News from the Stairwell

The weblog of The Stairwell Sisters – All-Gal Old-Time String Band

News from Lake Wobegon

Stairwell Sisters with Garrison Keilor

We knew Garrison Keillor would be bringing Prairie Home Companion to San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House on Saturday, January 13; we knew we’d be a perfect fit for his old-time radio show; but we didn’t know we’d get a call to join the program until the Tuesday before. Sue screamed so loud when she found out that we heard her clear in Oakland.

Thrilled, honored and not the least bit nervous (!), we performed to the sold-out crowd of three thousand, as well as over 4 million National Public Radio listeners.

We were fascinated by the ability with which Garrison and his team transformed his brief sketches (a nostalgic and terrifying drive around San Francico; a lonely ex-San Franciscan woman’s dating life in Lake Wobegon; connecting Google with the FBI) and our tunes (Garrison expressly requesting percussive dance and hambone) first tried out at Friday night’s rehearsal into brilliant entertainment Saturday afternoon. The performance, executed according to schedule to the minute, was broadcast live to the Midwest and East and later to the West, Europe, and the American Armed Forces abroad.

We ended the show with lively Sleeping Lulu, joined by Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, twin fiddling with Stephanie and Andy Stein, and lovely local diva Maria Muldaur jumping in on her dancing feet.

Garrison is so clearly dedicated to preserving the old-time radio show as folk art; we are so pleased to have been a part of it that day.

And that’s the news from Lake Wobegon—

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3 Comments so far

  1. heck braxton February 5th, 2007 4:05 pm

    Congratulations! I was in the audience, and I really loved it. Go gals!

  2. Aurora Fox February 26th, 2007 12:32 pm

    Hi –We listened at home–and loved every minute of it! By the way, I have put a link to yout website on my blog, and now I will add a link just for your blog…so check out my blog sometime.

  3. Dave Brannigan April 2nd, 2007 6:47 pm

    What a great show! We saw you guys live and loved it!