Special Guests
Saturday, September 8, 2007

Kate Mckenzie

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 Europe, Japan and North America, and was featured in the public television series Showcase and the Nashville Network's Fire on the Mountain. With the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, which just concluded their 1st Annual Pre-Millenium Tour, MacKenzie has recorded a live album from Carnegie Hall, performed at folk festivals in Scotland and Denmark, and was featured on PBS' Austin City Limits. The Hopeful Gospel Quartet's newest recording is Climbing Up on the Rough Side, on the HighBridge label. MacKenzie's work with A Prairie Home Companion has included co-host roles in several Prairie Home broadcasts, 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). MacKenzie's first solo album, Let Them Talk (Red House Records), received enthusiastic reviews and was on the National Bluegrass Charts for 10 months. A second solo album, Age of Innocence (Red House), was released last fall and earned MacKenzie a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. MacKenzie's success was noted in The New York Times, which grouped her in "the new wave of strong female voices."

Bob Dorough

When Bob Dorough was growing up in Arkansas and Texas, he wanted to be a cowboy, but changed his mind once he began playing music. It was the right choice. His career in jazz took him to Paris in the mid-'50s, where he recorded with singer Blossom Dearie. Then it was on to New York. He collaborated with Miles Davis, the Fugs and Allen Ginsberg, and he served as musical director for ex-boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. He also launched his solo career with the album Devil May Care (Bethlehem). Then, in the early 1970s, he began a project that would endear him to generations of young TV watchers - even if they didn't know his name. "Schoolhouse Rock" (remember Dorough's jingles "Conjunction Junction," "Three Is a Magic Number," and "My Hero, Zero"?) was on the air from 1973 to '86, and has appeared from time to time in the decades since. Bob Dorough continues to write, perform and record. His latest album is Small Day Tomorrow (Candid Records).

Donald Hall

Donald Hall writes poetry and prose. He was born in Hamden, Connecticut, attended Philips Exeter, Harvard University, and Oxford. After graduation from Oxford, Hall was awarded fellowships at Stanford University (1953-54) and at Harvard (1954-57). It was during that time that his first book of poetry, Exiles and Marriages (1955) was published. From 1957 to 1975, he taught at the University of Michigan. In 1975, he and his wife, writer Jane Kenyon, moved to his ancestral farm at Eagle Pond in Wilmot, New Hampshire. His nearly two dozen books of prose include String Too Short To Be Saved (1961), reminiscences of youthful summers spent at Eagle Pond Farm. New Hampshire named Hall its Poet Laureate in 1984, a title he held until 1989. He has been honored with many literary awards and citations, including the Caldecott Medal in 1980 for a children's book, Ox-Cart Man, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1989 for a book of poetry, The One Day. Hall and Kenyon were the subject of Bill Moyers' public-television program, A Life Together, in 1993. In 1995, Kenyon died of leukemia. Hall's latest book of poetry, The Old Life (Houghton Mifflin), is a collection of four poems: the title poem is an autobiographical account of Hall's life from his earliest childhood memories to Kenyon's death. Hall's most recent juvenile books are When Willard Met Babe Ruth, a story of a 12-year-old boy who meets Babe Ruth, and Old Home Day, which traces the growth of a New Hampshire village from pre-history to the bicentennial of its founding.

Purdue Varsity Glee Club

Since their first performance-with 11 voices-in 1893, the Purdue Varsity Glee Club has brought recognition and honor to the university. These days, under the direction of Brian Breed, the 50-plus members are always on the go. They have performed at five presidential inaugurations, represented the university on nine European tours and trips to Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and China. And they've traversed the U.S., including a 2005 appearance with the New York Pops orchestra at Carnegie Hall-the group's second time on the Carnegie stage in just the past three years.

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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