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KEILLOR AMBLING BACK TO `TOWN TIME FORGOT'

No longer woebegone are those longing for a fresh dip in Lake Wobegon.

Garrison Keillor, the folksy humorist and best-selling author whose radio program "A Prairie Home Companion" warmed audiences for 13 years, announced Thursday he will be back on the radio come fall after a two-year absence.The fictional Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon will be back in his new show, Keillor said at a news conference following his address to a public radio conference, but the "town that time forgot" has undergone changes.

"A lot of things have happened to Lake Wobegon . . . it's hard to make them into humor," he said. "Times have been hard back there, as they have been all across the Midwest."

His new, two-hour "American Radio Company of the Air" will be produced by Minnesota Public Radio and distributed by American Public Radio. It will feature Keillor sketches, monologues and a mixture of American music.

Keillor, 46, said the music will include Fats Waller, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, old hymns and "all the great things that every American ought to hear at least twice."

His new program will be performed before theater audiences in New York, St. Paul, Minn., and other cities in 12-show series in the fall of 1989 and spring 1990. It will be broadcast live Saturday nights starting Sept. 30.

Despite estimates that his show had a following of more than 4 million, Keillor said he has about 13,000 true fans while others "talk about buttermilk biscuits and the `Home on the Prairie Show."'

Asked what his new show will be like, Keillor replied, "I can't wait to find out."