The DiGiallonardo Sisters
The DiGiallonardo Sisters — Daniela, Nadia, and Christine — started singing together when they were kids Brooklyn. They still call Brooklyn home, and they still love stacking up those three-part harmonies. Now, Daniela teaches social studies at Brooklyn's Mark Twain Intermediate School for the Gifted & Talented; Nadia is a pianist, composer, arranger, and singer; and Christine is a singer and actor whose credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare in the Park Festival).
An authority on American music and musical theater, Rob Fisher spent four seasons leading the Coffee Club Orchestra for Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company. He has been a guest of virtually every major orchestra in the U.S. as conductor or pianist, and he has made numerous appearances on the Lyrics & Lyricists series at the 92nd Street Y. For his work as music director and conductor of the Tony-winning Encores! series at New York's City Center, he was presented the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Special Achievement.
In 1978, 19-year-old Ira Glass landed his first public radio gig: a summer internship at National Public Radio. He went on to work at almost every production job in the medium, before putting This American Life on the air in 1995. His parents were hoping for a doctor, but TAL's almost 2 million listeners and awards ranging from the Peabody (two of them) to the Edward R. Murrow have to count for something, right? Ira is producer and co-writer of the recent film Sleepwalk With Me.
Kelli O'Hara is one of Broadway's great leading ladies, currently starring in Nice Work if You Can Get It. Raised on an Oklahoma farm, she started singing as a young kid. She earned an opera degree in college, but acting was her real love. Now, in addition to numerous film and television appearances, her Broadway credits include Jekyll and Hyde, Pajama Game, The Light in the Piazza, and Sweet Smell of Success. Always, her second solo album, was released last year on Ghostlight Records. Clarinetist Steve Kenyon joins Kelli for this performance.
Cellist Anneke Schaul-Yoder studied at Yale University, the Mannes College of Music, and the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. She performs with various ensembles, including Piano Music & Song Trio, the Morningside Opera Company, and SIREN Baroque, an all-female Baroque ensemble based in New York City.
Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka, graduated from the University of Minnesota ('66), and lives in St. Paul. He is the author of numerous books, including Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, and Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny (Viking), and the editor of several anthologies of poetry, including Good Poems: American Places (Viking).
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. Keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he also writes all the script themes and underscores. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.
Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest fingerpickers in the world today. And he writes songs too — recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers, and others. Nobody's Fault and Vicksburg Blues (a collaboration with Butch Thompson) are the most recent of Pat's albums.
Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band and Sammy Davis Jr., with whom he toured for several years. He was first call for dozens of touring Broadway shows, including the first presentation of The Lion King. Gary teaches at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.
Andy Stein (violin, saxophone) has far-flung musical leanings: He was a founding member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen; he collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson; and he has recorded with dozens of artists, from Itzhak Perlman to Nellie McKay.
Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. He is author of the book (and CD/CD-ROM) MouthSounds. Fred admits that, growing up, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."
Massachusetts-born, LA-based Erica Rhodes is known to many for her starring role in the popular Web series "Upstairs Girls," which posted more than 200 webisodes. She has also appeared in motion pictures, including Go West, Javatown, and the 2008 indie horror film Plague Town. These days, Erica performs her stand-up comedy in clubs across the country.
One minute he's mild-mannered Tim Russell; the next he's George Bush or Julia Child or Barack Obama. We've yet to stump this man of many voices. In other roles, Tim played the part of Al, the stage manager, in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and a detective in the Coen brothers' A Serious Man.
On APHC, Sue Scott plays everything from ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners to leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. The Tucson, Arizona, native is well known for her extensive commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as movie and stage roles.
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).