GK: We were hoping to do our show from the Shedd Aquarium in the Loop—where they have two penguins on an ice floe (SFX), and bullfrogs (SFX) and a beluga whale (SFX) and Danny the World's Smartest Dolphin who can do algebra (SFX DOLPHIN WORKING OUT FORMULA) but the beluga had a blowhole infection (BELUGA SNEEZING) and Danny was demanding an enormous amount of krill and sardines (ARGUMENTATIVE DOLPHIN) so we didn't. Beluga whales are highly intelligent and they are very talented mimics. This is a recording of a Beluga whale who listens to our show and who does an imitation of Fred doing a gunshot.
GK: He learned how to do the sound of a gunshot listening to you on the radio.
FN: Lemme hear that?
GK: I'll play you the tape. (TAPE REWIND. TAPE AT SLOW SPEED. TAPE REWIND) Here it is. (WAVES IN TANK. BELUGA HUMMING. BELUGA DOES GUNSHOT. BELUGA CHUCKLES)
FN: That's a gunshot?
GK: It's a Beluga doing a gunshot.
FN: That's pitiful.
GK: This is a Beluga doing an impression of Barry Manilow. (BELUGA SINGING "I WRITE THE SONGS") He got that from listening to the show.
FN: It doesn't sound like Barry Manilow at all.
GK: It's a Beluga doing Barry Manilow.
FN: And we were going to have it on the show?
GK: It was just an idea.
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).