Blank on Blank is a fantastic online series from PBS that has been digging up old tape-recorded interviews with celebrities and bringing them to life through the magic of animation. As fortune would have it, many of the subjects of the interviews are Ravinia favorites, from 2016 season artists Garrison Keillor and Dolly Parton to such past legends as Louie Armstrong and Janis Joplin. Below are selections from this series that gives you a personal glimpse into the lives of these celebrated cultural figures.
This will be the last year that Garrison Keillor will host his famous radio show A Prairie Home Companion live from Ravinia’s Pavilion stage. In this clip, he speaks about what makes a humorist.
Always a class act, Dolly Parton speaks on her time growing up in rural Tennessee and is very candid about her non-glamorous lifestyle before making it big. She plays Ravinia on August 7.
Though the pop icon never performed at Ravinia, David Bowie will be celebrated at the festival when Classic Albums Live performs a tribute concert on September 9. In this clip, he describes the usefulness of creating alter-egos for himself.
In August 1970, Janis Joplin played what would be her last Chicago-area concert at Ravinia; she passed away two months later. The concert was attended by 18,000 fans (and, reportedly, 200 riot police). In this interview recorded four days before she died, she talks about dealing with rejection.
Satchmo. We’ve previously written extensively about Louis Armstrong’s history at Ravinia, and this interview captures two intrepid high-school reporters who got incredible access to the artist after a Ravinia concert.