter wear. I remember asking my mother if she'd take a picture of me near Garrison Keillor. She gave me the camera and told me to go ask him for a photo myself. I took it, marched right up to him, and asked politely if I could take his picture. He took my camera, held it out, and took a photo of the two of us. In it, I am smiling a toothy ear-to-ear grin. I was thrilled that I was actually getting a photo with the man in the red socks. I'm 26 now, and the photo and memory are still some of my greatest treasures. I've always wanted to thank him for that photo, and that moment. "

—Kerry G.


"The first time I ever heard Garrison Keillor on Radio in Dayton, Ohio. "The Old Stall Shower ". I would like to have a copy of this story. Thank You. "

—Arthur P.


Wife Linda and I are coming to Avon to celebrate OUR 35th wedding anniversary (June 30) with A Prairie Home Companion. We don't exactly remember when we started listening but it has to have something to do with why we're still together all these years. And that's no joke!

—Stefan L.


"I was driving through Hutchinson, MN listening to the annual joke show. I had to pull over to the side of the road as I was laughing so hard I could not drive!!! Also, a close second is a couple of the talent shows-some of the acts were fabulous! Thanks for the question! "

—Donna Y.


"I remember listening to the show sometime in the early 80s with a high school friend. The news from Lake Woebegone was about an overnight stay you made at a friends house. In the morning his mother brought out some sugary cereal for breakfast and you said that she might as well have brought out a bowl of cocaine because your mother didn't believe in that kind of thing. I'm not sure why that struck me as being so funny, but I remember it to this day. The oddest thing was that here was two teenage boys listening to the radio and there was no rock music playing. Now my teenage kids like the show too. Congratulations on 35 great years and I wish you many, many more. "

—Douglas M.


"When I was a child, we used to drive to Iowa from Illinois to visit my grandma. We would come back in the evening on Sunday. My two brothers and I would be crowded in the back seat dozing (or fighting; my dad would turn on Prairie Home Companion, and everyone would quiet down to listen. "

—Betsy M.


"We were on our way to the joke show at the Fitz. It was about 10 years ago when my son was in junior high. He has brittle bone disease and as we got ready to go he said, "I will probably laugh hard enough to break a rib. Be sure to bring a brace so you can put it on me after the rib breaks so I won't miss any of the jokes. "

—Beth-Ann B.


"It was April 18, 1998...Live from The Town Hall in New York, The Third Annual PHC Joke Show, with Walter Bobbie, Paula Poundstone, and Roy Blount Jr. I was sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store, just off of work, ready to pick up dinner. I heard these one liners and funny jokes and I just started giggling. Pretty soon I'm laughing so hard the car is shaking! A terrible storm with wind and heavy rains started just then. People are running by, seeing me laughing so hard with my window rolled down for air because I couldn't breathe. It was MY SHOW EVER of A Prairie Home Companion! I've been a fan ever since. Seeing as I'm all norwegian, LUTHERAN and a coffee and rhubarb lover, I was HOOKED. Thank you for all the Saturdays since, for the show archives and for the talent of all the special guests who make this the best darned radio program going! God Bless you all, Naomi Tauberman "

—Naomi T.


"My favorite memory is bittersweet. I was pregnant with my daughter in the late winter/early spring of 2003, and the space shuttle Challenger had just been destroyed. I was feeling especially melancholy, and Garrison was singing Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do, " with special changes for some interns who were leaving. It touched a chord-- now I sing my own version of "What'll I Do " for that daughter at bedtime. "

—Sarah O.


I started listening to PHC in 1979. We had just moved from Dallas to Indianapolis and I always listened to the show while washing our cars. Not much has changed except the cars!

—John B.


"About 4 years ago, we were in the audience when Garrison, in the midst of a ramble about something or another, started singing the Minnesota Rouser. The band joined in and then three-quarters of the audience stood, and sang along! "

—Linda G.


The first live broadcast I attended was "Gospel Birds " in the mid-90's...It was absolutely mesmerizing

—David B.


"This was years ago--maybe 20 or so? It was the story about the guy who was shopping in a Minnesota general store, and when he would "swear " (using the phrase "road apples "), the cashier kindly but firmly charged him a nickel. "

—Linda M.


"My favorite story was the one where everyone got on the barge for a party on the lake, and the overloaded barge started to sink, making it appear that everyone was walking on water. The grill fell over on the barge, I believe starting a fire. I just laughed and laughed. It's an old story from years ago. My more recent favorite memory was the live TV broadcast of a New Year's Eve show where Jerry Douglas played dobro like a man possesed. He played his original firey music and the All Star Shoe Band played with him like they had practiced for months. It was absolutely scintillating! I had it on my DVR and watched it over and over. I happened to get to talk to Jerry months later when he was in Knoxville, and he told me he had really enjoyed doing the show. He sounded like he wasn't sure anyone saw it! He said he usually stayed home on New Year's Eve with his family, but this was a special program. Indeed it was! "

—Anne-Marie B.


I bought a tape of collected Lake Wobegon Days to keep me company on my long drive home to Mpls from Wash. DC right after 9/11. I took great comfort in listening to all the stories in that collection but Pastor Inkfest on a Pontoon on Lake Wobegon with the Lutheran ministers in turtlenecks made me laugh until I cried. Thank you for helping me make it home.

—Susan Z.


"I only have a vague idea of when this was, it was on one of the first shows we heard back in '79 or '80, someone sang a song about the Mississippi River whaleing industry and mentioned Bemidji also, I've never forgotten that song and wish I could hear it again. I also like a monolouge Garrison did for Mother's Day one year about how Moms are so sweet to their kids when face to face, but when behind closed doors with Dad they complain about the kids. I don't remember when that segment was done at all. I know I should visit the archive page, but I really have to get going! "

—Valerie S.


"My favorite memory of the show was when they came to Juneau, AK where I and my sisters were living at the time. (1985) My sister Jolie was the arts critic for the Juneau Empire and got to interview Garrison before and after the show, but during the show I took a picture of Garrison singing with the band and somehow superimposed it on a gorgeous shot the mountains of Juneau and it is an amazing picture. Every time I look at it it brings back such fond memories of that time of my life. We're hoping to come to the 4th of July show. "

—Rea S.


"This wasn't on the show, but it's a favorite memory. My mom, Mary Sandell, was a from-the-beginning fan of Garrison's. She grew up in the country, and wanted to visit Lake Wobegon. I think she was a little disappointed when she learned that there was no Lake Wobegon. Not too disappointed to give up on being a fan of Garrison's, though. She waited in line for hours at Dayton's 8th floor to get him to autograph his book. One Christmas eve we went to the show and sang with Garrison (and about 100 others) onstage at the auditorium at St. Katherine's. She passed away last October, but I'm planning to head out to Avon and, for that evening, it will be Lake Wobegon for me. "

—Margie V.

Your Favorite Prairie Home Memory

For our 35th anniversary, we're collecting your favorite Prairie Home memories to share with other folks online. If you need help remembering when, visit the archive page.

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Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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