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Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..

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Subject: BS: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 08:29 PM

uses the radio to entrap his prey for aural torture?

Is he one o those ole windbags who upon hearing a fiddler suddenly acquire a singing voice? Or is it his bad poetry trip?

If you could would you ask him to shut the h**l up and let one of his
rare real singer guests sing instead?


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Subject: RE: BS: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 08:33 PM

Well...no. I actually like ole Garrison's voice. Or I did when I listened to him sometime ago.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 09:06 PM

A little elitist, are we? Granted, ol' Garrison ain't no Thomas Hampson, but he isn't all that bad. Sings pretty well, actually. Damned well for someone who doesn't really consider himself a singer. S'matter? He's got a gig and you don't?

And his "real singer" guests aren't that rare. Robin and Linda Williams are regulars and I think they're pretty good. I can't really remember if Pat Donahue sings or not, but he plays the hell out of a guitar. Ever hear of Renee Fleming? Ever hear of Greg Brown? Ever hear of Jean Redpath? (. . . and on an on for three pages).

When I was a DJ, every now and then I'd get some disgruntled listener who didn't like what I played (most of which was not my choice, really, but that of the program director). I would give them the standard answer: "Sir, you will note that your radio has at least two switches. One changes the station and the other turns it off. If you don't like what we play, I suggest you use either one or the other."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 09:10 PM

I take it you never won any awards for customer service, eh Don?

Seriously, Keillor is the elitist prig. I can't stand to listen to him sing, and his writing is maudlin crap, too.

But hey, we all get to have an opinion, right?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 09:28 PM

Well, when you're working for a classical music station and the caller wants you to play Mitch Miller, you can't really expect to receive any customer commendation certificates. Besides, that's what the program director suggested I say when I got doofus calls.

Re: Garrison Keillor. If you don't like him, nobody (as far as I know) has a gun at your head forcing you to listen.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: BH
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 09:31 PM

So---your criticism is of a man who is able to produce a quality radio program with great variety and substance on a weekly basis. Not easy to do. And---he does it ( in my ever not so humble opinion) with wit and creativity. )

As to his voice. Truly a very rich one capable of many different nuances.

But the program is not about his voice---rather about the guests, the regular crew, and creativity. More substance than one finds on most radio programs. (I guess I should exclude mine --butin honesty he is better).Better thatn than the crap that is on most TV stations.

Does TV stand for Terrible Viewing?   Think Reality TV---a whole other horrible topic


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 09:38 PM

That's right, Sorefingers. According to the Official Rules in the United States, only bone fide singing sensations are allowed to sing. If you simply enjoy singing but can't sing well enough to cut a hit single, you are not allowed to sing in the United States. I think it's a law that Sonny Bono sneaked through Congress before he died. Singing is for commercial purposes only, and is not to be done for enjoyment.

Yeah, I suppose Keillor isn't much of a singer, but it's always fun to listen to him. He's a consummate storyteller, and his songs are oftentimes just another means of storytelling. He does sing a mean gospel bass.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: JennyO
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 10:58 PM

I don't know who this guy is, but knowing that people can come on a public forum and criticise an individual for the quality of his voice might be enough to make some people think twice about singing in a session, for fear of not being thought good enough.

Surely people should be able to sing just for the enjoyment of it, without getting shot down in flames!

Jenny (passable singer who loves to sing)


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 11:21 PM

Garrison Keillor IS NOT the producer of his program. He is what is known as "on-air talent".


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Neighmond
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:04 AM

I heard him and the Hopefull Gospell quartet sing "there is a fountain filled with Blood", live, in Madison, WI once, and it would've wrung tears from a stone. And I like most of his programming.


But then I always was the strange one around home...

Chaz


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:05 AM

He has assembled a group of very funny writers, is a passable writer himself, and stands at the head of an eminently listenable radio show. Sure he's no Tennessee Ernie Ford, but hell, who was, except Tennessee Ernie Ford, and he's dead.

Sorefingers, if you don't like it just don't listen. Whining about it makes me think you're jealous or something.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:19 AM

Garrison Keillor invented the bleedin' show in the first place. Sure, he has a batch of writers working for him now, but he didn't at first. And as a writer, the only disagreement I have with what mousethief just said is that Keillor is not just a passable writer, he's a very good writer. Read some of his books. As a humorist, he ranks right up there with Mark Twain and Bill Nye. Everything on that show has his mark, whether writen by him or not, so I'm sure he has control over what's goind on (in fact, on a radio interview a few years back, Peter Ostroushko said exactly that). And he keeps crankin' the stuff out week after week. He's got the touch.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:22 AM

possibly, if you write to Garrison and inform him of your opinion, he will immediately cease his polluting of your airwaves and go dig ditches somewhere. He seems an accomidating sort of fellow.

When you have finished, you can work on whoever selects those to do the "Star Spangled Banner" at sports events.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: toadfrog
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:26 AM

1. This is another troll.
2. Nothing particularly wrong with Keillor's singing. Sure enough, "good enough for folk music," as we used to say in the 50's.
3. Except for your occasional opera singer or person from musicals, he sings about as well as anybody else on his program.
4. Hey, GUEST, who in hell are you?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:45 AM

I enjoy the show and his singing, but my favourite part is his storytelling, esp. Lake Woebegone. The only part I don't like is his singsongy recitation of poetry. Bugs the heck out of me.

JennyO, the program is called Prairie Home Companion. If you put that in any search engine it will take you to their home page and you can listen to some of the archived shows. Well worth it!:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 01:00 AM

GUEST,soreheadfingers, one of life's fundamental rules is: if you want to avoid total public embarrassment, never heckle a comedian.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: DougR
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 01:16 AM

However, GUEST sorefingers, you are correct. You DO have a right to your opinion.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Neighmond
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 01:30 AM

Ah, yes!
Opinions!
I think GUEST Sorefingers needs a trip to the local trade school, where the technical arts class can show them how to tune a radio, lower the volume, and turn off the power (there are TWO ways! Can you name them?)

Oh, well. This country was built on opinions-we may as well harbor 'em all...


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 01:54 AM

I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend with my life your right to say it--no matter how dorky it might be.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 02:21 AM

As an aside here........Almost 20 years ago I was flying all the time and I took my seat one evening on a flight that had been delayed badly out of Newark. It took a few minutes for me to realize that my odd looking seatmate was Garrison. After a stumbling kind of introduction, I immensely enjoyed the next two hours. I had been a fan for several years and I realized why he was such a good writer. As a salesman I was well trained in the art of listening and at turning the conversation away from myself and back toward my customer........and he had that same easy way of turning the conversation back to me and away from him.......and he was an astute listener. I enjoyed him even more after that brief meeting and have ever since.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: BlueJay
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 03:10 AM

Beg to differ with our guest, but I think Garrison Keillor's voice is just fine. Probably better than our guest's. What's more important is his imagination, which has led to many, many superb radio shows.
In fact, I've been listening to old tapes I made of PHC, trying to find a particular song. Keillor, along with an unknown female singer, did an about face on the old "Anything You can do, I can do Better", transforming it into: "Anything I can do You can do Better, You can do anything better than me, (No I can't, Yes you can) etc. Absolutely hilarious. If anyone knows the words to this parody, I'd be really grateful if you could post them.
Guest- If you don't care for Garrison Keillor, why not switch your radio station. Maybe Rush Limbaugh, or one of his many clones, is more to your liking. BlueJay


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 11:04 AM

Average voice yes, everyone agrees, but Radio Star ...naw ... I still hate to listen to the sanitised folk music he produces never mind his godalmighyaweful croaking...

He is to Folk Music what Bob Jones is to Jesus!

I think he uses his lil jack to write crapalley comedy so he can entrap and punish his prey. He should have been a bad preacher in some sucky badwoods town in Panama....

If a person who likes to sing - I hardly know any that don't - is put off because I give Garrison Keillor the croaker the thumbs down on the intenet then they should go live with him, since they would make a fitting audience.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 11:16 AM

Actually no....I think it's obvious you should take everyone's advice and tune him out, just don't turn on the program at all. Or does your radio automatically come on and force you to listen?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 11:28 AM

"...is a passable writer himself" - amazing.

Garrison Keillor is a superb story teller, both writing it down and reading it out. And when he sings he doesn't put himself in the way of the song, he just sings it and that's the first and most important quality in any singer.

I've said it before - any time people might feel tempted to write of America as a bad dream that came true, they should think of Garrison Keillor.

Remember the bit in the Bible where God's feeling really pissed off with the city of Sodom and wants to destroy it, and Abraham bargains him down to agreeing that if there are "ten just men" there he won't? I think Garrison Keillor might be one of the ten just men(or women) who might give God reason to spare America in such an eventuality.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: JennyO
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 11:41 AM

Well sorefingers, as I said before, I've never heard the man sing, but it seems from others' postings that you don't have much agreement, and like so many other things in life, it is just a matter of taste - so stop whingeing and turn your radio off!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Dexter
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:46 PM

Speaking of Pat Donahue, yes he does sing. In fact, he penned a parody of "Swingin' on a Star" and sang it on PHC. It should be required listnin' matter for all in this forum.
It begins:

Would you like to play the guitar
And bring your money home in a jar
From a coffee house or a bar
Or would you rather get a job?

A job is the thing that makes you get out of bed...


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:47 PM

Amen, Kevin!

JennyO, it's too bad you've never heard him. I think he's one of the funniest people on earth. He has a great knack for zeroing in on the Human Condition and poking gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) fun at the little day-by-day peccadillos we all fall heir to. One recognizes oneself in his humor. As I said above, I consider him to be one of the world's great humorists, right along with Mark Twain (but not quite as ascerbic). And although he probably won't give Bryn Terfel any serious competition, he has a warm, pleasant baritone voice. Very listenable.

If you have RealPlayer, you can listen to him at the Prairie Home Companion website here: http://phc.mpr.org. Most of the shows are archived.

Enjoy!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 12:49 PM

We cross-posted, Dexter. Yes, now I remember that! Fantastic! Could you post the rest of it? Please, please, please?

Don Firth


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Subject: Lyr Add: WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY THE GUITAR?
From: Dexter
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 02:48 PM

Here's that Pat Donahue parody.

Would you like to play the guitar
And bring your money home in a jar
From a coffee house or a bar
Or would you rather get a job

A job is the thing that makes you get out of bed
And work every day until you're dead
Your feet are aching and your brain is numb
And you just can't wait until the weekends come
But if you don't want to starve or beg or rob
You'll probobly have to get a job

Or would you like to play the guitar
And drive for miles and miles in your car
You can pretend that you're a big star
Or would you rather book the gigs

An agent's the guy that gets his twenty percent
What he says ain't exactly what he meant
He'll clean you out in ways you never thought
'Cause he's good at business and he knows you're not
And he'll sue if you ever make it big
'Cause he's the guy that booked the gig

Or would you like to play the guitar
For a living (hardy-har-har)
I admit it's kind of bizarre
But would you rather be the wife

The wife is the one who's got to rescue our butts
She's either a saint or else she's nuts
She gets impatient and she gets annoyed
Becuase she's the one who must remain employed
By the way if you want to wreck your life
Become a guitar player's wife

Cause the monkey's aren't all in the zoo
They can be trained to play the guitar too
Some of them a whole lot better than you
But even if you don't go far
You could be worse of than you are
At least your playing your guitar.


          "Swingin' on a Star" has always been on my, "songs
            I need to learn" list. Hearing these lyrics moved it
            to the top slot. They love it at open mics.

dex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 03:03 PM

I enjoy listening to PHC -- I wish we had something like it on British radio. Thank God for online programmes!

BJ


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 03:25 PM

Prairie Home Companion is one of those programs that, if I'm listening to it in the truck, I sit in the parking lot and listen to the end of the story before going about my business. Keillor's stories are tops. Guy Noir has some pretty funny adventures, and while I didn't think Keillor had a great singing voice when I started listening to the program years ago, I'm used to it and don't mind it. He also scores a "10" week after week as he identifies idiosyncracies in Norwegian-American life. He brings self observation and humor to his stories in the same way that Jean Shepherd did.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: DougR
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 03:30 PM

I enjoy PHC. Garrison is not the greatest vocalist I have heard, but he's certainly not the worst. Anybody ever heard Florence Foster Jenkins?

Interesting story Spaw. Thanks for sharing.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 03:39 PM

I love PHC.

But...

I find Garrison's singing annoying when he sings with his guests.

To my ears (with the emphasis on "my ears") he does not bring enough to the table vocally to justify the airtime spent . I almost always think afterwards that I would much rather have heard the guest do what s/he usually does rather than a lame duet with Garrison.

I love GK.

But...

I have always thought that Garrison's duets with his guest artists were TOO self indulgent. I can handle a certain level of self-indulgence from GK, but the singing exceeds my tolerance parameters.

Russ (Still a GUEST after all these years)


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 03:42 PM

Dexter -- did you see this thread about Pat Donahue's 'Mr Soundman'? I'm learning this one for the soundcheck!

BJ


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 05:08 PM

Wow Spaw! Lucky you!

I too am a fan of PHC. However, I think the show of late has been a bit stale. Just like before when he decided to quit doing the show. Do you all remember that?

One of my favorite parts is when Garrison and Sue do their one of their'he said she said' sketches.

Some of the musicians are a bit funky at times, but I've been introduced to a lot of new musical styles by the show. I had never heard of Hawaiian Slack Key guitar before PHC.

Don't for get Pat Donohue's Icky Yucky Sushi.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: sadidlady
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 05:12 PM

A Prairie Home Companion is a great show that continues a disappearing tradition. Perhaps Garrison Keillor is not the best singer in the world but neither is his voice by any means tortuous.
And what is this about rare guest singers? A guest singer or musician is featured in every show, and I can think of very few that are not wonderful. Keillor has the kind of voice that is made more interesting by its imperfections and which works well in duets.
He is sympathetic and his stories are ones which hit upon the experiences which all of us share but which we made have felt that only we have had. (maybe that sentence was a little confusing:) )
anyway as many others have already suggested, if you really can't stand it, then turn off your radio, stupid.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: sadidlady
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 05:19 PM

to blue jay,
the best way to find out who wrote the parody is to visit www.prairiehome.org . It helps if you know the day and month of the show, but even if you only know the month you will be able to find it with a bit of diligent searching.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 05:36 PM

Give this guest credit for more intelligence than most trolls. At least he spells Garrison Keillor's name right.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: mandomad
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 05:46 PM

It's very strange that this thread should crop up on Mudcat just now, I usually have music all the time in the car, but this week dug out "We Are Still Married" a double tape by Garrison Kiellor and have played it over several times, (I've had the tape for years at the back of a drawer, never bothering to play it), (bought it in a sale for pennies way back)> Thoroughly enjoying it.   As I have done the Prairie Home Companion shows since I joined the web. Great guests, great humour, and a Buddy Holly fan to boot. His voice,well, my voice is shit but I've got away with singing in public for 35 years.

I hope Mr/Ms sorefingers, you are really effin' good to be so critical>




                         mandomad


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 07:19 PM

Dexter, thank you for the words! It's on my "must learn" list.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 07:32 PM

The thing that makes it tricky for people in the British Isles is that we are used to seing Keiller's Marmalade on the shelves when we go shopping.

The idea that anyone should be inhibited from singing because they aren't specially talented in that way is one thta should be knocke doing the head. Garrison Keillor isn't on the show as a guest singer, he's there to run it and to tell stories and to communicate generally, and singing is part of that.

And anyone who heard him singing the song Tom Paxton write, right after September 11, about the firemen who died (The Bravest) and who didn't find that powerful - well, I wouldn't have too much respect for their listening abilities.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 07:48 PM

I turned the dial today because another idiot afternoon was in the works and guess what I found? Blues, down home real blues, by a real blues singer who would never ever make it in Embarrasin Sqealor's show ... I wonder why?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: BH
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 08:37 PM

I suppose the thread has gone on long enough at this point---the bottom line is that the program is not about GK's singing---it is about the content of the entire thing. For creativity---it cannot be beat. It harkens back to the golden age of radio. Thank heaven since most radio is automated "crap" these days--- they are so automated that only the networks and NPR were able to cover the Columbia disaster. Top 40 continued in its automated cocoon. Serving those who like being in such a cocoon.

But--back to GK.   Talent and creativity. Can't say more than that---our guest(sore fingers--I guess the name explains it) seems to be stuck in a nit picking rut for whatever reason that is hard to understand.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:22 AM

The show has been on for almost thirty years. Garrison Keillor had his mid-life crisis, dumped his partner, the show's producer Margaret Moos and their kids, and ran off to Denmark with a younger woman, trashing Minnesota and Minnesotans as parochial on his way out of town.

It was then he became known publicly (those who worked with him and knew him had known for quite awhile already) as a notorious loser, who was nothing without his program because his huge ego had nowhere to go. So in just two short years, it was back to PHC.

The program is well beyond the use by date, IMO and so is the bitter and cynical Mr. Keillor.

Although I will give him this much, he came down on the right side of the Republican manufactured Wellstone memorial "controversy" and shocked the pundits with his remarks. The reason why his remarks were so shocking to Beltway pundits is because he has about as much integrity as they do.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:50 AM

Jenny, Prairie Home Companion was on the radio years ago - ABC radio naturally, not the commercial stations. Maybe Radio National - on Sunday night??

sandra (dredging the bottom of a very bad memory)

maybe someone with a better memory can say when & here


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Willie-O
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 08:34 AM

I like Mr Keillor's storytelling and radio show very much. Can't abide his singing, at least when he tries to sing an actual song--i.e. one not written by him, since his own compositions accommodate his limited vocal range and are more like recitations. (Who couldn't like "I am your cat?")

Sorry McGrath, but when I heard the 9-11 song, my reaction was "great song, wish I could hear Tom Paxton (the composer) singing it."

When I was working as a helpdesk agent, a caller once told me I sounded like Garrison Keillor! Made my day, since (a)I wasn't singing, and (b) he's not that well-known in Canada.

What someone's midlife crisis has to do with his performance on his radio show is a complete mystery to me, since he is not a preacher but an entertainer.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 09:46 AM

I like the show, most times. His singing voice seems to me to have an odd self-conscious quality, like an actor whose eyes subtly look out to the audience for reaction after a line. I haven't heard him do much straight singing, mostly comic songs and parodies, and they're all right as that. Comic songs are really hard to be really funny with, they tend to be amusing, and clever.
   I don't know if I'd compare Keillor to Twain, as an artist. But he's good.
   Personally, I don't really care about that stuff. But I did hear him tell Terri Gross in an interview,that the erotic and the comedic don't mix. Pause. Then he explained, if a woman laughs out loud in bed, that's not a good thing. I guess I felt sorry for him, for being still so insecure--as he often describes himself--that he thinks that. He seemed so serious, I felt bad for him. He's missing a really good combination there.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 10:46 AM

Seeming serious is the key joke with Garrison Keillor surely. Maybe it's the old irony thing cropping up again. I think people over here might actually find him more on our wavelength than some do back home.

Cheerful melancholy, that's his approach to life, and it's one I find very well-judged.

I often prefer to hear a song sung by someone who isn't so good that you start to listen to the singing rather than the song. Or so bad that the same thing happens. Garrison falls into that middle range where the song, especially the words, are what matters.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 01:20 PM

There have been times that I have felt that PHC was getting stale for me. Taking a break for several months helped me come back to it with a feeling of freshness. For a while in the 80's, I made sure each show was recorded if I had reason not to be home to listed.

If you have really listened to his voice, you probably have noticed that he seems to have taken voice lessons. In the beginning, his singing was pretty bad but someone seemed to take him in hand about 10 years ago. Now, he's as good as most of us. [give or take]


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 01:24 PM

I can see here that some folks who don't like Garrison Keillor don't understand his brand of humor. Bitterness and insecurity have nothing to do with it. Just the opposite.

Pity. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Schantieman
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 01:25 PM

I like his radio programmes we get over here from time to time!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 01:39 PM

No, you've mistaken me. I very much like his humour, it doesn't get past me. And much of his humour is sex-funny. He wasn't talking about that. But you'd have to hear the interview--he was explaining how erotic writing very much affected him as a young reader, imprinted him, even, but he never pursued writing anything like that himself. But he may have been simply trying to guess why he never did, sure. Maybe it just sounded sad because the thing about a woman laughing in bed is a fairly lame joke.
   But I do think a very deep understanding of insecurity and an ability to laugh about it has a lot to do with some veins of his humour. Or else we're talking about different Keillors entirely.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 01:48 PM

I did hear the interview, Fred.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM

Garrison got some hilarious mileage out of Jessie Ventura. I was almost disappointed that he didn't run again, because he was such a great foil for Keillor.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 02:09 PM

What was so "hilarious" about his Ventura jokes, STS? I've mentioned this before, but I thought his attacks on Ventura, or more specifically, Ventura's local accent and working-class mannerisms, were cheap and unfunny. Probably about as funny to me as I imagine the "Beverly Hillbillies" were to rural Southerners.

And no, Keillor can't sing.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 02:11 PM

SRS, even.

---LEpus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 02:11 PM

The wrestling connection was a pretty good jumping off point, Lepus. And Keillor's ability to let pauses hang just long enough so the audience filled in the punchline. It's all politics.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 02:21 PM

Heh, his pretentious "hanging pauses" are the most annoying thing about him. Like Shatner on quaaludes.

And it wasn't the wrestling jokes that got the "big" laughs with his lame, turtleneck-clad audience, it was his Jesse impersonator's "wacky" accent and poor diction.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 02:39 PM

Well then Don, let me put it this way, I wasn't trying to quibble with Keillor about what's funny, which he seems to have a handle on, but question his point about what's sexy. I think funny IS sexy, and people who might not generally strike one as sexy become sexier when they are funny. I find strictly earnest eroticism a bit creepy.

I wouldn't say there's no comparison between him and Twain as humourists--why am I spelling brit?--ahem, humorists, but if Keillor has written anything like Huckleberry Finn I just haven't read it yet. I'd say Thurber would be a pretty good comparison, and that's no insult.

Still, Keillor is not simply a writer but a gifted performer--in the same interview he explained that the News isn't scripted out, but partly improvised. It's not like mere jokes he reads off, that anyone could take and tell. There's something to it that doesn't compare directly to writing.

I think he would say insecurity has something to do with his humor, in fact, I think he does say so, and did in that interview.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Les from Hull
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 02:58 PM

As a UK person who has never heard the Prairie Home Companion radio show (and can't afford the bandwidth/log on time either) and so isn't qualified to judge Mr Keillor's singing voice, can I say in his favour:

his stories are wonderfully written and the recordings he has done of them are superb (he at least has a superb speaking voice); and

the songbook he produced (Prairie Home Companion Songbook?) was a great idea and carried out really well. The idea that one definition of a 'folk song' was a song you never learnt but seemed to know any way, and asking his listeners to submit their 'folk songs' made a very valid contribution to the sort of thing we've been doing with Mudcat. So we've got children's songs, scout and guide songs, parodies and lots more. I bought the book in the UK (sadly it was remaindered.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 03:16 PM

Yeah, Fred, I see your point. But I do know how he operates on stage. I've seen him a couple of times, and on a lot of the stuff he does, he's just winging it. And brings it off.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: DonD
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 03:23 PM

I deeply respect, admire and enjoy PHC and GK -- BUT when he presumed to sing 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' a while back, I cringed.

He probably sings better than I do and certainly stays on key better, but some songs just aren't for him. Someone who had never heard the song before would never want to hear it again.

I'm also surprised that he has managed to elicit such passion as displayed by GUEST.Sorefingers and Lepus; maybe my turtleneck is coloring my judgment.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Mulligan
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 04:51 PM

Haven't been back in a while....I just remembered why.


Garrison Keillor can sing with my group anytime. I am always amazed at what a really nice job he does with so many different styles of music. And I love his stories. I must be an unsophisticated boor.
I am kinda wondering how well ole "stinkyfingers" sings.
How about if you send us all a cd for some constructive critisism?
Dan Mulligan


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:06 PM

GUEST 7:22AM is well beyond use date, imo...


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:11 PM

Welcome back anyway, Mulligan!!

For my part I have always enjoyed Garrison, and I will never forget the parody he did on "The Farmer is the Man", called "The Plumber Is the Man", which starts out:

Back when we were in our youth
Justice, Beauty and The Truth
Is what we thought that Life was all about.

But now that we have aged
We have learned that Life is based
On water coming in, and going out.

Oh the Plumber is the man,
The plumber is the man...


Etc. The way he sang it you could even hear the capital letters!

Still makes me grin.


A


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:26 PM

Look, some of us actually live in the place where the program originates from, and have a whole different perspective on Keillor The Celebrity, that I don't expect any of you to know about. I think Lepus Rex would agree that Keillor hasn't had much good press in Minnesota since he ran off with the Danish bimbo, and dissed the entire state, not to mention all of his colleagues at Minnesota Public Radio (the Mom and Pop Radio Empier that owns PHC).

As Lepus Rex said, Keillor's anti-Jesse schtick was obnoxiously classist, and it didn't end on the program. They also feuded through the press here in Minnesota.

That said, he is surrounded by very talented people, and the production staff does a fine job of bringing great talent on the air. But (and I've read his books, New Yorker pieces, Salon pieces, etc.) Twain he ain't. I think he himself invented the Thurber comparison. And for the Minnesotans I know, he is so far beyond the use by date, we haven't listened much to the show for decades. We have much better folk music radio fare on Saturdays--on other much better public radio stations that Keillor's network is doing it's damndest to drive out of business and get off the air, so they can own it all.

This is one of those circumstances where the fan base for the program mostly isn't local. It is instead popular where people know the name brand, but don't know much about the ingredients. Keillor has nothing but contempt for rural Minnesota. In real life, he is Mr. Hyde, not Dr. Jekyl. Some of us know that. Most of you don't want to hear that, of course, because it spoils your illusions about what the man is, and how accurately he depicts the people he chooses to write about.   Out of all the excellent Minnesota writers writing about this state and it's people, I would say that Keillor's writing about us is the most far off the mark. PHC has become nothing more than a contemporary minstrel show, and the buffoons are the little people, the working class (like Jesse Ventura), farmers and farmers families, rural people.

What is so funny about making fun of those people?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:45 PM

Well, I'm a long way from Minnesota, but Garrison Keillor has made me feel that if I ever get to visit the States, Minnesota might be one place I'd want to go. He makes it sound a good place, with the right kind of people.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:58 PM

You're delusional then McGrath. Minnesotans are NOTHING like the way they are portrayed on PHC. Try the movie "Fargo" instead.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 06:25 PM

Keillor makes a lot of connections for Scandinavians throughout the US, Guest, that you're probably not registering if you're so close to the epicenter. I don't listen to his stories as ridicule--I share a chuckle with him as he directs his gaze our direction.

I got out of the habit of listening to the program for several years, but two or three years ago started back as a regular listener. Music and laughter echoing through the house for a couple of hours aren't a bad thing.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:01 PM

Ah!! GUEST is from Minnesota?? Seems right. Ya know, for my part, as SRS says, I have felt a lot closer to Scandinavian folks throughout the midWest as a result of his humor -- because he never comes across as making fun of them, actually, only of their idiosyncracies and tribulations in living which anyone can relate to. I think his humor is heartwarming sometimes. But hey, you don't have to like him. Nor pretend to.

A


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Deda
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:17 PM

I love PHC and GK, have for years. I don't listen as consistently as I once did, often miss the show. but I'm always pleased when I'm able to catch it. I've heard bitter and rather nasty criticism of him before, but it has no effect at all on my enjoyment of his talents -- which I think are prodigious. Picasso was a jerk, and Gauguin deserted his wife and kids to run off and live on a tropical island, take a native wife, etc. And that affects their art... how? I still love Woody Allen movies, too, for the most part.
I actually think GK has made his way into the category of National Treasure -- not because I like him, but because he has a huge national and international following, and he's built up a solid oeuvre over the years, not the least being his books, which I predict will still be in print and on high school required reading lists when we are all history.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:34 PM

I am going to see a live broadcast of the show April 5th. It will be broadcast from Bemidji State University. For the first time in more than a decade Garrison will be here with, Sue Scott and Tim Russel and Tom Keith.
His guest's will be- Ricky Scaggs and Kentucky Thunder, The Guy's All-star Shoe Band with Rich Dworksy on piano.
He will also be doing the News from Lake Wobegon.
I am looking forward to hearing him sing Sorefingers!
Guest, you say he has contempt for rural Minnesota but I'm thinking it's going to be just a fine show.
Peace. Rustic


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Loqui
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:56 PM

What an amazing thread. Is it a wind-up?. is it an advert?. Whatever I will have to find this guy on the net and listen so that I can make up my own mind.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 08:15 PM

Well, considering that we are swimming in Minnesota Scandinavians around here, I can tell you also that the Scandinavians, Lutheran or otherwise, that I know don't fit the smarmy Lake Wobegone picture at all. Not at all.

Like I said, PHC functions like a contemporary minstrel show, with all the unsavory cultural baggage that comes with it.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Burke
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 08:19 PM

Garrison Keillor started out on MPR in the days before Morning Edition as the morning personality. He would play the most diverse assortment of music that one could want to hear on the air. For variety, I guess, he started talking on air to his engineer Tom Keith aka Jim Ed Pool. He had a great bunch of 'sponsors;' The Fear Mongers Shop, Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery, Bertha's Kitty Botique in the Dale's.(Mon-Dale, Chip & Dale) The real Dale's in the Twin Cities are Southdale, Brookdale, Rosedale, Ridgedale. It was fun to wake up to.

On PHC back in those days the news from Lake Woebegone lasted just a few minutes. Keillor would report the news, but it was not his home town back then. The acts were a mix of locals and whoever was in town to perform at the Coffeehouse Extempore or other local venues. Performers at a folk festival would leave for a while late Sat. afternoon & say in some quizzical way that they were off to be on some radio show. The only thing Keillor sang was Hello Love. Advance ticket sales meant getting to O'Shaunessy Auditorium an hour early and listening to the sound checks. The house band was the Powdermilk Biscuit Band. There were no mini dramas. Knowing the show & the lore of the show was something different. I could not get my family interested at all.

Things changed gradually. A satellite up link made a national audience possible. The history of Lake Woebegone was retold. Keillor was now a native son. The News got longer, but was wonderfully funny. The budget grew, the show could bring its own acts in. Playlets got added. Advance ticket purchases became essential, no more showing up an hour before showtime.

For my money, the best of the shows were in the early 80's just after the show went national. The worst was just before he quit. I could not stand Buster the Show Dog. Right now, I do like Guy Noir, but it's beginning to get old. If all the dramas were dropped, I don't think I'd miss them. I sure don't listen a religiously as I used to, but more now then I had for a while.

Some of his humor is too much laughing at rather than laughing with. A sketch he did on Sacred Harp singing a few years ago is one that comes to my mind most especially. The News tends to avoid this & still sounds like it has affection for the people. He went through a stage of lots of toilet jokes, but I haven't noticed them in a while.

One of the gradual changes is that somehow the show became to more & more about Keillor. In the early years we knew almost nothing about his personal life. He did the Lutherans and the Bible so well we thought maybe he was a Preacher's Kid. Then he got big enough that bios were in the newspaper, but he brought more of his personal life into the show as well. He goes through stages of going on about things he should keep to himself. His marriage advice was obviously off the mark or something he failed to listen to. I did not like hearing about the wonders of his new baby & chid rearing.

I understand the Danish woman he married had been an exchange student in High School & they re-met at a reunion. Whatever else crappy was involved there she was not a much younger woman.

I don't entirely mind his singing, but that's not his forte & I think he does it too much. It seemed to me a couple of weeks ago, he managed to intrude himself into almost every act. I wish he still had some of the inexpensive up & coming acts instead of so many already established ones.

Just some observation by a former Minnesotan.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 08:21 PM

Ya know, Guest, ya, yer night want ta try toning down the condescending superiority some -- I think it discourages folks, ya know? Just a little, you know.


A


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 08:33 PM

Apparently one out of four Minnesotans on Mudcat are still thrilled enough by Keillor to actually go to one of his shows, much less listen to one.

Now there is a recommendation for you.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 08:59 PM

So E S Took voice lessons, dumped his kids ran off with a bimbo, now it is all hangin out.

I mighta guessed from listening to that false smarmy outatune squak ... next time I will not pause ... simply squish squish squish..

Reminds me o that flousy Dr Laura and her advice , haw haw.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 09:08 PM

Isn't Fargo in North Dakota?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Lucy Goosy
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 09:27 PM

Fargo/Moorhead are twin towns, one in No Dak one in Minn. Same diff.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 09:32 PM

According to most maps it is!

That reminds me of the classic line in Animal House. Belushi was trying to inspire the frat and said "Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"    One of the frat members looked confused and another said "Don't stop him, he's on a roll".

Guest seems to have a personal ax to grind. When you look at it, it really is no big deal. It is a radio show, it is entertaining, and MANY people listen to Keillor. I tend to agree with Burke's summary. However, even though the show may have slipped a few (or perhaps several)notches from it's heydey, it really doesn't matter.   There are NO other shows that can do what Keillor can do. He offers a stage to a diverse group of musicians, many who would not have the opportunity to reach so many.

Yes, he may have some "issues" with his life, but that really isn't our business. He has done a LIVE RADIO VARIETY show for the last several decades. Tell me one other person that can claim that.   Guest, of course he is not the producer. You must be nuts to think that one person could write/perform AND produce that program.   So the people in Minnesota don't appreciate him? I can live with that. Please tell me why that should sway my opinion of him.

Guest, I hope you are able to work through your issues.   Garrision Keillor is an important figure in the worlds of literature, music, and popular culture. At least there are many that can recognize this.

Best of luck to you guest!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Lucy Goosy
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 09:53 PM

"There are NO other shows that can do what Keillor can do."

Thank God for that.

Ronnie me boy, can ye take out yer map and look up Moorhead, then? There's a good lad.

Why is it that when someone expresses an opinion that disagrees with your own, so many of you dismiss that opinion out of hand by making the lame claim that the person who's opinion differs from yours must have an ax to grind, or that they must be jealous, etc. Whazzup wit dat?

This thread is starting to read like a hagiography. Saint Garrison must be beloved by all, or off with their heads!


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: richlmo
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 09:56 PM

Guest,Sorefingers,
Having aquired a father in law some 25 years ago (lost him lastyear)who was a local radio legend, I have listened to many PHC shows and heard from an old radio man what Keillor was doing, what he wasn't doing right and what he should be doing. Bottom line was , that was what the old radio man looked foward to, every Saturday night. I think Garrison Keillor is a national treasure. Of course, I'm not from Minnesota.
I'm not real crazy about his solos, but I enjoy the Hopeful Gospel Quartet.
Someone earlier pointed out, if you are in your truck and get where you are going, it's hard to turn the radio off until the skit is finished. Been there many times.
By the way,Sorefingers,I don't remember anyone responding as many times as you have to a thread they started.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Lucy Goosy
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 10:09 PM

Maybe y'all can get a campaign going to get Garry Boy knighted by Queen Lizzy.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Allan Dennehy
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 10:57 PM

Sorefingers,

Don't know who Keillor is so I don't have an opinion myself. Mind you I'm curious now. However I'm very surprised at how agressive some of the replies you recieved were. Its a forum and you expressed your opinion. I, for example think that Ewan Mc Coll murdered a lot of the fine songs he wrote. Now I will respect any man who will disagree with me but not someone who accuses me of being a whinger or a troll just because my opinions differ with his/hers.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 11:22 PM

BTW, PHC isn't even an original idea. Keillor ripped off Grand Ole Opry to make himself the star.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 11:59 PM

Well THAT'S never been done before! An idea was borrowed to create another program? What is the world coming to?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:19 AM

Lucy Goosey, it looks to me like the fans of PHC and Garrison Keillor have a clear understanding of his feet of clay, and like in him spite of it. This doesn't sound like the life of a saint to me. Sounds like a talented man who isn't perfect and is in fact rather odd looking by just about everyone's standards. Probably the reason he sticks with radio!


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:20 AM

I've fired my typist.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:30 AM

Kids, kids. The movie is called F A R G O, with the letters spaced wide like that. It begins and ends in N. Dakota but most of the events take place in Brainerd, Minneapolis, and up around White Bear Lake (Go bears!. Somehow coming from Fargo the two killers enter from the south, though, with that view of the skyline, on--what is it 94?. (Remenber the root beer thread? Going into Wisconsin on, I think, 90, there's an A&W at exit 19 that makes their root beer fresh daily. Don't try to travel with it, it goes flat.)
Many people were displeased with the presentation of Minnesotans in the movie. It may be a bad idea to form a view of people you don't know from the particular visions of particular artists. Many people used Dead Souls for an idea of Russia, though Gogol knew very little of it. When he tried to work from knowledge of Russia, details of actual lived lives, sent to him by fans, he couldn't write anymore.
Thanks Don, I just didn't mean to sound hostile. I like the show, can think of a few humorous observations from it that are worthy of anyone. It's very difficult to be funny all the time, and sometimes you miss. I don't quite get all the fuss. But I don't know anything about the Jesse Ventura thing.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:40 AM

You come from the south into Minneapolis on 35W South. I'm guessing the A & W in question is the one that (used to be?) in Black River Falls.

The fuss is that there are many in Minnesota who can't stand Keillor the Minnesota Celebrity. And I do mean can't stand, not just mildly dislike. We see a very different Keillor here locally than people see nationally, because of the MPR propaganda machine--it comes without all the local controversy. So people are seeing strong opinions of him expressed here by some locals.

OTOH, you have a Keillor cult, or a PHC cult nationally. Not huge numbers by any means, but certainly huge numbers for nostalgic radio show programming that mocks the local yokels, more than for the folk music, if MPR's marketing info is to be believed.

So, that is what the fuss is about. It is the wholly different perceptions of Keillor locally and nationally. And like so many other cases like this, the national fans of Keillor don't like having their icons criticized.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:44 AM

People with character voices have always done better then one might expect, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Mellisa Etheridge, Maryanne Faithful - these are people with appeal at a mass market level, and people who don't have truly great singig voices. BUT they offer us a window to their soul, when they sing, and we respond.

Garrison has a similar appeal, as a singer. We love his homey approach to the radio. We respond to his love for the people in his town, a town we've all seen, people we all know, or at least people we canall undertsand. And his singing, well - that is just an extension of his story telling - that is just an extension of his character.

And besides, he does OK.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:46 AM

Or the fans don't give full credence to a critic who remains a nameless guest? Potshots from the anonymous peanut gallery are always suspect.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:53 AM

I can't imagine actually starting a thread about someone I didn't like. There are too many people I do like - including, as I've indicated Garrison Keillor.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:57 AM

Fine, have it your way SRS. But it isn't just me doing the criticizing in this case. As to Keillor showing his love for his small town, he is from one of the largest Minneapolis suburbs, Anoka. He ain't a small town country boy at all. It is just a schtick.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Loki
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 11:37 AM

Sorry, I don't know how to use this system.

I am trying to reach "Mousethief" who posted something in 01 about having a book of Jodys or Jodie calls at home. (They usually go, "I've got a girl lives on a hill..." and the chorus goes "Honey o baby mine" or "Hey lodi lodi lo" or "to your left, your right, your left). I am looking for some and if Mousethief (or anyone else) would be willing to email me he or she can at indiaaditi@aol.com

I would really appreciate it.

Thank you very much,

India


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 02:48 PM

That's right, 35n. Well, I don't know. My Dad was violently attacked for holding Appalachian people and family members up to ridicule in his writing. Being one of those family members I didn't and don't think that was the intent or the right reading. I once expressly gave him permission to write anything he wanted to about anything having to do with me. I had no illusions about how that might've gone, either, but was saved from disgrace by not being a very interesting subject.
   On the contrary, I think my father's seriousness about representing a particular heritage actually weakened his writing in some places, bogged it down in not wanting to be misunderstood by anyone, in that way. So, I still think Keillor's world is his own mythology, nothing anyone has to necesarily feel reflects on them well or poorly.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 02:56 PM

It is his own mythology Fred, but it is still a mythology about someone else's people. Therein lies the rub, IMO, and in the opinion of others who have strong feelings about that aspect of his Lake Wobegone act. No make that one man Lake Wobegone INDUSTRY!

Hey, this isn't anything I think the guy ought to be lynched for or anything. I said at the beginning of this thread that we all are free to express an opinion. I'm not saying mine is right. But it is mine, and it is one shared by some other Minnesotans too, the majority of whom have never even heard his show. It's not like PHC is competing with the radio programs with the biggest audiences, after all. So a lot of Minnesotans with strong negative opinions about Keillor have never heard the program.

OTOH, Mudcat is a forum of folkies, people who will listen to PHC religiously, because they get to hear folk music on a national broadcast in the US. That is rare, but not unprecedented. There are national broadcasts of other folk, blues, Celtic music too. Grand Ole Opry still has a radio show. Fiona Ritchie does a fine program. So I guess it just depends on what you listen to, and whether you have been exposed to Keillor the (not very) folk musician, or Keillor the Minnesota Celebrity.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 02:59 PM

Someone really needs to point out here (to one of the participants in this thread), I think, that Keillor writes FICTION and his radio show is music & humor and FICTION. And grownups realize this. As to whether he sings well, whether his stuff is funny, whether it's worth listening to or reading, those are all matters of taste, and nothing more or less. I don't understand a mentality that feels it needs to come back and poke at a disagreement over such a subjective thing, over & over again.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:05 PM

Loki --- shhh! Keep your head down --- you've stumbled into a battle that's gonna make Dubya's dustup with Saddam look like handbags at twenty paces. I just did a search and I think this is the thread you're looking for. Just scroll down to mousethief's name, click on PM and you can send a Personal Message. Good luck. Now get out quick!

BJ


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:09 PM

You know Buck, I appreciate that what he writes is fiction, but I'm afraid you are a bit too optimistic about all adults being able to grasp the fact that his fiction IS NOT autobiographical. Just read back through this thread, and you will see quite a few misconceptions that people hold about this guy, because they feel the Lake Wobegone act is somehow autobiographical, when it really isn't. Now, that IS a common mistake people make--they try and literally interpret artists' work as autobiographical in some way. But that is a true exercise in futility, because art is, by it's very definition, a metaphor for something else, even when it is autobiographical.

So, I agree that in a perfect world, everyone would understand that Lake Wobegone is NOT autobiographical, or even a very good fictional representation of Minnesota and Minnesotans, of the Heartland, of life on the prairie, or anything else.

My suggestion is for folks to try reading Jim Northrup for great cultural humor in a Minnesota vein.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:14 PM

Why do you care whether anyone likes Keillor? You stated your opinion, and that's fine & dandy, but you seem bent on establishing that it is in fact NOT an opinion, that there's soemthing wrong with Keillor, and something inferior about those who enjoy his work. Why is that? And you also seem bent on whining that those who disagree with you are some sort of "cult" and not honoring YOUR opinion. Why is that? Are you protecting us from LUTHERANS??????????? Or tall, shy people on the radio?

(And I think you're nuts if you don't realize people know it's fiction, regardless of what anyone posted in this thread - not everyone is as gullible as ...uh ... some)


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:16 PM

Lucy - the "Fargo" that was mentioned was the movie which took it's name from Fargo, North Dakota.

We all welcome a difference of opinion, but this "guest" or "troll" who started it originally did not back his or her opinion without any reason. If you re-read those posts, and re-read them honestly, it does appear that this person was not trying to start a legitimate conversation, but rather trying to rip Garrison a new one.

Garrision Keillor is no saint, but he isn't Michael Jackson either. Whatever happened in his original marriage and what led to his decision to cancel and ultimately return to PHC is of no interest to me. Leave that to the tabloids. What IS important is the quality of the show, which I will agree is not up to the same level as earlier years.   However it is a unique show.   Keillor is the first to admit that he "copied" the Grand Ole Opry format.   The FACT is that he created a show which does have a couple of imitators itself, but none with the reach of PHC.

So for all his faults, he is still an interesting artist that many of us enjoy. We aren't making him a saint, just a good entertainer and writer.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:26 PM

Guest, you need to sort out the tangle you've created. You're assuming that if we like PHC that we believe there is a place like Lake Wobegone that just isn't called Lake Wobegone by Keillor? That because it is closer to reality than say, other fictional places like Middle Earth, that we presume (foolishly) that it isn't really a fictional place after all but MUST IN FACT be a real place that Keillor is simply disguising by changing the names? So fit Northrup into this false presumption about our (apparently) false assumptions, please. Does he write about a real place, making it in fact autobiographical fiction (or that strangely named style called creative nonfiction?) or does he do like Keillor and make up a place, but you're just more convinced by it?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:32 PM

Enough arguing between the Keillor's lovers and haters.

Here you go, Jim Northrup. Can't wait for you all to come back and rip him because the loathed anonymous guest recommended him.


http://www.jimnorthrup.org/


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:39 PM

No ripping, just apples and oranges, guest. (Ever read Harold of Orange?) I've only encountered Northrup as a poet--we've been speaking about a much larger body of work for Keillor. One doesn't trump the other.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:41 PM

What's to rip? Seems like an amusing guy. Hardly does the same kind of thing as Keillor, but seems to do what he does well enough. What's your point?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 03:45 PM

Well, Guest, you are quite right that many people do take fiction to heart in that way, and when it gets coupled with celebrity and notoriety it can be absolutely exasperating. James Dickey is a good writer, but his son begged him to exclude a notorious scene from the film of his book Deliverance, on the ground that it would be all anyone talked about.... Jokes and even serious notions about inbred hillbillies are everywhere, as though there were time in a 200 year old country to outpace a royal family in that department. Truth is simply that mountain people didn't institutionalise their developmentally challenged family members.

   Somewhere in this country some schoolmaster fostered a notion that fiction should be simple and sincere, but it gets very complicated to be sincere when you represent real places and groups of people out of the play-dough in your own head. I think you have a point, I do see it now, but it's an aggravation that can't be cured. Nothing wrong with expressing it, since that's all that can be done. Nobody is above criticism. But it may be the audience's fault more than the artist's. And I'd suspect Keillor's craft evolved to a degree in a collaboration with his audience, the way a performer feels that strange dynamic, of what will work. Keillor might be taken too seriously, might sometimes take himself too seriously, we might all take ourselves too seriously.

I liked Fargo, very much, but the crawl about the "true story" and names changed out of "respect" for the survivors bothered me from the start. And I was wrong, it ends back in Brainerd, not in N. Dakota.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 04:45 PM

You mean Lake Wobegon is not a real place!!???? OMIGOD!! MY LIFE IS RUINED!!!

Don (sob, sniffle) Firth
Next thing they'll be saying is that Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy aren't real!! I can't stand it!!!


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 05:29 PM

It's easy to make fun of, but there's something to it.

I may just be used to being an inbred ned beatty rapist, but I'm not sure I'd trade it for being associated with a tribe of smurf-like laughably repressed doofuses. But I always liked the scarey get-ups for halloween.

There's a likeness between Lake Wobegone and the sleepy town (that time forgot) in Van Gogh's Starry Night. We and Vincent sit together seeing the coiling cosmos above this oblivious nowhere town, we and Garrison congratulate ourselves for our sophistication and worldliness, in regard to a town that never heard of New Coke, they never ran out of the Old Coke.

   The literary formula is A and C recognise each other's superior intelligence through dumb B, who doesn't get it. It works pretty well, flatters us, at someone's expense. Plato in the dialogues, the disciples in the New Testament, Minnesotans in PHC, and good old Leonardo paints himself as the ghost-dummy between us and the Mona Lisa.

I can see how you'd get good and sick of the joke, the condescending warm-fuzziness of it, whether anyone takes it very seriously or not.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:11 PM

Jim Northrup is, IMO, the best damn humorist Minnesota has ever produced, but so much of his gift doesn't come through in his writing. He is unbelievably funny live, but it is a rare month that goes by that I don't really appreciate his "Fond du Lac Follies" column in The Circle newspaper. I think his best writing is in those columns.

The reason I used him for a comparison is that "Fond du Lac Follies" could easily be viewed as another sort of "News from Lake Wobegone" sort of writing. The difference being that Jim Northrup really is Indian, he really is from the place he writes about, etc.

Finally, Fred, it is nice to see that someone "gets it" after 100+ posts. Yes, the Lake Wobegone thing is mighty tiresome to many of us Minnesotans, who never did find the humor at other people's expense funny to begin with, much less 30 years later.

Thank you for articulating what I failed to, and bless your little heart for doing it so well.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:22 PM

Well, Fred & Guest, Minnesotans who are sick of Lake Wobegon and/or Keillor don't have to listen. And as far as Northrup somehow being superior because he "really is Indian" that's irrelevant, Keillor isn't writing about Indians - he's writing about the descendants of Scandinavian settlers. And he is from Minnesota - not Lake Wobegon, since that's a fictional place. And Fred, apparently we're hearing different things in Keillor's stories, because to my eye & ear he quite plainly loves the people he writes about. Still, Guest, why is it you seem not to think there's room for more than one "humorist from /of Minnesota?" Surely it ain't THAT small a culture?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:43 PM

Buck, I have this sneaking suspicion you want to have at it with me. :)

Be that as it may, I must correct the record. I never said Northrup was a superior singer. And don't worry, I don't listen to PHC. OK? OK!


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Burke
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:42 PM

There are a whole lot of statements that our Guest has made that have convinced me that he/she doesn't have the facts straight. So just for the record some things I did find.

Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka, Mn in 1942, graduated High School 1960. Married 1965. Son Jason born @1970. This marriage ended in divorce sometime before 1985.

Anoka county has some areas that have long been part of 'suburban' Minneapolis. Specifically Fridley & Columbia Heights. Given no interstates & the distance to Anoka, it would be a stretch to consider Anoka itself a suburb during the 1950-1960 period. Keillor's grandfather farmed in Anoka. In 1950 the population was 7396, in 1960, 10,562. The town was growing quickly as Minneapolis spread, but since his family was from the town, I suspect it still thought in terms of small town.

In 1985 he met Ulla Skaerved, a former exchange student, at their 25th High School reunion. He was living with his producer Margaret Moos at the time. Current Biography covered him in 1985 & stated that he was living with Moos and his son from the previous marriage. It would appear that his new wife moved in with Keillor & son. She had 3 children.

Keillor left Minnesota for Denmark in 1987. By then his son would have been almost done with High School. A child who, perhaps, chooses to stay & finish the last 2 years of school instead of moving to a foreign country has hardly been abandoned. He later worked (does he still?) for the show. Insert criticism for nepotism here.

Keillor obviously went through a few years of instability when his Danish family could not be happy in Minnesota & he was miserable in Denmark. He quickly moved to New York (a compromise?) He has since relocated back to Minnesota.

Don't know when that marriage dissolved maybe midlife passion is not all it looked to be. In 1998 he had his second child with his 3rd wife, violinist Jenny Lind Nilsson.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Burke
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:52 PM

Sorry, a post-script.

Garrison Keillor has always acknowleded his debt to the Grand Ole Opry for the idea for the show. Rip-off does not apply. Several sources give this sort of summary: It was writing an article about the Grand Ole Opry in 1974 that inspired him to create a live variety show for radio. Thus "A Prairie Home Companion" was born on July 6, 1974 in a St. Paul college theatre in front of an audience of 12 people.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 10:20 PM

Yup, you are a damn genius Burke. Ever been to Minnesota? Spent any time up there in Anoka County? I grew up in one of those "small town" Minneapolis suburbs too--Bloomington, same era as Keillor. Not one iota of difference between the two, so I actually know whereof I speak.

As to your "setting the record straight" can you explain which thing I said that was an out and out lie there, Burke? Sure, you interpret the same facts differently than I do. I'm pretty sure that is the point I've been trying to make all along in this thread.

What are you trying to do here? Resurrect the reputation of a fallen comrade, or what? All I said was he couldn't sing, his writing was maudlin crap, and I didn't think much of him as a human being either. That is called A-N O-P-I-N-I-O-N. And I would tell you what to do with yours, but I'm a Minnesota Nice person.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 11:13 PM

I have to add my 2 cents here. Anoka is growing into a larger town if you stay on the Hwy, but it still has a feel of small town, if you go onto Main Street.
Burke, you are absolutely right about Anoka not being a suburb back in that time. It wasn't, and I don't consider it to be now.
I also know Lake Wobegone is fiction. I think anyone who knows the program, knows this. I have to add one more thing- I have never heard anyone from Mn. talk about PHC or Garrison, in the negative. Guest, I guess we just run in different circles!
Peace. Rustic


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 01:17 AM

A couple of times on this past Saturday's PHC Keillor mentioned that even though they were calling it the "Valentine's Show", it was not actually Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day was still a few days away. On Thursday, in fact. Well, Thursday is February, 13th, NOT February, 14th! Doesn't he realize that millions of religious listeners hang on his every word and accept his pronouncements as gospel? I think I'll go ahead and celebrate on Thursday just because Garrison said so.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 03:25 AM

Hah, it's not often someone mentions my hometown (Columbia Heights). About friggin' time. Screw you, Hylanders! :)

Anoka is definitely a suburb, though, and has been for a long time. Not that it matters, since Keillor is from the inner-ring suburb of Brooklyn Park, south of Anoka in Hennepin County. He only went to school in Anoka. ;)

Just because I'm linking stuff, here's a Phototour of Minneapolis, and a Phototour of St.Paul. Both cool.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 06:54 AM

Thanks Lepus Rex. I find it very interesting that the third largest school district in the state--Anoka Hennepin, which isn't within either Minneapolis or St Paul's border, is to be considered "small town". But this is thread has gotten as tiresome as PHC itself, so I'm outta here.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:34 AM

Well, again, I don't mean to bash Keillor, and I like the show. Don't remember him singing too much, but I can't always catch it. Could care less if he's from Bolivia and married to a lamp-post. And I usually prefer performing artists who know and can use the traditions to those who suppose they've invented theatre from scratch.

   And no, Buck, I think we hear the same show. It's the all that niceness, not any mean spirited ridicule, that might wear thin for me, after a while, but I put that down to my having a particular sort of personality.

   Funny Guest mentions "Minnesota Nice", and likes Fargo. That was how the lead role was played, according to whatshername, the actress. Some people didn't like that aspect of it. Anyway, anonymous posting of a Keillor-bashing thread on a folk forum seems like a good way to shake off the "Nice" association, if you don't like it. A pretty un-woebegone thing to do, and kind of funny in itself.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 11:04 PM

If Fred wanted to he could just have ignored the thread but no ... kinda like me flipping the dial of my 2 dollar pocket radio to select an non Bawler corpofolk show complete with castrated songs about how nice it is to be so kicked into the dirt that folks live in the past and cannot comprehend much less sing about the real coproreplicon scumbags world we now live in

Did I say protest songs ....

nope

Accept facts, the man cannot sing badly enough for some body - oh anybody please - to tell him to shut the hell up, and what he does croak is so far removed from Folk music it hardly deserves the name, it isn't even known among jammers who do folk. He is a major horses ass and that is no joke, and why in woebegone he cannot roll over along with a bunch more clowns like him I cannot imagine.

Mr Keillor go die someplace else where we don't have to hear you weekly further fall apart on your way to Forrest Lawns...


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 11:58 PM

Hey Lepus is the Red Barn still there on Hwy 65? I used to party at a house right behind it. I grew up in Fridley off of Mississippi and Old Central. Then moved to Coon Rapids for 3 years and graduated from CR. I used to hang out in Anoka quite a bit, a long time ago. Do you remember a band called Stash? Those are the guys I used to party with in Anoka. Walter Fournier, Dean Nelson, Tom Shonehart. Any of these names ring a bell with you?
Rustic (with a thread drift)


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:07 AM

But why would ignore a thread I quite enjoy, and showed me a different point of view? (Even if I think it's overblown and funny.)I wasn't making fun of the thread, but actually saying what I like about it. It's a Keillor-bashing thread on a folk forum--hell, I love it. I merely forgot it wasn't quite anonymous, SF.

Why would I turn off phc since I like it too--because it's not what somebody else would want it to be?

I remembered one of those observations I liked so much--on the last joke-show I heard Keillor wondered whether some of the stories in the bible weren't meant with some humour--the story of Job, for instance. But that some of the sense of it was lost along the way, or (I'd add) we just don't expect it to be funny. That's quite good, the delivery was excellent, the unpretentious pause giving just enough thinking time for people to come up with a few of their own jokes on the premise. (Mine was about how Jesus was unable to perform miracles in his hometown, a favorite detail.) The painter de Kooning had the same reaction to his Women paintings. Coming out of the grandiose intentions of Abstract expressionism, nobody noticed they were funny. Where I grew up, my hometown, so to speak, criticism isn't necesarily hostile, or unappreciative.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:19 AM

Hah, small world, Rustic. More people should be from southern Anoka County. Honestly never heard of the Red Barn, so I'm not sure if it's still there or not. But what was the 100 Twin drive-in is the hulking, new Medtronic World HQ, if you haven't been to your old neighbourhood in a while.

And sorry, never heard of Stash. I only go to Anoka to pay speeding tickets. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Burke
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:35 PM

Lepus, Every bio I have ever seen says Keillor's family was from Anoka & that he grew up there. Where did you get that he's from Brooklyn Park?

Rustic, wasn't Red Barn a chain of Hamburger joints? I think they got pushed out by the big chains. There was one near 50th & France S. that's not there anymore. As to what's on Highway 65, some of those numbered roads don't follow the same routes they used to. US 10 has been moved for sure. Parts of Central that were 65 might not be anymore; I get confused around there all the time. My sister moved from Spring Lake Park to Hamm Lake a year ago. (Talk about urban sprawl from 83rd to 150th!) She was right near the 65, 10, University Ave. Central Ave stuff. It was different every time I was there with the traffic worse all the time. I doubt I will ever go to Northtown again.

I posted earlier about some factual information I thought Guest had wrong. Many people have said they do not care, but no one was challenging the actual events. I don't much care about the opinion of someone who does not listen to the show & wants a forum to complain in. I do care that people who like the show may be led into believing there are some events that just did not happen.

Yes he dumped Margaret Moos for another woman. I make no excuses for him. She was not younger, however. I have yet to see any evidence, rather than assertions, of child abandonment. And I have checked the Star/Trib web site where I did find a breif mention of Moos & Keillor.

Keillor has a love/hate relationship with the press. Big deal, what star wouldn't? His personal life became more public than he wanted it to be. It got too hot so he left town. I'll post a Keillor quote at the end.

The Twin Cities are like urban areas all over the US. Urban sprawl has turned small towns into suburbs all over the country. I was in High School there 1968-1972. At the time the biggest school districts population wise outside of Mpls & St. Paul were probably Bloomington and Robbinsdale. They were the only suburban districts at the time with more than one high school. I believe that if Anoka-Hennepin is now the largest district, it must be that it is geographically much larger than the inner ring districts & the urban sprawl has driven the population up.

I was not in Minnesota in the 1950's, but I'd bet even western parts of Bloomington were still pretty rural then. Eden Prarie still was when I worked on the Northrup King experimental farm in 1970-72.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:13 PM

Here's a couple of bios Keillor's written: On a jazz radio station (Jesus, that picture...) site, and on the city of Brooklyn Park site. He says he lived on 77th and W.River Rd., or, as he puts it:

"Our family came to Brooklyn Park from south Minneapolis in 1947, drove out the West River Road to 77th Avenue North and moved into a brand-new concrete-black basement that my dad and my uncle Lawrence had built in the middle of a cornfield."

He makes it sound wonderfully remote, but I remind you that 77th and W.River Rd. is right across the river from Fridley. (Here's his neighbourhood, again... That river is the Mississippi, and he would have grown up on the west side of it, in that little bulge of land between the two groups of islands.)

"The pastoral qualities of Lake Wobegon - the innocence and freshness - really stem from Brooklyn Park, my boyhood home. I'd be happy to be there still."

Oh, yeah. I bet he's got a "for sale" sign on his Wisconsin mansion, and is scouring one of Brooklyn Parks heavily black, low-income neighborhoods for a new efficiency apartment... The man is so full of shit.

On a related subject, when was the last time a non-white musician appeared on his show?

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:20 PM

Oh, and yeah, Burke, and it is weird that Ham Lake is now a suburb, huh? And the whole corridor between Mpls/St.Paul and St.Cloud is filling up, too. Crazy.

---LEpus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:42 AM

Yeah, yeah. So it's off topic: OK, Rustic, I asked my roomate what the Hell the Red Barn was (and read Burke's post), so now I think I know what you're talking about: a buffet place, right? Did you mean the one on 49th and Central? If so, no, it's been a Taco Bell since... maybe the mid-80s? I believe it's still the same structure, although heavily remodelled to look more "authentically" Mexican.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Burke
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 05:28 PM

What's really crazy is taking this road that's a dead end about 2 blocks long and sticking any kind of number on it, not to mention 150th. It makes as much sense as the all those Xenia's out on the western fringe that don't link up either.

Lepus, Thanks for the links and the info. Is Brooklyn Park the Hennepin part of the Hennepin/Anoka district?

I looked back at the City County Data books that have the population statistics. Neither Bloomington or Brooklyn Park counted as 'urban centers' in 1950. Meaning <2500. Most of the centers that counted apart from Mpls. & St. Paul were <10 square miles in area. In 1960 Bloomington with 37 sq. mi. was 50,500; Brooklyn Park with 26 sq.mi. was 10,200.

Makes you think about how things like rural, urban, suburban are defined. I found more interesting comparisons but have to run.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM

Yup, Burke. Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 serves Anoka, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Ramsey, Andover, Champlin, Dayton, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Burns Township, and Oak Grove Township. Which really is a pretty huge area...

Into the mid-late 40s, Hilltop (the tiny, mobile home-dominated town surrounded by Columbia Heights) was home to a golf course and the Oak Grove Riding Academy and Stables, which is a very odd thought if you've been there in the last few decades. So yeah, I guess I see what you mean about the definition of "suburbs." I still don't believe that 77th and W.River Road was as idyllic as Keillor claims, though. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 12:14 PM

Gee if it had read different I would be concerned but you wrote it...
"posting of a Keillor-bashing thread".. it ain't it's a ]Kreillor Killin' thread except for the lack of rope, he would already be cross eyed!

Can't help but notice the fact the Blob Doddle is also Minnesotan and wondering if there is a connection to SongKillor? Maybe the republicon shopowners guild decided the state was getting a bad name from all that down-an-out lovin poetry?, as if they had anything to worry about ...huh Mr Blob Grab was the biggest money maker since Levi hissef fell into a barrel of blue dye, but then rednecks were never blessed with too much brains were they?, all that shoot first ask later stuff.

Still, suppose woebegone was some kind of attempt to put the wino image in the trash can; now that it is seriously backfiring ...mmmm with Jerkinstein Fiddlin and Donohoe Guitar being so errrr original he he he he he, that some kind of backlash o the hippies may re-emerge?

Come to think of it, ain't Jesse the Giant a hippie?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 06:49 PM

Huh? I don't follow any of that, I'm sorry. I get a vague impression you thought I was trying to argue with you, or make some sort of put-down. Not at all. I just don't happen to agree.

The only thing I could try to argue with is how people go straight to personality, personhood, and biography. Not that there's anything wrong with being interested in all that, but people take so little trouble to talk about qualities and style, particularly, and those are interesting things to hear people's thoughts about. I mean, lately I'm liking Vaclav Havel's plays a lot--doesn't mean I want to smell his socks.

    I'm not from Minnesota, and while I can appreciate that people who are might be disgusted by popular association with stuff they don't like... ...as Mel Brooks explained it--tragedy is when I cut my finger, comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die. It's not a put-down that I think this thread is very funny, It's not an argument that you are wrong in your views about Keillor or anything, it's just that I don't really care how much you hate him, so it's funny to me that you do. Fred


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 09:37 PM

Fred, "Sorefingers" is into some sort of bashing of Garrison Keillor and of anyone who disagrees with "Sorefingers" - kind of a typical 14-year-old chip-on-shoulder thing. There's nothing to do for it, alas, except wait until hormones settle down and maturity sets in.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Fred Miller
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 10:36 PM

Buck--I keep trying to explain that I like and admire Keillor but can sympathize with the other point of view. Can't seem to do it, how to explain it--sheer perversity I guess.

   If PHC was associated with my neck of the woods I might prefer to dislike it, but it's not, so I get to laugh about it. It's so ...NICE. The humor is so... KIND.

   I started a thread on tips for living well, saying I was a little depressed and wanted to hear about things that are good. And I did. But at some point it occurred to me how awfully funny it would be if I got on again and said Okay I was just a little depressed but now I want to kill myself. It's not true, but if you have a certain pathology, a little Beckett humor, these things occur to you. I remember someone making a Thanksgiving toast in thanks for all the friends who are with us (nice) and also for others like FirstName Lastname, who aren't (ugly but funny, and having some truth in it).

   I think there's ultimately something ugly in denying every sort of ugliness, or even any kind of intensity, and Lake Wobegone falls into that kind of feel-good humorous mythology. All the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, nobody is an internet troll.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 11:02 PM

Bull, booh to you, I don't care nuttin about G K - just doin my radio citizen bit, after all it is supposed to be 'Public'.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Deda
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 12:22 AM

Personally, I am a Munchkin, and I want to go on record protesting Frank Baum and Hollywood's portrayal of Munchkinland, which are totally and grossly inaccurate. Why, my next door neighbor is over five foot two and a half! And my great uncle sang bass! The misrepresentations that we suffered because of those books and that movie -- well it just ain't right! And anyone who's ever been to Munchkinland knows right off how they got the place all wrong -- The yellow brick road doesn't begin in a big corkscrew like that. It's ridiculous. I want a lawyer.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Cruiser
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 02:44 PM

...brings folklore to the forefront. Sure he can't sing, but the fiddle and Bb bass sax playin', jokes, and Americana are entertaining. Like most NPR programs, I try not to miss his radio program.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 02:50 PM

We don't hear him often enough over here in the UK.
John


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 05:49 PM

Richlmo said, in part:
By the way,Sorefingers,I don't remember anyone responding as many times as you have to a thread they started.

He's a troll who just has to stir the pot. Even, it appears, to the extent of calling in others of his multiple personalities to make it look as if there were people to agree with him.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 05:53 PM

And, for what it's worth, I am an expatriate Minnesotan. I think PHC is every bit as good as it ever was. His voice and singing technique, while not star quality in themselves, are acceptable for the role they play in the show.

The one adverse comment about GK I've seen in this thread that I'd agree with is, unfortunately the man can't read poetry. A small failing, IM(not-so)HO.

And yes, as a (now transplanted) Minnesotan, I've seen his show live, and would love to do so again.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Cruiser
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 06:14 PM

I am listening, for the first time, to the live webcast of Prairie Home Companion. The link follows:

Live Webcast of PHC


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 03:50 AM

If you have digital radio in UK, PHC is on BBC7 one evening (haven't the schedule to hand at the moment). I came upon it by accident and wondered what it was and, for once, guessed correctly.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 04:42 AM

RtS I live in an area where we cannot get, and have no chance of getting digital radio signals. There are many reasons for this, one is our geographical location, [highlands of Scotland] Among the other reasons there is the fact that we are a sparsely populated region, [not many votes], and when we do vote there is a tradition of returning a Lib/Dem MP. So not very high up the priority list of the present bunch of turncoats that run the country!!
I know I can get it through my satellite TV, but that's not much good if I want to listen to a vintage British comedy, and she wants to watch a soap.
Anyway this is going off thread so to justify my previous post, I love GK, I like his deep voice, and slow speech patterns, I find them soothing and the content amusing, and I like the down homey atmosphere of the PHC.
John


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 07:06 AM

Giok, I knew there must be some benefit from living in the "Silicon Corridor" near sunny Bracknell (gateway to...er, nowhere special) There are so many B****y masts around here (not to mention Imperial College's ageing research nuclear reactor)I'm surprised we can't all pick up digital radio on our umbrellas and glow in the dak like the Reddibrek ads!

RtS
(Tho' we did buy it for the Britcom from "wireless" days!)


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,DA
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 12:03 PM

Someone here said a good singer lets you see his character, that's the problem I have with GK's singing. The affectation his ego insists on puts up a brick wall. He can't let down his guard for a milllisecond. Must suck to be him. That said, I love his monolouges.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 12:30 PM

Garrison has a mellifluous voice and is a great story teller in the tradition of Lee Hays.
I understand his frustration at wanting to be heard as a singer and I think that all of
the disparaging remarks about him and his accomplishments are off the mark. He was out there on the line for freedom and justice while many of his detractors were sitting on their butts doing nothing.

The PHC is innovative and gave an opportunity for many fine talented people to present themselves to the public that the regular media would have ignored.

I see a lot of sour grapes here.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 12:53 PM

I like his singing. Of course, I also like Leo Kottke's singing, so take it with a grain of salt.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 01:05 PM

Do you like Louis Armstrong's singing? I do. No Bel Canto there.

Singing goes beyond mere vocal technique. Whether you're Jussi Bjorling or Louis Armstong, the public generally recognizes good singing when they hear it.

Vocal training can help but it not the entire picture. What is does mainly is to help save your voice.

I would be honored to sing with Garrison Keillor.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 01:11 PM

I've stopped listening to PHC for the second time because of his singing and self-indulgence.

It is good to be the king.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 01:17 PM

Excellent point made, Frank, as you so often do. I really like Townes Van Zandt's voice, for example, when singing his own songs. In fact, I like his singing much better than his voice, if you follow me.
Along this line, Steve Earl has a voice that rubs lots of people the wrong way, but few sing with more conviction. The early Dylan had the same kind of voice, as does your friend Mr McGuinn, although I believe Roger's tonal quality was very distinctive. One of my favorite singer/songwriters is Jay Farrar, who fronted Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt, and his voice has a mournful nasal tone that some people find annoying. To me it has that Appalachian Mountain quality that lends authenticity to the words.
I do think Garrison's voice is very like his personality, and he can be repulsively down-home and folksy at points when you aint in the mood, but for those of us who enjoy rhubarb pie, it often hits the spot.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,chcuk enuff
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 11:46 AM

I love Garrison - the Writer's Almanac and Guy Noir especially. The cowboys too.

As to the singing, he has a church choir voice. He is brave, I'll say that. As was sung by Levon Helm once upon a time...

"Can't Take The Way He Sings, But I Love To Hear Him Talk"

I think the audience is so square they think it's ok. I recall when he had some blues revue performing - the audience was very definitely clapping on 1 and 3. All of them, nuff said.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 03:00 PM

"Garrison has a mellifluous voice" For anyone who doesn't know, not really.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 03:23 PM

I never thought I was any great shakes as a singer, but I used to get together with friends and take my turn. Then someone told me I sound like Garrison Keillor. Now I only sing at home alone.

I love his story-telling, and the radio dramas, and the fake commercials, and the show in general, and the movie about it. And he gets all the best singers to come on the show and perform. But then he sings along with them, and I just want to scream.

There's a lot of that in American music... a kind of compulsion to spoil anything that's too beautiful. Choral groups will sing beautiful songs, in thrilling, perfect harmony, but then they'll distort the melody at a certain point and make you want to puke. And in pop music there's always some neanderthal beating a drum with a stick while someone with a beautiful voice is singing. You might as well have a dog barking during the song. It's in movies, too. There'll be all these attractive, interesting characters behaving just like real human beings, and then Woody Allen appears. And audiences love it. It's as if the beauty is too much to bear and they have to have an annoying buzzer to break the tension.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 04:02 PM

Gee, Guest, it sounds like you keep finding cigar butts floating in the punchbowl of your life....

Ever hear of "the princess and the pea syndrome?"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 06:00 PM

Don: Thanks for your sympathy. Yes, it's true that life in mass culture can often be frustrating for people of taste and intelligence. Sometimes I envy you.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 06:41 PM

Plenty of taste and intelligence, Guest. But I'm selective about what I listen to, and I'm willing to make allowances, depending.

Folks suffering from "the princess and the pea syndrome" let anything bother them, no matter how slight and often go looking for things to whine about. They seem to think that being hypercritical makes them "refined."

Don Firth

P. S. I do, however, draw the line when I'm singing a four hundred year old narrative ballad with a carefully worked out lute-style accompaniment on the guitar and some nitwit tries to accompany me on the bongos....


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 09:18 PM

Folk music, at heart, is not performance music. Some people perform it beautifully and record fine albums. To the best of my knowledge, GK has never pretended to be an accomplished singer and has not put out an albums of his song offerings, representing himself to be a fine singer.

I've been listening to PHC since it first was broadcast on the public radio station where I lived - rural WV at the time, back in the mid to late 70's. Missed it when GK took his hiatus in the late 80's. Listen to it any Saturday (or Sunday when I miss the Sat. broadcast) whenever I am near a radio at the opportune time.

Terrific show. Terrific and remarkably creative person, is Garrison K. His vocal technique has improved over the years, and he is more often on pitch. I applaud him for singing and think he has earned the right by virtue of his obvious love of folk music as well as other musical genres, especially in light of the time and energy and creativity he obviously continues to pour into that show, and into our national dialogue.

If anyone understands, appreciates and supports what it means to be 'just folks' and how powerful that is, it is GK. He articulates, with remarkable insight, compassion and acceptance, the beauty, humor, contradictions, conflicts and passions of ordinary North American life.

He is an American treasure, in my opinion. He doesn't have to be a great vocalist. But he can and should sing. As should anyone who wants to do so.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 09:24 PM

Right on!

Well said, Janie!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 02:38 AM

Enjoy him while you can!

Minnpost By Joe Kimball | 03/11/15

Keillor, 71, is appearing tonight in North Charleston, and did a Q and A with the Charleston City Paper. One of the questions:

CP: Do you ever think you'll be finished with Lake Wobegon?

GK: Certainly. Any day now. It'll dawn on me that I've said all I can say and I will say, "Thank you," and walk away.

And asked if there's anywhere else, besides the Midwest, where he'd like to live, he said: "New York City," where he and his wife have an apartment. "It's our version of a lake cabin, a pied-a-terre on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, not far from Central Park, fifteen minutes from Broadway."


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 09:00 AM

So to summarize Janie's post, he's a bad singer but in folk music it's important to have bad singers singing along with the good singers so as not to be elitist.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: PHJim
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 09:42 AM

While I guess there are some singers who can safely be called "bad singers", for the most part, who is a bad singer is very relative. I would rather listen to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Iris Dement, Garrison Keilor or Karen Dalton than Josh Groben or Celine Dion, but I'm sure there are those who feel just the opposite. Whatever floats your boat.
It's Garrison's show and if he wants to sing on it, that's his choice. If he alienates some of his audience, it's their choice not to listen.
This reminds me of clips on Youtube from Pete Seeger's old Rainbow Quest show. People who don't understand the concept of the show make comments like, "I wish the dude with the banjo would just shut up."

GUEST,sorefingers has obviously spent a good deal of time listening to Prairie Home Companion. A bit of a masochist perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 01:42 PM

My problem with GK - he's was once an excellent, spellbinding storyteller, and a wonderful outlet for music. When I listen now, I turn it off as soon as he starts singing, beyond the theme song. It's just awful. But that's not my real problem. It's when he foists himself onto the guest bands, to sing along on their songs. Extremely rude, and what is a guest going to say? This type of music doesn't get much radio exposure. Grin n'bare it!
And the show is a mess. It's little more than a sound-effects show, with some singing. In the early 80's, he was like a god on the radio. Today, he sounds like an asthmatic guy lost in the mall.
I was in an old time band. Wherever we were in the van, at the appointed time, the tour van would get very quiet, except for laughter.
It may be 20 years since I've really listened to the show. Seriously, I can't anymore. It sullies the memory, and it's an awful show. I have no idea what it's like today.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 03:35 PM

That's the way I feel, too. It's a shame that what would otherwise be a great cultural artifact, with the best modern folk musicians appearing as guests every week, is instead unbearable tripe just because of one bad singer who won't shut up.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 04:52 PM

When I worked in radio (DJ, newscaster, general broadcasting) back in the late Sixties, Seventies, and early Eighties, I would get the occasional call from a listener who was pissed off for some reason or other at what we were broadcasting. An old time radio veteran told me early on that when some of these people called, a good response was, "You will note that your radio has at least two buttons. One changes the station, the other turns your radio off. I suggest that if you don't like what you're hearing, you use either one or the other."

One was an "easy listening" station, and occasionally someone who call up and bitch about the "bland elevator music." Another was a classical music station and once in a while someone would call and whine about "all that 'longhair stuff'." Considering the number of poeple who listened regularly and enjoyed what we broadcast, all I can think of to tell the complainers (politely, of course) is "Tough Nabiscos, Charlie!!"

Millions of people listen to Prairie Home Companion and listen to Garrison Keillor's story telling and singing, thoroughly enjoy it, and have for many years. If you don't like Keillor or the program in general, nobody's point a gun at your head and making you listen.

("Whine, whine, whine....")

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 05:10 PM

Many of us are "of an age" where we have learned that if we don't like what we are doing/hearing, we don't do it or listen to it.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 05:28 PM

And as to Garrison Keillor being a "bad singer...."

I've heard one helluva lot worse at folk clubs, song circles--and on records!

Thomas Hampson or Leonard Warren he's not, but he doesn't really present himself as a singer. He's more of a raconteur, or story teller, writer, humorist.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 07:54 PM

Of all the things in this sorry world to get wildly upset about, Garrison Keillor's singing is surely not one of them. I am amazed to see that one or two contributors to this strange thread apparently have spent years mulling over this non-issue, never making peace with it. Jeez, get a life.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: CapriUni
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 08:04 PM

Does anyone here remember the point in time where he switched the lyrics of the opening song from:

"I smell the onions ... I look around for you..." to:

"I smell the roses ..."?

I tuned in, once, after having drifted away for a while, and the lyric change threw me, because the show had always been part of our family dinner time (and more often than not, there were onions frying in the pan.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Janie
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 08:16 PM

Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 09:00 AM

So to summarize Janie's post, he's a bad singer but in folk music it's important to have bad singers singing along with the good singers so as not to be elitist.


I accept that is your interpretation, but will note, simply in the fwiw department, that interpretation and summary are not synonyms.



So. Some folks love him, some folks hate him. Some folks formerly admired him and now they don't. Some folks either don't mind or actually enjoy his singing, even while no one is asserting he is a fine vocal performer in the singing department, and some folks find they can no longer tolerate listening to PHC because his singing ruins all of it, past, present, or some combination of the two, for them.

Different strokes for different folks. I'm not an idiot for enjoying and admiring him, including the fact that he chooses to sing. Those who don't share my enjoyment and admiration are also not idiots.

As several folks have already said, if you don't like it, turn the dial.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 08:24 PM

quote: ...he doesn't really present himself as a singer...

No one here has suggested that he presents himself as a singer, whatever that means. Our complaint is that he sings more than all the other people on the show combined, regardless of whether or not that constitutes presenting himself as a singer, thereby making it impossible to listen to the show and enjoy the parts of it that are good, and it's especially that he sings while very good singers are performing, thereby ruining their performance with his flaccid singing voice.

The point that you've made in many, many other posts in this thread is clearly understood: you're saying that nothing matters except what sells. If a performer finds an audience, no one can criticize that performer; they can only choose not to listen. It's not necessary for you to keep repeating that like a street-corner evangelist. We get it. You're entitled to that opinion, and I believe it's also held by many very wealthy people who control media outlets, so it's probably not a view that is seriously threatened and in need of your courageous defense.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 08:56 PM

I find it pretty funny when Keillor clowns around with singers like his fairly frequent guest, opera singer Renee Fleming. She obviously gets a real snort out of it, too, as do other singers that he sings with.

And the audience plainly gets a kick out of it.

Chacun à son gout.

You will note that he always gives other guest singers on the show plenty of chance to do their own thing without him.

...two knobs on your radio....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 09:04 PM

And Guest, NO ONE is saying that "nothing matters except what sells!"

What DOES matter is that enough people enjoy the show to keep listening to it--and Keillor--year after year. Otherwise, it wouldn't have lasted for decades.

'Nuff said on this non-subject.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 01:43 AM

'Nuff said on this non-subject.

Yes, 19 posts does seem like enough, particularly from someone who considers it a non-subject, and who doesn't really have a strong feeling on the subject but simply wants to tell other people not to express their feelings.

Not that you've said 19 different things. Your 19th post says pretty much exactly the same thing as your first post and most of the intervening ones.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 02:13 AM

Some things have to be repeated until they finally sink in. But it looks like there is still a way to go.

Instead of pissing and moaning here, Guest, why don't you write to Keillor (easy enough to do--PHC has a website) and tell him to shut up.

And see how far you get.

The show's been on the air since July of 1976, and it has a large fan base, so Keillor must be doing something right. So I guess everybody's out of step except you....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 10:37 AM

Just want to go on record in support of Garrison Keillor's singing. I think that he has a pleasant voice and I enjoy hearing him sing. I would never force anyone else to listen to his program or to his singing. I would not want him forced to stop singing or have his program pulled off the air because somewhere in this universe there is someone who does not find him entertaining. On the other hand if what he offered was more commercial, he would probably be on a major network where more stuff could be sold instead of NPR.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 12:33 PM

Arkie, maybe you're right. Maybe we shouldn't use the enormous power of this forum thread to force Garrison Keillor to stop singing or to pull his program off the air. It would be cruel to use our power in that way. Thanks for setting me straight on that point. I now disagree with whomever you think suggested that.

Many people like his singing as much as you do, even among the people who've posted to this forum thread. Others think his singing isn't very good, and even some of them think he should continue singing anyway, for various reasons.

But some of us find his singing unpleasant enough, especially when he sings along with much better singers, and frequent enough that we can't stand to listen to his show any more, even though it still has many very good features. The fact that we feel that way seems to upset some people so much that they hear us trying to have him removed from the airwaves, and they have to tell us repeatedly (20 times so far in one case) that we're not allowed to feel that way, and to insult us by calling us princesses, and whiners, and hypercritical.

Don, I can certainly understand why you might think that "Some things have to be repeated until they finally sink in." I've tried several times to make it clear that I understood your point the first time, but you keep repeating the same point without further clarification or an explanation of how my understanding is flawed.

The argument you've made that Keillor's singing must be good because he's so popular could be made much more strongly for Miley Cyrus. Does that mean I can't dislike her performances?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: EBarnacle
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 12:53 PM

I dislike all whiney voiced singers, most of whom seem to be in the current pop genre.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 01:38 PM

Guest, the solution to your traumatic situation is idiot simple:

If you don't like Garrison Keillor,
DON'T LISTEN TO HIM!!!


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 02:47 PM

Don, when I suggested that you might clarify your point rather than just repeating it with the same words you used in posts 1 through 20, I didn't mean to use larger typeface. In fact, post 21 is a turn for the worse. Now, instead of resembling the type of street-corner evangelist who stands on the same corner day after day repeating the same message in the same monotone, you seem like the wild-eyed type who runs up to people and shouts in their faces.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 03:07 PM

Guest, you seem sufficiently thick that only shouting will get through to you. I've given you the simple solution to your problem, which few other people seem to share. Whether or not I like Keillor's singing is not the issue here. YOU are the one with the problem and apparently don't know how to solve it.

Let me repeat the solution for you: If you don't like Garrison Keillor, don't listen to him.

Simple as that. Now stop wasting band width and pestering other people.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 06:16 PM

Yes, that may very well be what the wild-eyed evangelist is thinking as he shouts in people's faces, i.e. that they're so thick that only shouting will get through to them. Thanks for sharing that perspective.

I'm glad to see that you've calmed down and gone back to issuing your orders to me in a normal font. But it makes me no more inclined to obey your orders. You're still comporting yourself like a crazy person, albeit now a droning rather than a screaming crazy person -- without the bulging eyes, and possibly not drooling.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 06:50 PM

I think Garrison has a great sense of humour and his singing is above average. He sings in tune, and has a good sense of harmony even though the quality of his voice may not be fantastic.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 06:59 PM

Jayzuz, look who's talking!!!

Guest, I'm not trying to issue orders. If you want to listen to Prairie Home Companion and writhe in abject agony when Garrison Keillor raises his voice in song, go right ahead. Just shut up about it or expect to get flak.

Whether one likes or dislikes a particular singer is a matter of taste, made up of various factors. I am not stranger to singing—and a whole variety of voices, some of which I like very much, some of which I don't particularly care for, and some of which I dislike enough to avoid if at all possible.

I studied singing with three different voice teachers over a period of several years (one of whom was retired from the Metropolitan Opera), so I am no stranger to good vocal technique.   My own voice is good enough so that I've had a fairly successful career locally as a singer of folk songs and ballads, singing in coffeehouses, doing concerts, and singing a number of times on television (including my own series, "Ballads and Books," sponsored by the Seattle Public Library). People have compared my singing voice to that of Ed McCurdy, and a few people have told me I sound like Gordon Bok (I like that!!).

I grew up listening to the usual run of pop singers on the radio (Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams), and my wife and I are subscribers (season ticket holders) to Seattle Opera, which is the fourth largest opera company in the country, featuring internationally known singers, so I've been privileged to hear some of the world's best. I was very familiar with folk singers who populated the so-called "folk revival" in the Fifties and Sixties and beyond, many of whom I have heard in person. As to recent pop and rock singers, I rarely, if ever, listen to them. I don't even know what Miley Cyrus sounds like.

Of the vast number of singers I am familiar with, I can say with confidence that Garrison Keillor sings with reasonably good vocal technique (breath support, placement) and his voice is a fairly mellifluous baritone. Although he is no Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Keillor's singing voice is better than average. Especially for someone who doesn't bill himself as a singer.

Guest, the problem is yours, not Keillor's. Once again—if you don't like him, don't listen to him. If you want to listen to him and lie there twitching in pain in front of your radio, that's your choice.

But because YOU don't like Garrison Keillor does not mean that he has a "bad voice." It's not great, but it's reasonably pleasant, and most people find it that way.

There is one well-known folk singer that a lot of people seem to like who just about makes me want to throw up. But I don't go around bad-mouthing him, I just don't listen to him.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 08:52 PM

Garrison & Chet

Judge for yourself.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 09:26 PM

Sorry, Guest, but the sound card in my computer is on the fritz. Most frustrating.

But I have heard them both and what I said still stands.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 10:05 PM

In the video that another guest linked to Keillor sounds pretty good. But he also looks pretty young. That might explain why I used to be able to listen to the show. I listened to it nearly every week, for many years. Perhaps back then he sang better, or less often, or maybe he let other people sing without him more often. I still try to listen to it, but as others have pointed out, it quickly becomes intolerable because of his ubiquitous singing, especially on top of the better singers that I'd like to hear.

Don, I'm glad to see you writing like the sane and intelligent person that I knew all along you must be. But I note that you still told me to "just shut up about it" and yet in the same paragraph said that you're "not trying to issue orders." That's worrisome, as is the fact that you've posted 24 times to a forum thread entitled "Garrison Keillor the bad singer who .." when you apparently don't even agree that he's a bad singer.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 10:22 PM

No, I don't agree that he's a bad singer. Not great, but not bad.

Pardon me for getting exasperated with you, Guest, but you have some issues yourself.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: EBarnacle
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 10:26 PM

This "discussion" reminds me of the man who, when asked why he was hitting himself on the head with a hammer replied, I would, but it feels so good when I stop."


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: EBarnacle
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 10:34 PM

And, yes, the previous post was meant to be missing an essential element.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 12:42 PM

Don, I understand that you're exasperated. For myself, I don't mind; but your exasperation does seem a little excessive and maybe a cause for concern.

After all, it's common for people on Mudcat and other internet forums to use a dedicated thread to commiserate about what they feel is a lamentable fact of life in the world at large. All I'm trying to do is participate in one such thread and discuss the issue with other people who share my feelings.

It's less common for someone else to join that thread and tell the people involved in discussing the theme of the thread that they're not allowed to discuss it or to feel the way they do. For someone to do that 24 times, with vehemence and extra-large fonts, is something you'd normally only find on the Free Republic forum.

The theme of this thread is one that does no harm to anyone. Not being a good singer is not a sin, nor anything to be ashamed of, especially for someone who's as skilled as Keillor is at so many other things. His audience is large, and that won't be affected by anything we say here.

Moreover, you kept saying, and are still saying, that the reason for your numerous and highly repetitive posts is that I'm too dense to understand your very simple point. But I think there's evidence in all my posts that I'm not particularly dense and have given a great deal of thought to the subject. I'm sure you're not so extremely dense as you've made me out to be, because if you were you probably wouldn't be able to operate a computer. That makes it hard to understand why you would accuse me of mental incapacity, and why you would be so intolerant and so vociferous in your attempts to suppress free expression.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 01:05 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-MJ12VZaz8


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 01:15 PM

When it comes to "numerous and highly repetitive posts," Guest, before you criticize me, you might count your own. And I'm not accusing you of mental incapacity, nor am I attempting to suppress free expression.

Guest, this exchange is obviously fruitless. I'm not going to waste any more time on it. I have other, more productive matters to attend to. Goodbye.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: PHJim
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 03:18 PM

GUEST, You started out using a distinguishable name in this thread, but have now gone to posting with no name. In order to avoid confusion between you and any other GUEST, please go back to using a unique name.

It seems a little hypocritical for you to be criticising Don Firth for repeating the same arguments. I haven't heard much new information from your last 10 or 15 comments.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 06:08 PM

Don: Of course you're free to stop posting here if you wish. You've already done a great deal to keep this thread alive, which is surprising given your feeling about it. I would have thought you'd prefer to see it go away. I'm not going to urge you to keep posting, any more than I urged you not to post or not to give your opinion. I won't particularly miss our conversation. As you say, it's been largely a waste of time; but defending free speech is important to me.

PHJim: I've made 10 posts to this thread before this one, and all of them as an anonymous guest. My first post was on June 16 at 3:23pm. I didn't expect to make a second post, but when Don called me a princess I felt obliged to insult him back, and each time he ordered me not to express my opinion I felt obliged to express my opinion again. In so doing I added a great deal more information; I'm sorry you didn't see that. Perhaps you didn't read my posts carefully, but there's no reason why you should.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 07:34 PM

Anonymous Guest, I did NOT order you not to express your opinion! Don't add lying to you're inability to judge the quality of singers.

I did not intend to continue this conversation, but if you're going to start telling lies about what I've written, I'm sure going to point them out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 02:23 AM

I am a churchgoing type, and I don't feel I've been to church unless it had a lot of participatory music to it.

If for some reason I am stuck at home and unable to make it to a service of a Sunday morning, PHC (including GK's singing) makes a pretty darn good substitute.

On another note, anyone who posts as an anonymous GUEST should be aware that this sets them up to be mistaken by everyone else (even the other anonymous GUESTs!) for any and all of the other anonymous GUESTs.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 03:11 PM

What is the advantage to joining mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,dave
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 03:28 PM

Astonishingly, I find that this guy's radio programme is broadcast in Britain! By the BBC! Why? I had never heard of him before, but having read up on him I don't see what he has to offer a non-American audience.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Shakes
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 03:32 PM

I've taken the identity "Shakes" in response to two posts about confusion due to my anonymous posting. My first post began "I'm no great shakes as a singer." I've made 11 posts since then, generally in reply to Don Firth's insults and instructions on what to do with my opinions. This is my twelfth post. The brief post made 25 minutes ago is not mine.

Haruo: You've raised an interesting point about anonymous guest posting. It's off topic, but if you don't mind I'd like to pursue it anyway. There hasn't been much progress in the original topic, probably because Don Firth's courageous role as annoying curmudgeon/bridge troll has scared off people who would otherwise like to cross the bridge and finish the OP's title sentence.

In pointing out that I could be mistaken for other anonymous guests, I assume you were giving me a heads up, like saying my fly is open. If so, thanks for the consideration. But although I wouldn't want to go around in public with my fly open, I really don't have any misgivings about being mistaken for other anonymous guests. So now I'm curious as to whether most people do have misgivings about that, and if so, why they do. And I pose this question not just to Haruo, but also to anyone else; if indeed anyone else is reading this long and tedious thread.

When I read an internet forum, I'm only interested in the ideas presented. I read each post to see if it has any ideas I'm interested in, but usually without being aware of who made the post. If I post, I think of it as just adding another idea to the discussion. I don't see why it matters whose idea it is. Can anyone explain that?

I also believe that internet forums would be more productive if everyone took the same approach. I think the need to protect the virtual ego of a user ID leads to a lot of ridiculous bickering. The same would be true with real-world identities and egos, except that in the real world I think people are more careful about what they say and don't as often get into a position of needing to defend an ego. Just as some very polite and considerate people turn into homicidal maniacs when they get behind the wheel of a car, it seems to me that many people who would not reply to an opinion expressed in a normal conversation with an ad hominem attack or insult directed against the speaker will nevertheless respond in exactly that way on an internet forum. And I suspect that many forum users react viscerally to each new user ID that appears on the forum in the same way that the males in a wolf pack or chimpanzee community react to a new lone male that appears near their circle, i.e. as another potential challenge to their authority.

Also, Haruo: Your description of listening to PHC sounds just like my experience with the show in the past, beginning in the late 70's (I also share your feelings about church services; in my church we sing the entire service, and in theory at least everyone joins in). So I'm curious as to how long you've been listening to it and how often or how many shows you've heard.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 03:34 PM

Nothing - apart from words and music.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: PHJim
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 06:10 PM

Off topic - After Rick Fielding turned me onto this site some years ago, I posted as GUEST,Jim for a few years, till it was pointed out that I was not the only GUEST,Jim posting, so, in order to avoid taking credit/blame for someone else's posts, I became a mudcat member.
Sorry GUEST,Shakes, I had assumed that you and GUEST,sorefingers were one and the same, since you seemed to have very similar views about Mr. Keillor's vocal abilities.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 07:09 PM

ot

a hate inspired troll should not be allowed the privilege of privacy.
A professional or celebrity of any status should be afforded the privilege


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 08:18 PM

Guest, Shakes must be new to internet forums because if he responds so vociferously to the fact that I disagree with his evaluation of Garrison Keillor's singing and general skill as an entertainer as an egregious "personal insult" to him, then he's going to find internet forums in general a rough row to hoe. At no point have I tried to limit his freedom of speech as he claims, and other than the fact that I have disagreed with his expressed opinions, I have no power to do so.

On the basis of how vigorously he attacks me for disagreeing with him, I can quite justifiably claim that HE is trying to limit MY freedom of speech.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: PHJim
Date: 20 Jun 15 - 11:57 PM

Donuel, What about hate inspired troll who are professionals or celebrities of some status. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 02:51 PM

My local NPR station plays Prairie Home Companion on Saturday afternoons, then repeats the same show Sunday morning. I'm listening to it right now, and it's a good, entertaining variety show with a lot of good music and singing, some of which is done by Garrison Keiller.

Since it's Father's Day today, one of the songs that Keillor sings is a sentimental song about remembering his father. I'm sorry for the hyper-critics out there, but anyone who could listen to him sing that song without getting a bit choked up is ready for the coroner to put a tag on his toe and close the drawer.

Nothing wrong with Keillor's singing. As I've said before, he'll never replace Leonard Warren or Robert Merrill, but he does a pretty good job of putting a song across.

I feel sorry for those who are so prejudiced against Keillor that they can't hear it….

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: PHJim
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 04:34 PM

The quality of radio programming has dropped off a lot since the rise of TV. I don't really enjoy listening to the average DJ playing songs that are on a prescribed play-list. It's not easy to find interesting radio programming any more.
Living in Canada, I depended on CBC for interesting programming. The quality of CBC has gone down over the last decade, but it's still miles ahead of whatever's in second place.
Garrison Keillor's PHC is the type of programming that we used to be able to access every day. I'd hate to lose it.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Shakes
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 12:42 AM

The two videos that people have posted links to are very interesting, especially when compared to each other.

The first video shows a young Keillor, who we've been told repeatedly doesn't present himself as a singer, nevertheless singing a solo on a nationally broadcast live auditorium show, with Chet Atkins as his accompanist.

The second video shows an older Keillor not presenting himself as a singer in a duet with a young woman, with back-up singing by the large choir that the woman is a member of.

In the first video, Keillor sounds pretty good. Not great, as everyone here has agreed, but pleasant, and certainly nothing that would make you turn off your radio.

The second video is where we disagree. Some of us think Keillor sounds terrible there. His singing is much worse than in the first video, with breathing problems, clumsy phrasing and articulation, a heavy droning character, and problems staying on key. But the main problem is that it's juxtaposed against some very good singers, whom we'd like to hear without a clown aping their effort. Even if his singing hadn't deteriorated since the time of the first video, using a group like that as a backdrop for Keillor's singing makes him sound worse than if he were to sing alone or with a chorus of winos.

Also, in the first video the hymns themselves are very good, whereas the song in the second video is insipid -- a typical PHC parody, using goofy, hastily-written lyrics roughly set to a time-honored melody. I wouldn't mind if Keillor alone performed something like that, or he along with the radio drama cast members or the house band musicians or random members of the audience; but to use a large choir of talented and trained singers for that nonsense seems inappropriate and insulting. It's taking people who've worked hard on their singing and who excel at it and saying, "See, they're just screw-ups like the rest of us." That could be funny once or twice, but it's a joke that gets very old when repeated every week.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 01:15 AM

He was quite good in today's program, Guest, Shakes.

As I keep pointing out, there are two knobs on your radio....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 12:16 PM

"having read up on him I don't see what he has to offer a non-American audience." He has a dry wit. I hope the country that watched Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps could find something to like in him.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 02:23 PM

having read up on him I don't see what he has to offer a non-American audience.

His books sell pretty well in the UK, so he's obviously reaching somebody.

There are a lot of radio personalities in the US that it's worth getting angry about. Save the bile for Glenn Beck or somebody.


👍---mudelf


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 04:49 PM

Joseph, never watched Two pints of Lager, but looking it up I see it had Sheridan Smith in it, who was quite superb in Black Work, the first episode of which was on last night.

A better parallel might be the Pub Landlord (Al Murray). He is very funny in a British context but I cannot see that anyone from (say) the USA would see the jokes, as he is poking fun at a distinctly British (maybe even south-east English) stereotype.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,CJ
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 01:16 PM

Guest Shakes - In Joseph Scott's video I think Garrison is singing like that on purpose. He can sing better, but in that instance it's more like a comedy skit and he's playing the part of someone who can't sing very well, and all the other people keep telling him to please stop. They sing it like an opera, but it's funny so it's like a comedy skit opera.

Oftentimes in the skits Garrison plays the sad sack who everyone makes fun of. Sometimes he'll play a young man who's trying to make it in the art world, but his art is just junk, and he just ignores it when people tell him it is. Only then they'll just say the words instead of singing them because it's not about a singer.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 02:26 PM

In a lot of what Keillor does on "Prairie Home Companion" is a joke or a parody--part of a skit. It would appear that Guest Shakes simply isn't getting the jokes....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 03:39 PM

Keillor's stories about Scandinavian-Americans routinely poke fun at their politeness and reservedness. No wonder Keillor and Michael Palin like each other.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Shakes
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 05:31 PM

I like that kind of humor, as long as it doesn't involved singing basset hounds.

What's the connection between Michael Palin and Scandinavian-Americans? Isn't he English? One of his movies, A Private Function, is on my all-time ten best list, and another one, The Missionary, is not far behind.

A Danish-Swedish friend once told me that's a misconception about the reserve, that it's really only Swedes who are like that, and Danes and Norwegians are anything but. He had a story about some Scandinavians who were shipwrecked on a deserted island, and when the rescue ship came one of the groups (Danes or Norwegians, I can't remember which) had just finished building a boat, and another group had just finished drinking all the beer from the wrecked ship, but the Swedes still weren't talking to each other because they hadn't been introduced.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 08:44 PM

A stereotype which I have not found to be all that accurate.

In one of the Seattle coffeehouses where I sang during the early Sixties, one of the other singers was Britt Mongstadt, a young Swedish exchange student attending the University of Washington. Quite outgoing as I recall. She had a substantial repertoire of Scandinavian and other folk songs and for the short period of time she was here, she was one of the favorite singers at the coffeehouse.

Also, currently, in the cooperative apartment where my wife and I live, a Swedish woman named Mariam (don't recall her last name) maintains a pied á terre for when she is in Seattle. She and I got to talking about Sven Scholander, the Swedish lute-singer who was mentor to the young Richard Dyer-Bennet way back. Mariam loaned me a mess of CDs she had, a boxed set consisting of old recordings of Scholander, plus a whole batch of similar singers—modern day "minstrels," a tradition that she tells me is still alive in Sweden. Interesting stuff!

Mariam is quite friendly and outgoing.

Of course, there's a whole encyclopedia of jokes about how slow and thick-headed Swedish men are—told mostly by Swedish men….

Sven and Ole take jobs on a house construction site. Sven steps into the on-site trailer where the boss's office is. "Boss, when we build this house, do we start with the roof or the foundation?"

The boss looks at Sven, aghast, and says, "You start with the foundation!"

Sven sticks his head out the trailer door and shouts, "Hey, Ole! Come on down!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 24 Jun 15 - 03:18 AM

Another reason why I don't think Keillor would be well understood in Britain. The only stereotypes we have about Swedes concern nudity and mixed saunas. The ones about slowness we reserve for Americans. Used to be Irish, but not so much now.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Jun 15 - 03:42 AM

Shakes wrote,

"When I read an internet forum, I'm only interested in the ideas presented. I read each post to see if it has any ideas I'm interested in, but usually without being aware of who made the post. If I post, I think of it as just adding another idea to the discussion. I don't see why it matters whose idea it is. Can anyone explain that?

"I also believe that internet forums would be more productive if everyone took the same approach. I think the need to protect the virtual ego of a user ID leads to a lot of ridiculous bickering. The same would be true with real-world identities and egos, except that in the real world I think people are more careful about what they say and don't as often get into a position of needing to defend an ego. Just as some very polite and considerate people turn into homicidal maniacs when they get behind the wheel of a car, it seems to me that many people who would not reply to an opinion expressed in a normal conversation with an ad hominem attack or insult directed against the speaker will nevertheless respond in exactly that way on an internet forum. And I suspect that many forum users react viscerally to each new user ID that appears on the forum in the same way that the males in a wolf pack or chimpanzee community react to a new lone male that appears near their circle, i.e. as another potential challenge to their authority."

Shakes, I think you're missing something about this particular internet forum. Among the people who have been here a few years, and that's a lot of people, there is a real sense of community, of knowing each other as individuals. You can see it in the obit threads for Catspaw (Pat Patterson), for Art Thieme, for Jean Ritchie (kytrad), for a few others. Sure, one evaluates the ideas on their own merits, but one also associates them with the people who posted them, and one builds up a picture of the poster, and it adds something intangible but very powerful to the discussion, to the interaction. It's not just ideas, either. It's jokes and stories, it's tales of woe and tales of triumph, it's feelings and emotions.

This is actually true of most of the internet fora I've participated in. Maybe you're just not going to the right sectors of the internet. Or maybe community is not what you're looking for. But community is what Mudcat has, and it's why Mudcatters would like to be able to associate a unique identifier to each poster.

Does that answer your questions?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Shakes
Date: 24 Jun 15 - 12:22 PM

Gerry: Yes, thanks, that does explain it very clearly. I was thinking of Mudcat from the Vulcan point of view, as just a storehouse for information about folk music. Human emotions often surprise and confuse me. They seem to pervade everything, even when the only physical connection is the movement of electrons through wires and microprocessors.

Perhaps that perception of a virtual community explains the many reactions against the theme of this thread as compared with, for example, the "I am sick of the Beatles" thread. Is Keillor thought of as a member of this community?

Would you say that the problems I touched on earlier, such as responding to an idea with an ad hominem attack or insult against the person who presented the idea rather than responding to the idea itself, don't happen among people who think of themselves as part of the Mudcat virtual community? I think that would be the case in a real-world community. Are the people who do that either outsiders themselves or else replying to someone they think of as an outsider?


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 24 Jun 15 - 12:31 PM

"What's the connection between Michael Palin and Scandinavian-Americans?" Palin finds humor in Brits' politeness and reservedness, and Keillor finds humor in Minnesotans' politeness and reservedness, and Palin appreciates Keillor's work and vice-versa.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 24 Jun 15 - 12:44 PM

Arthur Pewty would be at home in Minneapolis.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Jun 15 - 10:18 PM

Shakes asked,

"Would you say that the problems I touched on earlier, such as responding to an idea with an ad hominem attack or insult against the person who presented the idea rather than responding to the idea itself, don't happen among people who think of themselves as part of the Mudcat virtual community? I think that would be the case in a real-world community. Are the people who do that either outsiders themselves or else replying to someone they think of as an outsider?"

I think ad hominem occurs wherever there are hominids. I think there is less ad hominem on Mudcat than on many other internet sites (but don't mention MacColl). I have never done a study to determine whether what ad hominem there is comes from outsiders, or is directed at outsiders, or what, and I decline to offer an opinion.

We are way off-topic here. You may want to post a question, in the BS section, about Mudcat sociology. I should perhaps note that all my experience with Mudcat has come from above the line, as I almost never look at the BS portion.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: Acme
Date: 24 Jun 15 - 11:48 PM

A story (many years ago) on PHC described the process one goes through when visiting a Norwegian home.

You visit for a few minutes, and then the host offers pie and coffee.

"No, no thank you. I'm fine."

A few minutes later, the host again offers pie and coffee. Again it is declined.

Only on the third offer is the reticence set aside, and the pie and coffee accepted.

Keillor nailed it, something I'd never realized we did in our family. If you grew up in a Norwegian home, you know this silliness to be true, and learn pretty quickly that in other cultures, the pie and coffee are only offered once. If you really wanted some, you need to accept on the first offer, because it is the last!


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 15 - 02:50 PM

I've seen something like that in Greece. It seems to vary depending on the exact relationship between the guest & host. I remember once when the guest was a young man, a friend of the son of the hosts. After they talked for a while the mom suddenly appeared with a massive feast like an invading army. They argued furiously and ridiculously for a long time, the young man insisting that he wouldn't touch a crumb. Then they settled down and ate heartily.


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 25 Jun 15 - 04:20 PM

"No, no thank you. I'm fine."

When I visited Sweden in the '80s our hosts required us to eat and eat -- the only thing that could stop the offers was consenting to eat. Day and night (not that you can tell the difference very well when the sun sets at 10 p.m.). On our last day one of the children of the family remarked, "Now we can go back to gruel."


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Subject: RE: Garrison Keillor the bad singer who ..
From: PHJim
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 12:28 PM

Folks who are critical of Garrison's singing just don't get the concept of the show. Most of the music presented on the show is roots based music. I'm sure these same people would have to criticise Roscoe Holcomb, Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley or Karen Dalton if they had ever appeared on the show.
It brings to mind the Youtube comments on Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest clips that say, "Why doesn't the dude with the banjo just shut up."
I'd be willing to bet that most of Garrison's guests enjoy singing with him.


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