Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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April 3, 2007 |
Post to the Host:
Garrison, I am a long time fan of PHC and also a fan of the Twins. I just read that in one of your songs you wrote "Just give me two pillows and a bottle of beer/And the Twins game on radio next to my ear/Some hark to the sound of the loon or the teal/ But I love the voice of Herb Carneal." I was just wondering if you would comment on the loss of this gentle voice.
Herb Carneal died this week at 84, who was the play-by-play announcer of the Minnesota Twins broadcasts on WCCO radio for forty-some years. He had a very pleasant Southern voice that was a natural for radio: distinctive and immediately recognizable but never abrasive or irritating. He let the game take precedence, wasn't verbose or self-dramatic, rarely had to correct himself, all of which made him outstanding in his field, but he exerted a powerful emotional pull on so many people for whom summer and the smell of fresh-cut grass and a screened porch and the voice of Herb were all bound up together. I met Herb a couple of times and he was very courtly as one might expect a baseball man to be. Herb wrote an autobiography which was pretty boring he was utterly self-effacing and hadn't a cruel bone in his body, neither of which is good for an author but as a radio man, he was one of a kind. He was the voice of summer languor. Sitting in a wicker chair on a porch, drinking a beer, wasting your life, loving the cadence of baseball, drifting along with that gentle voice. I wish they'd put a couple Twins games on CDs so that when I'm old, I could be young again now and then.