A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Akron, OH with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
New Philadelphia, OH
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Kent State University. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX with our favorite regulars, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman. Additional guests to be announced.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to the McCain Auditorium in Manhattan, Kansas with our favorite regulars, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman. Additional guests to be announced.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Nashville with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
by Lee Robinson
All night while they slept
the water was rising
and as they sat at breakfast
with coffee and croissants
it was rising
while they bent over desks
in their important offices
the water rose and kept rising
as they met after work for drinks
(gin and tonic, a good chardonnay)
though they knew it was rising
they ordered another drink
and drove home through water
still rising He said I think it’s starting
to go down She said Surely someone
will tell us if we ought to leave
The children called from faraway
to say We’ve seen it on TV
She said We’re fine although by then
the water was up to the windowsills
They ate their dinner by candlelight
and went to sleep, sure that tomorrow someone
would rescue them and they would be
as safe and happy as they had always been.
“Rising” by Lee Robinson from Creed. Plain View Press © 2009. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
It was on this day in 1875 that the opera Carmen appeared on stage for the first time at the Opéra-Comique in France. When it premiered, the audience was shocked by the characters of Carmen, a gypsy girl, and her lover, Don José. Bizet died of a heart attack just three months after the opera’s debut.
Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata was published on this date in 1802. Its real name is the slightly less evocative “Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Opus 27, No. 2,” and its Italian subtitle is translated as “almost a fantasy.” In 1832, five years after Beethoven’s death, a German critic compared the sonata to the effect of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne, and the interpretation became so popular that, by the end of the century, the piece was universally known as the “Moonlight Sonata.” Beethoven himself had attributed the emotion of the piece to sitting at the bedside of a friend who had suffered an untimely death.
It’s the birthday of Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh in 1847. Most people know him as the inventor of the telephone, but that was really just an offshoot of his real life’s work, which was coming up with ways to make life easier for the hearing impaired.
It’s the birthday of American poet James Merrill (books by this author), born in New York City (1926). Merrill’s early poetry, like the collection The Country of a Thousand Years of Peace (1959) was polished and formal, but in the late sixties and early seventies he became interested in the occult and began using a Ouija board regularly to communicate with spirits, which culminated in the 560-page apocalyptic epic poem, The Changing Light at Sandover (1982).
He didn’t care much for popularity or sales, either, claiming: “Think what one has to do to get a mass audience. I’d rather have one perfect reader. Why dynamite the pond in order to catch that single silver carp?”
The Territory of Minnesota was formed on this date in 1849. It was made up of all of what’s now the state of Minnesota, plus that part of the Dakotas that lies east of the Missouri River. The area was still heavily populated with American Indians from various nations. Minnesota became the 32nd state in 1858. Four years later, 38 Dakota men were hanged in Mankato, MN, in the largest mass execution on US soil. Hundreds more were killed in the U.S. government’s campaign of genocide.
It was on this day in 1931 that “The Star-Spangled Banner” became the official national anthem of the United States.
The lyrics come from a poem written by Francis Scott Key more than a century before, “Defence of Fort McHenry.” He’d written the poem during the War of 1812 after hearing the 25 hour hearing the British bombardment of Baltimore, Maryland.
The tune for the Star-Spangled Banner comes from an old British drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven,” which was very popular at men’s social clubs in London during the 1700s. Francis Scott Key himself did the pairing of the tune to his poem. It was a big hit.
For the next century, a few different anthems were used at official U.S. ceremonies, including “My Country Tis of Thee” and “Hail Columbia.” The U.S. Navy adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” officially in 1889, and the presidency did in 1916. But it wasn’t until this day in 1931 — just 89 years ago — that Congress passed a resolution and Hoover signed into law the decree that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the official national anthem of the United States of America.
It’s the birthday of the host of “This American Life”: Ira Glass (books by this author), born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1959. He got into radio, he says, “totally by accident.” It was 1978, he was 19, had just finished his freshman year of college, and was looking for a summer job with an ad agency or a TV station. He managed to talk his way into an internship with NPR despite the fact he’d never listened to public radio. He started out as a tape cutter and as a desk assistant, graduated from Brown University, and continued working for public radio as newscast writer, editor, producer of All Things Considered, reporter, and substitute host. He moved to Chicago in 1989, and in 1995, he launched This American Life. The programs usually feature an in-depth look at the lives of ordinary people; sometimes the stories are sad, sometimes ironic, sometimes funny.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®