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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10:46am

Thu October 13, 2011
Television

Ted Danson, On 'Crime' And 'Death' After 'Cheers'

Ted Danson and Marg Helgenberger search for clues on the CBS drama CSI.

Sonja Flemming CBS

This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 7, 2009. Ted Danson is currently starring in Bored to Death on HBO and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS.

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12:01pm

Wed October 12, 2011
Book Reviews

'Lost Memory Of Skin' Goes Where Most Fiction Won't

You've got to hand it to Russell Banks: He's certainly not writing with an eye to please readers or to be taken up by book clubs across the land. Lost Memory of Skin is not aiming to be a "crossover" literary stealth hit. If you're going to read it, you're the one who will have to "cross over" to Banks' world, and it ain't very pretty on his side of the social divide.

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11:54am

Wed October 12, 2011
Country

Breathing New Life Into Hank Williams' Lyrics

It's hard not to feel ambivalent about The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams. Yes, it does give us an opportunity to hear previously unreleased lyrics by one of the greatest songwriters country music has produced. But Williams didn't write the music that accompanies his words, and as sincere as these performers are, none of the words are framed the way Williams would have, had he completed the songwriting process.

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1:41pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Music Reviews

Wilhelm Furtwaengler: A Complex German Conductor

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 7:59 am

German conductor and composer Wilhelm Furtwaengler.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Note: Wilhelm Furtwangler's last name is typically spelled with an umlaut over the 'a' character. The npr website does not support characters with umlauts over characters. A variation of Furtwangler's name without the umlaut is spelled Furtwaengler.

Wilhelm Furtwaengler's name may be hard for Americans to pronounce, but the reason this great conductor isn't so well-remembered here is that he chose to remain in Germany during WWII, though he was never a member of the Nazi Party, and was exonerated by a postwar tribunal.

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12:10pm

Tue June 21, 2011
Author Interviews

'Death And After In Iraq': Memoir Of A Mortuary

Originally published on Thu July 14, 2011 7:20 pm

Right after she graduated from high school in 2001, Jess Goodell enlisted in the Marine Corps as a mechanic. She was stationed in Okinawa, Japan — but she wanted to go to Iraq. "I felt a pressure both from my peers and from within that in order to be a real marine, I needed to go to Iraq," Goodell tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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12:13pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Movie Reviews

Like Gilbert And Sullivan? You'll Love These DVDs

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 12:05 pm

Criterion

Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, in case you don't know them, are not only tuneful and hilarious, but they're also very touching and truly literate. The most popular and surely the funniest is The Mikado — a satire not so much of Japanese customs, but of English customs filtered through a Japanese lens. Oddly, Hollywood didn't touch it until half a century after its premiere at London's Savoy Theater in 1939, when it was also being jazzed up on stage in such pieces as Michael Todd's The Hot Mikado, starring Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

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12:09pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Author Interviews

'You Think That's Bad': Fiction Of The Unfamiliar

Author Jim Shepard writes what he knows, but also likes to write what he doesn't know. His novel Project X was about a Columbine-like school shooting from the perspective of one of the kids involved. His story Love and Hydrogen concerns a clandestine gay romance between two crew members of the Hindenburg.

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12:10pm

Fri June 17, 2011
Movie Reviews

'Buck': A Horse Whisperer Wrangles His Dark Past

As a child, Buck Brannaman was badly abused by his father. Cindy Meehl's documentary, Buck, tells the story of how Brannaman overcame his troubled childhood and become the inspiration for the book and movie The Horse Whisperer.
Emily Knight IFC Films

Our therapeutic culture is lousy with stories of people struggling to spin childhood traumas into something positive, something that leaves the world a better place than the one that damaged them; but I've never seen a film in which the link between a trauma and its transmutation is as vivid as in Buck.

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11:00am

Fri June 17, 2011
Music Interviews

Nick Cave: An Australian On Love And Death In America

Nick Cave.
Nigel Treblin AFP/Getty Images

This interview was originally broadcast on April 28, 2008. Four of Nick Cave's studio albums — Murder Ballads, No More Shall We Part, Let Love In and The Boatman's Call — have just been reissued.

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1:41pm

Thu June 16, 2011
Conflict In Libya

A West Bank Democracy Push May Be 'Game Changer'

Robert Malley is a lawyer and conflict resolution specialist. From 1998 to 2001, he was the Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs. During that time, he helped organize the 2000 Camp David Summit.
International Crisis Group

Democracy movements sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa have sparked dramatic changes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

The West Bank has yet to see a movement on this level. If and when that does occur, it could be a "game changer" for Israel and the United States, says Robert Malley, an expert in conflict resolution and the program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group.

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11:48am

Wed June 15, 2011
Author Interviews

A Romantic Anthology Of Comically 'Agonizing Love'

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:54 am

Romance comics — those sappy, dramatic serials from the 1940s and '50s — were designed for girls who grew up craving honeymoons and marital bliss in the years following World War II. Michael Barson, a middle-aged pop culture writer from New Jersey, certainly wasn't the target audience for romance comic books, but in the early 1980s he found himself amassing a sizable collection of them.

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11:46am

Wed June 15, 2011
Author Interviews

'Life, Death And Politics' Treating Chicago's Uninsured

Originally published on Thu July 14, 2011 7:26 pm

The first time Dr. David Ansell went into the men's room at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, he immediately ran out. "It was so bad, I couldn't use it," he says. "I ran across the street and had to use the bathroom there. It was quite an introduction to my first day at County."

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11:34am

Tue June 14, 2011
Movies

The Art Of Mimicry: A 'Trip' Down Memory Lane

Best Impressions: Steve Coogan (right) and Rob Brydon trade barbs and impersonations in The Trip.
Phil Fisk IFC Films

A few nights ago, I put on Warner Home Video's new Blu-ray of one of my favorite adventure films, The Man Who Would Be King. Based on a story by Rudyard Kipling, this 1975 tale stars Michael Caine and Sean Connery as two roguish British soldiers who scam their way into taking over the country of Kafiristan. It's a terrific movie, and as it unfolded, I was struck that Caine and Connery have been part of my life since I was a kid. I could recognize their voices in my sleep.

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10:01am

Tue June 14, 2011
Books We Like

'State Of Wonder' Deftly Twists, Turns Off The Map

It's not often that a novel leaves me (temporarily) speechless. But Ann Patchett's new novel isn't called State of Wonder for nothing, because that's exactly the state I've been in ever since I first opened it. The numbness has worn off by now, but for days, all I could say to friends who asked me about it was the one-word review: "Wow."

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11:17am

Fri June 10, 2011
Author Interviews

Prohibition: Speakeasies, Loopholes And Politics

This interview was originally broadcast on May 10, 2010. Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is now available in paperback.

Between the years of 1920, when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, and 1933, when the 21st Amendment repealed the restriction, it was illegal to sell, transport or manufacture "intoxicating" beverages for consumption in the United States.

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11:00am

Thu June 9, 2011
Movie Interviews

British Comedian Steve Coogan's Improv-Based 'Trip'

Steve Coogan (left) and Rob Brydon tour Northern England and engage in a battle of competing impressions in the road trip comedy, The Trip.
IFC Films

Comedian, writer and producer Steve Coogan, an icon of British comedy, is best known for playing his character Alan Partridge, the "nerdy radio DJ with a terrible taste in sweaters and an inflated ego."

As Partridge, Coogan was often compared to Garry Shandling in The Larry Sanders Show and Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, for his ability to improvise and play with the tiny details of life.

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12:02pm

Wed June 8, 2011
Spotlight on Country

Brad Paisley: 'Country Music,' Defined

Brad Paisley.
Jim Shea Sony Music

Brad Paisley doesn't possess the most distinctive voice in country music, and his guitar solos exude a lot of arena-friendly rock 'n' roll flashiness. But he's become a huge country star on the basis of just this combination of aw-shucks ordinariness and ostentatious skill.

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12:29pm

Tue June 7, 2011
Author Interviews

'Pawn Star' Rick Harrison On His 'Deals And Steals'

Rick Harrison and his family run a 24-hour pawn shop in Las Vegas.
Erik Kabik/erikkabik.com History Channel

Two years ago, a man walked into the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas with a pair of diamond earrings.

Pawn dealer Rick Harrison asked him the typical questions — Where did you get it? Where is the receipt? — and the man readily answered. Harrison filled out the required paperwork and paid the man $40,000 for his merchandise.

The very next day, Harrison found out the earrings were stolen. The victim got her earrings back and the criminal was prosecuted. Harrison, meanwhile, was out $40,000.

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12:07pm

Tue June 7, 2011
Media

Keith Olbermann: The 'Countdown' To His New Show

Keith Olbermann hosted Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC for nearly eight years. On June 20, he'll begin hosting a new commentary show on Current TV.
Current TV

After abruptly departing MSNBC in January, Keith Olbermann returns to broadcasting on June 20 with a new version of Countdown on the Current TV network.

He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his new show resembles his old show on MSNBC but "with some additional bells and whistles and a little bit more commentary." And, he says, he's looking forward to being at a network where he can say things he wasn't able to say before.

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12:20pm

Mon June 6, 2011
Author Interviews

Sugar Ray Leonard's Fight 'In And Out Of The Ring'

Sugar Ray Leonard is considered to be one of the best boxers of all time. The first boxer to win more than $100 million in purses, Leonard won world titles in five weight divisions, received a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and went on to become a successful motivational speaker, actor and commercial endorser.

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4:00pm

Fri June 3, 2011
Music Interviews

Los Straitjackets: Honoring Bandmate Daniel Amis

Western swing/rockabilly titan Big Sandy (left) stopped into the Fresh Air studios with tourmates Los Straitjackets in 2007. Now the band is raising money for one of its members.
Greg Allen Yep Roc Records

On June 11, 2007, Fresh Air broadcast a concert and conversation with Los Straitjackets, the Nashville-based indie-rock band that's made a name performing surf-rock classics from behind Mexican wrestling masks.

On today's Fresh Air, excerpts from that interview are being replayed to honor band member Danny Amis, who is recovering from a cancer treatment after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

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12:00pm

Thu June 2, 2011
Book Reviews

Summer Reads To Transport You Back In Time

Summer, when I was a kid, meant weekend road-trips in our family Rambler to sites of historical interest. We'd pack up deviled-ham sandwiches and Cokes and make pilgrimages from our apartment in Queens to Teddy Roosevelt's house on Long Island or Washington Irving's house in Westchester. Sometimes there were longer expeditions to Valley Forge and, once, Williamsburg. I'm not sure how much history I absorbed; I mostly remember a lot of candle-making demonstrations.

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10:26am

Wed June 1, 2011
Movie Reviews

A Night At The Opera (On The Silver Screen)

Alida Valli stars as Countess Livia Serpieri and Farley Granger plays Lieut. Franz Mahler in Senso.
Everett Collection/Everett Col

The Italian film director Luchino Visconti was also a great opera director, working with Maria Callas in some of her greatest roles. His version of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro was one of the most memorable and realistic opera productions I've ever seen.

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12:13pm

Tue May 31, 2011
Television

Fangtastic Voyage: 'True Blood' Vampires Live On

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and Layfayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) return to the Louisiana bayou for True Blood's fourth season.
John P. Johnson HBO

[Spoiler Alert: This review touches on some details from season three of True Blood.]

This week HBO releases season three of True Blood on DVD — 12 episodes bringing us up to speed on Sookie Stackhouse, the psychic southern waitress; on Bill Compton and Eric Northman, the two vampires in love with her; and on all the other far-from-normal residents of and around their bayou town. And in a few weeks, on June 26, HBO launches season four of True Blood, which doubles down on its paranormal plot lines.

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12:00pm

Tue May 31, 2011
Author Interviews

'Incognito': What's Hiding In The Unconscious Mind

Your brain doesn't like to keep secrets. Studies at the University of Texas-Austin have shown that writing down secrets in a journal or telling a doctor your secrets actually decreases the level of stress hormones in your body. Keeping a secret, meanwhile, does the opposite.

Your brain also doesn't like stress hormones. So when you have a secret to tell, the part of your brain that wants to tell the secret is constantly fighting with the part of your brain that wants to keep the information hidden, says neuroscientist David Eagleman.

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10:30am

Mon May 30, 2011
Music Interviews

Keith Richards' 'Life' With The Rolling Stones

This interview was originally broadcast on October 25, 2010. Keith Richards' memoir Life is now available in paperback.

With his songwriting partner Mick Jagger, Keith Richards created some of the most iconic rock 'n' roll songs of the 20th century. But the opening line of one of The Rolling Stones' most famous hits — "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" — wasn't a collaboration. The riff came to Richards during a dream.

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10:46am

Fri May 27, 2011
Author Interviews

John Waters Reflects On His 'Role Models'

This interview was originally broadcast on June 3, 2010. Role Models is now available in paperback.

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10:00am

Fri May 27, 2011
Music Reviews

Ambrose Akinmusire: An Expressive Range Emerges

Ambrose Akinmusire would rather fit into a cohesive band and spread the solos around than put himself way out front.
Courtesy of the artist

Lately, the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire been getting the kind of good press that doesn't always do musicians favors. It raises expectations awfully high. When the Heart Emerges Glistening, Akinmusire's second album and his Blue Note debut, doesn't try to blow you away with non-stop power trumpeting. Akinmusire has been praised for his pop influences, and he takes one good idea from pop: start with catchy tunes, like his ballad "Henya."

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11:30am

Thu May 26, 2011
Animals

The New Science Of Understanding Dog Behavior

What's the best advice to give man about respecting man's best friend?

Animal behaviorist John Bradshaw says it's realizing that dogs are neither wolves nor furry humans and that dog owners have certain responsibilities to make sure their dogs are psychologically healthy.

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11:00am

Thu May 26, 2011
Book Reviews

'The Sentimentalists': Submerged Emotions Surface

This is the kind of novel that the traditional publishing industry isn't supposed to have room for any longer: a slim debut novel graced by inventive language and a haunting atmosphere. In other words, a novel that, if it's lucky, can be estimated to attract maybe 15 readers outside of the author's family. But Johanna Skibsrud's novel, The Sentimentalists, has already had more than its share of first-time work of fiction luck.

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