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Pulling out all the stops for Michael Barone's 50th anniversary

Michael Barone at the Cathedral of St. Paul. MPR / Nate Ryan
52min 9sec : John Birge: 50 Years With Michael Barone

Meet Michael Barone in person from 1-2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Minnesota State Fair to celebrate his 50th anniversary at Minnesota Public Radio! He'll be chatting with MPR News' Tom Crann and taking your questions. Join us at the MPR booth at the corner of Judson and Nelson.

Fifty years ago this month, Michael Barone started working at Minnesota Public Radio.

Vietnam was in the headlines and Lyndon B. Johnson was president. Through 10 presidents, Martin Luther King Jr., a moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall and World Trade Center, Woodstock, Watergate, Apple, and Google, Michael has been a steady voice of calm intellect and passionate engagement for classical music.

I talked with Michael about some of the highlights of his career, and reminisced with tape from the past five decades. Who knew that Michael came to MPR on a coin toss? Or that his cultural footprint might ascend beyond the pages of the New York Times Arts & Leisure section to the game board of TV's Jeopardy?

Hats off to a talent who is unique in public radio.

Check out this gallery of Michael Barone through the years.

Michael Barone is the host of Pipedreams. American Public Media
Michael Barone in MPR's broadcast booth at St. John's University, circa 1969. MPR archives
Michael Barone plays a record in the studio MPR archives
Michael Barone among the records MPR archives
Michael Barone at the organ MPR archives
Michael Barone in the studio MPR archives
Michael Barone, "Though there are some compact discs of organ music in the general MPR library, without question the 'mother lode' is centered around (and in) my office. If you happen by this corner, note that in addition to the many compact discs on shelves outside the office, and the many more stacked in the vicinity, hundred more hide in drawers of six of the black file cabinets (and I have more at home, too)." MPR / Nate Ryan
Michael Barone MPR archives
Michael Barone chats with organist Barbara Dennerlein MPR
Michael Barone and Steve Staruch participated in the St. Paul Classic Bike Tour. courtesy Steve Staruch

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