This week: a look back to November 2013 and our broadcast from the State Theatre in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bluegrass whirlwind Sam Bush plays "White Freightliner Blues"; America's Favorite Poet, Billy Collins, reads "The Suggestion Box" and "Aimless Love"; men's vocal ensemble Cantus deliver "I Got My Hammer" with a few new words provided by the host; and Hilary Thavis sings the "24 and Single Blues." Plus: Pat Donohue and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band play "Love You Like I Do"; Guy Noir tracks down a set of keys and plays matchmaker for librarian Lola Fazzola; and a message from the National Romance Safety Council (go ahead and get crazy, but do it safely). In Lake Wobegon, Donnie Krebsbach heads to Minneapolis to visit his in-laws.
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Notes from Billy Collins about this weekend's rebroadcast:
For me, the most fascinating aspect of being a guest on A Prairie Home Companion -- besides Garrison himself -- is the little digital clock that sits on top of the piano, as it counts down the seconds and minutes to air time. When it shows 00:00, the music comes up, and two hours of live radio begins and you are part of the show. No pauses, no do-overs, no second chances -- everyone is on at once! There's no thrill quite like it.
  • Sam Bush

    Sam Bush was just 11 when he got his first mandolin. By the time he was 17, he had won the title of National Junior Fiddle Champion for three years running. And he had made his recording debut, Poor Richard's Almanac. Often called the King of Newgrass, the Grammy Award winner was founder of cutting-edge bands like New Grass Revival and Strength in Numbers. He has also been the go-to sideman for Lyle Lovett, the Flecktones, and dozens of others.
  • Billy Collins

    Billy Collins was twice appointed United States poet laureate and also served as New York State poet laureate. In 2004, he was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Poetry Foundation's Mark Twain Award for humor in poetry. The poems in Questions About Angels; Picnic, Lightning; Sailing Alone Around the Room; Nine Horses; The Trouble with Poetry; Ballistics, and his other best-selling books have sparked a firestorm of interest in the art. Aimless Love (Random House) is his latest collection. Voyage (Bunker Hill Publishing) is his first book designed for young readers.
  • Cantus

    Twin Cities-based Cantus is recognized as one of America's finest professional male vocal ensembles. The artist-led group is known for adventurous programs that cover many periods and genres -- chant to spirituals, art song to folk song, Bach to the Beatles. The Washington Post characterized their sound as having both "exalting finesse" and "expressive power." Song of a Czech, their newest recording, focuses on the works of Antonin Dvořak and Leos Janaček. The singers: Aaron Humble, Paul Rudoi, Gary Ruschman, Shahzore Shah, David Walton, Adam Reinwald, Matt Tintes, Chris Foss, and Samuel Green.
  • Hilary Thavis

    Funny how things come together. Born in Rome, Italy, to parents from Minnesota, Hilary Thavis grew up loving music -- especially folk music -- from Woody Guthrie to Italian folk singers like Fabrizio De Andre and Francesco De Gregori. But it was the blues that ultimately captured her attention. Trouble & Truth is the 2011 recording from her band Gaia Groove. Now making her home in the Twin Cities, Hilary is working on a solo album of original songs.
  • 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.
  • The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band

    Keyboardist, composer, and arranger Richard Dworsky is music director for A Prairie Home Companion, where he is often called upon to improvise on the spot -- in styles ranging from classical to bluegrass and everything in between. He has accompanied Garrison Keillor on U.S. and European concert tours and has collaborated with numerous other performers, including Al Jarreau and Kristin Chenoweth.
    Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest fingerpickers in the world today. And he writes songs too -- recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers, and others. Nobody's Fault and Vicksburg Blues (a collaboration with Butch Thompson) are the most recent of Pat's albums.
    Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. - with whom he toured for several years - and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
    Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.
    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.
  • 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.
  • Sue Scott

    Since 1992, Prairie Home fans have heard Sue Scott play everything from well-intentioned moms and ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners and leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. She recently climbed back on stage in a variety of theater roles. She is well known for her commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as 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."