Coming to you this week from The Fitzgerald Theater in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, it's the season opener of A Prairie Home Companionwith Garrison Keillor, followed by the annual Meatloaf Supper and Street Dance. With special guests, masters of the honky tonk arts, The Derailers, public radio heavyweight Ira Glass, singing sisters of soul-drenched gospel, Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, and vocalist Holly Jones. Plus, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors; Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and sound effects man Steve Kramer, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band with the Shoe Band Horns; Michael B. Nelson, Kenni Holmen, and Steve Strand, and the latest News from Lake Wobegon.
  • Ira Glass

    In 1978, 19-year-old Ira Glass landed his first public radio gig: a summer internship at National Public Radio. He went on to work at almost every production job in the medium, before putting This American Life on the air in 1995. His parents were hoping for a doctor, but TAL's almost 2 million listeners and awards ranging from the Peabody (two of them) to the Edward R. Murrow have to count for something, right? Ira is producer and co-writer of the recent film Sleepwalk With Me.
  • Jearlyn Steele

    Growing up in Indiana, Jearlyn Steele sang with her siblings as The Steele Children. One by one, they moved to Minnesota and started singing together again. Now music is the family business. Jearlyn has recorded and performed with Prince, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, and others. She also hosts Steele Talkin', a Sunday-night radio show that originates on WCCO in Minneapolis. Her most recent solo CD is Jearlyn Steele Sings Songs from A Prairie Home Companion.
  • Jevetta Steele

    Growing up in Indiana, Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele sang with their siblings as The Steele Children. One by one, they moved to Minnesota and started singing together again. Now music is the family business. Jevetta's performance of "Calling You," from the film Baghdad Cafe, was nominated for an Academy Award. Her solo albums include 2006's My Heart.
  • Holly Jones

    When Holly Jones was growing up in northwest Minnesota, her mom kept wondering why her daughter was getting a little pudgy. Turns out, the five-year-old had discovered that if you knock on a little old lady's door singing a Patsy Cline song, you'll likely be rewarded with a cookie. After earning a Music Business degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead and working various jobs from coast to coast, Holly is now back in Minnesota, building a career as a singer and songwriter.
  • The Derailers

    Describing their sound as "Beatles-meets-Bakersfield," The Derailers- a hard-driving, Austin, Texas-based band - have kept honky-tonk and rockabilly fans hanging on their every note since they first got together in the mid-'90s. Their latest album is titled Live! From Texas, on the Varese Fontana label. The band: Brian Hofeldt, guitar; Scott Matthews, percussion; Basil McJagger, piano; Vic Gerard, bass.