Dear Mr. Keillor,
I've listened to your show since the Saturday I left home for college in 1983 and caught it on a rural southern Indiana radio station. I missed out for several years including the time you married and moved to Denmark. Married and four kids later I started listening again about two years ago.
Live APHC broadcasts are the basis of our weekend entertainment. My older kids (4 and 7) recognize your voice, regular parts of the show, and mimic "PRI - Public Radio International" at the end of every show. Listening to the show isn't required in our home, but since television is outlawed (sometimes we banish it to a closet for months on end) the kids tend to listen while they play. At first they complained but then found things they enjoy too, like Tom Keith's sound effects, and some of the music. Recently my seven year old developed an appreciation for Cajun music when Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil performed. (I must add that the Three Renters piece is a musical jewel.) And that brings me to the point of my message: Besides listening for our enjoyment, my wife and I use APHC to expose our children to different styles of music that they are unlikely to ever find elsewhere on any entertainment medium. I am hoping that exposure to your show helps prevent my children from ending up in The Runway Lounge listening to head-banging music played by the Love Shovels.
In my opinion you have achieved a well balanced show of music, drama, talk, and fiction. Perhaps rotating the commercial spoofs more frequently would preserve their enjoyment and novelty (four solid weeks of the Ketchup Advisory Board gets old after the second week). Long running dramas like Dusty and Lefty have a longer lifespan especially if they tie into the location of the show like last year's San Antonio and Billings episodes.
My only complaint with the show is when you make a personally insulting remark about a Republican politician/personality or conservative viewpoint during "talk" periods. It runs counter to the theme of the niceness of Minnesotans which you espouse and, in the extreme, only serves notice that perhaps Republicans/conservatives really aren't welcome in the PHC family. Dramas that satirize the best and worst of both Republican and Democratic politicians and policies are entertaining and taken in context as harmless.
My thanks for all the hard work the PHC staff does every week to assemble two hours of the best entertainment available on the face of God's Green Earth.
Best Wishes for Your Continued Success,
P.S. I am midwesterner by birth who left the flock of the faithful to live in sunny Arizona. You can blame any disagreeable comments about your show on this fatal flaw in my character.
Dear MC ----
No character flaws there that I can see. Thanks for the comments. I certainly know what you mean (I think) ---- you're talking about the Newt song, right? It was an aberration, however much other people may have enjoyed it. And we will keep your children in mind when booking musical acts in the future. GK
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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).