Ahead Of Boise Visit, Garrison Keillor Says Retirement Isn't In The Cards

Jul 8, 2013

Garrison Keillor performs in Boise Tuesday, July 9.
Credit Erik Hageness

In the world of radio, few voices are as distinct as Garrison Keillor’s. 

The Minnesota native created the live weekend variety show “A Prairie Home Companion” nearly four decades ago.  The program has taken Keillor and his crew all over the U.S., and soon, perhaps, even overseas. 

But this summer, Keillor is touring by bus for a month as part of his Radio Romance Tour. It stops at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise Tuesday night. 

Keillor says the stage show is a "freer" version of the one audiences hear on the radio.

He also says he has no plans to retire.  He's even mulling taking 'A Prairie Home' to Paris.

As for the future of his popular show, Keillor says most of 2014's dates scheduled, and APHC is considering a 40th anniversary show. And what happens when he retires?  Keillor says the program should continue.

"It'll be different, and it should be," he says. "But there's a whole flock of wonderful young acoustic players out there.  They're just worlds ahead of anybody I knew when I was that age. And they enjoy doing our show, bless their hearts.  So the show has to keep going."

Keillor also addressed those who are skeptical that the show could continue without his input.

"There are all sorts of naysayers who say it can't be done and 'fold it up'," he says. "But I just don't want to.  We worked so hard to put this together.  And we have this wonderful production team that gets along famously and they're so enormously capable.  If someone were starting from scratch, it would take them 10 years to put together a team as good as this."