Mention Lubbock, and music lovers are likely to think Buddy Holly and Delbert McClinton and Terry Allen — and most certainly The Flatlanders, the trio that The Chicago Tribune once dubbed "the holy trinity of West Texas music." Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock formed the group in the early 1970s but soon disbanded as each forged a successful solo career. Over the years, they've reunited for concerts and recording projects. Their latest release is 2012's The Odessa Tapes (New West Records), songs recorded on reel-to-reel tape in 1972 and thought lost for nearly four decades. Joining the three for this performance are Robby Gjersoe (guitar), Pat Manske (drums), and Jimmy Pettit (bass).
Peggy Sue Gerron
Peggy Sue Gerron first met rock 'n' roll legend (and fellow Texan) Buddy Holly at Lubbock High School. She was a student; he had graduated but was back to play for a music assembly — and he was running late. Clutching a guitar and an amp, he accidentally knocked her over while running down the hall toward the school auditorium. Years later, a Holly song that started out as "Cindy Lou" was renamed at the request of Holly's drummer. He wanted to impress his girlfriend: Peggy Sue.
When Travis Holley returned to Lubbock, Texas, after a stint in the Marines, he brought home a $15 pawnshop Harmony guitar and showed a few chords to his little brother, Buddy. Buddy Holly (the "e" was dropped in the spelling of his name) went on to a storied — and all-too-brief — career in music. And more than half a century after his death, his songs remain an important part of popular culture. Travis Holley still lives in Lubbock and keeps fond memories of his famous sibling.
Nashville singer-songwriter Ashley Monroe seemed destined to a music career. Growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, she was a country music fan from the time she got a Patsy Cline tape in her Christmas stocking. Add to that, she is related to both Carl Smith and the Carter Family. By age 11, she was a talent contest winner; soon after, she was working five nights a week singing and clogging in a show in nearby Pigeon Forge. Her latest album, Like a Rose, was released last month on the Warner Brothers label. Guitarist Guthrie Trapp joins Ashley for this performance.
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.
Richard Kriehn is principal second violin for the Washington/Idaho Symphony. But it's not all classical all the time; he is equally at home playing bluegrass fiddle and mandolin. He was a member of the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and the bluegrass group 1946.
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."
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).