The Sea-Wolf is a 1904 psychological adventure novel by American writer Jack London. The book's protagonist, Humphrey van Weyden, is a literary critic, a survivor of an ocean collision and who comes under the dominance of Wolf Larsen, the powerful and amoral sea captain who rescues him, its first printing of forty thousand copies was sold out before publication on the strength of London's previous The Call of the Wild. Ambrose Bierce wrote, "The great thing—and it is among the greatest of things—is that tremendous creation, Wolf Larsen... the hewing out and setting up of such a figure is enough for a man to do in one lifetime... The love element, with its absurd suppressions, impossible proprieties, is awful." The personal character of the novel's antagonist "Wolf Larsen" was attributed to a real sailor London had known, Captain Alex MacLean. According to London himself, "much of the Sea Wolf is imaginary development, but the basis is Alexander McLean". Captain Alex MacLean, or McLean, was born May 1858 in East Bay, Nova Scotia.
He did sail in the Pacific North West with his brother, Captain Dan MacLean. MacLean was at one time the Sheriff of Alaska; the MacLean Captains maintained their ties to Cape Breton Island despite having spent much of their lives sailing the Pacific Coast and do have living descendants. London, called "Wolf" by his close friends used a picture of a wolf on his bookplate, named his mansion Wolf House. Given that Van Weyden's experiences in the novel bear some resemblance to experiences London had, or heard told about, when he sailed on the Sophia Sutherland, the autodidact sailor Van Weyden has been compared to the autodidact sailor Jack London. London's intention in writing The Sea-Wolf was "an attack on super-man philosophy." Nietzsche and Schopenhauer are mentioned in the second sentence of the novel as the preferred reading of the friend Humphrey van Weyden visited before his shipwreck. The novel contains references to Herbert Spencer in chapters 8, 10, Charles Darwin in chapters 5, 6, 10, 13, Omar Khayyám in chapters 11, 17, 26, Shakespeare in chapter 5, John Milton in chapter 26.
The plot has some initial similarities to Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling in that they each have an idle, rich young man rescued from the sea and shanghaied into becoming a working sailor. The Sea Wolf tells the story of a soft, domesticated protagonist — an intellectual man named Humphrey van Weyden — forced to become tough and self-reliant by exposure to cruelty and brutality; the story starts with him aboard a San Francisco ferry, called Martinez, which collides with another ship in the fog and sinks. He is set adrift in the Bay being picked up by Wolf Larsen. Larsen is the captain of the Ghost. Brutal and cynical, yet highly intelligent and intellectual, he rules over his ship and terrorizes the crew with the aid of his exceptionally great physical strength. Van Weyden adequately describes him as an individualist and materialist. Larsen does not believe in the immortality of the soul, he finds no meaning in his life save for survival and pleasure and has come to despise all human life and deny its value.
Being interested in someone capable of intellectual disputes, he somewhat takes care of Van Weyden, whom he calls'Hump', while forcing him to become a cabin boy, do menial work, learn to fight to protect himself from a brutal crew. A key event in the story is an attempted mutiny against Wolf Larsen by several members of the crew; the organizers of the mutiny are Johnson. Johnson had been beaten by Larsen, Leach had been punched earlier while being forced to become a boat-puller, motivating the two; the first attempt is by sending Larsen overboard. Searching for his assailant, he ventures into the sleeping quarters, located beneath the main deck, the only exit being a ladder. Several, at least seven men, take part in the attack Larsen. Larsen however, demonstrating his inhuman endurance and conviction, manages to fight his way through the crew, climb the ladder with several men hanging off him, escape unharmed. Van Weyden is promoted as mate. Larsen gets his vengeance by torturing his crew, claiming that he is going to murder Leach and Johnson at his earliest convenience, being the hunting season is done, as he can't afford to lose any crew.
He allows them to be lost to the sea when they attempt to flee on a hunting boat. During this section, the Ghost picks up another set of castaways, including a poet named Maud Brewster. Miss Brewster and van Weyden had known each other previously—but only as writers. Both Wolf Larsen and van Weyden feel attraction to her, due to her intelligence and "female delicacy". Van Weyden sees her as his first true love, he strives to protect her from the crew, the horrors of the sea, Wolf Larsen. As this happens, Wolf Larsen meets his brother a bitter opponent of his. Wolf kidnapped several of Death's crew and forced them into servitude to fill his own ranks, lost during a storm. During one of Wolf Larsen's intense headaches, which render him near immobile, van Weyden steals a boat and flees with Miss Brewster; the two land on an uninhabited island populated with seals. They hunt, build shelter and a fire, survive for several days, using the strength they gained while on the Ghost; the Ghost crashes on the island, with Wolf Larsen the only crew member.
As a revenge, Death Larsen had tracked his brother, bribed his crew, destroyed
An audiobook is a recording of a text being read. A reading of the complete text is described as "unabridged", while readings of a shorter version, or abridgement of the text are labeled as "abridged". Spoken audio has been available in schools and public libraries and to a lesser extent in music shops since the 1930s. Many spoken word albums were made prior to the age of cassette tapes, compact discs, downloadable audio of poetry and plays rather than books, it was not until the 1980s that the medium began to attract book retailers, book retailers started displaying audiobooks on bookshelves rather than in separate displays. The term "talking book" came into being in the 1930s with government programs designed for blind readers, while the term "audiobook" came into use during the 1970s when audiocassettes began to replace records. In 1994, the Audio Publishers Association established the term "audiobook" as the industry standard. Spoken word recordings first became possible with the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison in 1877.
"Phonographic books" were one of the original applications envisioned by Edison which would "speak to blind people without effort on their part." The initial words spoken into the phonograph were Edison's recital of "Mary Had a Little Lamb", the first instance of recorded verse. In 1878, a demonstration at the Royal Institution in Britain included "Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle" and a line of Tennyson's poetry thus establishing from the beginning of the technology its association with spoken literature. Many short, spoken word recordings were sold on cylinder in the late 1800s and early 1900s, however the round cylinders were limited to about 4 minutes each making books impractical. "One early listener complained that he would need a wheelbarrow to carry around talking books recorded on discs with such limited storage capacity." By the 1930s close-grooved records increased to 20 minutes making possible longer narrative. In 1931, the American Foundation for the Blind and Library of Congress Books for the Adult Blind Project established the "Talking Books Program", intended to provide reading material for veterans injured during World War I and other visually impaired adults.
The first test recordings in 1932 included a chapter from Helen Keller's Midstream and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven". The organization received congressional approval for exemption from copyright and free postal distribution of talking books; the first recordings made for the Talking Books Program in 1934 included sections of the Bible. Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic was founded in 1948 by Anne T. Macdonald, a member of the New York Public Library's Women's Auxiliary, in response to an influx of inquiries from soldiers who had lost their sight in combat during World War II; the newly passed GI Bill of Rights guaranteed a college education to all veterans, but texts were inaccessible to the blinded veterans, who did not read Braille and had little access to live readers. Macdonald mobilized the women of the Auxiliary under the motto "Education is a right, not a privilege". Members of the Auxiliary transformed the attic of the New York Public Library into a studio, recording textbooks using state-of-the-art six-inch vinyl SoundScriber phonograph discs that played 12 minutes of material per side.
In 1952, Macdonald established recording studios in seven additional cities across the United States. Caedmon Records was a pioneer in the audiobook business, it was the first company dedicated to selling spoken work recordings to the public and has been called the "seed" of the audiobook industry. Caedmon was formed in New York in 1952 by college graduates Barbara Marianne Roney, their first release was a collection of poems by Dylan Thomas. The LP's B-side contained A Child's Christmas in Wales, added as an afterthought - the story was obscure and Thomas himself couldn't remember its title when asked what to use to fill up the B-side - but this recording went on to become one of his most loved works, launched Caedmon into a successful company; the original 1952 recording was a selection for the 2008 United States National Recording Registry, stating it is "credited with launching the audiobook industry in the United States". Caedmon used LP records, invented in 1948, which made longer recordings more affordable and practical, however most of their works were poems and other short works, not unabridged books due to the LP's limitation of about a 45-minute playing time.
Listening Library was a pioneering company, it was one of the first to distribute children's audiobooks to schools and other special markets, including VA hospitals. It was founded by his wife in 1955 in their Red Bank, New Jersey home. Another early pioneering company was Spoken Arts founded in 1956 by Arthur Luce Klein and his wife, they produced over 700 recordings and were best known for poetry and drama recordings used in schools and libraries. Like Caedemon, Listening Library and Spoken Arts benefited from the new technology of LPs, but increased governmental funding for schools and libraries beginning in the 1950s and 60s. Though spoken recordings were popular in 33⅓ vinyl record format for schools and libraries into the early 1970s, the beginning of the modern retail market for audiobooks can be traced to the wide adoption
Audible is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment and educational programming on the Internet. Audible sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Through its production arm, Audible Studios, Audible has become the world's largest producer of downloadable audiobooks. Audible's content is only accessible through special proprietary closed software, including unauthorized-playback prevention by means of an Amazon user name and password. On January 31, 2008 Amazon.com announced. The deal closed in March 2008 and Audible became a subsidiary of Amazon; the company is based in Newark, NJ and is expanding its presence in the city with the creation of a new technology center. Audible is retailer. In January 1995, Audible introduced the first production-volume digital audio player six years before the introduction of the iPod, it only supported playback of digital audio in Audible's proprietary, low-bitrate.aa format that could be downloaded from Audible.com.
The first player had about 4MB of memory, about two hours of.aa format audio. Audible holds a number of patents in this device area. On October 24, 1999, Audible suffered a setback when its CEO at the time, Andrew J. Huffman, died of an apparent heart attack. Development proceeded, leading to Audible licensing the ACELP codec for its level 3 quality downloads in 2000. Audible scored a coup in 2003 when it made an exclusive deal with Apple to provide their catalog of books on the iTunes Music Store. Books purchased on iTunes would have a.m4b extension and would contain AAC audio covered by Apple's FairPlay Digital Rights Management. Audible's success began to increase interest in the profile of Don Katz, he had his profile highlighted by AudioFile magazine in early 2003, was called upon to give a recorded talk on IT Conversations in May 2005 about the early history of Audible, was tapped to deliver the keynote address at the Podcast Expo in November 2005. Audible launched Audible Air in 2005, software that made it possible to download audio books over the air - wirelessly and directly to devices such as a smartphones or PDAs.
This eliminated the need for the intermediate step of downloading copy-controlled audio books first to a computer in order to transfer it to Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Symbian Mobile devices. Audible Air content would update automatically, downloading chapters as required that would delete themselves after they had been listened to. Interest in Audible and its founder would continue to attract attention as Don Katz was featured in the March 2006 issue of "Business 2.0". In April 2008, Audible began producing exclusive science fiction and fantasy audiobooks under its "Audible Frontiers" imprint. At launch 25 titles were released. In 2008, Amazon bought the company for $300 million. Audible continued its publishing endeavors in May 2011, when it launched Audiobook Creation Exchange, an online rights marketplace and production platform that connects narrators and rights holders in order to create new audiobooks; the platform has been so successful that in 2012, Audible reported it had received more titles from ACX than from its top three audio providers combined.
In March 2012, Audible launched the A-List Collection, a series showcasing Hollywood stars including Claire Danes, Colin Firth, Anne Hathaway, Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Keaton, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet performing great works of literature. Firth's performance of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair was named Audiobook of the Year at the Audie Awards in 2013. Audible's efforts to make audiobook narration a mainstream art form extends to the narration workshops it offers at acting schools including Juilliard and Tisch School of the Arts. In 2014, at Audible's headquarters' six recording studios and voice actors create new audiobooks 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Technical innovation returned to center-state for the company in September 2012 when Audible launched Whispersync for Voice, an innovation that enables readers to switch seamlessly between reading a Kindle book and listening to the corresponding audiobook without losing their place. Along with Whispersync for Voice, Audible released Immersion Reading, a feature which highlights text on a Kindle book as the audiobook is narrated.
It was the focus in June 2015 when audiblebooks from Audible.com was made available on Amazon Echo, a voice command device from Amazon with functions including question answering, playing music and controlling smart devices. In July 2016, Audible introduced its exclusive version of podcasts. In November 2017, Audible claimed its customers listened to over one billion hours of content during the year. Audible's content includes more than 200,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, entertainers and newspaper publishers and business information providers. Content includes books of all genres, as well as radio shows, interviews, stand-up comedy, audio versions of periodicals such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to the regular price charged for audiobooks, Audible offers subscriptions with the following benefits: Credits: For a monthly subscription fee, a customer receives one or two audio credits. Most titles can be purchased with one of these credits.
Some titles may cost two credits, while others cost only a thi
Water for Elephants
Water for Elephants is a historical novel by Sara Gruen, written as part of National Novel Writing Month. The story is told as a series of memories by Jacob Jankowski, a 93-year-old man who lives in a nursing home. Jacob is told what to do; as the memories begin, Jacob is a 23-year-old Polish American preparing for his final exams as a Cornell University veterinary student when he receives the devastating news that his parents died in a car accident. Jacob's father was a veterinarian and Jacob had planned to join his practice; when Jacob learns that his parents' home has been mortgaged to pay for his tuition and is not to become his, he has a breakdown and leaves his Ivy League school just short of graduation. In the dark of night, he jumps on a train, a circus train belonging to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. On the train he is befriended by Camel, an old man and circus veteran, who persuades his companions not to throw Jacob off the train and takes him under his wing, finding him odd menial jobs.
When the owner of the circus, Uncle Al, learns of his training as a vet, he is hired to care for the circus animals. This leads Jacob to share quarters with a dwarf named his dog Queenie. A few weeks Jacob is summoned to take a look at Camel, after drinking "Jake" for many years, can't move his arms or legs. Fearing Camel will be "red-lighted", Jacob hides him in his room; the equestrian director, August, is a brutal man who mistreats the animals in his care and the people around him, but he can be charming and generous. Jacob develops a guarded relationship with August and his wife, with whom Jacob falls in love. August beats Marlena and Jacob. Marlena subsequently stays at a hotel while she is not performing. Uncle Al informs Jacob that August is a paranoid schizophrenic and utters a threat: reunite August and Marlena as a married couple or Walter and Camel get red-lighted. A few days after discovering that August has tried to see Marlena, Jacob visits her in her hotel room. Soon after he comforts her, they sleep together, soon declare their love for each other.
Marlena soon returns to the circus to perform, but refuses to have August near her, which makes Uncle Al furious. She discovers that she is pregnant. One night Jacob climbs up and jumps each car, while the train is moving, to August's room, carrying a knife between his teeth intending to kill August. However, he backs out, leaving the knife on August's pillow, returns to his car, only to find no one there but Queenie, he realizes that Walter and Camel were red-lighted, he was supposed to have been. As the story climaxes, several circus workers who were red-lighted come back and release the animals, causing a stampede during the performance. In the ensuing panic, Rosie drives it into August's head, his body is trampled in the stampede. Jacob was the only one who saw what happened to August; as a result of this incident the circus is shut down. Soon after, Uncle Al's corpse is found with a makeshift garrote around his neck. Marlena and Jacob leave, taking with them circus animals including Rosie and Marlena's horses, begin their life together by joining the Ringling Bros circus.
Jacob becomes the chief veterinarian at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago where they settled. Back in the nursing home Jacob is waiting for one of his children to take him to the circus, it is revealed that Jacob and Marlena married and had five children, spending the first seven years at Ringling before Jacob got a job as a vet for the Chicago zoo. Marlena is revealed to have died a few years. After finding out no one is coming for him, Jacob makes his way to the circus next to the nursing home on his own, he meets the manager Charlie and after the show begs to be allowed to stay with the circus selling tickets, Charlie agrees and Jacob believes he has come home. Jacob Jankowski – the protagonist, a 93-year-old nursing home resident reminiscing on the time he spent as a circus veterinarian during the Great Depression. Marlena – the main love interest and a star performer with the circus, she ran away from home to marry August, the equestrian director. She cares for them deeply. August – Marlena's husband and the head animal trainer.
As a classic batterer, he is alternately brutal, both to the humans and animals. In the book, it is suggested that he is a paranoid schizophrenic, to explain his violence. Uncle Al – the violent, abusive owner of the circus, he is known for redlighting circus workers. If they were deemed to have committed some egregious offense, they were thrown off while the train was passing over a trestle with the hope that they would die or be injured. Kinko/Walter – a dwarf with whom Jacob shares living quarters on the circus train, their relationship is rocky, but they develop a strong friendship. At the beginning of the story, he is known as Kinko. Walter is his real name and he only lets his friends call him this, he has a deep attachment to a Jack Russell terrier named Queenie. Camel – one of the first people Jacob meets when he jumps the train, he is a drunk, instrumental in getting Jacob a job with the circus. When Camel gets "Jake Leg" from drinking contaminated Jamaican ginger and Walter hide him in their car and care for him.
Charlotte Hall, Maryland
Charlotte Hall is a census-designated place in Charles County and St. Mary's County, United States; the population was 1,420 at the 2010 census. The Maryland Veterans Home for disabled veterans, including a U. S. Veterans Affairs clinic, is located on the site of the former Charlotte Hall Military Academy; the Academy site was declared the Charlotte Hall Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Since 1940, a sizable Amish farming community has existed nearby along with a farmers market and large flea market complex on busy Maryland Route 5, the site of numerous strip-mall businesses continuing into the adjacent community of Mechanicsville. Charlotte Hall is located at 38°28′38″N 76°46′35″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.1 square miles, all of it land. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,214 people, 317 households, 239 families residing in the CDP; the population density was 237.8 people per square mile. There were 332 housing units at an average density of 65.0/sq mi.
The racial makeup of the CDP was 76.03% White, 20.18% African American, 0.91% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population. There were 317 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.3% were non-families. 15.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.15. In the CDP, the population was spread out with 18.1% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, 33.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 150.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 170.1 males. The median income for a household in the CDP was $51,111, the median income for a family was $49,167.
Males had a median income of $33,056 versus $21,071 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $17,882. About 14.5% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.0% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over. William Saunders Crowdy, the African-American theologian, was born as a slave here in 1847 Owsley Stanley, LSD advocate attended the military academy
The Great Courses
The Great Courses is a series of college-level audio and video courses produced and distributed by The Teaching Company, an American company based in Chantilly, Virginia. The company was founded in 1990 by Thomas M. Rollins, former Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. Rollins had been inspired by a 10-hour videotaped lecture series by Irving Younger he watched while at Harvard Law School, began recruiting professors and experts to record lectures. Rollins invested all his money in the company, at one point using up all his credit cards, selling all his suits from his Washington days, living in an attic; because his company was for-profit, Rollins adapted course offerings to please customers. By 2000 the company was well established, with about $20M in annual revenue. In October 2006, the company was acquired by a private equity investment firm. In 2011, the firm had 200 employees. In 2016, the company offered a streaming service, charging $20 per month, getting access via computer to about 280 courses in their catalog.
The company has created over 700 courses and sold over a total of 14 million copies since its inception. Subjects include business, fine arts, music and medieval history, modern history and English language and intellectual history, science, social sciences, professional development and better living. Chief executive Paul Suijk described The Great Courses as the "Netflix of learning." Courses are offered on disks which are either DVDs or CD-audio, the courses are geared to "lifelong learners." Customers tend to be older retirees who have had successful careers. Courses cost from $35 to over $500; as of 2018, there are over 600 different courses in their catalog. A fan of the series is Bill Gates, who said the courses have "incredible professors" who cover "every topic that you can think of"; the firm earns $150 million annually in terms of revenue, in 2016. In 2018, the firm has competitors in terms of MOOCs such as Khan Academy; the production quality of the courses is "a cut above" free courses offered on YouTube, according to a report in The New York Times.
The firm sometimes sends recruiters to sit in on the lectures of college professors identified as being good teachers, to assess whether they might be suitable for course development. Professors submit detailed outlines for each course, company personnel would work with them to make sure that each 30 minute lecture was coherent and logical. Analyst Heather Mac Donald, writing in the conservative publication City Journal, described the courses offered by The Teaching Company as more mainstream than what is offered at traditional American liberal arts colleges, she described the course selection as being driven by market forces, with the firm's founder, Tom Rollins, querying customers as to what subjects they wanted to learn about, using market research techniques to figure out what courses to offer, what lectures to include, to satisfy an intensely loyal customer base. As a result, there is less emphasis in the catalog on issues such as sexism and racism and more of a focus on "everything the civilization has figured out so far and to discover new things", according to Rollins.
She writes that the survey format predominates, with few in-depth courses on specific thinkers or philosophical schools, more emphasis on covering the fundamentals of a subject, as if it was an introductory college course. Linda Mathews. "Adult Education. New York Times. Kendra Nordin. "From the college lecture hall to your headphones". Christian Science Monitor. Andrew Ross Sorkin. "So Bill Gates Has This Idea for a History Class..." New York Times. The Great Courses
Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor is an American author, humorist, voice actor, radio personality. He is best known as the creator of the Minnesota Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion, which he hosted from 1974 to 2016. Keillor created the fictional Minnesota town Lake Wobegon, the setting of many of his books, including Lake Wobegon Days and Leaving Home: A Collection of Lake Wobegon Stories. Other creations include Guy Noir, a detective voiced by Keillor who appeared in A Prairie Home Companion comic skits. Keillor is the creator of the five-minute daily radio/podcast program The Writer's Almanac, which pairs one or two poems of his choice with a script about important literary and scientific events that coincided with that date in history. In November 2017, Minnesota Public Radio cut all business ties with Keillor after an allegation of inappropriate behavior with a freelance writer for A Prairie Home Companion. On April 13, 2018, MPR and Keillor announced a settlement that allows archives of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac to be publicly available again, soon thereafter, Keillor began publishing new episodes of The Writer's Almanac on his website.
Keillor was born in Anoka, the son of Grace Ruth and John Philip Keillor. His father was a carpenter and postal worker, half-Canadian with English ancestry, his maternal grandparents were Scottish emigrants from Glasgow. Keillor's family belonged to the Plymouth Brethren, an Evangelical Christian movement that he has since left. In 2006, he told Christianity Today that he was attending the St. John the Evangelist Episcopal church in Saint Paul, after attending a Lutheran church in New York. Keillor graduated from Anoka High School in 1960 and from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in English in 1966. During college, he began his broadcasting career on the student-operated radio station known today as Radio K. In his 2004 book Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of America, Keillor mentions some of his noteworthy ancestors, including Joseph Crandall, an associate of Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island and the first American Baptist church. Garrison Keillor started his professional radio career in November 1969 with Minnesota Educational Radio Minnesota Public Radio, which today distributes programs under the American Public Media brand.
He hosted a weekday drive-time broadcast called A Prairie Home Entertainment, on KSJR FM at St. John's University in Collegeville; the show's eclectic music was a major divergence from the station's usual classical fare. During this time he submitted fiction to The New Yorker magazine, where his first story for that publication, "Local Family Keeps Son Happy," appeared in September 1970. Keillor resigned from The Morning Program in February 1971 in protest of what he considered interference with his musical programming; when he returned to the station in October, the show was dubbed A Prairie Home Companion. Keillor has attributed the idea for the live Saturday night radio program to his 1973 assignment to write about the Grand Ole Opry for The New Yorker, but he had begun showcasing local musicians on the morning show, despite limited studio space. In August 1973, MER announced plans to broadcast a Saturday night version of A Prairie Home Companion with live musicians. A Prairie Home Companion debuted as an old-style variety show before a live audience on July 6, 1974.
The show is punctuated by spoof commercial spots for PHC fictitious sponsors such as Powdermilk Biscuits, the Ketchup Advisory Board, the Professional Organization of English Majors. Keillor voices Noir, the cowboy Lefty, other recurring characters, provides lead or backup vocals for some of the show's musical numbers; the show airs from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. After the show's intermission, Keillor reads clever and humorous greetings to friends and family at home submitted by members of the theater audience in exchange for an honorarium. In the second half of the show, Keillor delivers a monologue called The News from Lake Wobegon, a fictitious town based in part on Keillor's own hometown of Anoka, on Freeport and other small towns in Stearns County, where he lived in the early 1970s. Lake Wobegon is a quintessentially Minnesota small town characterized by the narrator as a place "... where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, all the children are above average."
The original PHC ran until 1987. In 1989, he launched a new live radio program from New York City, The American Radio Company of the Air, which had the same format as PHC. In 1992, he moved ARC back to St. Paul, a year changed the name back to A Prairie Home Companion. On a typical broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, Keillor's name is not mentioned unless a guest addresses him by name, although some sketches feature Keillor as his alter ego, Carson Wyler. In the closing credits, which Keillor reads, he gives himself no billing or credit except "written by Sarah Bellum,"