The Three Baritones
SATURDAY, May 18, 2002
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(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott; TR: Tim Russell; TK: Tom Keith; AS: Andy Stein)

GK: … It was the last night of the Metropolitan Opera season and the house was full of fans, some of whom were paying $1800 apiece to be there, to hear Pavarotti in "Tosca" and meanwhile, backstage at the Met…..

TR: (BIG ITALIAN OUTBURST)

SS: (TRANSLATING) He can't do it. He has the flu. He can't sing.

TR: (ITALIAN…..WEAK TENOR NOTE……ITALIAN)

SS: (TRANSLATING) He has a headache. A fever. His feet hurt. He can't do a thing with his hair.

TK: WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? WE ADVERTISED PAVAROTTI! WHO CAN I GET INSTEAD? AT THE LAST MINUTE?

GK: I'll tell you who….(PITCH PIPE TONE) (SINGS and SUSTAINS) Jimmy…

AS: (SINGS HARMONY) Larry….

TR: (SINGS THIRD HARMONY LINE) …Dave. (STOP, UNISON NOW, SPOKEN) The Three Baritones!

SS: The Three Baritones. They can carry a tune, they look good in tuxedos, they show up when they're supposed to, and afterward they stay and help clean up.

GK: La ci darem linguini
E parmigiano per favore…..

SS: If you're tired of prima donna sopranos and contentious tenors, ask about the Three Baritones. They're friendly, the rates are low, they're happy to stay and help clean up, and you can call at the last minute and know they're available …With tenors, you're so often disappointed because you expect something fabulous, a transforming experience. With baritones----- hey, you get what you pay for. Steady, reliable…..next time, make it a baritone.

TR: (SINGS MELODY: On Top of Old Smokey)
"On top of spaghetti,
all covered with cheese,
(AS and GK join in) I lost my poor meatball,
when somebody sneezed…
And then a big pigeon
Flew over my soup.
Then suddenly turned
And flew back to the coop.

© Garrison Keillor 2002

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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