December 31, 2016 rebroadcast with Old Crow Medicine Show, Emmylou Harris and Jon Randall, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Suzy Bogguss, and more
hosted by Garrison Keillor
December 31, 2016
From Ryman Auditorium | Nashville, TN
0:00 | 01:58:59
This week's classic rebroadcast: a 10-year rewind to our New Year's Eve show from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on December 31, 2006. Old Crow Medicine Show ask "Are You from Dixie?"; Rhonda Vincent and the Rage play "All American Bluegrass Girl"; Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver turn things up past 11, acoustically, with "Sadie's Got a New Dress"; Suzy Bogguss sings "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"; Emmylou Harris and Jon Randall perform the classic "If I Could Only Win Your Love"; Cowboy Jack Clement joins the band for his own classic, "Guess Things Happen That Way"; and our friends Robin and Linda Williams drop by for a tune or two, including a slow-burning "Ramblin' Man." Plus: a message from the Catchup Advisory Board and a visit to the Cafe Boeuf courtesy of Tim Russell and Fred Newman; an extra-wide Shoe Band, with Nashville pickers Buddy Emmons, Stuart Duncan, Sam Bush, and Jerry Douglas joining Richard Dworsky and the Guy's; and Garrison shares a few notes on how Lake Wobegon is preparing for the New Year.
Download this week's News from Lake Wobegon
Notes from Richard Dworsky on this week's rebroadcast:
Download this week's News from Lake Wobegon
Notes from Richard Dworsky on this week's rebroadcast:
If you are a country music fan, this show is definitely for you -- amazing artists doing their signature tunes. Pardon me for using the Lord's name in vain but OMG! Emmylou Harris singing "If I Could Only Win Your Love," great bluegrass from Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, AND Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver! Old Crow Medicine Show doing their killer tune "Wagon Wheel," country songstress Suzy Bogguss doing an elegant version of the 1940s Frank Loesser standard "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" Our old friends Robin and Linda Williams doing their "Rollin' and Ramblin'." And our Guy's All-Star Shoe Band was augmented by a bunch of the greatest pickers who ever walked the Earth: Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on Dobro, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, and Buddy Emmons on pedal steel guitar. As bandleader, I have to point to soloists on the fly and, due to them sitting in a line behind me, it was hard to tell which player I was pointing to. But I joked afterwards that it didn't matter, 'cause whoever ran with that solo played a fantastic break. And last, but not least, we had the late, great Cowboy Jack Clement singing a couple of his tunes. It was always a pleasure and honor to accompany him. Jack wrote hit songs for Johnny Cash, recorded and produced Jerry Lee Lewis's very first demo (and first few records) at Sun Studio in Memphis, and produced everybody from Roy Orbison to the band U2! He was a funny guy and a true legend, and is greatly missed. The Ryman Auditorium was where Garrison first got his inspiration to create A Prairie Home Companion, and it's always fun to watch him perform in that historic hall. To wind up the night, Garrison led "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" as our full ensemble closing number -- soul stirring! I can't believe 10 years have passed since this great New Year's Eve show. Happy New Year to you all.
Old Crow Medicine ShowWith a little luck and a whole lot of talent, Old Crow Medicine Show went from playing their slash-and-burn brand of old-time music on the streets of Boone, North Carolina, to bringing down the house at the Grand Ole Opry. Willie Watson (guitar), Ketch Secor (fiddle), Critter Fuqua (banjo, slide guitar), Kevin Hayes (guitjo) and Morgan Jahnig (bass) have wowed audiences coast to coast with their distinctive take on pre-World War II blues, fiddle tunes, rags, hollers, hokum and jug band styles. They have been included in several documentaries, including PBS's American Roots Music series; In the Valley Where Time Stands Still, a film about the history of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance; and Bluegrass Journey, a portrait of the contemporary bluegrass scene. Their second album, Big Iron World, is on Nettwerk Records.
Emmylou HarrisEmmylou Harris's albums are mainstays in any music fan's collection: Wrecking Ball, Luxury Liner, Roses in the Snow, The Ballad of Sally Rose, Trio, Red Dirt Girl. The list goes on and on. And you can add to it the recent release, All the Roadrunning (Mercury Records), her duet CD with Mark Knopfler. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in North Carolina and Virginia, Harris began playing the guitar at 16 and eventually left college to pursue a career in music. She recorded her first album, Gliding Bird, in 1969. In the early '70s she moved to Los Angeles and joined forces with Gram Parsons, with whom she made two albums. After Parsons' death in 1973, Harris moved back to the Washington, D.C. area and made her major label debut, Pieces of the Sky. Now, after more than 30 years of performing, more than 30 albums, and countless awards, including 11 Grammys, Emmylou maintains a widespread and loyal following, whether she's singing folk, country, pop or traditional tunes.
Jon RandallDallas-born singer/songwriter Jon Randall says, "My earliest musical memories are of listening to Dad write bluegrass songs. When he started teaching me guitar, I started writing songs." After high school, Randall moved to Nashville. While working as a strolling musician at the Opryland theme park, he was spotted by Holly Dunn hired to play in her band. Later that year, he auditioned for a spot in Emmylou Harris's band The Nash Ramblers, where he remained for five years. He also landed a songwriting contract with Sony Tree and a recording contract with BNA Records. His debut album, What You Don't Know, came out in 1995. Over the years, Randall has worked with Sam Bush, Linda Ronstadt, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Earl Scruggs, and a host of others. These days, with his captivating tenor voice, first-rate instrumental skills and major-league songwriting chops, he's giving more attention to his solo career. His latest CD is Walking Among the Living (Sony).
Rhonda Vincent and The RageBorn in Kirksville, Missouri, Rhonda Vincent was barely five years old when she began playing with her family band, the Sally Mountain Show. At eight, she took up mandolin, and by the time she was 11, she was the Missouri State Fiddle Champion. She's found a place in the spotlight ever since. Named Female Vocalist of the Year a total of seven times by the International Bluegrass Music Association, she has also been honored countless times by the Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America. She has 23 albums to her credit (in addition to the dozens on which she's been a guest). Her latest CDs are All-American Bluegrass Girl and Beautiful Star: A Christmas Collection, both on the Rounder label. The Rage is: Hunter Berry (fiddle), Mickey Harris (bass), Kenny Ingram (banjo), and Josh Williams (guitar).
Doyle Lawson and QuicksilverDoyle Lawson was born in East Tennessee-where he still makes his home-and grew up in a family that sang gospel music. He remembers looking forward to Saturdays when the Grand Ole Opry was on the air and he could hear the likes of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. At age 11, Doyle taught himself to play the mandolin, and when he was still in his teens, he got a job playing banjo with Jimmy Martin. In 1966, he joined J.D. Crowe and five years later went to work with The Country Gentlemen. He started his own band in 1979, calling it Doyle Lawson & Foxfire, before settling on Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. They've released some three dozen albums in the last 27 years, the most recent titled He Lives In Me (Horizon). In 2004, they celebrated the band's 25th anniversary with a concert, now available on DVD. The group has earned multiple Grammy nominations and innumerable International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, including five consecutive Vocal Group of the Year awards. The band: Jamie Dailey on guitar, Terry Baucom on banjo, fiddler Mike Hartgrove, and Darren Beachley on bass.
Suzy BoggussFrom her earliest years growing up in Aledo, Illinois, Suzy Bogguss loved music. She joined the church choir at age five, played the piano and drums, and bought her first 12-string with the money she earned from babysitting. She moved to Nashville in the mid-'80s and paid the bills by singing demos by day and performing three nights a week at a local rib joint. Now, more than a dozen albums later, and awards ranging from the Academy of Country Music's Top New Female Vocalist of 1989 to a Horizon Award given by the Country Music Association, Suzy has won critical acclaim in both country and contemporary music circles. Her CDs include Swing, produced by Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson, and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, both on Compadre Records.
Cowboy Jack Clement"I've got a bunch of people who say I'm a genius," Cowboy Jack Clement once said. "That don't make me a genius. But you've got to be pretty smart to get all them people to say that on cue." Clement is a producer, songwriter, recording studio pioneer, publisher and performer. He was born in Whitehaven, Tennessee, in 1931. After a stint in the Marines, he played in a bluegrass band, then got a job at Sun Records, mixing sessions with the likes of Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins. Later, he moved to Nashville and went to work for Chet Atkins. He launched the careers of Charley Pride and Don Williams, and over the years he has collaborated with a who's who of musicians -- from George Jones to U2, Townes Van Zandt to Doc Watson, Garth Brooks to Emmylou Harris. Clement has recorded two of his own albums: All I Want to Do in Life came out in 1978, and Guess Things Happen That Way (Dualtone) was released in 2004.
Robin and Linda WilliamsSinging the music they love -- be it bluegrass, folk, old-time, or acoustic country -- Robin and Linda Williams have carved out a three-decade career that has taken them from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. Their first album came out on a small Minnesota-based record label in 1975, the same year they debuted on public radio's A Prairie Home Companion. As half of The Hopeful Gospel Quartet, they have collaborated on several CDs, including Garrison Keillor & The Hopeful Gospel Quartet (Sony) and Climbing Up on the Rough Side (Highbridge Audio). They've written dozens of terrific songs, ones that have been covered by Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Tim & Mollie O'Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, The Seldom Scene and others. Robin and Linda's latest CDs are Deeper Waters and The First Christmas Gift, both on Red House Records.
Buddy EmmonsAs a kid, pedal-steel giant Buddy Emmons wanted to be a boxer. Then he got his first steel. It was, he recalls, "a Supro six-string lap model with a finish George Harrison once described as mother-of-plastic." No problem. Eleven-year-old Buddy pressed on, and seven years later he had joined Little Jimmy Dickens' Country Boys. Now, in a career that has spanned almost six decades, Emmons has toured with the likes of Ernest Tubb, George Jones and the Everly Brothers, recorded dozens of his own albums, and done thousands of recording sessions for artists as varied as Rosemary Clooney, Gram Parsons, k.d. lang, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt and Ray Charles. In the mid-'50s, Emmons and fellow steel player Shot Jackson designed and manufactured the Sho-Bud pedal steel guitar. Buddy left Sho-Bud in 1963 to start his own business, the Emmons Guitar Company. In 1981, Emmons was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
Stuart DuncanIn the Escondido, California, folk club where his father was the sound man, a very young Stuart Duncan was inspired by the music of Vassar Clements, Byron Berline, Dan Hicks and others. At age seven, he took up playing fiddle and now, more than four decades later, he has chalked up quite a career. In addition to being a two-time Grammy Award recipient and winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Fiddle Player of the Year (eight times, to date!), he was a founding member of the acclaimed Nashville Bluegrass Band. Duncan is one of Nashville's most sought-after session musicians, performing with George Jones, Vince Gill, Bela Fleck, Dolly Parton, Barbara Streisand, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Sting and many more.
Sam BushSam Bush got hooked early on. He 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 in a row and had made his recording debut, Poor Richard's Almanac. Two years later, in 1971, he founded New Grass Revival, a band that pushed bluegrass into new territory by incorporating styles like rock, pop, reggae and jazz. In the late '80s, he formed the supergroup Strength in Numbers with Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Mark O'Connor and Edgar Meyer, and he went on to lead Emmylou Harris' Grammy-winning Nash Ramblers for five years. In addition to contributing to dozens of other musicians' projects, Sam Bush has recorded a number of solo albums, including Late As Usual, Glamour and Grits, Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride, King of My World, and his latest, Laps In Seven (Sugar Hill Records).
Jerry DouglasThese days, when someone mentions a Dobro, Jerry Douglas immediately comes to mind. Little wonder. The 12-time Grammy winner and Country Music Association's Musician of the Year can be heard on more than a thousand albums, including discs by Garth Brooks, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Vince Gill and Ray Charles. Born in Warren, Ohio, Douglas developed an early interest in bluegrass. His father, a steelworker, played music, and Jerry took up the mandolin at age five. He switched to Dobro when he was 11, after seeing a Flatt & Scruggs concert featuring Dobro master Josh Graves. Before he was out of his teens, he had joined the Country Gentlemen. He has been a member of other groundbreaking bands like J.D. Crowe & the New South and Alison Krauss & Union Station, and he has a thriving career as a solo artist as well. The New York Times called Douglas "Dobro's matchless contemporary master." His latest solo album (his 11th) is called The Best Kept Secret (Koch Records).
Garrison KeillorGarrison 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 BandKeyboardist, 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.
Arnie Kinsella hails from Staten Island, and holds a B.A. in percussion performance from Brooklyn College. In addition to his tenure on A Prairie Home Companion, he has performed with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and has recorded and performed with The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, and Leon Redbone.
Tim RussellMild-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.
Fred NewmanSound 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."