We remember jazz composer and singer Bob Dorough, who died this week at 94. He was best known for songs he wrote for 'Schoolhouse Rock!' like "My Hero, Zero" and "Three is a Magic Number." He spoke with Terry Gross in 1982 and 1996. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a four-disc reissue of Louis Armstrong.
The CNN anchor talks about his heated interview with Trump adviser Stephen Miller, being parodied on 'SNL,' and cartooning. His new novel, 'The Hellfire Club,' takes place in 1954 during Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Communist "witch hunt" -- a time he describes as "very resonant" to the current political climate.
Historian Kathleen Belew says that as America's disparate racist groups came together in the 1970s and '80s, the movement's goal shifted from one of "vigilante activism" to something more wide-reaching. Her book is 'Bring the War Home.' Also, critic Ken Tucker shares some new hip-hop tracks he's been listening to.
Pius IX, who became head of the Catholic church in 1846, saw progress and freedom of speech as anti-Catholic and instituted the doctrine of Papal infallibility. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Kertzer says his exile led to the emergence of modern Italy. His book is 'The Pope Who Would Be King.' Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Zama.'
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo's new memoir, ‘Air Traffic,’ chronicles his complicated relationship with his father, a labor organizer who lost his job following the air traffic controllers' 1981 strike. Pardlo also talks about his brief time in the Marines, and his family’s appearance on the A&E show ‘Intervention.’ Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘The Art of the Wasted Day’ by Patricia Hampl.
Former FBI director James Comey tells Terry Gross that he wants to sound the alarm about the "forest fire" of the Trump presidency — and also to defend the FBI against charges of partisanship. "People love the FBI when they think it's on their side," Comey says. "We were not — and are not — on anybody's side." Also, Ken Tucker reviews John Prine's first new album in 13 years, 'The Tree of Forgiveness.' Brian Tyree Henry plays Alfred Miles, a.k.a. rapper "Paper Boi," on the Emmy Award-winning FX series 'Atlanta.' He talks about his parents' record collection and singing in show choir in high school.
Milos Forman was an Academy Award-winning director known for the films 'One Few Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' 'Amadeus,' and 'The People vs. Larry Flynt.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 1994. Harry Anderson was a con man and magician turned actor who was best known for playing Judge Harry Stone on the sitcom 'Night Court.' His 'Fresh Air' interview was in 1989. Also, David Edelstein reviews Amy Schumer's new film, 'I Feel Pretty.'
'New York Times' journalist Robert Draper says "no one understands Trump’s base" better than White House social media director (and former golf caddie) Dan Scavino. Draper tells Terry Gross about how Scavino edits many of the president's tweets and also about his possible ties to Russia. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new seasons of HBO's 'Westworld' and Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale.'
Henry plays Alfred Miles, a.k.a. rapper "Paper Boi," on the Emmy Award-winning FX series ‘Atlanta.' He talks about authenticity, studying at Yale School of Drama, and his eclectic music taste. Also, we remember former First Lady Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at 92. She spoke with Terry Gross in 1994 about meeting her husband George, losing a child, and overcoming depression.
The former FBI director tells Terry Gross that he wants to sound the alarm about the "forest fire" of the Trump presidency -- and also to defend the FBI against charges of partisanship. "People love the FBI when they think it's on their side," Comey says. "We were not — and are not — on anybody's side." Comey talks about being fired by President Trump, hiding from the president in a curtain, and the origin of his now-famous use of the word "lordy." His new memoir is 'A Higher Loyalty.'
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright predicts that the largest "red" state in the union will eventually move into the "blue" column — and change the nation's politics in the process. His new book about culture, politics and economy of the Lone Star state is 'God Save Texas.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the latest episode of the FX series 'Legion.'
Following a rodeo accident, Brady Jandreau refused to quit riding and training wild horses — even it if meant risking his life. He plays a version of himself in director Chloe Zhao's slightly fictionalized retelling of his story. The director and star talk about the accident, recovery and making of 'The Rider.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Female Persuasion' by Meg Wolitzer. Todd Purdum's new book, 'Something Wonderful,' is about the creative partnership and strained personal relationship of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Together they created such hit shows as 'Oklahoma!,' 'Carousel,' 'South Pacific' and 'The Sound of Music.'
The rock icon and his band are being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this week. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2009 about his upbringing (his mom was a Playboy bunny, his dad was a hairdresser), getting his first single on the radio, and having group therapy with his bandmates. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘You Were Never Really Here.’
Sociologist Matthew Desmond estimates that about 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 -- a rate of four every minute. "Eviction isn't just a condition of poverty; it's a cause of poverty," he says. Desmond won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2016 book ‘Evicted,’ and now has launched the first-ever national database of evictions called The Eviction Lab. Also, Ken Tucker reviews John Prine’s first new album in 13 years, ‘The Tree of Forgiveness.’
Author Robert Kuttner talks about the escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China and the possible consequences. Kuttner also discusses the connection he sees between global capitalism and the rise of the far right in Europe and the U.S.
Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘The Female Persuasion’ by Meg Wolitzer, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead remembers late pianist and composer Cecil Taylor.
Following a rodeo accident, Brady Jandreau refused to quit riding and training wild horses -- even it if meant risking his life. He plays a version of himself in director Chloe Zhao's slightly fictionalized retelling of his story. The director and star talk about the accident, recovery and making of ‘The Rider.’ Film critic Justin Chang reviews the film as well.
Todd Purdum's new book, 'Something Wonderful,' is about the creative partnership and strained personal relationship behind such hit shows as 'Oklahoma!,' 'Carousel,' 'South Pacific' and 'The Sound of Music.'
Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley on ‘Downton Abbey,’ now stars in ‘Legion,’ an FX drama that's a spin-off of the Marvel Comics ‘X-Men’ series. Stevens talks about Crawley’s untimely death, and wearing a motion capture suit in the live action ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews an album from pianist Martial Solal, and film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Blockers.’
Four years ago, Eels founder Mark Oliver Everett decided to take a break from music. He went on what he calls a project of self-improvement, during which he got married, got divorced and, at the age of 54, had a son. He also spent time reckoning with the losses he'd experienced earlier in life, including his sister's suicide, his mother's death from cancer and his father's fatal heart attack. Now he's back, with a new album, 'The Deconstruction,' a reflection on both the pain and joy of life.
The former secretary of state describes President Trump as "the most anti-democratic leader that I have studied in American history." Albright's new book is ‘Fascism: A Warning.’ Also, critic at large John Powers marks the 50th anniversary of the Stanley Kubrick film, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’
Steven Bochco, who died Sunday, created numerous series, including ‘Hill Street Blues’ and ‘NYPD Blue.’ TV Critic David Bianculli looks back on Bochco's impact, then we listen to his 1989 ‘Fresh Air’ interview. Yunte Huang's new book, ‘Inseparable,’ chronicles the lives of the "original Siamese twins," Chang and Eng Bunker, who were brought to America in 1829 and forced to perform in a freak show. They later married and fathered 21 children.
Roy Wood Jr. says the years he spent performing in comedy clubs in the South and Midwest — sometimes in places where he felt unsafe as a black man — helped him understand the psyche of the country. He grew up the son of a civil rights journalist in Birmingham, Ala., and joined 'The Daily Show' in 2015, after working for ESPN and as a radio personality. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘Ready Player One.’ And writer Sara Saedi was 2 when her parents fled Iran and moved to California. Her new memoir, 'Americanized,' describes her 18-year-long path to citizenship, and the lingering anxiety of being undocumented.
Comic actor Bill Hader spoke with Terry Gross in 2012 about his recurring 'SNL' character Stefon, doing voices and his love of classic Hollywood films. His latest project is the HBO series ‘Barry.' Also, former Obama White House staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco reflects on her six years running on adrenaline working for the president. Her memoir ‘Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?’ is now out in paperback. And film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘Ready Player One.’