Saturday, November 6, 2004
Roy Blount, Jr.He has, by his own admission, written nineteen books and has accepted payment for work as a humorist, a novelist, journalist, dramatist, lyricist, lecturer, reviewer, performer,versifier, cruciverbalist, sportswriter, screenwriter, anthologist, columnist, philologist, and biographer of sorts. (Random House does not have a listing for a "cruciverbalist.") He is a listed artist on Don't Quit Your Day Job Records and has performed with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a group of literary types, who, Dave Barry says, "play as good as Metallica writes novels." He was the host and main character in the two-hour documentary The Main Stream, filmed by Roger Weisberg and premiered on PBS in December of 2002; an inside view of America from the decks of boats, ridden the length of this Mississippi River here. He is also the author of quotation #746 in Michael Moncur's (Cynical) Quotations, which is: "The last time somebody said, 'I find I can write much better with a word processor...' I replied, 'They used to say that about drugs.'"
Spider John KoernerHe was born in 1938 in Rochester, New York, and at the age of 15 was one of the youngest licensed student glider pilots in the nation. He became an engineering student here at the U of M and built his own place in folk music, giving it more body and energy than was generally used at the time. He developed his own style early and he's held to the same approach throughout his distinguished career. We used to see him at the Triangle Bar on Riverside Avenue, now gone, where he not only sang but told jokes and showed his own home movies. He has done 16 albums with Koerner, Ray and Glover and has been part of 22 others.
Jearlyn SteeleShe grew up in Indiana, singing with her siblings at churches and concert halls across the state, doing television and radio shows as the Steele Children. She moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota and one by one the others followed. They regrouped as a gospel group called The Steeles and gained a solid reputation, enough that they were able to sing full time. In 1983, they sang in Gospel at Colonus at the Guthrie Theater; it became a touring show and ended up on Broadway in 1988. It led to a recording career in which she has done backup vocals on projects, for folks like George Clinton and Prince. She landed her own weekly radio show, Steele Talkin' without knowing she had even been in an interview. She thought she and the station manager at WCCO in Minneapolis were just having a casual conversation.
Andy SteinViolinist and saxophonist Andy Stein was a regular member of Guy's All-Star Shoe Band on A Prairie Home Companion from 1989 to 2001. He collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson. He has appeared on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman, and has performed with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and many others.
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).