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Mr. Keillor, In the movie

July 27, 2006 |

Mr. Keillor,
In the movie "Prairie Home Companion," are the "Johnson Sisters" taken from real life??

My Aunts Leona and Lois Johnson sang on WLW Radio in the 1940s and Leona named her daughter after her mother (my grandmother). Incidently, Leona Johnson married Chet Atkins. This could be a coincidence, I understand. Thanks for the information and incidently,
my daughter and I loved the movie!!

Nancy B.
Mason, OH

Nancy, I know your aunt Leona pretty well and have always teased her about coming on the show and singing a duet with me. Which she has always declined to do. She and her sister Lois, who was married to Jethro Burns, were a fine sister duet act, doing sentimental songs and novelty tunes, and when I came to write the screenplay for "A Prairie Home Companion," it occurred to me to put a sister duet in it and name them for Leona and Lois. I sort of thought of Meryl Streep as the Leona character amd so I gave my character a little wistful romance with her. Leona moved up to Chicago to tend to her sister when she was very sick and stayed until she died. That is the sort of family loyalty that you don't find too often. I haven't spoken to Leona lately, but I'm sure if she hears about the movie, she'll recognize the little tribute.

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