Special Guests
Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cindy Cashdollar

Listen to dobro and steel guitar ace Cindy Cashdollar sitting in with the likes of Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Leon Redbone and Dolly Parton, or on her own CD, Slide Show (Silver Shot Records), and it's not surprising that she's raking in Grammy Awards — five, at last count. She was inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in 2003. Born and raised in Woodstock, New York, Cashdollar (yes, that's her real name) now makes her home in Austin, Texas.

Elana James

Kansas-born, Austin-based fiddler Elana James started studying classical violin at age five — perhaps inspired by her mom, a violinist in the Kansas City Symphony. Then her musical path took a different turn: She took a liking to the music of north India, before focusing her attention on Western swing. One of the youngest members ever to be inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame, she was the driving force behind the trio Hot Club of Cowtown. Her 2007 album, Elana James, is on Snarf Records.

Jearlyn Steele

Jearlyn Steele grew up in Indiana and first sang with her siblings (as The Steele Children). After she left home and moved to Minnesota, one by one the rest of the Steele kids followed. They started singing together again as The Steeles, and now music is the family business. Jearlyn also hosts Steele Talkin', a Sunday-night radio show that originates on WCCO in Minneapolis and is heard in some 30 states nationwide. Steele Praising Hymn is her most recent CD.

Women of the Abilene Christian University A Cappella Chorus

The A Cappella Chorus of Abilene Christian University, under the direction of Dr. Michael Scarbrough, is the longest-running chorus of its kind in the Southwest. Begun in 1932 by the late Dr. Leonard Burford, it is dedicated to the study and performance of the finest choral literature of all musical eras. Auditions are held every spring and are open to all students; in the fall, vacancies are filled in a general choral audition. Each year, the A Cappella Chorus takes one extended tour and gives four major concerts. The accompanist today is Cheryl Lemmons.

Guy's All-Star Shoe Band

The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. A keyboard master with an arsenal of ideas, he has worked with artists from Al Jarreau to Kristin Chenoweth to the Hopeful Gospel Quartet. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me (Prairie Home Productions).

Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today. And he writes songs too — recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others. Freewayman (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's nine albums.

Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. — with whom he toured for several years — and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.

Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.

Venue Information

The 4,500-seat Moody Coliseum — site of many events on the campus of Abilene Christian University — is one of the highest-quality and most versatile facilities of its type in West Texas. It was built in 1968 and updated in 1992, but the university itself dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when A.B. Barret, a teacher at Southwestern Christian College in Denton, Texas, first had the idea to build the school. The Childers Classical Institute, named for Col. J.W. Childers and on whose land it was built, opened its doors in the fall of 1906. A few years later, the school began using the name Abilene Christian College, and by 1920, the name was formally changed. In 1976, it became Abilene Christian University. While only 25 students enrolled that first year, today ACU has close to 5,000 students hailing from 50 states and 60 foreign nations. It has been recognized as one of America's Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report.

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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