Special Guests
Saturday, July 5, 1997

Skip Gorman has long been one of this country's finest performers of old-time cowboy music. Beginning at age eight by playing guitar and singing along with Jimmie Rodgers records, Skip went on to master the traditional flavors of American fiddle and mandolin styles. He was a member of the Deseret String Band in the 1970's, recording Powder River his first album of cowboy songs and fiddle tunes, for Folk Legacy in 1977. This was followed by Trail to Mexico and The Old Style Mandolin (Marimac). His new release on Rounder Records, A Greener Prairie was chosen by the Boston Globe as one of the Top Ten recordings of 1994. His "Cowboy Waltz" was featured on Ken Burn's documentary Baseball. Skip has performed at the National Folk Festival at Wolftrap, the Shetland Festival, and taught at Augusta Heritage and Pinewoods. Skip spends part of his time employed as a musician/wrangler for the 1880's-period cattle drives at High Island Ranch in Hamilton Dome, Wyoming.

Kate MacKenzie has been a favorite guest of A Prairie Home Companion since 1981. For many years, she was lead singer of Stoney Lonesome, with whom she recorded six bluegrass albums, toured Japan and North America, and was featured in the public television series, Showcase. With the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, MacKenzie has recorded a live album from Carnegie Hall, performed at folk festivals in Scotland and Denmark, and performed on PBS' Austin City Limits. Her work with A Prairie Home Companion has included coast-to-coast tours, farewell and reunion shows, 20 Disney Channel television broadcasts, the 1993 Book of Guys tour, and a recurring dramatic role as Sheila, the Christian Jungle girl (wild, yet pure). Her first solo album, Let Them Talk (Red House Records), was on the National Bluegrass Charts for 10 months. A new album, Age of Innocence (Red House), was released last fall. MacKenzie's success was noted in The New York Times, which grouped MacKenzie in "the new wave of strong female voices."

Pat Williams served Montanans for 18 years as a US Congressman, during the entire duration of which he was a member of the National Parks Committee. Known as a leading supporter of the arts and humanities, he served on the House Committee on Ecomonic and Educational Opportunities, as well as the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the early 1980s, he served on the House Committee on Budget. As two-term Chairman of the Budget Committee's Task force on Human Resources, WIlliams suceeded in thwarting the Reagan White House's attempts to sharply scale back or eliminate numerous education, job training and nutrition programs for middle- and low-income workers and their families. He voluntarily left the House of Representatives at the conclusion of the last session to return to Montana and to teach at the University of Montana/Missoula.

Robin and Linda Williams have been frequent guests on A Prairie Home Companion since 1976. They performed on the second and third Prairie Home Companion Reunion Tours and on A Prairie Home Companion's broadcasts from Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Universal Amphitheater. Beyond A Prairie Home Companion, the Williamses have made numerous television appearances: on the Nashville Network's Fire on the Mountain, Nashville Now, and Music City Tonight. And the duo has been heard on other nationwide radio programs: the Grand Ole Opry has welcomed Robin and Linda Williams as guests, as have Mountain Stage and NPR's All Things Considered. With 12 recordings and three musicals to their credit, they are considered to be among the finest songwriters in the folk-country tradition. Their most recent albums include: Sugar for Sugar, on the Sugar Hill label; and Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group-Live, Sugar Hill's re-release of Strictly Country Records' recording, Live in Holland. Last year, Robin and Linda Williams released a new gospel album, Good News (Sugar Hill). The pair's harmonies can be also heard on Mary Chapin Carpenter's album, Stones in the Road, and on Iris DeMent's Warner Bros. recording, My Life. As part of the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, the duo recorded a live album from Carnegie Hall (produced by Chet Atkins, on Sony Records), toured across the United States and Europe, and been featured on PBS' Austin City Limits.

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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