About Minnesota

A Prairie Home Companion

Incredible hotel deals to book now at Expedia.com!

A Prairie Home Companion was beloved by so many and we miss it. This page chronicles personal experiences with A Prairie Home Companion events and friends appearing on the show. In addition to these stories, Garrison performed at no charge at a fundraiser held at our church to benefit a mission in Haiti after the earthquake there.

This video features our friend, Bob Douglas, and his daughter - our god-daughter - Susanna.

Garrison Keillor's Long-Running Radio Show
Originated from St. Paul, Minnesota

A Prairie Home Companion began as a morning show that ran from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Minnesota Public Radio.

In 2014, Garrison and Prairie Home Companion celebrated 40 years  with a huge party on the campus of Macalaster College. It was so much fun to have "front row" seats on the lawn for this 2-day celebration.

Garrison recently announced his imminent retirement from the show however PHC will continue with a new host.

Breaking News: Garrison Keillor is now "on the road" doing shows in a variety of places. We recently saw him in Detroit Lakes and loved the more intimate experience. Look for him in your area. You can also sign up for Mr. Keillor's column The Writer's Almanac.

Prairie Home Compaion 40th Anniversary
A recent release, Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion, 1974-1976, features music and musicians from the early days of the show.

Most family vacation destinations in Minnesota include beautiful family vacation resorts, cabins, and dozens of state parks and many other top family vacations spots.

“Minnesota is a state of public-spirited and polite people, where you can get a good cappuccino and eat Thai food and find any book you want and yet live on a quiet tree-lined street with a backyard and send your kids to public school. When a state this good hits the jackpot, it can only be an inspiration to everybody.” ~ Garrison Keillor

Enjoy Prairie Home Companion Books & Music

The original Prairie Home Companion radio program bears little resemblance to the current Saturday evening show.

Garrison Keillor's interest in doing a radio variety show was sparked while he was doing research for an article about the Grand Ole Opry.

The first live broadcast took place on July 6, 1974 in the Janet Wallace Auditorium of Macalester College in St. Paul. Twelve people showed up, mostly children.

The second show featured the first performance on PHC by Butch Thompson, who became house pianist. Thompson stayed with the program until 1986, and still frequently performs on the show. If you are coming for the show, here are hotel deals in the Twin Cities:

In 1978, the show moved to the World Theater in St. Paul, which was renovated in 1986 and renamed the Fitzgerald Theater in 1994.

A Prairie Home Companion is "sponsored" by a number of fictitious products. The most well know of these imaginary products are "Powdermilk Biscuits" which was also the name of the show's original house band.

Music is a strong feature of the program; the show is a significant outlet for American folk music of many genres, especially country, bluegrass, blues and gospel, but the show also has guest performers from a wide variety of other styles of music including classical and opera and from a number of different countries.

A Prairie Home Companion
40th Anniversary

It was so much fun to attend the Prairie Home Companion 40th Anniversary weekend on the grounds of Macalaster College where the first show was performed.

When you come for a show, select your "home away from home" from hundreds of Minnesota Hotels, Resorts, or cabins

We enjoyed three days of wonderful music, food and fun. A highlight of the weekend was the community singalong on Sunday afternoon.

A special moment was when Garrison walked over to me and I got to sing with him on all the verses of Amazing Grace.

One of the show's best known features was Keillor's "News from Lake Wobegon", a weekly story-telling monologue, claiming to be a report from Keillor's fictitious hometown of Lake Wobegon, "the little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve ... where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

The opening words of the monologue: "Well, it's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, my hometown, out on the edge of the prairie." Keillor often pokes fun at the large Scandinavian-American community in the northern parts of the Midwest, with Minnesota being a primary example, and so many of his fictional characters have names that reflect this.

PHC has long been one of the most popular attractions on Minnesota's arts and culture scene.

You can relive much of the show's history, and read the writings of Garrison Keillor, as you peruse a large library of Prairie Home Companion DVDs, books and movies.

Many of the PHC shows originated from St. Paul, however the show often traveled to other cities around the U.S. and overseas. Venues included The Town Hall in New York City, Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia, Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, and the State Theater in Minneapolis. There was also a show each year at the Minnesota State Fair.

A Prairie Home Companion: The Movie

The Prairie Home Companion movie began filming on June 6, 2005 and was released on June 9, 2006. The film is a fictional representation of behind-the-scenes activities on a long-running radio show that has unexpectedly been cancelled. The film does not follow the exact format of the radio show and, notably, excludes any reference to Lake Wobegon.

This fictional film about the real radio show was written by, and starred Garrison Keillor. It also stars Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly, Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Lily Tomlin, Maya Rudolph, Woody Harrelson, Virginia Madsen, Tommy Lee Jones, and L.Q. Jones.

Robert Altman directed the film...the last film he directed before his death.

A Prairie Home Companion was distributed by Minnesota Public Radio to more than 500 public radio stations in the United States as well as other outlets. Approximately 3.9 million U.S. listeners tuned in each week as well as many listeners from outlets around the world.

Minnesota Vacations at TripAdvisor

Radio's enduring appeal - BBC interview with Garrison Keillor

A Prairie Home Companion Official Website

Minnesota Attractions

Buy A Prairie Home Companion

We do not accept guest posts. You are welcome to comment on the topics on any page. Please keep your comments topic relative. Ads and photos on our site are purchased from out graphics affiliates. Thank you.
Joy Creating

Plan Your Minnesota Vacation

Lake Superior Maps

Boundary Waters Maps

Made in Minnesota


Minnesota Visitor Site Map

About Me


Minnesota Visitor Home Page


For personalized travel information call 888-VISITMN (847-4866)

Minnesota Department of Natural resources 888-646-6367

Minnesota Historical Society 888-777-8386

Judith Ramsey - Publisher Copyright © 2005 ~ 2019 All Rights Reserved

Amazon Associates Disclosure
 - We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Photos are provided by our affiliations with Amazon, Trip Advisor, Unsplash, Expedia, and by our content providers.

Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay