Garrison Keillor’s Independence Day Special

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Release date: July 02, 2006
Directed by: Alan Carter, Peter Margolis
Produced by: PBS Television
Running time: 60 minutes

In 1969, Garrison Keillor started work for Minnesota Public Radio on show called "A Prairie Home Companion" named after the Prairie Home cemetery in Moorhead, Minnesota. It was after he began writing an article for The New Yorker magazine about Nashville's Grand Ole Opry that he developed an idea for a new radio show with musical guests and commercials for imaginary products. Keillor hosted the first live broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion", which takes its name from the earlier show, on July 6, 1974.

Garrison Keillor, Meryl Streep, Annabelle Chvostek, Patrick Donohue, Richard A. Dworsky, Carol Elizabeth Jones, Arnie Kinsella, Tara Nicole Mehta, Ruth Moody, Fred Newman, Gary Raynor, Erica Rhodes, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, Jearlyn Steele, Andre Stein, Linda Williams, Carson Wyler

Since its debut in 1974, the radio broadcast is heard by more than 4 million listeners each week over National Public Radio’s 580-station network, and in June 2006 the beloved series will reach the silver screen in Robert Altman’s movie adaptation featuring an all-star ensemble cast. “Great Performances” telecasts the program’s Independence Day weekend radio broadcast from Tanglewood to a prime-time television audience, with Keillor and series regulars Sue Scott, Tim Russell, Tom Keith, and the Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band joined by special guests the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, Wailin’ Jennys, and Meryl Streep.