Keillor Filter: Can you save Christmas?
July 12, 2010 11:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a recording of the 1988 Prairie Home Companion program (narrated by Garrison Keillor) called "An American's Christmas in Copenhagen." If you can find it, a statue of you goes on top of our tree.

For as long as I can remember, every Christmas my family listened to an audio tape of Keillor telling stories about Copenhagen along with the Copenhagen choir.

We literally listened to this tape until it fell apart. This is one of my mother's favorite traditions, and she looked for years to try and find a replacement, without success.

Last night we were watching old family videos (damn, I was cute) and An American's Christmas in Copenhagen came on in the background. My mom started to cry.

After scouring the internet, I've got nothing. And if it can be found, AskMe can find it.

In my family, it's not Christmas without Keillor.
posted by karminai to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you considered trying to send an email or a letter to American Public Media to see if they have anything available? They have archives quite a ways back on their website, and who knows, they may have more but for the lack of demand for them.

This contact page looks like it may be a reasonable way to get in contact.
posted by that girl at 12:03 AM on July 13, 2010

Here's the specific contact page for APHC.

Email them to see if you can purchase a recording. At the ends of lots of NPR programs, you can hear them say, "if you would like to purchase a recording of a previous program, please contact us", etc. I've known people who have done this successfully for old episodes of This American Life and Car Talk, so there's a good chance this could work.
posted by bluefly at 4:35 AM on July 13, 2010

Possible long shot: Library of Congress.

I was looking for some 1980s recordings of All Things Considered and the NPR contact directed me to the Library of Congress.

If you do a search for Prairie Home Companion in the LOC search bar, you will see hits that are noted with "(Audio)". These aren't online, however, and I suspect would require a trip to the library.

I'd try the PHC site first.
posted by apartment dweller at 6:24 AM on July 13, 2010

I very occasionally see Mr Keillor around the neighborhood. If I run into him in the near future, I'll ask for you.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:09 AM on July 13, 2010

Response by poster: After contacting American Public Media years ago, I've been told that there are new laws about electronic media, and since they don't have releases from all the people who were originally involved in the recording, they can't sell it or rebroadcast it.

Nathan... That's awesome.
posted by karminai at 10:47 AM on July 13, 2010

Best answer: I would try asking this individual. Getting a hand from some archive-minded fan sympathetic to your story is probably your best bet.

Getting a favor from Garrison Keillor is a very, very long shot. APHC is a huge massive financial juggernaut in public radio (hell, it's huge by any radio standard) and has been a cultural mainstay for a wide swath of people for decades and you can be sure that he has people making odd sentimental requests from him all the time. I don't imagine he has the time or inclination to follow up any of them. I don't mean to be a sourpuss but you should really not count on that one.
posted by nanojath at 3:42 PM on July 13, 2010

Generally speaking, PHC does not sell recordings of any complete broadcast — they only sell compilations of parts of different shows, either by theme or as an anniversary retrospective. Hence, I agree that getting a copy from a PHC fan is probably your best or only bet.
posted by exphysicist345 at 9:42 PM on July 13, 2010

My thoughts, which haven't gotten me that far in this search yet, include:
-university libraries
-public libraries
-friends of library-type booksales
-The Wireless Catalog which probably carried this back in the day
posted by knile at 6:44 PM on July 15, 2010

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