Fresh Air on WLRN

Monday - Thursday at 12:00pm
Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

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Music Interviews
3:04 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

B.B. King On Life, Plantation Living And His 'Droopy-Drawers' Sound

B.B King in 1996.
David Redfern Redferns

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 7:56 am

B.B. King, the legendary blues musician, died Thursday after spending much of the month in hospice care. He was 89.

Born Riley B. King in Indianola, Miss., in 1925, King began his life on a plantation, where he was born the son of a sharecropper. Speaking to Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 1996, King remembered an early life without telephones, electricity or any outside opportunities. "A lot of the people, including myself in the early years, just thought this was it, you raise your families and you get old, you die, your families take over, kids, what have you," King said.

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Race
3:16 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How Our Government Created Ghettos

A helicopter flies over a section of Baltimore affected by riots. Richard Rothstein writes that recent unrest in Baltimore is the legacy of a century of federal, state and local policies designed to "quarantine Baltimore's black population in isolated slums."
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 1:25 pm

Fifty years after the repeal of Jim Crow, many African-Americans still live in segregated ghettos in the country's metropolitan areas. Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, has spent years studying the history of residential segregation in America.

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Music Reviews
2:06 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Country Hit Writer Chris Stapleton Breaks Out On His Own In 'Traveller'

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 3:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Music Reviews
3:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

'The In Crowd': An Audience-Fueled Jazz-Pop Crossover Hit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Fifty years ago today in a Washington nightclub, Chicago's Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded "The 'In' Crowd," the rare jazz single that landed on the pop charts. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the audience was half the show.

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Author Interviews
3:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Tom Brokaw Reflects On Cancer, 'Nightly News' And His 'Lucky Life'

Tom Brokaw served as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 until 2004.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 4:08 pm

By his own admission, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw has lived a charmed life. "In the seasons of life I have had more than my share of summers," he writes on the opening page of his new memoir, A Lucky Life Interrupted.

But two years ago, Brokaw's good fortune turned when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that has led to bone fractures and pain unlike any he'd known.

"It was paralyzing in a way," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "There were times when I simply couldn't get out of bed."

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Book Reviews
3:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Misadventures And Absurdist Charm Take Root In 'George Orwell's House'

Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 11:31 am

In 1946, reeling from the death of his wife and seeking an escape from the demands of London literary life, Eric Blair, aka "George Orwell," moved to a cottage on the isle of Jura off the west coast of Scotland. What the place lacked in modern conveniences like electricity and running water, it perhaps made up for in misty views of the Atlantic and samplings of the local whiskey.

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Author Interviews
2:50 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Making Art Out Of Bodies: Sally Mann Reflects On Life And Photography

Photographer Sally Mann drives with her greyhound, Honey, in the early 2000s.
Michael S. Williamson Courtesy of Michael S. Williamson

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 4:30 pm

Photographer Sally Mann is fascinated by bodies. In the early 1990s, she became famous β€” or notorious β€” for her book Immediate Family, which featured photographs of her young children naked. Critics claimed Mann's work eroticized the children, but Mann says the photos were misinterpreted.

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Movie Reviews
2:03 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

An Indian Coming-Of-Age Trilogy, Restored To Its 'True Splendor'

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 10:42 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Space
2:03 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

The Great 'Beyond': Contemplating Life, Sex And Elevators In Space

Astronomer Chris Impey examines the possibilities of the universe in his new book Beyond. "I like the idea that the universe β€” the boundless possibility of 20 billion habitable worlds β€” has led to things that we can barely imagine," he says. In the 1970s, NASA Ames conducted several space colony studies, commissioning renderings of the giant spacecraft which could house entire cities.
Rick Guidice NASA Ames Research Center

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 4:53 pm

The possibility of humans colonizing outer space may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but British astronomer Chris Impey says that if the U.S. were pumping more money into the space program, the sci-fi fantasy would be well on its way to reality.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:06 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Inside 'Mad Men'; British Pulp Fiction; Youth Sports

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) faces personal and professional upheaval in the final season of Mad Men.
Justina Mintz AMC

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 2:09 pm

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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Movie Reviews
1:56 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Schwarzenegger Meets Zombies In A Haunting, Slow-Paced New Film

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Interviews
1:56 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

'Fresh Air' Remembers Mystery Novelist Ruth Rendell

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

We're remembering British mystery writer Ruth Rendell, who died last Saturday in London at the age of 85. Rendell was interviewed twice by Terry Gross, first in 1989. Terry asked her to describe her best-known character, Reg Wexford.

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Interviews
1:56 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

'Fresh Air' Remembers Soul Singer Ben E. King

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STAND BY ME")

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Book Reviews
2:32 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Gangsters, Goons And 'Grievous Bodily Harm' In Ted Lewis' London

Ted Lewis' gritty storytelling takes readers inside London's seedier quarters.
Soho Press

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 5:29 pm

In his famous essay, "The Simple Art of Murder," Raymond Chandler put down the classic British mystery, making fun of its arcane killings and hokey air of gentility. He preferred the tough American style and praised Dashiell Hammett for, as he put it, taking murder out of the vicar's rose garden and dropping it in the alley where it belonged.

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Television
2:32 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

'Mad Men' Creator On Don Draper's Losses And The End Of The Road

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) faces personal and professional upheaval in the final season of Mad Men.
Justina Mintz AMC

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 5:08 pm

Editor's note: This conversation discusses plot points from the seventh season of Mad Men.

With just two episodes to go until the AMC series Mad Men wraps for good, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the series protagonist, seems to have nothing left β€” no Sterling Cooper ad agency, no apartment, no wife, no lover and no family life.

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