This week on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, we're kicking off a five-week homestand in Saint Paul, Minnesota with a live broadcast from The Fitzgerald Theater followed by our Prairie Home Companion Masked Ball. With special guests, big-voiced New Orleans vocalist Topsy Chapman and our good friend Butch Thompson and His New Orleans Orphans. Plus, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, and the latest News from Lake Wobegon.
  • Butch Thompson

    Pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson is known worldwide as a master of ragtime, stride, and classic jazz. Born and raised in Marine-on-St. Croix, Minnesota, Butch was already playing Christmas carols on his mother's upright piano by age three, and he led his first professional jazz group as a teenager. For 12 years, he was A Prairie Home Companion's house pianist, dating back to the show's second broadcast, in July 1974. Butch's many albums include Vicksburg Blues, with guitarist Pat Donohue (Red House Records).
  • Topsy Chapman

    Vocalist Topsy Chapman is certainly one of New Orleans' living musical treasures. Born in Kentwood, Louisiana, the 15th of 16 children, she started singing in church. After high school, she formed a gospel group called the Chapman Singers, taking the stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and other local venues. Topsy was an original cast member and vocal arranger for the Off-Broadway hit One Mo' Time. She has toured across the globe and recorded with other jazz greats. Her recordings include My One and My Only Love (GHB Records).