Fresh Air on WEKU

Weekdays 3-4PM
Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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1:35pm

Mon January 7, 2013
Movie Reviews

Mozart's Starring Role In 'Sunday Bloody Sunday'

John Schlesinger's 1971 film Sunday Bloody Sunday has just been released on Blu-ray. The film's complex love triangle starred Peter Finch, Murray Head and Glenda Jackson.
The Kobal Collection

Sunday Bloody Sunday is one of those films that lets you into the lives of believable, complicated characters. A handsome, self-centered young artist played by the actor/rock singer Murray Head is having simultaneous affairs with both an older woman (played with infinitely nuanced self-irony by Glenda Jackson) and an older man, a Jewish doctor (the touching Peter Finch), two intelligent adults who have mutual friends and even know each other slightly.

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1:23pm

Mon January 7, 2013
Television

Julian Fellowes On The Rules Of 'Downton'

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey. The third season premiered on PBS Sunday.
WGBH/PBS

Julian Fellowes may be the Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, but the English screenwriter, director and novelist says his background "was much more ordinary than the newspapers have made it." What he means is that he did not grow up with servants waiting on him hand and foot, as people have seen done for the Crawley family on Downton Abbey, the hit television series Fellowes created. The third season premiered Sunday.

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9:03am

Sat January 5, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Tarantino, Waltz, 'Downton'

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 3:16 pm

Christoph Waltz (right, with Jamie Foxx) stars in Quentin Tarantino's new film Django Unchained.
Andrew Cooper The Weinstein Company

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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12:04pm

Fri January 4, 2013
Book Reviews

'A Grain Of Truth' About Memory And Modern Poland

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:26 pm

My mother is Polish, which meant that during the holidays when I was a kid, we broke out the polka records and kielbasa for special occasion meals from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Certainly, nostalgia for those belch-y festivities of yore led me to A Grain of Truth by Zygmunt Miloszewski, a Polish mystery novel that unexpectedly turns out to be as hard-boiled as the skin around a circlet of that ubiquitous holiday kielbasa.

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11:38am

Fri January 4, 2013
Remembrances

Remembering 'Rescue Me' Singer Fontella Bass

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Soul and gospel singer Fontella Bass, whose 1965 hit "Rescue Me" endures as one of the most recognizable soul records of the '60s, died last week on the day after Christmas. She was 72 years old. Despite the success of "Rescue Me," it was the number one R&B single for four weeks, it took years of litigation before Bass could claim her share of songwriting credit and royalties. In 1993, she sued American Express for using the song in a commercial and received what she said was a significant settlement.

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11:33am

Fri January 4, 2013
Author Interviews

Frank Calabrese Jr. On Opening His 'Family Secrets'

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:04 pm

Defendants in the "Operation Family Secrets" trial included Frank Calabrese Sr. (clockwise from left), Joey Lombardo, Anthony Doyle, Paul Shiro and James Marcello. The men are pictured during an Aug. 15, 2007, court hearing in Chicago.
Verna Sadock AP

This interview was originally broadcast on March 14, 2011. Frank Calabrese's father, the Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., died on Christmas Day.

When Frank Calabrese Jr. was a teenager, his father came home one night and took him into the bathroom for a chat.

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2:16pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Television

'Downton' Returns With Aristocratic Class And Clash

Social changes, romantic intrigues and financial crises grip the English country estate in the third season of Downton Abbey, starting Sunday on PBS. Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as Cora's wealthy American mother, Martha Levinson.
Nick Briggs Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for Masterpiece

Downton Abbey, the drama series about the residents and servants at a grand estate in early 20th-century England, has done for PBS what the commercial broadcast networks couldn't achieve last year. It generated a hit show — one with an audience that increased over its run and left fans hungry for more. And that's a lot of hunger because when the second season was televised here in the states, it averaged 7 million viewers, more than most TV shows on any network, cable or broadcast.

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2:02pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Africa

Northern Mali: A Violent Islamist Stronghold

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 2:16 pm

A Malian troop member checks bushes after a military raid in the Wagoudou forest.
Serge Daniel AFP/Getty Images

This past spring, Islamic extremists allied with al-Qaida took control of northern Mali after a coup destabilized the country. Adam Nossiter, the West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, has been reporting on the Islamist takeover in the north — but has had to do so by telephone. The kidnapping threat for reporters covering the conflict is virtually 100 percent, he says.

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11:56am

Wed January 2, 2013
Remembrances

Western Star Harry Carey Jr., 1921-2012

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:57 pm

We'll listen back to a 1989 interview with actor Harry Carey Jr., who died Dec. 27. Carey co-starred with John Wayne in the classic Westerns She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers and 3 Godfathers. He talked to Fresh Air about filming epic cavalry-versus-Indian scenes — and his most challenging stunts.

11:48am

Wed January 2, 2013
Movie Interviews

Quentin Tarantino, 'Unchained' And Unruly

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:46 pm

Writer-director Quentin Tarantino, seen here at a 2009 screening of Inglourious Basterds, tells Terry Gross that the only film violence that truly disturbs him involves actual harm to animals.
Evan Agostini AP

Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained is a spaghetti western-inspired revenge film set in the antebellum South; it's about a former slave who teams up with a bounty hunter to target the plantation owner who owns his wife.

The cinematic violence that has come to characterize Tarantino's work as a screenwriter and director — from Reservoir Dogs at the start of his career in 1992 to 2009's Inglourious Basterds -- is front and center again in Django. And he's making no apologies.

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10:18am

Wed January 2, 2013
Movie Interviews

Jack Black: On Music, Mayhem And Murder

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:44 pm

In Bernie, Jack Black plays a small-town mortician who murders his live-in companion after she won't stop nagging him. The movie is based on a true story.
Deana Newcomb Wind Dancer Films

This interview was originally broadcast on April 23, 2012.

Actor Jack Black is best known for his comedic performances in films like Nacho Libre and School of Rock. In his film Bernie, Black goes to a darker place: He plays a serious small-town funeral director who murders his live-in companion, a wealthy widow played by Shirley MacLaine.

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9:59am

Wed January 2, 2013
Television

'Totally Biased' Comic On Race, Politics And Audience

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:05 am

W. Kamau Bell's new FX weekly series Totally Biased mixes standup, sketches and interviews.
Matthias Clamer

This show was originally broadcast on September 13, 2012.

Before comic W. Kamau Bell became host of the weekly political humor show Totally Biased, which mixes standup, sketches and interviews, he had a one-man show called The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour.

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10:44am

Mon December 31, 2012
Music

'Fresh Air' At 25: A Live Musical Tribute

Terry Gross, shown above in 1987, has been host of Fresh Air since 1975, when it was broadcast only in greater Philadelphia.
NPR's Fresh Air

This show was originally broadcast on May 11, 2012.

Friday, May 11, 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the day Fresh Air became a daily national NPR program. Before that, the show was broadcast only on WHYY in Philadelphia. How long ago was May 11, 1987? On Fresh Air's first edition, TV critic David Bianculli reviewed the finale of the TV series Hill Street Blues.

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9:03am

Sat December 29, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Critics' Picks For 2012

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 11:08 am

Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel... is Ken Tucker's pick for best album of 2012.
Dan Monick

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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11:48am

Fri December 28, 2012
Pop Culture

Colbert On Musical Moments And 'America Again'

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. This week we've been revisiting some of our favorite interviews of 2012, and we conclude the week by presenting two more: Terry's visits with Stephen Colbert and Doris Day.

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11:48am

Fri December 28, 2012
Movie Interviews

Doris Day: A Hollywood Legend Reflects On Life

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:23 pm

Doris Day will celebrate her 88th birthday on Tuesday, April 3.
Sony Picture Archives

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

The biggest female box-office star in Hollywood history, Doris Day started singing and dancing when she was a teenager, and made her first film when she was 24. After nearly 40 movies, she walked away from that part of her life in 1968, and started rescuing and caring for animals.

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11:51am

Thu December 27, 2012
Author Interviews

R.A. Dickey On 'Winding Up' As A Knuckleballer

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:18 pm

R.A. Dickey currently plays for the New York Mets. He was previously with the Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
courtesy of the author

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on April 10, 2012.

Most pitchers in the majors stick to fastballs, curveballs, sliders and change-ups when facing batters at the plate.

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11:51am

Thu December 27, 2012
Television

Aaron Sorkin: The Writer Behind 'The Newsroom'

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Aaron Sorkin's work includes A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War and The Social Network.
HBO

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on July 16, 2012.

Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom follows the inner workings of a fictional cable network trying to challenge America's hyperpartisan 24/7 news culture. It's a typical Sorkin drama, complete with fast-paced dialogue, witty scenes and a strong ensemble cast.

So why a newsroom?

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9:55am

Wed December 26, 2012
Music Interviews

Catherine Russell: The Fresh Air In-Studio Concert

Catherine Russell.
Stefan Falke

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 21, 2012.

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9:55am

Wed December 26, 2012
Television

Aziz Ansari's Latest Is 'Dangerously Delicious'

Aziz Ansari dissects a variety of topics in his latest comedy special, Dangerously Delicious.
Courtesy of Aziz Ansari

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

During a recent stand-up tour, the comedian and star of Parks and Recreation, Aziz Ansari riffed on what he calls the "fears of adulthood."

You know, babies. Marriage. That kind of stuff.

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9:55am

Wed December 26, 2012
Author Interviews

Joan Rivers Hates You, Herself and Everyone Else

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 12:19 pm

Joan Rivers says her material has only gotten stronger with age. "I always say, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to fire me? Been fired. Going to be bankrupt? Been bankrupt.'"
Courtesy of the author

4:29pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Movie Interviews

'White Christmas': A Concert With Rosemary Clooney

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Merry Christmas. Today we have something truly special, one of my favorite recordings in our archive. It's an onstage concert and interview with Rosemary Clooney, recorded in 1997, five years before her death. Christmas is a perfect time to listen back to this because she starred with Bing Crosby in the classic 1954 film "White Christmas."

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1:12pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Television

David Bianculli Says 2012 Brought No New TV Favorites

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 2:57 pm

Aaron Paul plays a meth-making drug dealer on the AMC drama Breaking Bad.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Rounding up his favorite shows from 2012, Fresh Air TV critic David Bianculli says that when it came to television, it was another good year for cable and another so-so year for networks. Nor were there any new shows, he says, that wowed him. All the shows he watched and liked in 2012 were shows that have been around for at least a season.

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1:12pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Movie Reviews

David Edelstein's Top 12 Movies of 2012

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 2:47 pm

In Friends With Kids, Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) play two best friends who decide to have a baby together while keeping their relationship platonic — so that the baby doesn't interfere with their own romantic relationships.
JoJo Whilden Roadside Attractions

It's time for end-of-year lists. Fresh Air movie critic David Edelstein stubbornly refuses to either place his top picks in numerical order or make his list an even number of 10. Instead, he places his 12 favorite films from 2012 in alphabetical order, from Amour to Zero Dark Thirty.

Of the 12 films he picked for 2012, not one, Edelstein says, would he call the "M"-word — a masterpiece. That designation he reserves for the new extended DVD cut of Kenneth Lonergan's film Margaret.

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12:28pm

Sat December 22, 2012
NPR Story

Fresh Air Weekend: Barbra Streisand, Pizzarelli

Barbra Streisand is Joyce Brewster in The Guilt Trip. The multitalented performer has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony — a feat achieved by fewer than a dozen artists.
Sam Emerson Paramount Pictures

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'Guilt Trip': Streisand On Songs, Films And Family: In her new movie, singer, actor, writer, director and producer Barbra Streisand plays a well-meaning if overbearing Jewish mom. The star says her own mother both encouraged her talents and was jealous of them.

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12:14pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Remembrances

Remembering Von Freeman, Lol Coxhill And Sean Bergin

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 2:00 pm

Jazz lost many great saxophonists in 2012, including David S. Ware, John Tchicai, Byard Lancaster, Faruq Z. Bey, Hal McKusick and Red Holloway.

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10:19am

Fri December 21, 2012
Television

HBO's 'Enlightened' Take On Modern Meditation

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 2:00 pm

Laura Dern and series creator Mike White, shown together on the set of Enlightened, first worked together on White's 2007 film Year of the Dog.

Prashant Gupta HBO

This interview was originally broadcast on October 10, 2011.

Can people really change? That's the question Laura Dern and Mike White ask in their HBO series Enlightened, the second season of which begins Jan. 13. The show features Dern as Amy Jellicoe, an ambitious executive who has a nervous breakdown at her workplace. She goes to a rehabilitation center in Hawaii, where she experiences an awakening.

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2:10pm

Thu December 20, 2012
Politics

Assault-Style Weapons In The Civilian Market

According to Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Center, more people in the United States die every year from gun-related incidents than have been killed in all terrorist attacks worldwide since the 1960s.
iStockPhoto

As the country reels after Friday's massacre in Newtown, Conn., the question of how assault rifles like the one used at Sandy Hook Elementary School entered the civilian market is front and center.

The semi-automatic weapon found at the site where Adam Lanza shot to death 20 children and six adults, for example, is a variant of a type of gun developed for troops during Vietnam.

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2:10pm

Thu December 20, 2012
Commentary

Geoff Nunberg's Word Of The Year: Big Data

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 4:18 pm

Adam Gryko iStockphoto.com

"Big Data" hasn't made any of the words-of-the-year lists I've seen so far. That's probably because it didn't get the wide public exposure given to items like "frankenstorm," "fiscal cliff" and YOLO.

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1:57pm

Wed December 19, 2012
Music Reviews

Tunes To 'Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard' To

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 9:32 pm

Music by guitarist Fields Ward appears in the new collection Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time & End Time Music, 1923-1936.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The first thing to note about the collection of old-timey music Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard is that it resulted from a record-discovery event that happens less and less often, and soon will likely never happen again. The music was recorded between 1923 and 1936. Most of the sides on the set are taken from 78s collected by the late Don Wahle of Louisville, Ky., and rescued from Dumpster destruction in 2010 by compiler Nathan Salsburg. Nineteen of the songs have never been reissued. Piles of moldy vinyl left behind by the deceased were once commonplace. No longer.

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