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Dakota Midday: Banjo Songstress Erin Inglish

Brittany App: App’s Photography

Before she became a full-time musician, California banjo playing singer/songwriter Erin Inglishworked as sustainability engineer. Her work took her to the the Balkans, India, Madagascar and other countries. Today she addresses environmental concerns through music.

Erin Inglish is also the organizer of theBanjo Babes calendar and album celebrating the work of her fellow female banjo players. One of the Banjo Babes is South Dakota’s Jami Lynn. She joins Inglish in a Friday performance at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City. Inglish travels to Sioux Falls on Saturday for a performance at Latitude 44. She joined Dakota Midday and discussed her music and the Banjo Babes.

Karl was born to northeastern South Dakota crouton farmers, but was orphaned as a toddler during the Great Salad War (1966-67). Rescued by a flock of chickadees, he grew up in the woodlands of Sica Hollow. Legends of a bird boy living in the trees attracted the interest of renowned ornithologist and amateur bandoneon repairman Dr. Vogel Gehrke. With a handful of suet, Dr. Gehrke coaxed the timid boy down from the trees. He adopted him, named him Karl and taught him not to molt on the carpet. Dr. Gehrke’s book, The Bird Boy of Sica Hollow, was a best seller and Karl became a minor celebrity and teen idol. He appeared as a guest star on numerous television programs, most notably an awkward role on The Love Boat as the boyfriend of Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki. After critics panned his 1980 album, Bird Boy Does Disco, Karl retreated from public life and returned to Sica Hollow. Living in an isolated tree house, Karl achieved a reputation as a mystic. Pilgrims and seekers from around the world came to ask him about the meaning of life and for vinaigrette recipes. Growing tired of answering questions, he climbed down from his tree, shaved his massive white beard and took a job as the host of SDPB Radio’s Dakota Midday where he could ask the questions instead. After three years in that position, he ran out of questions and became host of Jazz Nightly instead. Karl makes his home in Vermillion with his charming wife Kari and three delightful children, Kodey, Kasey and Spatula. His hobbies include reciting the alphabet, combing his hair and doing volunteer work with delinquent songbirds.
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