November 1, 2011 by staff
Garrison Keillor, Our colleague, actor and sound effects man Tom Keith died late Sunday of a heart attack at his home in St. Paul. He appeared on the show October 22 at the Fitzgerald with the cast and guest John Lithgow – played a zombie and a bartender beer Elizabethan was the sound effects of “Lives of the Cowboys” and “mama” and a wonderful sound and surprising effect of a primary school teacher was reduced from six feet three inches, with a balloon, some sticks and vocal thwops splorts, then did the voice of a woman three inches tall. He complained of shortness of breath next week, but got to go see a doctor, and collapsed on Sunday night at 6 pm He was conscious, but later died in the ambulance on the way to hospital.
Tom was one of the clowns of great radio. That was serious about nonsense and worked hard to get exactly right and a grunt cluck too much and the plot. His whinny was amazing – noble, vulnerable, articulate. He made the bagpipes, helicopters, mortars, common drunkards, caribou (and moose and antelope and wapiti), garbage trucks backing up, saws and hammers, and a beautiful vocal of a man falling from a great height in infested waters piranha.
He was an engineer with the Minnesota Public Radio in 1971, when I did the morning show in the park studies in Lowertown St. Paul Court, and he took the name of Jim Ed Poole was the sports segment, and spoke of his pet chicken, Curtis, who lived with him in the transom of the hotel. When “A Prairie Home Companion” was launched in 1974, he directed most of the first two seasons, using a five-channel mixer, and then went to the stage where he played three roles in the course “Buster the Dog Show” – the dog, Father Finian, and the sad teenager Timmy Rich. Maurice was the maitre d ‘at the Café Boeuf and it was Larry, who lived in the basement under the stage Fitzgerald.
He was a former Marine (I could make a very good instructor), a good golfer, a robust and reliable, it can be colleague, a gifted artist with the humble attitude of a stagehand. Every time Tom took the stage for a drawing, I could see the heads of the audience to turn in their direction. I could hear, but wanted to see Tom, as you would see any magician. The children watched him closely to see how he did the shotgun blasts, the walrus singing, siren, the helicopter, water drips. Its effects were elegant, precise and sober, as the man himself. All of us at the show are shocked by his death and send our deepest condolences to his family and listeners who enjoyed his work so much.
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