This week: a December 2011 rebroadcast from The Town Hall on West 43rd Street in New York City. Itzhak Perlman plays "Tambourin Chinois" with pianist John Root and "Heyser Bulgar" with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Gillian Welch sings "Dixie Line" and "Six White Horses," Joel Grey and Rob Fisher team up for "Be Like a Bluebird," and The DiGiallonardo Sisters perform "Santa Lucia" with the host. Plus: Garrison tells about the annual Sons of Knute Christmas Dance and Dinner; Richard Dworsky leads The Guy's All-Star Shoe band on "S'Vivon" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and plays his own "Short Attention Span Christmas Medley"; our Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman, with a look at the joys of the Christmas season and a message from the Catchup Advisory Board; and a holiday sing-along to close out the show. In Lake Wobegon, Christmas is a time of small disasters, but it is through hard times that we get closer together: the Tolleruds reluctantly accept a gift from a NYC relative, Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church celebrates St. Lucia Day, and more.
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Notes from Rob Fisher on this week's rebroadcast:
That particular appearance on APHC with Joel Grey weaves many threads together. Joel and I arrived between two performances of the Broadway revival of Anything Goes playing directly across the street from The Town Hall at the Sondheim Theater: Joel as Moonface Martin, public enemy #1, and yours truly conducting. We dashed across the street between shows and performed with no sound check, which is only possible when everyone already knows everything about what's going on. Joel and I both knew Garrison and how the show works. Years before (25 years?) Garrison had asked me to bring Joel onto the broadcast to perform his father's material -- that's Mickey Katz, definitely worth a Google. It was amazing to be in the lineup with the DiGiallonardo Sisters, but weird not to be performing with them, especially since we had recorded a holiday album together. As I write this, I'm on Oahu, soon to rehearse "Mele Kalikimaka" with the Hawaii Symphony. Out here everyone knows the words and sings along.
  • Itzhak Perlman

    Violin virtuoso and conductor Itzhak Perlman is treasured by audiences around the globe. Winner of four Emmy Awards and 15 Grammys, he has performed in the world's great concert halls, not to mention playing jazz with Oscar Peterson, klezmer with groups like the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and Beethoven's Minuet in G with a tuba-tooting Muppet on Sesame Street. Perlman's latest album is Mendelssohn: Piano Trios (Sony Classics), a collaboration with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. Piano: John Root.
  • The Klezmer Conservatory Band

    Since its formation by Hankus Netsky in 1980, the Boston-based Klezmer Conservatory Band has kept toes tapping at concerts, wedding receptions, and bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. In 1994, the band performed with Joel Grey in his recreation of Mickey Katz's Borscht Capades, and they appeared with Itzhak Perlman in a 1995 PBS special called In the Fiddler's House. KCB's many recordings include Oy Chanukah! (Rounder). The band: Robin Miller (flute), Jim Guttmann (bass), Aaron Alexander (drums), Mark Hamilton (trombone), Mark Berney (cornet), Ilene Stahl (clarinet), Pete Rushefsky (tsimbl), Hankus Netsky (piano).
  • Gillian Welch

    In the early 1990s, Gillian Welch met Dave Rawlings at the Berklee College of Music in Boston while the two were students waiting to audition for the country-band class. Over the past two decades, they have carved out a highly successful career, with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association and recordings that include Welch's Grammy-nominated The Harrow & The Harvest and the Dave Rawlings Machine release Nashville Obsolete (Acony Records).
  • Joel Grey

    Joel Grey got his start at the age of 10 in the Cleveland Playhouse production of On Borrowed Time. Since then, this actor, singer, dancer, director, and Broadway legend has chalked up credits that include George M!, Goodtime Charley, Chicago, and Wicked, as well as his Tony- and Oscar-winning portrayal of the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret. He is currently appearing as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
  • Rob Fisher

    Rob Fisher is an internationally recognized authority on American music and musical theater. He has been a guest of virtually every major orchestra in the U.S. as conductor or pianist, and he has made numerous appearances on the Lyrics & Lyricists series at the 92nd Street Y. For his work on the Tony Award-winning Encores! series at New York's City Center, he was presented the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Special Achievement.
  • The DiGiallonardo Sisters

    The DiGiallonardo Sisters -- Daniela, Nadia, and Christine -- started singing together when they were kids Brooklyn. They still call Brooklyn home, and they still love stacking up those three-part harmonies. Now, Daniela teaches social studies at Brooklyn's Mark Twain Intermediate School for the Gifted & Talented; Nadia is a pianist, composer, arranger, and singer; and Christine is a singer and actor. The trio's debut album, Shout Sister Shout, was recorded with Rob Fisher live at the Virginia Arts Festival.
  • 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, 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.
    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. Blue Yonder 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.
    Andy Stein (violin, saxophone) has far-flung musical leanings: He was a founding member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen; he collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson; and he has recorded with dozens of artists, from Itzhak Perlman to Nellie McKay.
  • Tim Russell

    Mild-mannered Tim Russell one minute -- Obama, Trump, or myriad others the next. It's almost impossible to stump this man of many voices. Says fellow Prairie Home Companion 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."