Keillor looks back as ‘Prairie Home’ turns 35
But don’t assume Keillor is all misty about the milestone.
“I’m not sentimental anymore. I used to be, when I was younger,” Keillor told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday at his Prairie Home Productions office, an old radio station in St. Paul.
“The thing about sentimentality is that sentimentality gets in the way of your memory. And it’s a sort of a fog. It obscures your clear memory. I’m much more interested in trying to remember clearly what went on, who I was, what we did, back in 1974 (when the show began) than I am in warm feelings about it.”
Keillor caps the latest season of “A Prairie Home Companion” with a Fourth of July broadcast from Avon, part of the central Minnesota region that helped inspire Keillor’s make-believe hometown, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.”
The performance marks 35 years since Keillor’s public radio variety show debuted on July 6, 1974, at Macalester College in St. Paul. That show, broadcast live, was watched by about a dozen people. “A Prairie Home Companion” is now heard on nearly 600 public radio stations nationwide, attracting more than 4.3 million listeners a week.
A Prairie Home Companion: www.prairiehome.org