Special Guests
Saturday, June 14, 1997

Dave Barry has been a columnist for the Miami Herald since 1983, and his column appears in hundreds of newspapers nationwide. He says that he writes "about various major issues relating to the international economy, the future of democracy, the social infrastructure, and exploding toilets." In 1988, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Barry is a self-confessed computer addict and has written a book about his experiences on the Internet called Dave Barry in Cyberspace (Random House). A few years ago, Barry and other authors-including Stephen King, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, and Roy Blount, Jr.-formed a band called The Rock Bottom Remainders. Says Barry, "The band plays music as well as Metallica writes novels." The Rock Bottom Remainders went on a five-city tour in 1993 and then wrote a book about it-each band member contributed a chapter. It was published by Viking/Signet in 1994 as Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude. The CBS television series, Dave's World, is based on two of Barry's books. Barry appeared on national television resolving an all-important consumer-safety question: If you you douse a pair of old underwear with hairspray and then skate a Rollerblade Barbie across them, will they ignite? His latest book, The Book of Bad Songs (Andrews & McMeel), just came out this month.

Johnny Conga is a master percussionist who has performed and taught for more than 25 years. He grew up in New York, the son of a Cuban father who was an avid collector of Latin music. At age six, young Johnny took his first bongo lessons from an uncle; by age 17, he was a professional drummer. He learned and studied congas under George "Sabu" Caldwell, a percussionist for Dizzy Gillespie. Johnny Conga has, on his own, and with his bands, appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, on Harry Belafonte's PBS series, Routes of Rhythm, and with international stars such as Paquito de Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, Sergio Mendes, Maynard Ferguson, and others. Johnny Conga currently hosts a weekly Latin jazz program on WDNA radio, teaches drumming at the University of Miami, and leads two bands, Caribe and the Afro-Caribbean sextet Roots of Rhythm. Roots of Rhythm uses congas, timbales, and assorted African and Brazilian percussion insturments to perform traditional rhythms such as plena, bomba, conga, rumba, and mambo: Most Latin music originates from rhythms such as these. Tonight Johnny Conga leads Roots of Rhythm: Maria Medina Seraf’n, Jesse Feldman, Ivan Palma, Freddy Lugo, and William Varela.

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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