Milton "Soupy" Schindler (1946-2004) - who received his nickname because of a resemblance to TV star Soupy Sales - grew up on the north side of Minneapolis. By age 17, Schindler was playing at the Scholar Coffeehouse in Dinkytown with the New King David Jug Band. Later, he joined Papa John Kolstad, Bill Hinkley, Judy Larson, Cal Hand, and Bob Stelnicki in The Sorry Muthas. In the 1960s and '70s, riding the crest of a folk music renaissance, The Sorry Muthas toured nationally and played on bills with folk luminaries including Vassar Clements, Rosalie Sorrels, Utah Phillips, and Frank Wakefield. Later, Schindler became a mainstay of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion radio program. In 1976, at Keillor's request, Schindler formed the Jack's Auto Repair Jug Band, which became a regular feature of the program.
It was during this period that Schindler's performance chops reached their apex. He amazed audiences by including Charlie Parker riffs in his harmonica solos while never losing the traditional blues feel. At the same time, his voice developed into an instrument of monumental power. Even unamplified, he could ride over an electric blues band.
Schindler eventually became a high school teacher and continued to perform throughout his life. He died of a massive heart attack on June 4, 2004.
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