This week's classic rebroadcast: a look back to December 2014 and a show at The Town Hall in New York City. Poet Edward Field reads "New York" and "Envoi," Jeremy Denk plays a few selections from the Goldberg Variations, Karan Casey sings "Lovely Annie," and Christine DiGiallonardo joins Garrison for "Hush Little Baby." Plus: Sam Bush and Stuart Duncan sit in with Richard Dworsky and the band, and a collection of Christmas scripts with our Royal Academy of Radio Actors. In Lake Wobegon, Betty Ingebretsen accompanies the 4th and 5th grade carolers at the Good Shepherd Home.
Notes from Edward Field on this week's rebroadcast:
Town Hall is such a venerable New York City recital hall. I was awed to be on that stage myself, but Garrison gave me such a generous and big-hearted intro, I faced the audience floating on a billow of confidence. Of course, he had worked out the basics of the show earlier, but he also created it as it went along, and you couldn't help but fall in with his open improvisational spirit, which made being part of it so extraordinary. Sitting behind the different acts of the show, waiting my turn, I was hypnotized by the sound effects man, Fred Newman, who used every part of his body and simple sound devices to make a skit come alive, in a magical St. Vitus Dance. One of my poems had to do with a bombing run I was on during World War II, and walking out of the theater after the show, many people in the audience said "Thank you for your service," the first time I had ever heard that. And since then people have been saying it to me all over the place when my military history comes up. For the show to be rebroadcast is another gift.
  • Edward Field

    During a three-day train trip after his Army Air Corps basic training in World War II, a Red Cross worker handed Edward Field a paperback anthology of poetry. By the time the trip was over, the young soldier knew that he was going to be a poet. Field has published many volumes of fiction and nonfiction, in addition to poetry collections like Counting Myself Lucky, A Frieze for a Temple of Love, and After the Fall: Poems Old and New. The native New Yorker has been honored with the Lambda Literary Award and the W.H. Auden Award, among others.
  • Jeremy Denk

    Jeremy Denk is one of America's most thought-provoking, multifaceted, and compelling artists - "a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs," said the New York Times. Among other projects, he is an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Also a respected writer, Denk's articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, the New York Times Book Review, and more. His recording J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (Nonesuch) reached No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Chart.
  • Karan Casey

    The Los Angeles Times has called Karan Casey's voice "as pure and clear as the crystal from County Waterford, where she was born." She spent her childhood singing with her family, then studied voice and piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. After courses in jazz at Long Island University-Brooklyn, she joined the celebrated Irish-American band Solas and later embarked on a solo career. Her 2014 CD is titled Two More Hours.
  • Christine DiGiallonardo

    New York-based vocalist Christine DiGiallonardo is at home singing in early-music chamber ensembles as well as jazz and rock bands. She performs solo and with her sisters, Daniela and Nadia, as The DiGiallonardo Sisters, and her voice can be heard on commercial jingles for Aquafresh, Mr. Clean, Playtex, and Febreze. Her theater credits include Carousel (Live From Lincoln Center), Lady, Be Good! (City Center Encores!), The Sound of Music (Carnegie Hall), and My Fair Lady (Avery Fisher Hall).
  • 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.
  • Richard Dworsky

    Keyboardist, composer, arranger, and longtime Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky has collaborated with such diverse musicians as Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Brad Paisley, Kristin Chenoweth, and Sheryl Crow. He has provided music for documentaries on HBO and PBS, and has released many recordings of original material, including his latest, All In Due Time.
    Originally from Albuquerque, drummer Chris Brown has been one of the most sought-after drummers in the South, since he arrived in Nashville -- via New York -- more than a decade ago. He has recorded and played with numerous musicians, including jazz pianist Beegie Adair and mandolinist 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. 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. The most recent of his solo albums is Circles Around Me (Sugar Hill Records).
    Stuart Duncan took up fiddle at age seven. Since then, he has chalked up a career that includes two Grammys, a slew of Academy of Country Music Awards, and being named the International Bluegrass Music Association's Fiddle Player of the Year nine times. He was a founding member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band and is perennially one of Nashville's top session musicians, performing on thousands of recordings.
    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.
    Bassist Todd Parks has toured and recorded with the Jerry Douglas Band, the Sam Bush Band, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, and others. Born and raised in Atlanta, he earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in string performance and jazz studies from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), where he also taught as an adjunct professor.
  • 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."