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.
Jean Smart / Remembering Newport Jazz & Folk Festival Founder George Wein
Jean Smart is nominated for two Emmys — one for her lead role in 'Hacks' and one for her supporting role in 'Mare of Easttown.' We're revisiting her May 2021 interview.
Pioneering music impresario George Wein created the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 and the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. He died Sept. 13. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2003.
The Battle To Keep Local Journalism Alive
In the past 15 years, one in four newspapers has shuttered in the U.S. We talk with Art Cullen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, editor, and co-owner of 'The Storm Lake Times' in the meatpacking town of Storm Lake, Iowa. He and his family are the subject of a new documentary, called 'Storm Lake,' about the challenges the industry is facing as news moves to free digital platforms and ad revenues dwindle. The film is opening in select theaters and be on PBS Nov. 15.
Colson Whitehead On His Crime Novel 'Harlem Shuffle'
Whitehead's new novel 'Harlem Shuffle,' is about a furniture store owner in Harlem whose sideline is fencing stolen goods. Whitehead won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel 'The Underground Railroad,' about a 15-year-old enslaved girl who escapes a brutal Georgia plantation. The novel was adapted into a TV series that is now nominated for several Emmys. Whitehead won another Pulitzer for his next novel 'The Nickel Boys,' based on the story of the Dozier School for Boys, a segregated reform school notorious for its brutal punishment. We talk about heists, how New York City has changed, and writing in the pandemic
Justin Chang reviews the film 'Blue Bayou.'
The Weird World Of Animal Crimes
Science writer Mary Roach ('Stiff', 'Gulp') explores scenarios where animals are the ones committing "crimes" — and how society deals with it. We talk about bear attacks, drunk elephants, and monkey thieves. Her new book is 'Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.'
Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from saxophonist Joel Frahm.
Banjo Player Béla Fleck
Béla Fleck is perhaps the most famous banjo player in the world. He's taken that instrument out of its folk and bluegrass traditions to play pretty much any kind of music: from jazz and pop to classical and reggae. But bluegrass has always been where he comes from — and he's returned to it for his new album, 'My Bluegrass Heart.' He's dedicated it to two musical heroes that died in the last year: Chick Corea and Tony Rice. Fleck joins Sam Briger to play his banjo, and talk about returning to his roots; his trip to Africa, the continent of the banjo's origin; and meeting his father for the first time in his 40s.
Ken Tucker reviews, 'Dreaming of You,' a collection of songs by actor Karen Black, best known for 'Easy Rider' and 'Five Easy Pieces.' Black died in 2013.
Best Of: Michael K. Williams / Poet Laureate Joy Harjo
Michael K. Williams was best known for playing Omar on 'The Wire' and Chalky White on 'Boardwalk Empire.' He died Sept. 6 of a suspected drug overdose. In 2008, Williams told Terry Gross the story behind the scar on his face and his background in dance. In 2016, he reflected on his lucky breaks and what it was like to leave Omar behind. "When 'The Wire' and the character of Omar ended, I had zero tools, personally speaking, in how to deal with letting that go. ... I didn't equip myself with the tools of how to wash that off my psyche."
Maureen Corrigan reviews Sally Rooney's new novel, 'Beautiful World, Where Are You.'
Also, we hear from U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. She's the first Native American appointed to the position. She has a new memoir, 'Poet Warrior,' that's in part about her family's history. She's a member of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation.
I loved the content, but this is the only podcast I use that constantly stops every 5-10 minutes and I have to grab the phone and swipe up to get it to play again. What’s up with that?
Great show, but poorly edited as podcast
I was very excited to have access to Fresh Air as a podcast since I'm usually working when the show airs. The interviews are great, but the editing has been disappointing. Segment changes are choppy and episodes often end mid-sentence. The Ken Burns segment of March 15 was a particular disappointment, ending less than 10 minutes into the episode. I love the show! I just hope the editing improves.
Fresh Air is GREAT!
Love your shows - Terry and Team continue to put out awesome shows.