April 17, 1999 Archive Page - Previous Winners
This [show] represents a sort of quota in hiring preferences, setting aside a show for people from small towns and discriminating against people from Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, even Anoka [Keillor's hometown]. Though they may be more talented and deserving, I say, "Tough." We all know that life is terribly unfair, so why not spread the unfairness around more evenly? - GARRISON KEILLOR
ON JANUARY 9, 1999 A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor announced the Fifth Annual Talent from Towns Under 2,000 (T-TUTT) contest to be held on the April 17 live broadcast. The contest features performers from rural areas and towns with fewer than 2,000 people.
Last year's winner was The Virtual Consort - from Shelburne Falls, MA (pop. 1,997) - an acoustic, eclectic trio led by archguitar player Peter Blanchette. Blanchette is a builder of instruments and the inventor of the "archguitar," an 11-string instrument that combines elements of the lute and the guitar. The Virtual Consort won the 1998 T-TUTT contest with a performance of John Dowland's "The Frog Galliard." (A review of last year's contest, complete with many audio additions, is available online.)
Contest finalists selected from submitted auditions were flown to Peoria, IL for the competition broadcast. The winner of the contest received the coveted Silver Water Tower Trophy and a monetary prize.
Press the answering machine
to hear Jesse's invitation to audition!
Audio files below in RealAudio 3.0 28.8
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).