Special Guests
Saturday, May 31, 1997

Rory Block, born Aurora Block, grew up in the '60s folk and blues renaissance. Her father, a fiddler, owned a sandal shop on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village that was frequented by folk legends such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Stefan Grossman, John Sebastian, and blues greats such as Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, and others. Young Rory, who had started out on classical guitar, taught herself flatpicking and began to accompany her father at folk festivals. She made her recording debut soon after-at age 12-backing her father on Elektra Records' String Band Project. She found herself drawn to Delta blues, and at age 14, began to transcribe old blues songs from recordings. Block says that Son House was "probably my greatest influence as a teenager, having spent unforgettable times with him visiting, playing music, and watching him in concert." She recalls being 15 and sitting in the living room, playing old blues songs for Son House: "[he] kept looking around and saying, 'Where'd she learn to play these songs?' " Through the years, Block's music has bridged a number of styles, but she remains rooted in the blues. Her mastery of the genre has won her the admiration of musicians like Bonnie Raitt, John Hammond, and Taj Mahal and two consecutive W.C. Handy Awards, the latest for best traditional blues female artist and the other for her 1995 recording, When a Woman Gets the Blues (Rounder), a collection of blues songs. Her most recent CD is Gone Woman Blues (Rounder), a compilation of her acoustic blues numbers from a dozen previous Rounder releases. Appearing with Block tonight are: Peter O'Brien (drums), Mike Demicco (guitar), Greg Schleich (keyboards), and Rob Leon (bass).

Founded in 1868, the Cornell University Glee Club is the oldest student organization on campus. The 70-voice male choir has toured across the United States and in more than 20 countries, including Germany, Great Britain, the former Soviet Union, Japan, and the People's Republic of China. The group has performed under the baton of a number of celebrated conductors: Nadia Boulanger, Karel Husa, Julius Rudel, Eugene Ormandy, Michael Tilson Thomas, and others. Millions of listeners and viewers have heard and seen the Cornell University Glee Club: Their performances have been broadcast over NBC, CBS, PBS, Radio Free Europe, the BBC, and the television and radio networks of Bavaria, China, Moscow, and Singapore. The Glee Club's latest recordings (both self-produced) are A Concert of Cathedral Music, recorded live during a 1992 European tour, and Songs of Cornell, a compilation of Cornell songs recorded over the years by the Glee Club. In June, they head into the studio to record a new CD. The Cornell University Glee Club is conducted by Professor Scott Tucker, Cornell's Director of Choral Music. Appearing tonight are 21 members of the Glee Club: Tenor 1: Taylor Heanue, Ken Ho, George Jaramillo, Ethan Settembre, Andrew Swan. Tenor 2: Alexander Brose, Timothy Green, Anthony Mangaser, Carib Mendez, Stephen Searl. Bass 1: Garrick Applebee, Jonathan Fuller, Michael Kassatly, Michael Kassatly, Michael Raniere, Brian Ray. Bass 2: I-San Hsieh, Ryan Nakagawa, Bruce Pan, Michael Raffaele, Eric Saidel.

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).

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