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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Author Interviews
9:59 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Internet: A Series Of 'Tubes' (And Then Some)

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:08 pm

Increasingly, Internet users are working "in the cloud" — creating and sending data that isn't stored on local hard drives. It's easy to imagine our emails and photos swirling around in cyberspace without a physical home — but that's not really how it works. Those files are still stored somewhere, but you can only find them if you know where to look.

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Movies
9:58 am
Thu May 31, 2012

2012: Not The Best Year At Cannes

Emmanuelle Riva co-stars in the French film Amour, which won the festival's Palme d'Or.
La Festival de Cannes

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:08 pm

John Powers, Fresh Air's critic-at-large and the movie critic for Vogue, returns from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival to share his thoughts on the films he liked and the films he didn't care for.

Though Powers says 2012 was not the best year at Cannes, the experience once again left him feeling rejuvenated about the movies.

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Commentary
10:00 am
Wed May 30, 2012

The Word 'Hopefully' Is Here To Stay, Hopefully

The word "hopefully" has been used in thousands of NPR stories.
Stephanie d'Otreppe/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 1:52 pm

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

There was something anticlimactic to the news that the AP Stylebook will no longer be objecting to the use of "hopefully" as a floating sentence adverb, as in, "Hopefully, the Giants will win the division." It was like seeing an obituary for someone you assumed must have died around the time that Hootenanny went off the air.

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Music
6:30 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Traditional Music Legend Doc Watson

Doc Watson performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 1, 2009.
Rick Diamond/Staff Getty Images Entertainment

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 10:00 am

This interview was originally broadcast on March 24, 1988.

Doc Watson, who was called "a living national treasure" for his virtuoso flat-picking and his repertoire of traditional folk and bluegrass tunes, has died. He was 89.

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Music Reviews
10:52 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Anti-Virtuoso Piano, Delicate And Despoiled

Left to right: Masabumi Kikuchi, Thomas Morgan, Paul Motian.
John Rogers

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 11:11 am

The death of a great musician ripples through the jazz community. It's a special loss to those improvisers we might call immediate survivors: working partners who'll miss that special interaction with a singular musician.

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Movie Interviews
9:13 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Wes Anderson, Creating A Singular 'Kingdom'

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom opened the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. He received Academy Award nominations for The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Niko Tavernise Focus Features

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:58 am

Director Wes Anderson has many credits to his name — The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Bottle Rocket and Fantastic Mr. Fox among them — but Moonrise Kingdom is his first film to open the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Starring Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, the quirky independent picture tells the story of a 12-year-old girl and boy who fall in love and then make a pact to run off into the woods together.

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Music Interviews
6:03 am
Mon May 28, 2012

Catherine Russell: An In-Studio Fresh Air Concert

Catherine Russell.
Stefan Falke

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:49 am

This interview was originally broadcast on February 21, 2011.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:58 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: David Alan Grier, Sacha Baron Cohen

In Porgy and Bess, David Alan Grier plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role closely associated with Sammy Davis Jr. and Cab Calloway.
Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:02 am

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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Music Reviews
10:00 am
Fri May 25, 2012

James Burton: The Teen Who Invented American Guitar

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

What were you doing when you were 16?

When he was 16, James Burton was inventing the American guitar. He'd been born in Dubberly, La., in 1939, and was apparently self-taught on his instrument. At 15, he cut a single backing local singer Carol Williams, and then one day he came up with a guitar riff that he liked. He took it to a singer from Shreveport he was touring with, and they worked out a song to use in his act. One thing led to another, and it wound up on a record called "Suzie Q," credited to Dale Hawkins, the singer.

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Movie Reviews
9:30 am
Fri May 25, 2012

A Wes Anderson 'Kingdom' Full Of Beautiful Imagery

Edward Norton plays a scoutmaster in search of his lost charge in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Focus Features

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

Many people are rapturous over the work of Wes Anderson, and for them, I expect, Moonrise Kingdom will be nirvana. The frames are quasi-symmetrical: a strong center, often human, with misaligned objects on each side suggesting a universe that's slightly out of balance, like a series of discombobulated dollhouses.

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Author Interviews
8:11 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Examining 'The Leftovers,' After The Rapture

Tom Perrotta is the author of several novels, including Election and Little Children.
Mark Ostow Courtesy Tom Perrotta

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on August 25, 2011. The Leftovers is now available in paperback.

Last year, California-based preacher Harold Camping announced that the beginning of the end of the world would take place on May 21, 2011. The date passed by with no apparent rapture, and Camping became the butt of many late-night talk show jokes.

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Music Interviews
10:02 am
Thu May 24, 2012

How Wes Anderson Soundtracks His Movies

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman star in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Courtesy of Focus Features

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 2:28 pm

If you see the new Wes Anderson movie Moonrise Kingdom, you'll hear background music from composers Benjamin Britten and Alexandre Desplat, as well as several songs from Hank Williams.

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Digital Life
10:01 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online: It's 'Common Sense'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:44 pm

If you're a parent, you may have wondered what your kids are texting to each other or posting on their Facebook pages. Or maybe you've thought about it and decided you don't want to know.

That's not the best approach, says child advocate James Steyer. Steyer runs Common Sense Media, an organization that helps parents decide which kinds of technology are age-appropriate for their kids.

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Music
10:52 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Remembering Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau performing Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem' in Coventry Cathedral.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:58 pm

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Fitness & Nutrition
9:45 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Happy Feet: Tips For Healthier Running

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:58 pm

After hearing a lot about barefoot running, New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds decided to try it out for herself. An amateur runner for several decades, Reynolds says she thought the transition would be easy. But almost immediately, she got injured.

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Music Interviews
8:24 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Jeremy Denk: Playing Ligeti With A Dash Of Humor

Jeremy Denk has recently written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:03 pm

Not many classical pianists maintain blogs where they ruminate on everything from eating a terrible bowl of meatballs while on tour with Joshua Bell to seeing Twilight: New Moon (twice) and hearing strains of a Schubert song.

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Music Reviews
10:38 am
Mon May 21, 2012

John Fullbright: How To Connect 'From The Ground Up'

Though he's not yet 25, Fullbright's music sounds like he's lived through a lot — or at least thought it through.
Vicki Farmer

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 6:51 am

John Fullbright's voice rises up and around the guitar chords in "Me Wanting You," his tone intended to haunt the person he's addressing. His desire, his "me wanting you," is as direct as he can possibly make it — it's not a cry of despair or hope or lust. It's the sound of someone intent on making as strong a connection with the listener as he possibly can.

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Fresh Air Weekend
3:43 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Audra McDonald, 'Weight Of The Nation'

Audra McDonald.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 3:49 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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Remembrances
10:30 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Donna Summer, Queen Of Disco

Donna Summer, pictured above in 1976, died Thursday at age 63. She had cancer.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:34 pm

Donna Summer, the queen of disco, died Thursday at her home in Naples, Fla., after a long struggle with cancer. She was 63. Born LaDonna Andrea Gaines, she grew up in a large Boston family singing gospel music and became an icon of a powerful cultural movement, a celebrated sex queen and a staple of gay club life.

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Fresh Air Weekend
2:38 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Lena Dunham, Gretchen Reynolds

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:22 am

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:

Lena Dunham Addresses Criticism Aimed At 'Girls': The creator and star of HBO's new series Girls addresses the growing backlash against the show, which follows four 20-somethings as they navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City.

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The Fresh Air Interview
9:25 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Fresh Air At 25: A Live Musical Tribute

Richard Thompson is one of many guests who have performed on Fresh Air.
Pamela Littky

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:48 am

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the day Fresh Air became a daily national NPR program. Before that, the show was broadcast only on WHYY in Philadelphia. How long ago was May 11, 1987? On Fresh Air's first edition, TV critic David Bianculli reviewed the finale of the TV series Hill Street Blues.

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Author Interviews
9:44 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Creating A New Vision Of Islam In America

Feisal Abdul Rauf is the author of three books on Islam, including What's Right with Islam is What's Right with America.

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 11:54 am

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a leading moderate Muslim leader in the U.S., was once the lead cleric associated with the proposed Islamic community center some critics called the "ground zero mosque." In late 2010, a debate over the location of the community center, now called the Cordoba House, became a contentious issue during the midterm elections.

During the debate, Rauf was called a "radical Muslim" and a "militant Islamist" by critics of the proposed community center. He was accused of sympathizing with the Sept. 11 hijackers and having connections to Hamas.

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Remembrances
9:44 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch.
Bryan Bedder Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 1:31 pm

Adam "MCA" Yauch, one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys, died Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 47.

With his raspy voice, Yauch started making music with Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) when they were all teenagers in New York City in the early 1980s. The Beastie Boys started out as a punk band, but in 1987, the group released Licensed to Ill, the first hop-hop album to reach No. 1 on the pop charts.

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Fresh Air Weekend
1:13 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Sissy Spacek, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Sissy Spacek received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 9:32 am

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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Music Reviews
10:45 am
Mon April 30, 2012

A Sure-Footed Collection Of 'African Blues'

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 4:18 pm

I have to hand it to the Putumayo label. Since it started as a soundtrack-provider to a clothing store in the early '90s, the operation has placed racks of CDs with friendly-primitivist art by Nicola Heindl into Starbucks and Whole Foods everywhere. Putumayo is as responsible as anything for making music buyers ask "Where's the world music section?" in shops or online.

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Fresh Air Weekend
3:48 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Jack Black, Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie has received two Golden Globe awards and two Screen Actors Guild awards for his portrayal of Dr. Gregory House.
Fox

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:18 am

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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Music Reviews
9:40 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Howlin' Wolf: A Blues Legend With An Earthy Sound

Howlin' Wolf's masters from the Chess label have just been released on a four-disc set titled Smokestack Lightning: The Complete Chess Masters 1931-1960.

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Music Reviews
8:53 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Todd Snider: 'Stoner Fables' With A Layered Worldview

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:20 am

Todd Snider is, on one level, your average guitar-strumming singer-songwriter with varying amounts of musical accompaniment for songs he sings with mush-mouthed intimacy. But Snider, now in his mid-40s and impressively prolific, is also an exceptional singer-songwriter, able to set up scenes with quick, precise details.

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Interviews
1:08 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Carl Zimmer, The Three Stooges

After they leave their orphanage for the first time, Curly (Will Sasso) bears a heavy burden — his fellow Stooges, Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos, left) and Larry (Sean Hayes).
Peter Iovino Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 9:58 am

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
8:01 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Levon Helm: The 2007 Fresh Air Interview

Levon Helm was the longtime drummer and occasional vocalist for The Band.
Rob Loud Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 1:37 pm

Levon Helm, the longtime drummer of The Band who backed Bob Dylan and sang with Van Morrison, died Thursday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 71.

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