Special Guests
Saturday, December 12, 1998

New York resident ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY was born into a talented family. Her father is John Callaway, a former CBS News correspondent and current host of the PBS show Chicago Tonight; and her mother, Shirley Callaway, is a prominent Broadway vocal coach. With her younger sister, Broadway-musical star Liz Callaway, she collaborated on Sibling Revelry (DRG Records), a CD recorded live at New York's famed club, Rainbow & Stars. In her solo career, Ann Hampton Callaway has earned rave reviews from critics such as Rex Reed, who said that she "is the definitive singer of her generation to inherit the mantle the legendary Ella Fitzgerald left behind." In 1996, Callaway recorded a tribute CD to Fitzgerald called To Ella With Love (After 9 Records). After Cole Porter's lyric, "I Gaze In Your Eyes," was posthumously discovered a few years ago, she set his words to music. The Cole Porter estate liked the result and licensed it as a Porter song, thus making Callaway the only composer officially recognized as a Cole Porter collaborator. TV audiences know her from the theme song for the CBS sitcom The Nanny, which Callaway composed and performed. She has won 10 MAC Awards from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs, including one for her latest CD, After Ours (Denon Records). A new CD is scheduled for release in January. Tonight, Callaway is joined by Ted Rosenthal (piano), Michael Formanek (bass), and Tom Rainey (drums).

One of the original writers for Saturday Night Live when it premiered in 1975, Minnesota native AL FRANKEN wrote for and performed on the show from 1975 until 1980, and again from 1985 to 1995. He won four Emmy Awards for his SNL writing, and his producing garnered another. He is recognized for his sendups of Pat Robertson, Paul Simon, and Paul Tsongas, and for his characters: his "Al Franken Decade" persona, his constantly struggling one-man mobile uplink unit, and Stuart Smalley, the New Age cable-TV host. Smalley and his self-confidence mantra-"You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you"-provided the subject for Franken's first book, his Grammy-nominated comedy album, and a 1995 movie, Stuart Saves His Family. His book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, hit The New York Times bestseller list in its first week in the bookstores. Franken is currently producing and starring in Lateline, a political sitcom he co-created, and he just put the finishing touches on a new book, Why Not Me?, scheduled for publication after the new year.

The husband and wife duo of violinist JAIME LAREDO and cellist SHARON ROBINSON balance careers as acclaimed soloists with involvement in some of the world's most-respected chamber music ensembles. They recently gave the premiere performance of Ned Rorem's Double Concerto, and have commissioned works by such composers as Leon Kirchner, Arvo Part, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Laredo and Robinson received a Grammy nomination for the Two Brahms Sextets CD with Isaac Stern, Cho-Liang Lin, Michael Tree, and Yo-Yo Ma. With pianist Joseph Kalichstein, they form the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which gave its debut at the White House for President Carter's Inauguration in 1977. Recently signed to Arabesque Recordings, the Trio has recorded the complete string sonatas and trios of Shostakovich and a disc of new works written for the Trio. A recording of Ravel's piano trio and complete string sonatas is scheduled for this month.

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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