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.

Genre: 
Composer ID: 
5102dd06e1c8ff994aa73fb1|5102dce9e1c8ff994aa73f86

Pages

4:55pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Middle East

The Middle East: A Web Of 'Topsy-Turvy' Alliances

After a week of recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, an Israeli soldier stands on top of a mobile artillery unit in a position near the Israel Gaza border.
Ariel Schalit Getty Images

Writing for the New York Review of Books at the beginning of November, Robert Malley, the program director for the Middle East and North Africa with the International Crisis Group, and Hussein Agha described the current situation in the Middle East:

Read more

2:34pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Music Reviews

'Buddy And Jim': Friends In Life And Songwriting

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:04 pm

Musicians and friends Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale team up on a new album of country duets called Buddy and Jim.
Michael Wilson photo/Paul Moore design Courtesy of the artist

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale are singer-songwriters who've each written hits for country and rock acts, and have enjoyed extensive solo careers as performers and producers. Buddy and Jim is their first collaboration, a mixture of original songs and covers from earlier decades of country, rock, folk and soul music.

Read more

3:17pm

Tue November 27, 2012
Author Interviews

'The Last Refuge': Yemen, Al-Qaida And The U.S.

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:47 pm

W.W. Norton & Co.

In December 2009, a would-be terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. While the explosive failed to properly ignite and the man was arrested upon landing, the ensuing investigation revealed the bomb in question had been made by al-Qaida leaders in Yemen.

This attempted act of terrorism heralded both the small Arabian country's re-emergence into the international consciousness as a refuge for al-Qaida and the ascendance of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), developments that have grown only more pronounced since.

Read more

1:52pm

Tue November 27, 2012
Music Reviews

Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:17 pm

On her new album, opera star Cecilia Bartoli tackles the work of Baroque composer Agostino Steffani.
Uli Weber Decca

I never heard of the Baroque composer Agostino Steffani until last year, when the Boston Early Music Festival presented the North American premiere of Steffani's Niobe, an opera about the mythical queen who bragged so much about her many children, the gods killed them all in revenge. One of the leading roles, Niobe's husband King Amphion, was played by the early-music superstar countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who sang the opera's most sublime aria — a hymn to the harmony of the spheres. I couldn't wait to hear Jaroussky again, and was eager to hear more Steffani.

Read more

3:35pm

Mon November 26, 2012
Author Interviews

Mantel Takes Up Betrayal, Beheadings In 'Bodies'

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, won this year's Man Booker Prize.
Francesco Guidicini

This year, Hilary Mantel made history when she won a Man Booker Prize for her novel Bring Up the Bodies. She had previously been awarded the prize — England's highest literary honor — for her 2009 novel, Wolf Hall, and is now the first woman to receive the award twice.

Read more

12:32pm

Mon November 26, 2012
Music Reviews

Jason Kao Hwang: From The Blues To China And Back

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Burning Bridge personnel, left to right: Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Wang Guowei (erhu), Sun Li (pipa), Ken Filiano (string bass), Andrew Drury (drum set), Joseph Daley (tuba), Steve Swell (trombone), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet/flugelhorn).
Scott Friedlander Courtesy of the artist

Jazz reflects who we are as a people — democracy in action and all that. But a jazz tune or solo is also a portrait of the musician who makes it; the music reflects the particular background and training that influences how composers compose and improvisers improvise. Jason Kao Hwang makes that autobiographical component explicit throughout his extended composition for eight pieces, Burning Bridge. His parents made the move from China around the end of WWII, and he grew up attending Presbyterian services in suburban Chicago.

Read more

9:03am

Sat November 24, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Colbert, America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 11:54 am

Stephen Colbert (right) performs with Ben Folds on the set of his TV show, The Colbert Report.
Kris Long

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:

Stephen Colbert's Most Meaningful Musical Moments: Colbert loves music and loves to sing, so Fresh Air's Terry Gross asked him to bring a few songs that mean a lot to him and tell her why.

Read more

1:54pm

Fri November 23, 2012
Movies

What Happened To 'Baby Jane'? She's Turning 50

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 2:33 pm

Bette Davis in the role of Jane Hudson in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? The classic horror film, which has just turned 50, is being released on Blu-ray
AP

Baby Jane Hudson is now 50 years old — or at least the strange and brilliant movie in which she's the main character is, just released as a beautifully remastered Blu-ray. Robert Aldrich's grotesque gothic tragedy is a cross between Gypsy, with its antithetical show-biz kid sisters, and Sunset Boulevard, with its decayed Hollywood glamour.

Read more

12:28pm

Fri November 23, 2012
Movie Reviews

A Boy, A Boat, A Tiger: Reflecting On 'Life Of Pi'

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 1:54 pm

Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) begins a journey of personal growth and spiritual discovery after being lost at sea.
20th Century Fox

Director Ang Lee has a surprising affinity for the Indian hero of Life of Pi — that's his name, Pi, and he's seen at several ages but principally as a 17-year-old boy adrift on a lifeboat in the South Pacific. He's the lone survivor of a shipwreck that killed the crew, his family and a variety of zoo animals his father was transporting to North America for sale.

Actually, Pi is the lone human survivor. He shares his boat and its dwindling food supplies with a man-eating Bengal tiger.

Read more

9:03am

Fri November 23, 2012
Music

Jazz Vocalist Susie Arioli Goes 'All The Way'

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 1:54 pm

Susie Arioli's new album, All the Way, was released in June.
Marianne Larochelle

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 8, 2012.

Read more

9:03am

Thu November 22, 2012
Books

'Gershwins And Me' Tells The Stories Behind 12 Songs

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 10:46 am

Michael Feinstein (right) worked for six years as Ira Gershwin's cataloger and archivist.
Simon & Schuster

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 17, 2012.

Long before singer and pianist Michael Feinstein became famous in his own right, he had the privilege of working closely with legendary songwriter Ira Gershwin, as his archivist and cataloger. In his book, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs, Feinstein writes firsthand about the musical world of the American composers and brothers, George and Ira Gershwin.

Read more

1:45pm

Wed November 21, 2012
Author Interviews

A Daughter Remembers Her 'Entertainer' Father

Lyle Talbot began his career as an itinerant carnival and vaudeville performer before eventually making his way to Hollywood.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

If you look up the name Lyle Talbot on IMDb, you'll find dozens of films and television shows he appeared in, starting with the 1931 short The Nightingale and ending with roles on Newhart and Who's the Boss. He made a movie with Bogart before Bogart was a star. He worked with child star Shirley Temple, was featured in the Ed Wood cult classics Plan 9 from Outer Space and Glen or Glenda?, and had a recurring role on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as Ozzie's friend and neighbor Joe Randolph.

Read more

1:26pm

Wed November 21, 2012
Music Reviews

The Mythic Power Of Bessie Smith

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:39 am

circa 1935: American singer Bessie Smith (circa 1894 - 1937), known as the Empress of the Blues. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)
Three Lions Getty Images

Vocalist Bessie Smith's musical career, spanning 1923-33, has been collected in a new 10-CD box set, Bessie Smith: The Complete Columbia Recordings.

Read more

3:00pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Book Reviews

Hungry Hearts And Family Matters In 'Middlesteins'

iStockphoto.com

At first glance, a novel in which the main character eats herself to death may not seem like the most felicitous pick for Thanksgiving week; but The Middlesteins turns out to be a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other, even in their most unlovely, chewing-with-their-mouths-open life moments. If you have a Thanksgiving family reunion looming before you that doesn't exactly promise to be a Norman Rockwell painting, The Middlesteins may just be the perfect literary corrective to overindulgence in high-calorie holiday expectations.

Read more

2:30pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Author Interviews

A Model Career: 'Grace' Goes From Runway To Vogue

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:25 pm

Grace Coddington grew up on what she calls "an island off an island," far from the fashion industry. Her new memoir, Grace, chronicles her journey from a sleepy town on the coast of Wales to her current job as the creative director of Vogue magazine.

Read more

12:52pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Music Reviews

The Insect Trust: An American Band Deconstructed

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:40 am

The Insect Trust.
Courtesy of the artist

3:15pm

Mon November 19, 2012
Movie Interviews

'Life Of Pi' Star On The 'Duet' Of Acting

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:54 pm

Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) looks back on the adventure he went on as a teenager in Life of Pi.
Peter Sorel Twentieth Century Fox

You might think that actor Irrfan Khan — the co-star of the special effects-filled film Life of Pi -- performed his scenes by himself, or with inanimate objects that would later be transformed via CGI. Not so: As the older Pi in Ang Lee's new adaptation of the best-selling novel, Khan went back to the basics.

He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he thinks of scenes as being like duets: "You strike a note, and somebody responds, and then you respond accordingly," Khan says.

Read more

2:35pm

Mon November 19, 2012
Author Interviews

'Color Of Christ': A Story Of Race And Religion In America

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:55 pm

UNC Press

What did Jesus look like? The many different depictions of Christ tell a story about race and religion in America. Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey explore that history in their new book, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. The book traces how different races and ethnic groups claimed Christ as their own — and how depictions of Jesus have both inspired civil rights crusades, and been used to justify the violence of white supremacists.

Read more

9:03am

Sat November 17, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Andrew Solomon, Tony Dokoupil

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 11:45 am

iStockphoto.com

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:

Read more

1:55pm

Fri November 16, 2012
Author Interviews

Finding 'Life, Death And Hope' In A Mumbai Slum

Courtesy of Random House

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 8, 2012. On Wednesday, Katherine Boo won the National Book Award for nonfiction for Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

Read more

12:33pm

Fri November 16, 2012
Movie Reviews

In 'Silver Linings Playbook,' Lawrence Is Golden

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 3:14 pm

Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker also help round out a team of actors who score a touchdown with the critics.
The Weinstein Co.

The best thing about David O. Russell is that he cultivates his disequilibrium. In Silver Linings Playbook, his hero is disturbed and his heroine possibly more so, and his other characters have a grip on reality that is only marginally more secure. Russell might have made them seem the dreaded "q" word — quirky — and OK, he does, a bit, at the end, which broadly conforms to the rom-com template. But until then, Bradley Cooper's Pat Solatano is someone you'd be less likely to dream about than get a restraining order against.

Read more

12:05pm

Fri November 16, 2012
Author Interviews

'When God Talks Back' To The Evangelical Community

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 1:55 pm

iStockphoto.com

This interview was originally broadcast on Fresh Air on March 26, 2012. When God Talks Back was released in paperback on Nov. 13.

While attending services and small group meetings at The Vineyard, an evangelical church with 600 branches across the country, anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann noticed that several members of the congregation said God had repeatedly spoken to them and that they had heard what God wanted them to do.

Read more

2:49pm

Thu November 15, 2012
Books

Doris Kearns Goodwin On Lincoln And His 'Team Of Rivals'

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 8, 2005.

When Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg were working on the film Lincoln, they had many conversations with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, is about Lincoln's relationship with his cabinet. Both her book and the film showcase Lincoln's remarkable political skills.

Read more

2:47pm

Thu November 15, 2012
Movie Reviews

The New British Empire: Pop-Culture Powerhouses

The HBO documentary Crossfire Hurricane, about The Rolling Stones, prompts critic John Powers to reflect on the band's five decades of fame.
HBO Films

It seems that every time you turn around, you find another anniversary of some big cultural or historical event. I'm weary of the media's habit of playing all these things up, so I'm abashed to admit I'm about to do just that.

But you see, in the same three-day period I recently saw the new James Bond picture, Skyfall, and Crossfire Hurricane, a new HBO documentary about The Rolling Stones. And because the Bond movies and the Stones both turn 50 this year, I began thinking about how they might fit together.

Read more

1:16pm

Thu November 15, 2012
Movie Interviews

Kushner's 'Lincoln' Is Strange, But Also Savvy

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:41 pm

Tony Kushner based his screenplay for Lincoln in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of the president, Team of Rivals — but he read many other histories and biographies, in addition to Lincoln's own writings.
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Tony Kushner spent years writing the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln, but that wasn't the only heavy lifting he had to do. It also took some effort to overcome Daniel Day-Lewis' reluctance to play the title role.

"I wanted to write to him and say, 'Daniel, apart from the fact that you're like one of the greatest actors ever, look in the mirror. God is trying to tell you something — you look like Abraham Lincoln!" Kushner tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

Read more

2:41pm

Wed November 14, 2012
Author Interviews

A Young Reporter Chronicles Her 'Brain On Fire'

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 5:47 pm

Susannah Cahalan is a reporter and book reviewer at the New York Post.
Julie Stapen Free Press

In 2009, Susannah Cahalan was a healthy 24-year-old reporter for the New York Post, when she began to experience numbness, paranoia, sensitivity to light and erratic behavior. Grasping for an answer, Cahalan asked herself as it was happening, "Am I just bad at my job — is that why? Is the pressure of it getting to me? Is it a new relationship?"

But Cahalan only got worse — she began to experience seizures, hallucinations, increasingly psychotic behavior and even catatonia. Her symptoms frightened family members and baffled a series of doctors.

Read more

2:28pm

Wed November 14, 2012
Book Reviews

Ian McEwan's 'Sweet Tooth' Leaves A Sour Taste

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:49 pm

iStockphoto.com

Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth is that oddest of literary achievements: an ingenious novel that I compulsively read, intellectually admired and increasingly hated. By the time I got to McEwan's last sneer of a plot twist, I felt that reading Sweet Tooth is the closest I ever want to come to the experience of watching a snuff film. Think that's harsh? Open up Sweet Tooth and find out what McEwan thinks of you, Dear Reader, particularly if you're a woman, as most readers of fiction are.

Read more

12:35pm

Wed November 14, 2012
Music Reviews

An Unlikely Tribute: Jamey Johnson Covers Hank Cochran

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 5:41 pm

Jamey Johnson's new album pays tribute to songwriter Hank Cochran.
Courtesy of the artist

Jamey Johnson, one of the most popular country singers of recent years, has just released an album titled Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran.

Read more

4:26pm

Tue November 13, 2012
Around the Nation

Legalizing And Regulating Pot: A Growth Industry

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 4:53 pm

On Election Day, residents in Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Above, marijuana plants grow at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center in Los Angeles.
David McNew Getty Images

When reporter Tony Dokoupil was a teenager, he found out that his father had sold marijuana, but he just thought his parents "were hippies." A few years ago, while working on a story about his father's drug dealer past, he discovered that actually, in the 1970s and '80s, his father, Anthony Dokoupil, had been a big-time marijuana smuggler.

"He was arrested in the early '90s on a job selling 17 tons of marijuana," Dokoupil tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "which was enough at the time to roll a joint for every college kid in the U.S."

Read more

4:41pm

Mon November 12, 2012
Author Interviews

Parenting A Child Who's Fallen 'Far From The Tree'

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 8:09 pm

iStockphoto.com

When Andrew Solomon started his family with his husband, John Habich, he says, people were surprised that he wasn't afraid to have children, given the topic of the book he was writing. That book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, explores what it's like for parents of children who are profoundly different or likely to be stigmatized — children with Down syndrome, deafness, autism, dwarfism, or who are prodigies, become criminals, or are conceived in rape.

Read more

Pages