Join ”Mister Rogers & Me” filmmaker, Benjamin Wagner, as he explore how his friends and neighbors are cultivating depth and simplicity despite an often shallow and complex world.
In The End
I was recording "In The End" in Muscle Shoals just a week after demo'ing it, when bandleader Will McFarlane, asked, “Should we go full Otis on this one?” Otis Redding recorded his posthumous hit, “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay,” in that very room on those very keyboards just months before dying in a plane crash in 1967. "Absolutely," I responded. The story behind Constellations' fifth and final song and Kyiv-penned music video, this week on Friends & Neighbors.
Prior to becoming CEO of Center for Public Integrity, Paul Cheung put in three decades at America's most prestigious journalism institutions including The Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Associated Press, and the Knight Foundation. This week, Paul travels back to his childhood in Hong Kong and immigration to Manhattan's Lower East Side, adolescence in suburban New Jersey, and storied career at the intersection of journalism, technology and social justice.
Finding The Secret Song
In this audio companion to my recently premiered documentary short, I trace my road trip from Memphis to Muscle Shoals writing and recording my tenth album, "Constellations," and reveal how a Texan waitress, Mexican tailor, and Tupelo pop icon's secrets helped inspire my path towards recovery.
For more than a decade, David Smydra has been at the forefront of assuring that tech platforms deliver personalized, high quality news by leading “humans in the loop,” journalists who bridge the gaps between editorial quality, product and audience development, and algorithmic design. This week, the former Google and Twitter curation lead and Online News Organization Board President shares his journey from Detroit to Palo Alto and Back East, as well as his firsthand experience of what it was like when when Elon Musk showed up at his place of now former employ.
Listening To 2022
It has been an outstanding and occasionally excruciating year. Through it all, I’ve found hope and healing in the shared wisdom of my friends and neighbors. This week, we listen back to some of those insights, inspirations and lessons learned from Senator Sarah McBride, Author Tim Madigan, Music Therapist Kelli Rae Powell and more.
What Do You Remember?
I Remember Everything, the penultimate track on my new album, Constellations, began as another in a long list of "disaster songs" but evolved into something noticeably different, deeply instructive and profoundly transformative. This week, I explore how the song helped me understand the biology, psychology and neurology of somatic memory, and how the body keeps the score.
Benjamin has a real talent for getting people to open up and talk about the deep stuff in life that really matters. Having Mr. Rogers as the grounding element of this show truly comes through, as the episodes leave you with a sense of universal understanding of the human experience. Additionally, the guests on the show have amazing stories, and Benjamin does a great job finding a balance between discussing success stories and digging into vulnerabilities. It's a real gem!
Thoughtful conversations with interesting people around decision making, feelings, family, friends and everyday life. The conversation is relatable, heartfelt, entertaining and sincere. I look forward to every new episode. Well done.
Phenomenal Pod Cast
Benjamin Wagner knows and interviews fascinating people and for 30 minutes focuses on Deep