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Folk musician to play at Cultural Center

Folk musician Charlie Maguire will present a free concert in New York Mills at the Cultural Center on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 pm. 

Charlie Maguire is a former regular on ‘A Prairie Home Companion.’ Submitted photo

Maguire grew up in upstate New York, and by the mid-‘60s he was hanging around folk centers in New York City and Boston, learning from pioneers of the folk music revival – people like Pete Seeger and Lee Hays – and from the new breed of folk performer – the likes of Arlo Guthrie and Holly Near.

He attended Northland College in Ashland, Wis., graduating in 1970 with a degree in liberal arts, and eventually moved to Minnesota. A chance meeting with Garrison Keillor in the fall of 1974 led to 10 years of regular appearances on public radio’s ever-popular “A Prairie Home Companion.”

During that time, Maguire wrote and performed some of his most-requested songs: “Goodnight Baby,” “Play Us A Waltz,” “I’m From Minnesota,” and “Getting in the Cows,” which is included on the show’s Tenth Anniversary Album.

Now with some 800 songs and seven albums to his credit, he still takes requests from enthusiastic coffeehouse and festival audiences coast to coast. His songs have been featured on the CBS Evening News, Car Talk, Hometime, As It Happens, and other nationally broadcast programs.

In 1991, Maguire was appointed the official “Centennial Troubadour” for Minnesota State Parks; a title he still holds. He produced “Stepping Stones,” an album of songs about Minnesota State Parks and the outdoors. From 1995-2003, he officially became “The Singing Ranger” of the National Park Service. In this role, he produced an album of songs about the upper Mississippi River and premiered it on “Good Morning America.”

His show at the Cultural Center is sponsored by Viking Library System  and Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.