This week: We kick off our season in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, at the Fitzgerald Theater with a live broadcast and street dance. JD McPherson is doing double duty on the airwaves with rock'n'roll from Northeast Oklahoma, and outside after the broadcast at the street dance and meatloaf supper. Our Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and sound effects man Fred Newman are fired up and ready to go, and music director Rich Dworsky has The Exchange Street Band in fine fettle (Bernie Dresel on drums, bassist Larry Kohut, Richard Kriehn on mandolin and fiddle, and guitarist Dean Magraw). Minnesota's 2015 Teacher of the Year, Amy Hewlett-Olatunde, will tell about teaching immigrants and refugees, and the host will catch us up on all the latest News from Lake Wobegon. If you're in the Twin Cities, join us on Exchange Street at 5 p.m. to listen to the broadcast - the meatloaf supper will be served at 6 p.m. and music, dancing, and contests begin at 7 p.m. If you're elsewhere, join us on your local public radio station or watch a live stream of the show (5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time) at!
  • JD McPherson

    What do you do when the school board eliminates your job as a middle school art teacher? Singer-songwriter-guitarist JD McPherson collected his last paycheck and revisited an interest that had been there all along: music. The Oklahoma native now puts his singular stamp on the sounds of early R&B and rock 'n' roll. His second album, Let the Good Times Roll - called "a lightning bolt of a record" by The Los Angeles Times - was released earlier this year on the Rounder label. The band: Jimmy Sutton (bass), Jason Smay (drums), Ray Jacildo (keys), Doug Corcoran (saxophone, guitar, keys).
  • Garrison Keillor

    Garrison Keillor was born in 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota. He went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul. He is the host of The Writer's Almanac and the editor of the Good Poems series of anthologies from Viking.
  • Rich Dworsky and The Exchange Street Band - September 19, 2015

    Richard Dworsky Keyboardist, composer, and arranger Richard Dworsky is APHC's music director. He leads the band, composes themes, improvises script underscores, and collaborates with such diverse guests as Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Brad Paisley, Kristin Chenoweth, and Sheryl Crow. He has released many recordings of original material and has provided music for documentaries on HBO and PBS. Bernie Dresel Bernie Dresel has been in the percussion game since he got his first drum kit at the age of two. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, he headed to Los Angeles. He's worked with countless artists, from Chaka Khan and Maynard Ferguson to David Byrne and Brian Wilson, and spent 15 years with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He currently plays with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and heads up his own 12-piece funk band, BERN. Larry Kohut Bassist Larry Kohut has played on dozens of albums and many film scores, as well as performing with jazz artists such as Patricia Barber, Mel Torme, Vincent Colaiuta, and Tony Bennett. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches acoustic and electric bass. Richard Kriehn When Richard Kriehn turned 10, his mom bought him a mandolin; at 19, he'd won the Buck White International Mandolin Contest. He went on to play with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and bluegrass group 1946. On the classical side, he has performed with numerous orchestras and was principal second violin for the Washington/Idaho Symphony. Dean Magraw Guitarist Dean Magraw studied at the University of Minnesota and the Berklee School of Music in Boston. His first recording, 1994's Broken Silence, won the NAIRD award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year. Dean has since turned out an array of dazzling albums. For his latest, he joined forces with drummer Erik Kamau Gravatt to produce Fire on the Nile (Red House Records).
  • Tim Russell

    One minute he's mild-mannered Tim Russell; the next he's George Bush or Julia Child or Barack Obama. We've yet to stump this man of many voices. Says fellow APHC actor Sue Scott, "He does a better Ira Glass than Ira Glass." A well-known Twin Cities radio personality and voice actor, Tim appeared in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and the Coen brothers' A Serious Man. Tim has also been reviewing films professionally for over 10 years.
  • Sue Scott

    On APHC, Sue Scott plays everything from ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners to leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. The Tucson, Arizona, native is well known for her extensive commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as stage and movie roles, including the part of "Donna" in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion.
  • Fred Newman

    Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. Turns out, no one is more surprised than Fred that he's made a career out of doing what he used to do behind the teacher's back -crossing his eyes, making sounds, and doing voices. He readily admits that, growing up, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."