A Prairie Home Companion 40th Anniversary Celebration

On Saturday Suzi and I were fortunate enough to to sit on the Macalaster College lawn surrounded by family — kids, grandkid, in-laws, nieces and nephews celebrating A Prairie Home Companion’s 40th anniversary. The whole weekend was kind of a PHC festival with outdoor stages and indoor concerts in the Macalaster Fine Arts Center and the chapel.  There were food booths, including great corn on the cob, and radio booths.  At one the PHC sound effects man recreated the sounds we all hear on the show and had kids help him create the effect of a creaking ship, a crackling … Continue reading A Prairie Home Companion 40th Anniversary Celebration

Remembering WCAL

The St. Olaf College radio station WCAL was a pioneer in broadcasting.  It went on the air as an experimental licensee 9YAJ in November 1918, as soon as the ban on radio transmission was lifted after World War I.  In 1922 it became WCAL and was, arguably, the first listener supported station in the US in 1924 when, in a financial pinch, it asked listeners and students to contribute.  From 1928 to 1954 it was completely listener supported with no help from St. Olaf College.  In 1949 it had more than 60,000 index cards with the names of donors.  WCAL … Continue reading Remembering WCAL