Fresh Air on WUTC

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Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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1:08pm

Wed May 22, 2013
Author Interviews

Fictional 'Mothers' Reveal Facts Of A Painful Adoption Process

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:38 pm

iStockphoto.com

After years of trying to conceive, novelist Jennifer Gilmore and her husband decided to pursue a domestic open adoption. They were told they'd be matched within a year; it took four. And along the way they faced complicated decisions and heartbreak.

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11:14am

Wed May 22, 2013
Music Reviews

Daft Punk: Accessing Electronic Music's Humanity

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 1:08 pm

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are the two men behind Daft Punk.
David Black Courtesy of the artist

I freely admit that, until the new Random Access Memories, I wasn't much of a Daft Punk fan. I could appreciate the craft and imagination that went into creating the French duo's mixture of electronic genres — techno, house, disco — but the mechanical repetitions and heavily filtered vocals didn't turn me on in any other way.

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12:51pm

Tue May 21, 2013
Movie Interviews

Soderbergh's Liberace, 'Behind The Candelabra'

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:45 pm

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson, in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Director Steven Soderbergh had been looking for a way to frame a film about the extravagant entertainer Liberace for years when a friend recommended the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.

The book — a memoir — is by Scott Thorson, who for five years was Liberace's lover, though that wasn't publicly disclosed at the time.

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1:40pm

Mon May 20, 2013
Television

Brooks: "I'm An EGOT; I Don't Need Any More"

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 11:54 am

Once vehemently opposed to the idea of being the subject of a documentary, Brooks had a change of heart. The result is a new American Masters episode, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise.
WNET/American Masters

Over the 60 years that Mel Brooks has been in the entertainment business, his name has become synonymous with comedy. He is the man who broke Broadway records for most Tony Award wins with The Producers (an adaptation of his own movie); who satirized Westerns and racism in Blazing Saddles; and who poked fun at monster movies with Young Frankenstein.

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1:01pm

Mon May 20, 2013
NPR Story

Sarah Vaughan: A New Box Set Revels In Glorious Imperfections

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 5:43 pm

Sarah Vaughan performs during the International Jazz Festival of Nice in southeast France in July 1984.
Raph Gatti AFP/Getty Images

Singer Sarah Vaughan came up in the 1940s alongside bebop lions Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, starting out in Earl Hines' big band. Hines had hired her as his singer and deputy pianist, while Gillespie praised her fine ear for chords as she grasped the arcane refinements of bebop harmony.

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1:09pm

Sat May 18, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Gerwig, Baumbach, Dawes And Polley

For her latest film, Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley turns her camera on her own family.
Roadside Attractions

Fresh Air Weekendhighlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interview with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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1:40pm

Fri May 17, 2013
Music Reviews

Jerry Lee Lewis: Live, Singing As If Life Depended On It

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:49 pm

Jerry Lee Lewis shot to fame in the 1950s with hits such as "A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire."
Courtesy of the artist

It was April 4, 1964, and Jerry Lee Lewis had officially bottomed out. He hadn't charted a record in years, and now, on tour in England and Germany, he was getting paid so little that he couldn't afford to bring his own musicians. Instead, he was forced to use pickup bands in England, and then, when he arrived in Hamburg, a British band called the Nashville Teens was waiting for him. The venue was the Star Club, where The Beatles, who had just leaped into stardom in America, had played not long before.

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12:39pm

Fri May 17, 2013
Television

Bill Hader On Sketch Comedy, Classic Hollywood

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:49 pm

Bill Hader was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Stefon on Saturday Night Live.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 22, 2012.

Comedian Bill Hader is adept onstage and doing live TV. But he's scared to death of standup.

He remembers watching Chris Rock's 1996 HBO special, Bring the Pain, and thinking, "I don't know how people do that."

"I need a character," Hader tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I need people out there with me."

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2:04pm

Thu May 16, 2013
Your Money

The Tricky Business Of Retirement: Hidden 401(K) Fees

iStockPhoto.com

A couple generations ago, when older Americans retired they could rely on pension plans to support them. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many companies switched their retirement plans over to 401(k) accounts. The security of workers' retirement savings suddenly became subject to the vagaries of the stock market.

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12:48pm

Thu May 16, 2013
Music Reviews

100 Years Of Woody Herman: The Early Bloomer Who Kept Blooming

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:04 pm

American jazz musician Woody Herman rehearses in London during a tour of England.
Keystone Getty Images

Woody Herman, who would have turned 100 on Thursday, bloomed early and late — and then later still. He turned pro by age 9, singing and dancing in movie theaters on summer vacation. He'd perform one song deemed too risqué for radio when he recorded it decades later: "My Gee Gee From the Fiji Isles."

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12:32pm

Thu May 16, 2013
Movie Reviews

'Into Darkness,' Boldly And With A Few Twists

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:04 pm

Zoe Saldana is Uhura and Zachary Quinto is Spock in the new J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek: Into Darkness, the 12th installment in the franchise.
Zade Rosenthal Paramount Pictures

Before I tell you about J.J. Abrams' second Star Trek film, with its youngish new Starship Enterprise crew, let me say that just because I've seen every episode of the original Star Trek and of The Next Generation, and most of the spinoff series, and every movie, I'm not a Trekkie — meaning someone who goes to conventions or speaks Klingon or greets people with a Vulcan salute.

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1:08pm

Wed May 15, 2013
Movie Interviews

A Polley Family Secret, Pieced Deftly Together

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 3:04 pm

For her latest film, Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley turns her camera on her own family.
Roadside Attractions

Sarah Polley earned wide acclaim for directing the drama Away from Her, about a woman fading into the twilight of Alzheimer's, as well as for her acting performances in an array of films including The Sweet Hereafter and My Life Without Me. Her latest film, Stories We Tell, is a documentary, though — and a personal one at that.

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1:08pm

Wed May 15, 2013
Book Reviews

Coming To 'Americanah': Two Tales Of Immigrant Experience

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 2:34 pm

JOZZ iStockPhoto.com

First things first: Can we talk about hair? Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written a big knockout of a novel about immigration, American dreams, the power of first love, and the shifting meanings of skin color; but, as Adichie has said in interviews, she also knows that black women's hair can speak volumes about racial politics.

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1:22pm

Tue May 14, 2013
Movie Interviews

Gerwig, Baumbach Poke At Post-College Pangs

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 2:33 pm

Director Noah Baumbach has made a name for himself with films such as The Squid and the Whale and Margot at the Wedding.
Wilson Webb IFC Films

In the film Frances Ha, Greta Gerwig stars as the title character, a 27-year-old living a good but not particularly successful post-college life in New York City.

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12:07pm

Tue May 14, 2013
Music Reviews

Dawes Knows Where It's Been And Where It's Headed

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 9:27 am

Noah Abrams Big Hassle

If you heard the Dawes song "Just Beneath the Surface" and said, "Somebody's been listening to their old Jackson Browne albums," you're not exactly insulting Dawes. The band has actually backed Browne on tour — and Browne has sung backup on at least one of its songs — so you could say that Dawes comes by its riffs and phrasing honestly.

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