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Fresh Air

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
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Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 31, 2017

We're marking our 30th anniversary as a daily NPR program, with a retrospective of some of our favorite interviews from our early days. Drummer Max Roach was one of the originators of bebop. Singer Anita O’Day made it big singing with Gene Krupa. She changed her name from Colten to “O’Day” because it means “dough” in Pig Latin, and she hoped to make plenty of it. Pianist Jay McShann was considered the last of the great Kansas City pianists. One of his sidemen was Charlie Parker.

Aug 30, 2017

We're marking our 30th anniversary as a daily NPR program, with a retrospective of some of our favorite interviews from our early days. Paul Schrader wrote the screenplays for ‘Taxi Driver,’ ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘The Last Temptation.’ John Updike was a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. Tobe Hooper directed the cult classic ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.’

Aug 29, 2017

We’re marking our 30th anniversary as a daily NPR program, with a retrospective of some of our favorite interviews from our early days.  Ronnie Spector was the lead of the ‘60s girl group The Ronettes. Ben E. King began his career in the ‘50s with The Drifters, but his ’61 hit “Stand by Me” sealed his legacy. Otis Williams was a founding member of The Temptations. All three guests spoke with Terry Gross in 1988.

Aug 28, 2017

We’re marking our 30th anniversary as a daily NPR program, with a retrospective of some of our favorite interview from our early days. Theater legend Elia Kazan tells us about directing Marlon Brando in ‘On the Waterfront,’ Kirk Douglas on directing ‘Spartacus’ and hiring blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo to write the script, and Sidney Lumet talks about working with Al Pacino on ‘Serpico’ and ‘Dog Day Afternoon.’ Also, we remember 'Fresh Air' administrative assistant Dorothy Ferebee, who died last week. 

Aug 26, 2017

James R. Fitzgerald says Ted Kaczynski's writings helped crack the case that confounded the FBI for more than 17 years. 'Manhunt: Unabomber,' a TV series on the Discovery Channel, retells the story.  Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the new collection of stories, 'Sour Heart,' by Jenny Zhang. Comic and cabaret singer Bridget Everett (seen on 'Inside Amy Schumer') talks about her raunchy act, the music she grew up singing, and her role in the new film 'Patti Cake$.' 

Aug 25, 2017

To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’re listening back to interviews from 30 years ago, when ‘Fresh Air’ first aired as a daily, national show. Patty Duke grew up in the public eye, playing Helen Keller in the stage and screen versions of ‘The Miracle Worker.’ Later she starred in her own TV sitcom, ‘The Patty Duke Show.’ Carl Reiner spoke with Terry Gross in 1988 about how his experiences working backstage in Hollywood inspired him to create the classic sitcom ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’ Brazilian composer Antônio Carlos Jobim wrote "The Girl from Ipanema," one of the songs that started the Bossa nova craze in the United States.

Aug 24, 2017

Former Marine Sergeant TJ Brennan suffered from memory loss and PTSD after being injured by a grenade in Afghanistan in 2010. Finbarr O'Reilly captured the event on film. Now the two men have written a book together, ‘Shooting Ghosts.’ Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Beach Rats.’

Aug 23, 2017

Mark Pitcavage, a senior researcher at the Anti-Defamation League, talks about America's militia movement, what it stands for, and how it has evolved since the election of President Trump. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album by pianist Vijay Iyer, and book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the new collection of stories, ‘Sour Heart,’ by Jenny Zhang.

Aug 22, 2017

James R. Fitzgerald says Ted Kaczynski's writings helped cracked the case that confounded the FBI for more than 17 years. ‘Manhunt: Unabomber,’ a TV series on the Discovery Channel, retells the story. Also, John Powers reviews a new edition of the noir novel ‘In A Lonely Place’ by Dorothy B. Hughes.

Aug 21, 2017

In 2005, Lewis told Terry Gross about his partnership with singer Dean Martin and how he honed his comic skills while working as a busboy. The comedian, actor and director died Sunday at the age of 91. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Marjorie Prime,’ and rock critic Ken Tucker reviews ‘Modern Pressure’ from singer-songwriter Daniel Romano.

Aug 19, 2017

Max Brooks' stable childhood with parents Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft stands in contrast to the wild stories he tells in novels like 'World War Z' and 'Minecraft: The Island.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'What She Ate.'  Molly McCully Brown, who has cerebral palsy, grew up near the former Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. In her new collection of poems, she imagines life inside the colony.

Aug 18, 2017

Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner play two snarky, pop culture obsessives in New York City in the Hulu series ‘Difficult People.’  Film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘Patti Cake$.’

Aug 17, 2017

Comic and cabaret singer Bridget Everett (seen on ‘Inside Amy Schumer’) talks about her raunchy act, the music she grew up singing, and her role in the new film ‘Patti Cake$.’ Also, actor John Cho joins producer Ann Marie Baldonado to talk about ‘Columbus,’ culture clashes with his immigrant parents, and the first time he read the ‘Harold and Kumar’ script.

Aug 16, 2017

Eric Lipton of ‘The New York Times’ says lobbyists now working for the government are leading a regulatory roll back that is benefiting the industries they used to represent. TV critic David Bianculli reviews Netflix’s ‘The Defenders.’

Aug 15, 2017

Brooks' stable childhood with parents Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft stands in contrast to the wild stories he tells in novels like ‘World War Z’ and ‘Minecraft: The Island.’ Ken Tucker reviews the new reissued, remastered versions of Nick Lowe albums.

Aug 14, 2017

Molly McCully Brown, who has cerebral palsy, grew up near the former Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. In her new collection of poems, she imagines life inside the colony. Brown also talks about faith, the death of her twin sister, and how her body and poetry are connected. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a concert recording of the Bill Evans Trio.

Aug 12, 2017

Perrotta's previous books 'Election' and 'Little Children' were made into films, and 'The Leftovers' became an HBO series. His new book, 'Mrs. Fletcher,' tells the story of a single mother whose only child has left for college. Perrotta says the book was inspired by the upheaval he experienced when his own kids moved out. John Powers reviews the new Criterion release of Albert Brooks' 1985 film 'Lost in America.’ A century ago, two brothers took the world by storm with their mass-produced boxed cereal. Medical historian Howard Markel chronicles their contentious relationship and their prescient and troubling concepts of wellness.

Aug 11, 2017

Cook, who starred in Broadway shows like ‘The Music Man’ and ‘Candidedied on Tuesday at 89. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2016 about her struggle with addiction and her second career as a cabaret singer. Justin Chang reviews the film ’Good Time’ starring Robert Pattinson.

Aug 10, 2017

Investigative reporter Philip Shenon tells us about newly-declassified documents which shed light on Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico weeks before the assassination. He met with Cuban officials and may have boasted about planning to kill the President Kennedy. “It’s remarkable to discover that the CIA itself describes what happened after the Kennedy assassination as being a cover up,” Shenon says. Also, Aubrey Plaza joins 'Fresh Air' producer Ann Marie Baldonado to talk about 'Ingrid Goes West,' and her iconic role as April on 'Parks & Rec.'

Aug 9, 2017

California physician Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter is grappling with when to implement her state’s new End of Life Option Act — which allows certain terminally ill patients to receive medical assistance to hasten death. Her book is ‘Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life.’ Also, we listen back to a 2008 interview with late country musician Glen Campbell. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'What She Ate.'

Aug 8, 2017

A century ago, two brothers took the world by storm with their mass-produced boxed cereal. Medical historian Howard Markel chronicles their contentious relationship, their prescient concepts of wellness, and their troubling ideas about eugenics and masturbation. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the 10-part series ‘Mr. Mercedes.’

Aug 7, 2017

Science journalist and author Robert Wright says that Buddhist meditation might help counteract our natural tendency towards unhappiness and dissatisfaction. His new book is 'Why Buddhism is True.' Also John Powers reviews the new Criterion release of Albert Brooks’ 1985 film 'Lost in America.'

Aug 5, 2017

The former vice president's documentary, 'An Inconvenient Sequel,' seeks to build bipartisan consensus to address climate change. "Mother Nature has a more persuasive voice than any of us," Gore says.  Ken Tucker reviews Randy Newman’s new album. 'New Yorker' staff writer Ariel Levy was five months pregnant when she took a writing assignment in Mongolia. She miscarried alone in her hotel room, and shortly after her return home, her marriage fell apart. Levy's memoir, 'The Rules Do Not Apply,' explores her loss of identity as a wife and mother, and how writing saved her.

Aug 4, 2017

Jeanne Moreau, an icon of French New Wave cinema, died on Monday at 89. She starred in the films ‘Jules and Jim’ and ‘The Lovers.’ She spoke with Terry Gross in 1993 about disobeying her father to pursue acting and working with director Louis Malle. Sam Shepard, who died Sunday, penned more than 55 plays, including ‘Buried Child.’ His breakthrough film role was as astronaut Chuck Yeager in ‘The Right Stuff.’ He talked with Terry Gross in 1998. Ken Tucker reviews Randy Newman’s new album ‘Dark Matter.’

Aug 3, 2017

Journalist Bill Moyers once worked as the special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, and, 52 years ago, witnessed firsthand the political maneuvering that resulted in the landmark passage of Medicare. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Wind River.’

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