Special Guests
Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bob Edwards first went on the air as National Public Radio's first newscaster in 1974, and in 1979 helped launch Morning Edition, which became the most listened-to program in public radio. Edwards hosted the show for twenty-five years, conducting over 20,000 interviews and winning numerous awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award and a George Foster Peabody Award. Edwards is currently a senior correspondent for NPR news.

The U.S. Army Brass was formed in 1972, and four of the five members have been together since 1978. They perform regularly at the White House and at official ceremonies in Washington D.C. They also draw audiences to their stand-alone concerts and music clinics. The current members, who are also members of other elements of the U.S. Army Band, are Sergeants Major Dennis Edelbrock, Woodrow English, Jack Tilbury, and Sergeants First Class Joseph Lovinsky and Harry Watters.

Inga Swearingen began her career as a singer/songwriter, accompanying herself in alternate tunings on the guitar, and later made a transition to singing jazz. In July 2003, she was recognized at Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival during the 2003 Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition, receiving the Prize of the Public from the audience and First Place from the judges. Her debut CD is called Learning How To Fly (2003). Currently, Inga is earning a masters degree in choral conducting at Florida State University.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Kelly Joe Phelps is based in Portland, Oregon. He made his recording debut in 1994 with Lead Me On. Some of his songs feature performances by such artists as guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Larry Taylor (Tom Waits), and drummer Billy Conway (Morphine). He has toured the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and Australia, and his most recent album is called Slingshot Professionals on Rykodisc.

Peter Ostroushko's latest album is Meeting on Southern Soil, with Norman Blake. There are eight previous, all beautiful and most interspersed with wry humor, with song titles such as "Rumba de los Holsteins," "Whalebone Feathers," "B-O-R-S-C-H-T," "Sluz Blues," "Too Tight Polka," "Corny Dog Ramble," and "Puppy Belly Dance," "The Pig's Eye Reel," and "Unknowingly She Walked With Grace Among Tall Men."

Asked how many albums, besides his own nine, that he had played on, he said: "Played on... well... Hard to say, exactly... five hundred is the number that comes to mind. It would be right around that..." He's currently working on a project of old live tracks of the Mando Boys, and he's also transcribing music of the great Irish fiddler John Dougherty to put in book form. He recently took a trip to Ireland, particularly to County Donegal and to the archives in Dublin, to track down his works; said he liked Ireland a lot more than he expected to.

The Hopeful Gospel Quartet was formed when four friends discovered their shared interest in gospel music; they were standing around backstage, waiting for one of the Prairie Home Companion shows to begin ,and one of them began to sing. The others joined in, and since then the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, or the Hopefuls, have toured with Chet Atkins and performed at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, The Universal Amphitheatre, and at The Great Prairie Home Hymn-Sing Festival in Moorhead, Minnesota. The Hopefuls have released two albums titled Garrison Keillor & the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, and their most recent, Climbing Up on the Rough Side. The current members of the Hopeful Gospel Quartet are Mollie O'Brien, Garrison Keillor, and Robin and Linda Williams.

Howard Levy is universally acknowledged as the world's most advanced diatonic harmonica player. He has developed a fully chromatic style on the standard 10-hole diatonic harmonica and has revolutionized the way the instrument is viewed and played. Levy is also a talented piano, flute, ocarina, mandolin, saxophone and percussion player and songwriter. He has played a wide variety of music including anything from jazz and pop to folk and classical styles. Levy has appeared on hundreds of albums and has performed with artists like Dolly Parton, Styx, Bobby McFerrin and Astral Project, John Prine, Paquito D'Rivera and many others. Levy has toured all over the world as a solo and supporting artist and he has also taught music workshops, as well as given private lessons. In 1997, he won a Grammy for playing "The Sinister Minister" with the Flecktones, a group he founded with Bela Fleck. Levy also won a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Original Music for a Play. Tonight he will be playing with Guy's All-Star Shoe Band.

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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