May 22, 2010
The Fox Theatre

Atlanta, GA

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Radio

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GK: People often ask me how I got into radio and I tell them about how I got fed up with graduate school (TR: Gone With The Wind is a prose allegory of good and evil
that synthesizes in its patriarchal subtext the conflicting threads of gender identities in the postwar South and the dichotomies of contextualization that resulted from the trajectory of Reconstruction. Any questions?) Yes, my question was Why Me— so I decided to go into radio and I went to a station in Minneapolis.....

SS:; We have an opening in the mail room, Wyler. Kids who send in the cereal boxtops for the magic decoder ring — you could send out those decoder rings.

GK: But I want to be in radio, ma'am.

TR: I'm afraid the mailroom is where your natural talents lie, Wyler. Licking

GK: So I hopped a freight train (WHISTLE) and it happened to be a southbound freight and I woke up when the train stopped (BRAKES LONG SQUEAL) and I opened the boxcar door (SFX) and it was warm out there and the air smelled of honeysuckle and magnolia ( BIRDS) and I could hear coondogs (SFX) and a man playing a banjo (SFX) and bacon frying and eggs and grits— it was an old hobo making his breakfast in the woods—

FN (HOBO):; Oh hi there. Didn't see you. Welcome to Atlanta. What's your name?

GK: It's Carson. Carson Wyler.

FN (HOBO): You on the run from the law, Carson Wyler?

GK: I'm on the run from failure, sir.

FN (HOBO): Well, how about some; breakfast? Lemme spoon you up some here—

GK: And just then a sheriff's deputy walked up—a big man with a big belly preceding him and he was carrying a gun in one hand and a radio in the other— (BANJO PLUNKING ON RADIO)

TR: I want to see both of you move real quick now— that way—;

CH (SINGS ON RADIO):

Some bright morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away
To that home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away

(CONTINUE UNDER)

TR: You hear me, boy? I said Move.

GK: Who is that on the radio, sir?

TR: That there is my daughter Virginia Lee Canton and this is her radio show, The Dixie Darling All-Purpose Flour Hour. And if I ever catch you looking at her the wrong way, that'll be the last look you look, boy.

GK: And that was how I met Virginia. With her father pointing a gun at me. (BRIDGE) The radio station was WDDT and it was a mile away in a field of cotton and I walked up and applied for a job.

SS: You had any experience in radio?

GK: I've had a number of experiences.

SS: Any of them good?

GK: Some. I don't believe in looking back though.

SS: You never gave the time wrong?

GK: Nope.

SS: You never took the Lord's name in vain on the air?

GK: Never in vain, no.

SS: You never tried to date members of the listening audience?

GK: No, ma''am.

SS: Well, we're in need of an announcer and the show goes on in three minutes so I guess there's no point in askin a lot of questions— just go in there and read what's on the table—
(FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN)

GK: Virginia Lee was standing by the microphone, guitar in hand, in a white blouse and a carpet vest and jeans and cowboy boots.

CH: Are you the new announcer?

GK: I reckon I am.

CH: And you sing too?

GK: Sure.

CH: You don't look like a singer.

GK: That's cause I'm a harmony singer and not so stuck on myself.

CH: Good. Cause we're going on the air in thirty seconds.

GK: I was nervous when the engineer behind the glass window pointed at me— and I bumped into the microphone (BIG WHUMP) and it fell on the floor (WHACK) and landed on the monitor and there was feedback (SFX) — And now DIXIE DARLING ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR is pleased to present Miss Virginia Herron and Her Friendly Drifters with another heartwarming program of songs you know and love.

CH (&GK) SING:

Dixie darlin' how about this cake I bake
It doesn't take that long
It's good for goodness sake
My family is lovin, what comes out of my oven
Dixie darlin' all purpose flour....

;

GK: What's first up today, Miss Virginia?

CH: Well, I reckon we couldn't go wrong with a song about The South.

GK: You reckon?

CH: I do.

(STRUMMING)
(SWEET SUNNY SOUTH)


CH & GK (SING):

Take me back to the place where I first saw the light
To the sweet sunny south take me home
Where the mockingbirds sing me to sleep every night
Oh, why was I tempted to roam?

(SONG UNDER.....);

GK: The pay was poor and possums ate the wires so sometimes we went off the air (SHORTING) and a storm came in (SFX) and rain poured into the studio and we had to play old 78s for awhile.....
(SURFACE NOISE, HAWAIIAN GUITARS)

SS (SINGS):

Love your magic spell is everywhere......
Yet I call you and you are not there
Come here is my heart, my soul to mate
Make me forget the voice that whispers “wait”

;

GK: And sometimes our noontime show was preempted so we could broadcast speeches by the President....


TR (FDR): let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. (ROAR OF CROWD)

GK: It was exciting, radio back then..... and the Dixie Darling All-Purpose Flower Hour slowly gained a loyal audience......
SS (LISTENER, WRITING): Dear WDDT,;; I am unable to bake with flour due to a gluten intolerance but your Dixie Darling show has brought a ray of hope into my lonely life and I (FADING) look forward to the program every day.......
(FADE IN)
TR (FADING IN): I am a man who suffers from a rare phobia, the fear of being touched, that has made me a shut-in, but your Dixie Darling broadcasts are the closest thing I have to human contact (CROSS-FADING) and that show is the bright spot in my entire day....
FN (FADING IN): I am forced to remain in my home due to the presence of alien beings in my yard who are attempting to take me aboard the mother ship and off to another galaxy —; but at least there's one spot on the dial that plays the music I love, and that's the Dixie Darling show. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

CH (&GK):

My Dixie darlin' listen to this song I sing
Beneath the silver moon
With my banjo right in tune
My heart is ever true, I love no one but you
My Dixie darlin' my Dixie queen.

A way down below the Mason-Dixon Line
Down where the honeysuckles are entwined
There's where the winds are blowin'
There's where the daisies growing
Girls of the North in their gay finery
Whirling around in society
Singing a song about Dixie darlin'
Where I long to be

My Dixie darlin' listen to this song I sing
Beneath the silver moon
With my banjo right in tune
My heart is ever true, I love no one but you
My Dixie darlin' my Dixie queen....
(MUSIC UNDER)


GK: Once again Dixie Darling All-Purpose Flour and Johnson Frosted Chocolate Cherries and Thompson Tooth Tinsel for; brighter, more festive teeth, bring you another visit with your friend Cousin Virginia and me Cousin Carson, with the songs you love. We'll be right back after this message.

TR: Do your livestock suffer from painful mastitis — maybe it's time you tried Fosters Foaming Salve — (FADES UNDER)

CH: Carson?

GK: Yes?

CH: I turned in my letter of resignation today.

GK: You did what?

CH: I've been thinking of doing it for months and finally I did. Today is my last show.

GK: Today???

CH: This is it.

GK: How can you do this?

CH: I met a boy I like and I fell in love with him.
GK: You did? So you mean all those love songs we've been doing— those were for him?

CH: I meant to tell you.

GK: Well, it's okay. Doesn't matter.

CH: You'll be fine. You'll go on without me.

GK: I can't. If you go, the show goes. They'll get rid of me so fast......

CH: You'll be fine. You'll find another girl to sing with—

GK: Are we going to make an announcement?

CH: No no—

GK: We're not going to say goodbye?

CH: We're going to say, “Until we see you next week may the good Lord take a liking to you” —

GK: I'm going to miss you.

TR (FADING IN):.....so don't let your livestock lose productivity due to painful mastitis. Foster's Foaming salve is easy to use, and it's reliable. Isn't that right, Carson?

GK: So right, Mr. Withers. Foster's Foaming Salve is the salve I'd use just as Dixie Darling is the flour I'd use if I baked cakes.

CH (&GK) SING:

Dixie darlin' how about this cake I bake
It doesn't take that long
It's good for goodness sake
My family is lovin, what comes out of my oven
Dixie darlin' all purpose flour....

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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