Tom Keith had a wonderful ear for sound and beautiful sense of comic timing.
As a schoolboy imitator of birds, livestock, and people being punched in the face, he had natural abilities that pointed to a career in the Live Radio Sound Effects Production Industry. But by the time he graduated from the University of Minnesota in the late ’60s, that once well-traveled career path was deserted. Tom joined the Marines instead, and he learned to mimic helicopters and do seven different kinds of explosion.
Still there were no jobs, so he took an engineering post, babysitting a public radio transmitter while a tall, quiet writer tried to turn his imaginary world into a show. Tom was enlisted as an accomplice and immediately found his calling, eventually entertaining millions as the regular sound-effects man for A Prairie Home Companion.