Radio, October 1, 2011

The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN


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GK: It's a new season of A Prairie Home Companion and many people wrote in to ask why. Why continue a live two-hour radio variety show when clearly the future lies in the programming of content modules direct to people's cellphones, when it is so abundantly clear that to an enormous segment of our audience, five minutes is a long time to listen to anything ------ why keep this dinosaur alive?

Because so much of the world that I remember has passed on. The old man who drove down the street delivering blocks of ice. (HORSES HOOVES, SLOW CLIP CLOP)

TR: Ice man! Ice man! Got your cubes, got your chunks!

GK: And the old blind woman who came around with her hurdy-gurdy and her little monkey-----

SS (SINGS):
Quand il me prend dans ses bras
ll me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
ll me dit des mots d'amour
Des mots de tous les jours
Et ca m'a fait quelque chose.

GK: Gone is the neighborhood barber with the red revolving pole, old Jimmy. Back in the day, he did shaves and haircuts and also he extracted teeth.

TR: So what can I do you for today then?

GK: Need a trim, not too much off the top, trim the sideburns, and I need a wisdom tooth extracted.

TR: Okay then. Let me crank back the chair there (RATCHET) ----- okay good---- open up wide. (GK OPEN) Ah yes, I see her. The one that turned all black. Boy, she's a big one. Sensitive there? (TAP, GK PAIN) Boy, you're in bad shape. Okay. Gotta get the iron tongs out for this one. (CLANKING) ---- Okay, I'm gonna wash out your mouth with whiskey first----- (POUR) Sluice that around. Swallow. Good. ----- Okay, I'm gonna put my left foot up on your chest so you don't jump out of the chair now. (TR STRAIN) Okay then. ----- Boy, she is infected. Lot of green stuff coming out. Okay, you all set? (TR STRAINING HARD, THEN CRUNCH. ANOTHER TWIST AND CRUNCH. A THIRD CRUNCH. POP.) Okay. Got it. You still there?

GK: I remember when I got home from a tooth extraction, bleeding, bruised, traumatized, in shock, I used to turn on my old Atwater Kent radio (CLICK) and it took a moment for the vacuum tubes to warm up, and then there she was, on the radio (PIANO), the beautiful Miss Gloria, singing to me-----

HEATHER (SINGS, IN 1920S STYLE):

The sky was blue
And high above
The moon was new
And so was love
This eager heart of mine was singing
Lover where can you be.

TR (ANNC): Once again we take you to the ballroom of the Hotel Massey and there, waiting for you, the Seductress of Song, the Girl with a Thousand Admirers, is Miss Gloria Excelsis, as Thompson Tooth Tinsel for whiter, more festive teeth, brings you----- MELODIES D'AMOUR

HEATHER (SINGS):

You came at last
Love had its day
That day is past
You've gone away
This aching heart of mine is singing
Lover come back to me-----

GK: I had to have a wisdom tooth out today, Gloria. The roots went way down deep. My right knee hurt when he pulled it out. I don't think I'll ever be the same.

HM: You're going to be okay, Carson. You know why? Because you've got vim and vigor and you've got that old Can-Do spirit.

GK: I don't know. I'm a rather poor student in school and girls edge away when they see me coming. They stick their heads in their hall lockers and pretend to be looking for something.

HM: They don't know you the way I do.

HEATHER (SINGS):

The sky is blue
The night is cold
The moon is new
But love is old
This heart of mine is singing
Lover come back to me.

GK: Gloria's real name was Ginger Schwartz and she works on our show, in the cafeteria.

SS (DORIS): Here, have some meatloaf (SFX) and some spuds (SFX) and gravy (SFX) and how about a spoonful of squash. (SFX) So how you doing today, Mr. Wyler.

GK: Doing fine, Ginger. Never better.

SS (DORIS): You what? You got a letter?

GK: You were my inspiration, Ginger. You inspired me to go into radio.

SS (DORIS): What do you mean "desperation"? You're desperate?

GK: You got me my first job as an announcer.

SS (DORIS): You know, it's a good thing you're not in radio becaused your enunciation is terrible. I can't understand a thing you're saying.

HM (SINGS):

You came at last
Love had its day
That day is past
You've gone away
This aching heart of mine is singing
Lover come back to me-----

(MUSIC BUTTON)

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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