A Prairie Home Companion
Hosted By: Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor is the host and writer of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac heard on public radio stations across the country and the author of more than a dozen books, including Lake Wobegon Days, The Book of Guys, Love Me and Homegrown Democrat. He was born in Anoka, Minn., in 1942 and graduated from the University of Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter. He has two grandsons. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the Episcopal church.
Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer
About the Show: A Prairie Home Companion
The only live music and variety show aired nationwide today, A Prairie Home Companion has been on the air since its first live broadcast on July 6, 1974. Live every Saturday night from 6-8 p.m. ET, A Prairie Home Companion features comedy sketches, music and Garrison Keillor's signature monologue, "The News from Lake Wobegon."
The earliest radio program to have this name bears little resemblance to what is currently heard on Saturday evenings. A Prairie Home Companion was originally a morning show running from 6 to 9 a.m. on Minnesota Public Radio. The show's name came from the Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorhead, Minn., which is located next to Concordia College.
After researching the Grand Ole Opry for an article, Keillor became interested in doing a variety show on the radio. The first live broadcast in 1974 was from St. Paul in the Janet Wallace Auditorium of Macalester College. Twelve audience members turned out, mostly children.
In 1978, the show moved into the World Theater in St. Paul. This is the same location that the program uses today. The World was renovated in 1986 and renamed the Fitzgerald Theater in 1994.
The show went off the air in 1987, and Keillor spent some time abroad during the following two years. He returned to radio from New York City in 1989 with The American Radio Company of the Air (renamed Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company in its second season). In 1993, this show moved to Minnesota and was renamed A Prairie Home Companion. While most of the episodes originate from St. Paul, the show often travels to other cities around the U.S. and overseas to do the weekly broadcast.