Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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All Sorts of Doors
June 23, 2008 |
To the Host:
I was just wondering how you choose the musical guests for the show, and how someone might get an artist's information to the right hands for consideration.
People come in through all sorts of doors. The tenor Raul Melo I met at the Met at a performance of "La Boheme" — he was understudying the role of Rodolpho and we got to talking and I said, "Hey, come on the show tomorrow at Town Hall." And he did, and sang "Che gelida manina" from the opera and then came back a few weeks later and did "O Sole Mio" and brought the house to its feet. James Taylor came in through mutual acquaintances up at Tanglewood. Renee Fleming came in because she's a fan of the show and how could you turn down Renee Fleming? The Ditty Bops sent us a CD and it was very infectious and happy and completely original. Most people send in CDs or mp3 files and it all gets heard eventually and most of it is put aside pretty quickly as sounding over-produced or under-cooked or too much like too many other people. Some is too dark for our show. Some is too complicated for a live broadcast, too techno-, too studio-based. And then you hear someone who has something to say that really moves you and that's what you want.