Around and About Chattanooga

Wednesdays at 10 am & 8 pm

Around and About is a Chattanooga, Tennessee public radio show featuring news, interviews, and arts coverage. The show's host and reporters cover human-interest stories, Southern literature and current events & issues affecting the Tennessee Valley. 

Many guests are Chattanooga residents; others are national authors, experts and celebrities speaking on topics relevant to our community. The show is broadcast Wednesdays on WUTC NPR 88.1 FM, and the podcast is available here.

You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Comments? Story ideas? Email us.

Every year for the past seven years the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Music department has staged a weekend-long Piano Extravaganza. The Extravaganza, a showcase for UTC students and faculty as well as special guests, was conceived and organized by Dr. Sin Sing Tsai. Dr. Tsai passed away recently, but the music department decided to continue with the Piano Extravaganza as a tribute to Dr. Tsai. 

I grew up in Chattanooga hearing rumors of Volkswagen-sized catfish swimming in the river near the dam, and I'll admit it: I was naive enough to think that such tales were unique to my hometown. It turns out people have been saying the same thing for decades in locations all around the South.

Seun Erinle joins us to talk about upcoming technology classes in downtown Chattanooga. Eirnle founded A.I.R. Labs (Aspire, Imagine, Reason), which offers courses in web development for youth, graphic design, music production, and more. Erinle also talks about starting Blerd Nation, a Web site hub for Black Nerds.

Every year, the Chattanooga Music Club offers scholarships to high school seniors interested in going on to college to study music. This year the club is offering eight different scholarships. To find out more, Richard Winham talked to one of the past scholarship winners and to Janet Sump, the chair for the auditions.

Anna Saffley Houston led a rich life. She was an independent woman in an era when very few women had that option. But she's best remembered for the huge collection of antiques she amassed in her lifetime--now housed  in The Houston Museum in the Bluff View Arts District. Richard Winham talked to Lilly Waters, the outreach coordinator for the museum, about the collection and the life of the singular woman behind it. The museum's annual antiques show/sale runs 2/24 through 2/26.

In 2013, Sybil Baker began working on a book about immigrants and refugees who have resettled in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At the request of people who reviewed early drafts, she began including stories of her own travels, including a "reverse migration" from America to Ankara, and 12 years she spent living in South Korea before moving to the Scenic City and teaching at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

She joins us to talk about Immigration Essays, which also examines Chattanooga as a destination: its legacy of racism, and gentrification affecting the MLK neighborhood downtown.

SPECIAL EVENT: At Star Line Books on 2/15 at 7 pm, she will be celebrating her book launch with special guests George Conley and Earl Braggs.

The Chattanooga Chorus is a group of men who love to sing acapella barbershop harmony. Every year on Valentines Day, The Choo Choo Chorus dispatches quartets all over the city to serenade sweethearts. As you might imagine the singers have stories to tell—they shared a few with Richard Winham.

Glenn Miller's “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was such a phenomenal hit that RCA honored Miller with a novel trophy: a copy of the record pressed in gold on February 10, 1942. The song boosted tourism in Chattanooga, Tennessee, inspiring local businessmen to save a historic train station from demolition and refurbish it.

By 1942, more than 1.2 million copies of the song had been sold. And that was no small thing--the biggest seller in years. RCA manager W. Wallace Early celebrated by presenting Glenn Miller with a trophy during a live radio broadcast.

Greater Tuna, the second smallest town in Texas, is the setting for the play opening at the Signal Mountain Playhouse on Friday February 11th. The play features twenty different characters , but only two actors. Richard Winham talked to the actors, Mark Oglesby and Dennis Parker, along with the play’s director, Michelle Ford.

Fendall Fulton

Candles lit up Coolidge Park Wednesday evening when an estimated 1,200 Chattanoogans attended a vigil for refugees banned by President Trump’s immigration order.

They chanted in unison with speakers that represented various immigrant, refugee, and religious groups.

“We all belong here,” they said “Let them stay.”

The executive order has halted refugees and citizens from 7 majority Muslim countries for up to 4 months. Syrians have been banned from coming altogether. Mr. Trump said the ban is to prevent terrorist attacks.

Joel and Melanie Krautstrunk moved to Chattanooga three years ago planning to open a micro-brewery and a taproom. By the end of this year they hope to be running Chattanooga’s largest independent brewery.  Richard Winham talked to Joel Krautstrunk about his passion for beer and how he and his wife have managed to go from a micro-brewery to a macro brewery in such a short time.  

If Tennessee legislators say yes to everything Governor Bill Haslam touted Monday evening, you'll pay more while driving to the grocery store, but you'll save while shopping. 

And if you've never earned a college degree, you could get one tuition-free.

Practically on a whim, Joan Kroc made the biggest public radio pledge in history: around $250 million dollars to NPR. 

She could afford it. Her husband was McDonald's corporation founder Ray Kroc, and Ray and Joan were worth billions. Ray's life was well-publicized, most recently in the Michael Keaton film The Founder.

That film is based on a true story.

Fendall Fulton

The day after the Presidential inauguration, protesters flooded the streets in Washington, D.C. and all over the globe. It was a movement originally planned as an anti-Trump protest--but quickly morphed into a march for women’s rights. Chattanooga organizers sent a bus full of protesters to D.C., but here in the Scenic City, thousands more local residents met downtown for a rally and march.

The scope of it surprised everyone--organizers, participants, and city officials.

WUTC

Hamilton County Republicans gathered at Puckett's Restaurant to cheer and clap as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Other Chattanoogans gathered at the Bitter Alibi and reacted more somberly, recalling Trump's sometimes-harsh and divisive campaign rhetoric.

In this audio piece, they speak of their hopes, fears and expectations regarding Trump's promise to make American great again.

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