Weekend Edition - Saturday

Saturdays 8am to 10am

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America's backyards, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday.

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Music Interviews
4:27 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Roberta Flack's Long And Winding Road

Roberta Flack's new album, Let It Be Roberta, is a collection of reworked Beatles favorites.
Brian T. Silak Courtesy of the artist

Roberta Flack has been singing in a way that plucks at the heartstrings since 1969, when she recorded the breakthrough song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." She followed that hit with many, many more, including, "Killing Me Softly with His Song," "Where Is the Love" and "The Closer I Get to You."

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Simon Says
6:54 am
Sat February 11, 2012

Ralph Nader's $2,680 Airplane Aisle Seat

When Americans traveled by stagecoach, they had to worry about rocks, rattlesnakes, robbers and other varmints. But I wonder if there weren't fewer passenger complaints.

Ralph Nader is not running for president this year. But he's giving a couple of speeches in Dallas this weekend and booked an American Airlines flight a couple of weeks ago for a $750 fare.

The flight takes three hours. Mr. Nader is 6 feet, 4 inches tall. His longtime travel agent tried to select an aisle seat, which is more comfortable for Mr. Nader. Probably for whoever might be next to him, too.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat February 11, 2012

Boston's Neighborhood Parishes May Become Branch Offices

The Archdiocese of Boston is taking a business approach to its problem of too many parishes, too few priests and not enough parishioners. It plans to merge parishes into clusters and placing them under one pastor. It will eliminate dozens of parish jobs for lay people and take away local control of a church's budget and religious education program. The plan is being met with considerable pushback from priests and parishioners. Monica Brady-Myerov of member station WBUR reports.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat February 11, 2012

The Zebra's Stripes, A Personal No-Fly Zone

Scientists in Hungary and Sweden say they've found an answer to the age-old question of how the zebra got its stripes. It turns out the pattern may have evolved to repel Africa's biting flies. The researchers discovered this by placing models of patterned zebras next to models of their plainer cousins, horses, and measuring how many flies ended up on each one. Host Scott Simon has more.

Movie Interviews
6:00 am
Sat February 11, 2012

'Chico And Rita': A Love Story With A Latin Groove

Big Sounds, Bright Lights: Chico and Rita's musically inflected story follows a pair of lovers, a pianist and a singer, from Havana to New York to Paris.
GKIDS

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 4:03 pm

Fernando Trueba, whose film Belle Epoque won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1993, will be back at the Academy Awards this year; his film Chico and Rita, a love story about a Cuban pianist and singer, is up for a statue in the Animated Feature category.

Trueba says animation has some of the qualities that classic old movies had — "a more concise, more synthetical way of storytelling."

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Fine Art
6:00 am
Sat February 11, 2012

Museum Dedicated To All Of French Artist's Many Talents

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As most people who care about modern art, to list the major 20th century painters, they may start with Picasso, Matisse, then move on to the Americans, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. But in France, a new museum just opened, devoted exclusively to one of the most multi-talented, controversial and often forgotten artist of the last century, Jean Cocteau.

Frank Browning traveled to France on the Cote d'Azure to report on this very peculiar man and the museum that celebrates him.

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Author Interviews
4:13 am
Sat February 11, 2012

In A StoryCorps Booth, Love Is 'All There Is'

iStockphoto.com

Dave Isay begins his new book with a quote from co-worker Lillie Love, whose name resonates deeply with his latest project. Shortly before she died in 2010, Love said, "Love is all there is ... When you take your last breath, you remember the people you love, how much love you inspired and how much love you gave."

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Music Interviews
3:02 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

An Understudy Turned Star Shines On The Met Stage

Jay Hunter Morris has received glowing reviews for his role as Siegfried in the Metropolitan Opera's most recent production of Wagner's Ring Cycle.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sat February 11, 2012 9:46 am

Siegfried is a Norse hero, and one of the most demanding roles in all of opera. He slays dragons and has to sing about it — in Gotterdammerung, The Twilight of the Gods, the last opera in Wagner's Ring Cycle.

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NPR Story
10:18 am
Sat February 4, 2012

UN Vote On Syria Fails

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 11:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene, in for Scott Simon. It's been nearly a year since anti-government protests began in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has carried out a violent crackdown. We've heard tough statements, warnings from capitals around the world. And today, it appeared the U.N. Security Council was poised to issue a resolution condemning the crackdown.

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NPR Story
10:18 am
Sat February 4, 2012

Massive Moscow Rally Calls For Putin's Exit

In Moscow on Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters braved the sub-zero temperatures to gather in the city center. They were demonstrating against Vladimir Putin's planned return to the presidency next month. Guest host David Greene has more.

NPR Story
7:25 am
Sat February 4, 2012

20 Million Years Later, Russians Work To Drill Into Lake

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 11:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Imagine a place on earth where there's been no light, no wind for millions of years. Lake Vostok is one such place. The world's third largest lake, in terms of amount of water, has long been hidden, buried beneath two miles of ice until, perhaps, this coming week. Russian researchers are about to break through that ice.

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Simon Says
6:01 am
Sat February 4, 2012

Standing In Defense Of Diet Coke

Diet Coke. David Greene likes it.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 11:05 am

I would like to rise up today in defense of Diet Coke. All diet sodas, in fact. But Diet Coke happens to be my favorite.

I like the stuff.

Cracking open a can of it, or pouring some over ice, helps me survive a long work day.

This love of Diet Coke is one reason my re-entry into the United States has been a little rocky. When I moved back recently after a reporting assignment in Russia, nobody warned me that war had been declared on Diet Coke.

The artillery was fired by Men's Health magazine.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat February 4, 2012

Protesters Flood The Streets In Moscow

Opponents of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin marched through the streets of Moscow Saturday in another large demonstration against alleged voting fraud. The protest is seen as a test both for the opposition and Putin, ahead of March's presidential election. Guest host David Greene gets the latest from NPR's Corey Flintoff in Moscow.

Music Interviews
2:39 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Ruthie Foster: Texas Gospel With A Worldly Touch

Ruthie Foster's new album is Let It Burn.
John Carrico

Ruthie Foster is from a small town in central Texas — but there's nothing small about the way she sings on her new album, Let It Burn. Zigzagging between blues, soul, gospel and rock, the album features solid originals and surprising covers, along with several stirring collaborations with The Blind Boys of Alabama.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Israeli Outpost Pits Courts Vs. Government

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 6:42 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

An illegal Jewish outpost in the occupied West Bank is at the center of a battle over settlements. The collection of trailers and makeshift buildings is called Migron, and the Israeli Supreme Court has said it must be dismantled by the end of March. The Israeli government has tried to come up with a compromise which the settlers have rejected. And the issue even threatens to bring down the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

GOP Candidates Court Hispanic Voters

Republican candidates' efforts to win Hispanic voters have intensified in advance of the Florida primary, airing ads in Spanish and contending over immigration. Host Scott Simon speaks with Maria Elena Salinas, co-host of Noticiero Univision, about Hispanic voters' role in the Republican primary and the upcoming presidential election.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Obama's Plan To Kick-Start Housing Market

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 8:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The future of the state of the U.S. housing market was a primary focus for the White House this week. On Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama unveiled a new plan to try to correct the housing downturn. It would allow qualifying homeowners the chance to refinance their mortgages at historically low rates.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Wolves Attract Tourists, But Reality Lurks

A niche industry of tour companies is taking people into wolves' habitat at Yellowstone National Park. Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce went on an expedition with a man who recognizes the problems wolves bring to the landscape even as he makes his living off of them.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Gingrich Tries To Scoop Up Votes In Fla.

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 8:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. We begin with the latest in the Republican race for president. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida yesterday. Mr. Gingrich made appearances before two communities whose votes he hopes to win in Tuesday's primary. He spoke to Latino home builders and businesspeople in the morning, and had a rally with a group of Republican Jewish voters in the afternoon. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

'Backstage With' Fred Willard and Martin Mull

Martin Mull and Fred Willard are comic partners in many minds. They helped create Fernwood Tonight in the late 1970s, and while they went on to solo careers in films and stage, they were reunited to play one of TV's first gay couples on Roseanne. Host Scott Simon sat down with the duo for the public television show Backstage With.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

A Short Talk About The World's Longest Interview

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

What do you do when the conversation lags? Our friend Richard Glover of the ABC in Sydney, Australia might know. This week he and sports author and journalist Peter FitzSimons set a new Guinness World Record for Longest Radio or TV interview: 24 hours, with only an occasional loo break. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The record-setting interview did not take place "this week." It was actually in December 2011.]

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Your Letters: On Propaganda And Appreciation

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 8:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters. Last week we spoke with Christian Bale who stars in the new film, "The Flowers of War." The movie takes place in China during Japan's violent occupation of Nanjing in 1937. "The Flowers of War" has been criticized as being part of an effort by the Chinese government to improve China's image in the world.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Sports: Finals Down Under; A New Tiger In Detroit

The women's finals in the Australian Open are already over. In baseball, power-hitter Prince Fielder has returned to his childhood team, the Detroit Tigers, for which his father played. Host Scott Simon talks sports with Howard Bryant of ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Egyptians Divide As They Celebrate Together

This week, Egyptians marked the first anniversary of the uprising that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Deepening political divisions between pro-Islamist and secular protesters marred the event, erupting into violent scuffles. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Changes Stir Cuba's Communist Conference

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 8:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

On The Stump: Obama Roams Pivotal Swing States

President Obama is back in Washington Saturday after visiting five different states, all of which are likely to be hotly contested in November. He expanded on some of the ideas he outlined in Tuesday's State of the Union address and offered a preview of the argument he'll be making in the general election. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

Simon Says
5:40 am
Sat January 28, 2012

A Fan's Notes On Pro Sports, Brain Damage

Trainers help Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy after he took a hit during a game in December. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, 23 of 44 NFL players said they would try to hide a brain injury rather than leave a game.
Don Wright AP

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 11:31 am

I will watch the Super Bowl next weekend, along with several billion other people. I expect to cheer, shout and have some guacamole.

But as a fan, I'm finding it a little harder to cheer, especially for my favorite football and hockey players, without thinking: They're hurting themselves.

Not just breaks and sprains but dangerous, disabling brain damage.

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Television
4:19 am
Sat January 28, 2012

'Smash' Stars An 'Interesting Tribe': Theater People

Ingenue or Leading Lady: Ivy Bell (Megan Hilty, left) and Karen (Katharine McPhee, right) compete for the coveted lead role in a new Marilyn Monroe Broadway musical in Smash, which premieres Feb. 6 on NBC.
Will Hart NBC

NBC's new drama, Smash, plumbs the drama behind the curtain. The series is the story of a Broadway musical — from the first idea, to auditions, rehearsals and the big premiere.

Theresa Rebeck is the show's creator and executive producer. She's also a screenwriter, playwright and a Broadway veteran — with a hit play "Seminar," that's now on Broadway.

Rebeck tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that Smash is a "workplace drama — it's just that the workplace is a musical."

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Author Interviews
4:18 am
Sat January 28, 2012

'How It All Began': A Lively Ode To Happenstance

Viking

British writer Penelope Lively was in her late 30s before she began her career writing children's books. Now, four decades and 20 works of fiction later, she has just released the novel How It All Began, in which she explores the capricious role that chance plays in our lives.

Lively's lifetime habit of storytelling began when she was growing up in Egypt during World War II. She spent a lot of time alone and amused herself by making up stories, which often involved embellishing the classics with her own personal touch.

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A Blog Supreme
5:29 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

The Extraordinary Career Of A Man Who Managed Jazz Musicians

John Levy.
Tom Pich NEA

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:13 pm

This post was originally published shortly after John Levy's death late last week. Click the audio link above to hear a remembrance of Levy by NPR's Sami Yenigun.

This weekend, we learned that the jazz businessman John Levy died on Friday. His wife, Devra Hall Levy, announced the news on Saturday in a press release available on John Levy's website, Lushlife. He was nearly 100 years old.

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