WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Fresh Air

Monday- Friday 2:00- 3:00pm
  • Hosted by 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 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.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

SINGING SENATORS: (Singing) God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the prairies, to the...

There are many recordings of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Do we need another? In the case of this new recording led by the young Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis, Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says, "Absolutely."

It can be nice to relax with a glass of wine, a beer or a shot of whiskey. But one drink too many, and you may be paying the price.

To understand why drinking can make us feel so good and so bad, you have to know a little about science, says journalist Adam Rogers, author of Proof: The Science of Booze.

As Rogers notes, researchers have only just begun to explore the mystery of the hangover and share a common language around it.

Soul music is often defined as the moment when gospel and blues met and formed a new sound. Ray Charles is often given credit for this, but there were others, most notably the "5" Royales, who had immense success as a live act, but never sold as many records as such a pioneering group should have. With the release of the 131-track collection Soul and Swagger: The Complete "5" Royales, the group has finally gotten the recognition they deserve. Fresh Air critic Ed Ward has the story.

When author Stephan Eirik Clark read Fast Food Nation in 2001, he didn't know it would inspire him to write a fictional account of the food industry.

"Flavorings were like gravity or electricity — something that was all around me but that I had never paid any attention to," Clark tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And as soon as I read that book and its chapter on food product design, I started to ask myself, 'How important are these to the foods?' I started to question if I was really eating food or just the idea of food."

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:

With her chin down and her eyes up, Lauren Bacall's trademark, sultry look enchanted audiences — and also fellow co-stars, most notably her future husband, Humphrey Bogart. But that powerful glance was actually a technique that 19-year-old Bacall employed to keep herself from shaking with nervousness during the filming of To Have and Have Not.

In a new memoir called Just Tell Me I Can't Moyer explains how he became a better pitcher in his 40s than his 20s. Moyer's story isn't just the tale of a talented guy who hung on a little longer than others; with the help of a sports psychologist, he managed to gain control of the mental side of his game. Originally broadcast Oct. 2, 2013.

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

Transcript

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Two new trio albums by tenor saxophonists who won the Thelonious Monk jazz competition share a conspicuous influence — vintage Sonny Rollins. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio by last year's winner, 25-year old Chile-born New Yorker Melissa Aldana, and Trios Live by Joshua Redman, who took the prize in 1991.

Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920. It featured fussy Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who proved the most popular of all her mystery-solving characters. Hercule made his final appearance in 1975, in the novel Curtain — and this month, nearly a century after he first appeared in print, the mystery series completes its lengthy run as a TV series, still starring David Suchet in the title role.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

For all you teachers out there contemplating the August calendar with dismay, watching, powerless, as the days of summer vacation dwindle down to a precious few, I have some consolation to offer: a hilarious academic novel that'll send you laughing (albeit ruefully) back into the trenches of the classroom.

Comedian and actor Robin Williams says a woman once came up to him in an airport and said: "Be zany."

"Pardon?" he asked.

"Be zany," she insisted.

"It's that thing — they want you to be that thing," he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 2006. "And it's like, 'No.' Sometimes it's fun, and I'll play if the moment's right, if there's an opportunity. And if not, I'll talk straight with you."

In 1973, Waylon Jennings released an album called Honky Tonk Heroes that consisted almost entirely, with one exception, of songs written by Billie Joe Shaver, a then-unknown Texas songwriter.

Globally, there are thousands of nuclear weapons hidden away and ready to go, just awaiting the right electrical signal. They are, writes investigative reporter Eric Schlosser, a collective death wish — barely suppressed. Every one is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder, he says.

"When it comes to nuclear command and control, anything less than perfection is unacceptable because of how devastatingly powerful these weapons are," Schlosser tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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:

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF JAKI BYARD SONG)

JAKI BYARD: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the "Late Late Show." I'm going into my act. This is my last set. So we don't know is going to happen.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Before the civil war in Syria destroyed ancient religious sites — and scattered some of the oldest Christian communities in the world — Jason Hamacher made several trips there, taking photos and recording ancient Sufi and Christian chants.

The first impression of The Knick, the new 10-part drama series that begins this weekend on Cinemax, is that it seems derivative. It's about a maverick doctor played by Clive Owen who's rude to almost everyone around him — like the abrasive hero of Hugh Laurie's Fox series, House. He works at a hospital in a big city, in the shadow of bigger hospitals, fighting for attention and respect — like the doctors on St. Elsewhere. The title The Knick, in fact, is short for Knickerbocker Hospital, and is as derisive a nickname as "St.

Sabrina Tavernise, one of the first journalists to arrive at the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine last month, says it was strange how quiet it was. The wreckage was still smoldering; she was surrounded by miles of fallen bodies.

There's nothing a certain type of record collector likes better than finding a stack of 78s on the Paramount label. Between 1917 and 1932, the label, which was one of several run by a furniture company in Grafton, Wisc., released thousands of records, but its real accomplishment was recording some of the greatest early blues and jazz performers.

In the mid-'70s, during a turbulent three-year period, Ronald Reagan emerged as a national figure and nearly captured the Republican nomination from a sitting president.

Rick Perlstein, who has spent much of his career writing about modern American conservatism, describes this time in political history in his new book, The Invisible Bridge.

In the early 1960s when soul star Sam Cooke had his own record label, SAR, he recorded songs by his younger brother, L.C. Cooke. Ten of the tracks were supposed to become L.C.'s debut album in 1964. The release was postponed, then Sam Cooke was killed, SAR went out of business and L.C.'s album fell into limbo. Now, 50 years later, The Complete SAR Records Recordings has appeared. Fresh Air critic Milo Miles examines this lost piece of history.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Pages