Fresh Air

Weekdays at 11am
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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Shots - Health News
1:01 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America's Medical System

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:47 pm

As a young doctor working at a teaching hospital, Sandeep Jauhar was having trouble making ends meet. So, like other academic physicians, he took a job moonlighting at a private practice, the offices of a cardiologist. He noticed that the offices were quick to order expensive tests for their patients — even when they seemed unnecessary.

It was "made very clear from the beginning" that seeing patients alone was not financially rewarding for the business, he says.

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Remembrances
12:59 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Former Vermont Sen. James Jeffords

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:17 pm

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...

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Music
12:59 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

With Both Farce And Feeling, Currentzis' 'Figaro' Succeeds Magnificently

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:17 pm

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."

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The Salt
1:40 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Seeking Proof For Why We Feel Terrible After Too Many Drinks

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 3:04 pm

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.

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Music
1:40 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Box Set Looks Back On Pioneering '5' Royales

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.

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Author Interviews
12:48 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

'Sweetness #9' Satirizes Food Wars And Artificial America

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 1:40 pm

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."

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:48 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Eric Schlosser, Spoon's New Album And 'The Knick' Creators

The Titan II intercontinental-range missile, pictured in 1965, sits ready for launch on its 150-feet-deep underground launchpad. "The one warhead on a Titan II had three times the explosive force of all the bombs used by all the armies in the second world war combined — including both atomic bombs," says investigative reporter Eric Schlosser.
Keystone Getty Images

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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Remembrances
12:37 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

In Acting And In Life, Lauren Bacall 'Loved The Idea Of Adventure'

Lauren Bacall says she never set out to have a look. "It was just a way to keep my head steady," she insists.
Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 1:02 pm

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.

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Sports
12:11 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

At 49, Jamie Moyer's Pitching Career Goes Into Extra Innings

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 1:02 pm

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.

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Television
12:49 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

How 'The Knick' Creators Capture Turn-Of-The-Century Operating Scenes

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

Science
12:49 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

A Scientist's Mission To Break The Itch-Scratch Cycle

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

Music
12:49 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Two Tenors Inspired By A Saxophone Colossus

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.

Television
12:39 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Case Closed: Agatha Christie's Detective Poirot Solves His Last TV Mystery

David Suchet plays Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's Poirot. The last season premiers Aug. 25 on Acorn TV.
Courtesy of Acorn TV/ITV

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 1:24 pm

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.

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Politics
12:39 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

'This Is A Congress That's Really Doing Nothing,' Says NYT Reporter

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 1:11 pm

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

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Book Reviews
1:15 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

In A Funny New Novel, A Weary Professor Writes To 'Dear Committee Members'

Marek Uliasz iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:58 pm

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.

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Remembrances
11:21 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Robin Williams: In Looking For Laughs, 'You Have To Be Deeply Honest'

Comedian and actor Robin Williams performs at the CBS Upfront presentation in New York City on May 15, 2013.
Jeffrey R. Staab CBS/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 4:45 pm

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."

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Music
1:55 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

At 74, Outlaw Billy Joe Shaver Is Still An Outlier

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.

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Author Interviews
1:33 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Nuclear 'Command And Control': A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes

The Titan II intercontinental-range missile, pictured in 1965, sits ready for launch on its 150-feet-deep underground launchpad. "The one warhead on a Titan II had three times the explosive force of all the bombs used by all the armies in the second world war combined — including both atomic bombs," says investigative reporter Eric Schlosser.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 9:39 am

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.

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Fresh Air Weekend
2:27 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Allison Janney, Jason Hamacher, Pinterest And Interactive TV

On Masters of Sex, Allison Janney plays Margaret Scully. Janney was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her performance.
Frank W Ockenfels 3 Showtime

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
12:44 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

In The Irish Film 'Calvary,' A Priest's Crisis Of Faith Is Weirdly Jokey

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 12:57 pm

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

Transcript

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Author Interviews
12:44 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

For Novelist Jonathan Lethem, Radicalism Runs In The Family

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

Transcript

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Music Reviews
12:44 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Jaki Byard, A Post-Bebop Pianist Who Was A Master Of Stride Piano

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.

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Music Interviews
2:45 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Douglas and Caine Find 'Present Joys' In The Sacred Harp Songbook

Originally published on

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

Music Interviews
2:37 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Before War, A Punk Drummer Preserved Syrian Chants

Between 2006 and 2010, Jason Hamacher made many trips to Syria to photograph and record ancient chants.
Jason Hamacher Lost Origins Productions

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.

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Television
1:14 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Stick With 'The Knick,' A Medical Drama With Amazing Inventions

On The Knick, the graphic scenes are riveting, says David Bianculli, though at times you may want to look away. Here, Clive Owen's character administers a shot.
Mary Cybulski Courtesy of HBO/Cinemax

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 2:37 pm

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.

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Asia
12:56 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Malaysia Flight Wreckage Was 'Like The End Of The World'

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down on July 17 in eastern Ukraine. The New York Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise was one of the first reporters to arrive at the scene.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

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.

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Music
12:56 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

A Label Paramount To Early Blues And Jazz

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.

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Books
1:36 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans

In November 1973, when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he talked with reporters about Watergate. In the years that followed, he spoke to Americans' anxieties with a simple message about America's inherent greatness.
Paul Vathis AP

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 2:50 pm

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.

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Music
1:36 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

A Lost Piece Of Soul History Appears

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.

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Television
1:52 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

How Interactive TV Is Older Than TV Itself

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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