Weekend Edition

Weekends at 8-10AM
Scott Simon

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor, courtesy of hosts Scott Simon and Liane Hansen.

On Saturdays, Simon's award-winning commentaries sum up an idea or event related to the week's news. There are fresh reports from a cross-section of NPR correspondents on topics from religion to health to food to politics. Simon's interviews with key artists, authors, performers and personalities are always memorable.

On Sundays, Weekend Edition combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. With a nod to traditional Sunday habits, the program offers a fix for diehard crossword addicts-word games and brainteasers with The Puzzlemaster, a.k.a. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. With Hansen on the sidelines, a caller plays the latest word game on the air while listeners compete silently at home. The NPR mailbag is proof that the competition to go head-to-head with Shortz is rather vigorous.

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8:00am

Sat May 21, 2011
NPR Story

Arab World Shapes White House Week

President Obama got his hands deep into the conflicts and turmoil in the Middle East this week, giving a speech about the Arab Spring and the questions it raises for stability in the region. NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro has this roundup of the week's events.

8:00am

Sat May 21, 2011
NPR Story

Israel Prickles Over Obama's Mideast Proposal

President Obama's speech on Middle East issues earlier this week drew a lukewarm response from Israel; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly rejected some of the president's proposals. Is there any common ground left on which the U.S. and Israel can build a dialogue? Host Scott Simon speaks with Dr. Marc Lynch, director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science at George Washington University.

8:00am

Sat May 21, 2011
Performing Arts

Bernadette Peters Revives Sondheim's 'Follies'

A rich, new production of Follies has opened at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with the original orchestrations. Bernadette Peters is playing the lead, and when she sings 'Broadway Baby,' it could be a kind of anthem. Host Scott Simon speaks with Peters about her new role in Stephen Sondheim's award-winning musical.

8:00am

Sat May 21, 2011
Author Interviews

'Commitments' Author Pens Short Goodbyes To Youth

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Most of the men in Roddy Doyle's new collection of short stories are lads. They're Irish guys who lift a pint, tell jokes, and watch football in packs, as they did when they were in their late teens. And yet, they're men confronting all the issues of middle-age - hair where they don't want it, children who leave home, wives who've heard all of their jokes, and the mounting realization that some things they'll just never get around to.

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7:26am

Sat May 21, 2011
Author Interviews

'The Influencing Machine' Traces Myths Of The Media

Brooke Gladstone has served as senior editor for NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday and All Things Considered. She is currently host and managing editor of NPR and WNYC's On The Media.
W.W. Norton & Co.

Once a week, journalist Brooke Gladstone can be heard reporting on the state of journalism on her radio show, On The Media. Now, the former Weekend Edition editor has a book out that asks difficult questions about the future of journalism, and then literally draws the answers out for you.

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7:17am

Sat May 21, 2011
Around the Nation

Louisiana Refinery, Residents Gird Against Flood

The National Guard constructed a 2-mile temporary levee around the ALON USA refinery in Krotz Springs, La., and a neighborhood on the south side of town.
Jeff Brady NPR

In Krotz Springs, La., preparations continue as residents wait for an expected flood below the Morganza Spillway.

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says there are 592 oil- and gas-producing wells in the path the water is expected to follow down the Atchafalaya Basin.

"Operators are typically reporting that they are making preparations as they would for a hurricane event," says department spokeswoman Anna Dearmon.

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8:00am

Sat May 14, 2011
NPR Story

Daley Dynasty Gives Way To Rahm Emanuel's Chicago

Rahm Emanuel will be sworn in Monday as mayor of Chicago, and the Daley family dynasty in Chicago politics will come to an end for now. Host Scott Simon speaks with Carol Marin, political columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, about the Daley legacy and the incoming Emanuel administration.

8:00am

Sat May 14, 2011
NPR Story

Sports: How The Mighty Have Fallen!

The NBA Eastern Conference finals are set and there's one more game to decide the Western finals. But none of the teams are called Lakers, Celtics or Spurs! And in golf, Tiger Woods is limping away from another major tournament. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman about the NBA playoffs and Tiger Woods' latest stumbles.

8:00am

Sat May 14, 2011
NPR Story

Gas Perks Bring Vacation Spots Closer To Home

Vacations not so far from home are what some travel experts are predicting as gas prices continue rising. Wisconsin Dells, a popular Midwestern vacation spot, historically hasn't lost visitors when gas has gone up, but like some businesses, they're taking no chances. They're offering a gas card to retain customers who generally come from within 300 miles. Wisconsin Public Radio's Shamane Mills reports.

8:00am

Sat May 14, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: End Time Nigh; Guns And Doctors

There was a huge response to a piece last week by NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty, who reported that a group of Christians believe May 21 will be the biblical Judgment Day. NPR's Greg Allen also reported that Florida is expected to be the first state to ban doctors from asking their patients if they own a gun. We also spoke with Shania Twain about her new memoir. Host Scott Simon reads listeners' e-mails and comments.

7:52am

Sat May 14, 2011
Simon Says

Inspiration In 140 Characters, Long Before Twitter

Newt Gingrich announced that he is running for president this week in a tweet: a short message on Twitter, where all messages can't be longer than 140 characters. Mr. Gingrich included a link to a YouTube video.

Tweets and other social media platforms have become their own media. Jokes and gossip, to be sure, built a lot of Twitter followings. But reporters and politicians now use it because tweets can reach millions of people almost as quickly, and more directly, than even radio or TV can.

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7:29pm

Fri May 13, 2011
Music Interviews

Angelica Sanchez: Scaling Down

Angelica Sanchez's new album features music written for both standard piano and toy piano.
Michael Weintrob Courtesy of the artist

The sound of a toy piano may conjure the magic and innocence of childhood: You see toy pianos in playrooms, not concert halls.

But John Cage wrote a suite for toy pianos in 1948. In 2001, a toy piano was a central part of the soundtrack for the French romantic comedy Amelie. Pop and rock musicians including Radiohead, Tom Waits and Lenny Kravitz have used toy pianos to accent their songs.

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5:53pm

Fri May 13, 2011
Music News

Hot Club Of Cowtown: A Texas Trio's Tribute

Hot Club of Cowtown's new album, What Makes Bob Holler, is a tribute to Western swing legend Bob Wills.
Courtesy of the artist

Several cities have "Hot Clubs" — bands that play so-called "Gypsy jazz" in the tradition of Django Reinhardt. There's the Hot Club of New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

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8:00am

Sat May 7, 2011
NPR Story

The Hottest Product In Manufacturing: Jobs

Job growth was better than expected in April, and one area where hiring continues to be surprisingly strong is manufacturing. Small- to medium-sized manufacturers around the country are taking advantage of a weaker dollar and demand for precision parts to increase their exports and add new jobs. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

8:00am

Sat May 7, 2011
NPR Story

Arthur Laurents: Broadway, Hollywood Powerhouse Remembered

One of the artistic geniuses who helped make Maria and Tony, the Sharks and the Jets and Baby and Mama Rose household names has died after a long, signature career. Arthur Laurents, who directed and wrote some of the most beloved classics of stage and screen was 93. Host Scott Simon talks to Broadway actress Patti LuPone about the passing of the renowned director, playwright and screenwriter.

7:30am

Sat May 7, 2011
Author Interviews

'I Wanted A New Life,' Says Actor, Author Rob Lowe

Well before Rob Lowe made it to Hollywood, he'd gone out of his way to meet Liza Minelli: As a kid in Dayton, Ohio, he'd knocked on her hotel room door, and stayed to share a chat and some chocolates. As he left, Minelli told him, "See you in Hollywood, kid."

And a few years later, he did make it to Hollywood — as one of its breakout stars.

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6:13pm

Fri May 6, 2011
Music Interviews

Robert Johnson At 100, Still Dispelling Myths

Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Johnson. Although he recorded just 29 songs, the bluesman had a huge influence on guitarists such as Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. Johnson is one of the most studied of all country blues musicians, and he's been the subject of many books, films and essays.

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3:30pm

Fri May 6, 2011
The Record

Shania Twain: A Survivor Who Remade The Good Old Girl

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:08 pm

Shania Twain.
Maura McEvoy Courtesy of Mercury Nashville

8:00am

Sat April 30, 2011
NPR Story

That Stiff Upper Lip Trembles For Royal Wedding

Saturday is the first full day of marriage for Prince William and his new bride, Kate Middleton. The royal couple was wed Friday at Westminster Abbey, capturing attention around the planet. Much of the build-up focused on how foreigners, especially Americans, seemed more obsessed about the event than people in Britain. Still, thousands of Britons flocked to the wedding. NPR's David Greene went to find out what they were looking for.

8:00am

Sat April 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Small Towns Struggle After Storms' Destruction

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:55 am

A damaged truck in a tornado-ravaged area near Rainsville, Ala.
Mark Almond AP

It's been three days since tornadoes ravaged the South, killing more than 300 people. In some areas not much has changed; there's no power, no water, no gas. People are struggling to get on with their day-to-day lives.

In northeast Alabama, parts of Tennessee and the northwest corner of Georgia, people are sitting in long lines waiting to buy gas.

Nicholas Goodridge was thrilled that this service station in Rising Fawn, Ga., just across the Alabama border, was open.

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8:00am

Sat April 30, 2011
Author Interviews

'Wicked Bugs' An Encyclopedia Of Insect Villains

Amy Stewart, who brought us a disturbing slender volume called Wicked Plants has a new and perhaps even more disturbing book called Wicked Bugs. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Stewart about her A-Z list of the most loathsome insects and the havoc they cause.

8:00am

Sat April 30, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Gas Prices; Napping Fire Lookout

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typewriter and music)

WERTHEIMER: Last week, we took a look at rising gas prices with the former CEO of the Shell Oil Company, John Hofmeister, who now heads up a nonprofit called Citizens for Affordable Energy.

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7:50am

Sat April 30, 2011
Books

Two Young Best Friends Come Of Age In 'Zanesville'

In Zanesville is the new book by Jo Ann Beard. It is about being in the 9th grade in Zanesville, Illinois — about a girl whose dad drinks, whose mother is hanging by a thread; about the lives of two best friends in this middle-sized mid-American place. A place where crazy neighbors are treasured, because they are not like everybody else.

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7:49am

Sat April 30, 2011
Fine Art

An Artist Imagines The White House As It Once Was

Originally published on Sat April 30, 2011 10:33 am

Grover Cleveland, the only President to get married in the White House, married 21-year-old Frances Folsom, above, in the Blue Room in 1886. The blue furniture, as shown in Waddell's painting, Something Blue, is still in the White House collection. Click here to explore the painting.
White House Historical Association

The White House is a home, not a museum, so when presidents move in, they do what any new homeowner would do: they redecorate. Just like the rest of us, they paint, paper, change the furniture and carpets.

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4:55pm

Fri April 29, 2011
Music Interviews

Donnacha Dennehy: Crashing Through Cultures

Ireland has a strong tradition of folk music and poetry that's familiar to many Americans. But in the hands of Dublin-born composer Donnacha Dennehy, it's transformed into something completely different.

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8:00am

Sat April 23, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Short Sleepers; Nirvana

Wake up! Our interview last week about short sleepers, people who need less zzzz's than most people, got plenty of letters and comments. So did our story last week on the enduring legacy of Seattle grunge band Nirvana. Host Scott Simon reads comments from our listeners.

8:00am

Sat April 23, 2011
Sports

Composer Collecting When Stadiums Scream 'Charge'

Bobby Kent claims to be the composer of the popular sports rallying song, "Stadium Doodads." That's the cheer that starts off with a musical call to action: "da-da-da-dum da-daaaaa," followed by thousands of fans answering: "Charge!" Kent is suing ASCAP and asking over 200 professional sports teams around the nation to pay a $3,000 licensing fee.

7:34am

Sat April 23, 2011
Author Interviews

A Con Man Meets Shakespeare In 'Tragedy Of Arthur'

The Tragedy of Arthur is a play within a novel within a mystery. Arthur Phillips and his twin sister, Dana, grew up with a love of Shakespeare imbued by their father, also Arthur Phillips, who has a fringe of "Einstein hair" and is charming to the point of seduction and shrewd to the point of brilliance. He is a con man, who paints masterpieces until he is imprisoned for it.

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8:06am

Sat April 16, 2011
Simon Says

Stand Up And Be Counted. And Counted. And Counted.

I've voted nine times already today and I'm exhausted.

I've voted for my favorite news story of the day. I've voted for my favorite western movies—once for Shane, once for Blazing Saddles. Yeah, the campfire scene.

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8:00am

Sat April 16, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Humane Society CEO; Japan Radiation

We talked with Wayne Pacelle last week, president and CEO of the Humane Society. We also had a heated debate on our site following a report by NPR's Joe Palca on the risk, or lack of it, of radiation exposure from Japan's badly damaged nuclear plant. Host Scott Simon reads listeners' e-mails and comments.

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