If you showed up on July 6, 1974, at the Janet Wallace Auditorium at Macalester College in Saint Paul and plunked down your $1 admission (50 cents for kids) to attend the very first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, you were in select company. There were about 12 people in the audience. But those in attendance thought there were worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon, so Garrison Keillor and the APHC team went on with the show for another 42 years.
In the fall of 2016, Chris Thile took over at the helm of A Prairie Home Companion. Garrison commented: “Chris is my man. … He is, I think, the great bluegrass performer of our time and he is a beautiful jazz player. There just isn’t anything he can’t do — and he is very enthusiastic about live radio.”
“I grew up with the show, says Chris. “I take this opportunity, this job, immensely seriously and with great awe.”
A Prairie Home Companion is heard by 2.6 million listeners each week on nearly 600 public radio stations, online, and on the American Forces Networks, SiriusXM Radio, Radio New Zealand, and KPRG in Guam.