The Town Hall
New York, NY«archive page
TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye. (THEME)
GK: It was May and I was in New York City on a missing persons case. A college kid named Solveig Swanson who was on tour with the St. Olaf College Choir and sang with them in Carnegie Hall and the next morning had disappeared from her hotel room.
TR (MINN): She’s a good kid I mean, she’s an alto for crying out loud altos, they’re never a problem but she took off and we found this in her hotel room.
GK: Naked Hors D’oeuvres.
TR (MINN): And look inside the note…..
GK: “I have to be me. I can’t go back to Northfield.”
TR (MINN): It’s shocking. She was majoring in religion. I know she was under a lot of stress she had to write a term paper on the Book of Revelation.
GK: Revelations has driven a good many people over the edge. I’ll start a search right away. (BRIDGE) I headed right away for a block of Eighth Avenue known as Blonde Alley. There are clubs where New York men go who have a Lutheran fetish they like to watch clean young Midwestern girls in knee-highs and 4-H t-shirts make pie crust.
SS (ON TINNY AUDIO): Okay then, now I’m just gonna roll out the dough and sprinkle a little flour on it and dust some flour on my rolling pin
FN: Ohhhh baby. Yeah, like that. Roll that. Oh yeah. Like that, baby.
SS (AUDIO): You want me to sprinkle some nutmeg on it.
FN: Ohhhhh, nutmeg. Yes. Yes. Yes.
SS (AUDIO): How about cinnamon? You want some of that, big boy?
FN: Oh baby. Yes. Do me some cinnamon. Ohhhhh. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: The cops were helpless.There was no physical contact, no nudity. Just girls rolling out pie crust. And getting paid big money for it. (FOOTSTEPS, TRAFFIC)
GK: I walked along Eighth Avenue looking for a club Honey Pie and saw a blonde loitering in a doorway. She wore Capri pants and sequined high heels and her tank top said, Yes, You Betcha Hey, kid.
ER: Who you talking to?
GK: You wouldn’t happen to be from St. Olaf, would you?
ER: Want to come in and watch me stuff a pepper? Huh?
GK: I’m not that kinda guy. Where you work?
ER: It’s a club called Hot Stove Slaves.
GK: And you stuff your peppers there?
ER: I do. And I make puff pastry. You ever see somebody make puff pastry? Huh?
GK: Never crossed my mind.
ER: Some men find it pretty exciting. Maybe you’re one of them.
GK: I doubt it.
ER: Sometimes I stuff a pepper into a puff pastry and drive em wild.
GK: Wouldn’t work on me, kid. What’s your name?
ER: Just call me Kitchen Slave. I want to make something real good for you. Like maybe my sloppy Joes. I make em sloppier than anybody and I put em in great big buns. You like great big buns?
GK: You know somebody named Solveig Swanson?
ER: What if I do?
TR (RICO): Hey, who’re you? The big jamoke in the blue suit? Quit bothering the lady. This guy bothering you, sweetheart? Beat it, wide ride.
GK: You must’ve been missing the day they taught manners, mister. But it’s never too late to learn. and I went to slug him and he poked me in the eyes with two fingers (POPS) and hit me one upside the head (BONK) and I lay there for a minute as a flock of warblers circled my head and churchbells rang for vespers.
ER: I am so sorry, I didn’t know he was going to hit you that hard. Are you okay?
ER: Solveig isn’t here. She’s over at Radio City, doing a radio show.
GK: Ohhh? Radio?
ER: She’s doing publicity for the club. (STING)
GK: Publicity. One more step on the stairway to shame. I headed for Radio City and sure enough, on the signboard outside Studio IA, I saw her name. She was a guest on the Jiggs Wahpeton Show.
TR (ANNC): And now live from Studio I-A at Radio City in New York, it’s The Toast of the Town……with your host, Broadway gossip columnist JIGGS WAHPETON
SS: Thank you so much, Jack. And I can't tell you what a thrill it is for me personally to have as my guest today, a wonderful young singer from Minnesota making quite a name for herself as a cook. But first none other than the very very stylish and I don’t exaggerate, the greatest song stylist of our day, and I really mean that Mr. Steve Soiree. So good of you to come
FN: Hey. It’s always a pleasure, Jiggs. (AIR KISSES)
SS: You know, I am a major major fan of everything you’ve ever done, I mean, heck, I could sit all night and listen to you sing from the telephone book. It’s the truth! The telephone book!!!!
FN: I adore the telephone book. I can’t live without it.
Triple A Automotive Service
Triple A Rentals
Triple A Storage and Hauling
SS: Beautiful. Fantastic. We’ll be right back with Steve Soiree, right after this message.
GK: Excuse me. You off the air now?
SS: Who are you?
GK: I’m a detective and I’m looking for this singer, Solveig Swanson.
SS: Jack, take care of this, would you?
GK: She’s involved with the culinary pornography business.
TR: Listen, mister, you’re gonna have to leave.
GK: Don’t have her sing. You’re gonna regret it.
SS: We’re going back. Five seconds.
TR: Keep a lid on it, mister. I’m warning you.
SS: And we’re back with Steve Soiree So tell me here you are, at the absolute peak of your incredible career as a singing star, with nothing to prove whatsoever, and yet you are doing something that is, I think, just incredibly incredibly brave. You are bringing Emily Dickinson to the Broadway stage. As a musical. With you in the starring role as Emily Dickinson. That is so exciting
FN: Well, poetry has always spoken to me, Jiggs, and then they showed me the script and I read it and I thought to myself, “That’s my first wife.”
SS: Emily Dickinson.
FN: I said, “That’s my first wife.”
SS: Okay but why now? Why Broadway? Why Emily Dickinson? Why?
FN: Well, I just feel that when you stop taking chances, then you die as an artist. And the music spoke to me. I love this work.
Because I could not stop for death,
Death kindly stopped for me.
He said, I’ve got a real good deal for you
He drove the horses through the town
And I saw up in the sky,
My name was written in the stars,
SS: It’s beautiful. So you’re singing the part of Emily in your own voice…..
FN: I tried it as a soprano and it just didn’t work.
SS: Great. We’ll be right back with my next guest Solveig Swanson right after this message. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: And there she was wearing a blouse so tight you couldn’t help but be aware of her respiration. Solveig
AS: Who’re you? You’re not from St. Olaf, are you?
GK: Solveig, you’re a nice kid, you don’t belong in this lousy business.
AS: But they only want me to sing and make cinnamon rolls.
GK: Sweetheart, I know the money’s good, but you’re leading men down a path to goodness know what. If they get aroused by you making sweet rolls, then what do they do when that kick wears off? They’ll want to watch you truss a goose or churn butter.
AS: I’m just so tired of being an alto and trying to fit in. I’m an entertainer, Mr. Noir. I want to wear a tank top and short shorts and whip some cream.
TR: We’re on now, Miss Swanson.
GK: Don’t do it.
AS: I’m tired of singing “Beautiful Savior”. “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” I’m getting out of the fortress. I’m done with choir. I gotta be me.
SS: And we’re back with the hottest young chanteuse to hit this town since my very good, very close personal friend Barb Streisand, so please welcome the very talented and very lovely Solveig Swanson who is playing tonight at the Honey Pie on Eighth Avenue you know who you remind me of? You’re like a younger version of myself. Anyway, we’re almost out of time, honey, but sing a little bit for us, won’t you.
AS: (SINGS, RATHER STIFFLY):
Come on, take another little piece of my strudel now baby…come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take another little piece of my strudel now, baby,
Break another little bit of my strudel now, darling, yeah. (STOPS) What?
SS: That’s all the time we have. Thank you, sweetheart. Bye bye,everybody. (BLOWS KISS) (THEME, AND FADE)
GK: A rough town, New York. Men with a secret obsession because New York women don’t cook, most of them don’t even know how to turn on a stove, the act of cooking has become erotic to men and they’re willing to pay money to watch Midwestern girls scramble eggs.
SS (AUDIO): I’m going to take this fork now and I’m going to whip these eggs up into a froth. (SFX) Yes. I am. You like that, don’t you?
FN: Oh wow. Oh baby.
AS: . (SHE SINGS) Take another little piece of my strudel now, baby,
Break another little bit of my strudel now, darling, yeah.
TR (BARKER): Come on in, they’re on stage now, they’re farm girls, they’re young and innocent, and they’re making the hottest hot dish you ever saw. Beautiful noodles, soft tuna from the can, cream of mushroom, watch ‘em mix it up in their plaid skirts and their knee-highs and their white sleeveless blouses. They’re live, they walk and they talk and they bake, and the show is continuous, the show never stops.
GK: You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
TR: Move along, Mister. Move it.
GK: Solveig!!!! Solveig!!!!!!!!
TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but one man is still trying to find the answers to life’s persistent questions….Guy Noir, Private Eye.
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).