Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
Des Moines, IA«archive page
GK: We're in Iowa, where the major industry is gambling. Some call it farming. The corn harvest is a couple weeks behind, the corn is still wet do you harvest it now and have to pay to dry it out or do you leave it in the field to dry and maybe lose it to a hard freeze.
The French were the first Europeans through here so we're going to do a French show for you today we invited Michael Doucet and Beausoleil up from Louisiana and chanteuse Francine Roche in honor of Father Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet, Pierre LeSueur and other French explorers and traders of the late 17th Century. They came down the river in their canoes (FRENCH HORNS, SIRENS) which had special horns on them so you knew they were French. The French were not so interested in farming. There was plenty of good farmland in France. They came here to get away from farming and be cool and skeptical (TR: FRENCH SKEPTICISM); and sardonic (FN: FRENCH COOLNESS); and drop their little bon mots (TR: FRENCH, BON MOT. LIGHT FRENCH LAUGHTER) and try to outdo each other in witty repartee (FN, TR FRENCH REPARTEE), and it wasn't the English who drove the French out so much as the realization that Iowa was inconsistent with the nature of being French. It was a place that tended to push a person toward celibacy, even married people. So they named it "Des Moines" -- meaning "The Monks" --, and so they hopped back in their canoes and departed. (SFX: FRENCH HORNS & SIREN)
GK: Downriver they went to New Orleans, which they found much more to their liking. (SFX: DEBAUCHERY)
It was looser and happier and much more mysterious and the French, they like it like that.
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).