T for Tennessee
hosted by Garrison Keillor
Show #1455July 19, 2014
From Ryman Auditorium | Nashville, Tennessee
0:00 | 01:58:59
This week: our second summer rebroadcast, a show from June 4, 1994 celebrating the re-opening of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The Everly Brothers sing "Blues Stay Away from Me" and Chet Atkins plays "Mystery Train," plus, music from Vince Gill, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Mark O'Connor, and an appearance by the Hopeful Gospel Quartet. In Lake Wobegon, the Whippets open their season and the host shares a few memories of the Grand Ole Opry's last night at the Ryman.
The Everly BrothersWith those seamless sibling harmonies, the Everly Brothers went from a childhood in Iowa - where they sang on the radio as "Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil" - to the top of the charts with 1957's "Bye Bye Love." It was the first of a long string of hits for Don and Phil - "Bird Dog," "Devoted to You," "Let It Be Me," "Cathy's Clown" - and in 1986, the Everlys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Phil Everly passed away earlier this year.
Chet AtkinsGuitarist, vocalist, record producer Chet Atkins was admired by legions of music fans and fellow musicians alike. He was a favorite Prairie Home guest, and his passing in 2001 was a heavy blow to the APHC cast, crew, and staff. Steve Wariner - a stellar picker in his own right - summed up Atkins' artistry: "Try to do what he does technically. Then try to do it with his touch, tone, and feeling, and you're reminded that you can't out-Chet Chet. He was something else."
Vince GillRolling Stone recently wrote: "Vince Gill doesn't just possess one of country music's most versatile voices; he's also one of the genre's most nuanced guitar players." Vince has been a bright light since his early days with the Bluegrass Alliance and Pure Prairie League right through to his present-day association with the Time Jumpers. He is member of the Grand Ole Opry, has earned a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and has amassed some 20 Grammy Awards to date.
Mary Chapin CarpenterMary Chapin Carpenter began playing guitar and writing when she was in grade school. Before she was out of her teens, she was performing her songs in Washington, D.C., clubs. Hits like "He Thinks He'll Keep Her," "Down at the Twist and Shout," and "I Feel Lucky" soon put her on the radar. Now, a dozen-plus albums later, her talents have garnered fans worldwide, not to mention five Grammy Awards and induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Mark O'ConnorAt age 13, Mark O'Connor became the youngest person ever to win the Grand Master Fiddler Championships, competing against all ages, amateur and professional. The record still stands. By 17, he was touring with Stephane Grappelli, and from there his career blossomed in multiple directions: performer, composer, recording artist, educator - all the while moving deftly through traditional, bluegrass, jazz, and classical genres. These days, the multiple Grammy Award winner is one of the standout musicians of his generation.
The Hopeful Gospel QuartetThe Hopeful Gospel Quartet - Robin and Linda Williams, Kate MacKenzie, and Garrison Keillor - was formed when the four friends discovered their shared interest in gospel music. As they were standing around in a backstage stairwell before a broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, one of them began to sing. The others joined in. They went on to perform at Carnegie Hall, Radio City, and the Universal Amphitheatre, but as venues go, it's hard to top a great stairwell.
Robin and Linda Williams"Individually their voices can melt cheese, and in duet they can do all-purpose welding," Garrison Keillor has said of Robin and Linda Williams. Singing the music they love, be it bluegrass, folk, old-time, or acoustic country, these two have carved out a more than three-decade career that has taken them from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. They first appeared on A Prairie Home Companion in 1975, the same year they recorded their first album. Back 40 - marking 40 years on the road and 40 years of marriage - was released in 2013 on Red House Records.