Saturday, August 17, 2013

Prairie Home Companion Connections - Mouth Off from 1976 to 1997 Invitation at the Fitz in St Paul

Here is Garrison (Gary) Keillor during his bearded phase in 1977 at the Duluth Depot Train Museum. I was supported in 1976 to enter the first Mouth Off Contest for Mouth Musician, held at the Ramsey Arts and Sciences Center  Auditorium in St Paul Jan 17, 1976, by the mixed singing group I performed with in Duluth. Composed of mostly St Scholastica and UMD members they chipped in the fare for the Amtrack North Star. I remember riding that train,  that went from Duluth through Cambridge to St Paul back in 1976.  I was declared one of the three winners, along with Brenda Barth and Phillip Platt (see Highlights from '75 - '76 sheet below) playing tunes, like the Overture to William Tell, on my teeth. Margaret Moos, a daughter of a St Cloud dentist, still living in St Cloud, was the current producer to the PHC at that time I recall
 and allegedly a "good friend" of Gary's during those years after his first divorce.

Thanks to Jeff Frey, photographer in Duluth for taking these photos.  Some chit chat with Garrison on the stage at the Duluth Museum.   I recall we were on baggage carts at the time.

Highlights of '75 - '76 Season of PHC page 1, produced by Garrison Keillor, Richard Peterson and Buzz Kemper. This paper was included with a 86 minute magnetic tape, the technology of the times.  I called MPR to see if they have archives of these and I guess they do.  Anyway the current guy there had no interest in receiving this, so I post it here in cyberspace just in case someone has some retro interest. :-)
Page two of the Highlights of '75 and '76 with promo for likely 1977 at the St Paul Ramsey Arts and Science Center Auditorium Saturday shows, which was the hall where I won the Mouth Off with Brenda and Phil in January of 1976.

According to this sheet, which I recall I got from the producers at the beginning of the show, indicates other mouth musicians, Steve the jaw harpist, Phil Platt, the lilter who was on the Jan show and a winner with me, and Mary Hartnett a cheek slapper.  I appeared at the end of the show, and I recall I did a bunch of Christmas Carols with a 6 minute spot at the Park Square Theater on the north side of the park in downtown St Paul.

Special Guests Saturday, April 5, 1997

You can listen to the full show, one hour here

April 5, 1997 Live from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, it's our Second Annual Joke Show with Julia Sweeney, Roy Blount, Jr., Kate MacKenzie, Rick Paul, Rachel Schlafer-Parton and Dr. Tom Weaver. Listen to the show Requires free RealAudio player. See how to listen. In its entirety Listen to the whole show, recorded on April 5, 1997, from St. Paul, Minnesota.

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