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Free concert this Friday in NYM

Charlie Maguire will present a free concert at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center this Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. 

For Charlie Maguire, growing up in upstate New York, the die was cast early on: When a friend’s brother joined the Navy and left a guitar behind, a teen-age Charlie borrowed the instrument, paid $2.95 for a book entitled “Play the Guitar in 30 Minutes,” and unceremoniously commenced what would become his life’s work.

He attended Northland College in Ashland, Wis., graduating in 1970 with a degree in liberal arts. Then he took his guitar west and served in VISTA, teaching English as a second language, collecting songs, making field recordings and publishing a songbook for teachers and children of migrant workers in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming.

He eventually set up a circuit of appearances in schools and Head Start centers throughout that area, each week singing to the children and families of migrant sugar beet workers, farm owners and cowboys.

Following VISTA, Maguire moved to Minnesota, where 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 he wrote and performed some of his most-requested songs: “Goodnight Baby,” “Play Us A Waltz,” “I’m From Minnesota,” “Talking Home Improvement” and “Getting in the Cows,” which is included on APHC’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.

This program is sponsored by Viking Library System and the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center and it is funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.