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Playlist: Specials

Compiled By: Kristin Gilbert

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Humankind 63: The After Effects of War - Vietnam Veterans, 3/10/2015

From Humankind | Part of the Humankind Weekly series | 58:59

SEGMENT 1: Christal Presley, an English teacher in Virginia who experienced ‘secondary trauma’ in response to the extreme behavior of her father, a Vietnam-era veteran with PTSD, tells how the family began a journey of recovery.

SEGMENT 2: A story of brave former soldiers who return to Vietnam to heal their emotional wounds as part of the Veterans’ Vietnam Restoration Project, founded in 1988 to build much-needed medical clinics in this damaged nation.

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SEGMENT 1: Christal Presley, an English teacher in Virginia who experienced ‘secondary trauma’ in response to the extreme behavior of her father, a Vietnam-era veteran with PTSD, tells how the family began a journey of recovery.

 

 

SEGMENT 2: A story of brave former soldiers who return to Vietnam to heal their emotional wounds as part of the Veterans’ Vietnam Restoration Project, founded in 1988 to build much-needed medical clinics in this damaged nation.

Beyond Glory - Three short pieces by Stephen Lang

From Playing on Air | Part of the Playing on Air Full Length Episodes series | 53:00

"As starkly moving as taps at dusk" says the Washington Post about BEYOND GLORY, a powerful tribute to military valor written and performed by stage and screen star Stephen Lang (Colonel Quaritch in Avatar). He portrays three recipients of the MEDAL OF HONOR recounting in their own words the incident that earned them the United States' highest military honor ..

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"As starkly moving as taps at dusk" says the Washington Post about Beyond Glory, a powerful tribute to military valor written and performed by stage and screen star Stephen Lang (Colonel Quaritch in Avatar). He portrays three recipients of the MEDAL OF HONOR recounting in their own words the incident that earned them the United States' highest military honor for valor beyond the call of duty.

These three stories of Nick Bacon, First Sergeant, US Army, Vietnam; Clarence Sasser, combat medic, Vietnam; and Hector Cafferata, Private First Class, 1st Marine Division, Korea are based on their own words. They are portraits from Stephen Lang's one-man show, Beyond Glory, based on the book by Larry Smith of the same title. Each segment is followed by conversation between Mr. Lang and Playing on Air's producer and host, Claudia Catania. 
"One of the richest, most complex pieces of acting I've seen in my theater going life." The Wall Street Journal

The Silent Generation: From Saipan to Tokyo

From Helen Borten | 58:57

The final year of World War II in the Pacific, told by men who came back and kept silent about the harrowing ordeal that changed their lives.

Daddatoanthony1_small Eugene "Bud" Clark, a pint-sized scrapper from Macon, GA, mowed down Banzai warriors, watched mass suicide on Saipan, and was severely wounded on Iwo Jima. Howard Terry was traumatized by his accidental killing of an Okinawan boy, returned home angry, belligerent and unable to hold a job. Anthony Daddato lost his best friend to friendly fire,contracted dengue fever,malaria and tuberculosis, and spent three embittered years in hospitals before a feisty nun's advice changed his outlook. Giles McCoy went down with the Indianapolis in one of the worst naval disasters in history. These are just a few of the voices in "The Silent Generation", a one-hour documentary that follows more than a score of men through the definitive year of their lives. Men from all walks of life and all corners of the nation. Men who melted quietly back into civilian life and kept silent for decades. Men who, as time grows short, have been moved to speak with unflinching honesty of events that changed them forever. Their memories are not for the faint-hearted. Here is a view of war from the foxhole. A side of war as relevant today as in 1945. To listen is to understand why they, like tens of thousands of others, could not speak for so long. "The Silent Generation" closes with their unblinking, often wrenching remarks on how combat later affected their attitudes, identity and everyday lives. Producer/Narrator Borten knits their stories into a chronological whole, adding archival newscasts, live reports from the battlefield, and little-known historical details that, together with these unforgettable stories, bring a momentous, searingly brutal chapter in history to life.

Labor Day Special - "Workin’: The Work Song in Jazz and Popular Music"

From WFIU | Part of the Night Lights Classic Jazz: Specials series | 59:00

An hourlong program for the Labor Day holiday, with special guest jazz historian Ted Gioia (author of the book WORK SONGS). Featured artists include Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Nat Adderley, Louis Armstrong, and Cassandra Wilson.

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Work songs gave laborers a way of transforming their toil into something more meaningful, of enriching their everyday lives through music.  How did the influence of the work song emerge in the recordings of artists such as Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Nat Adderley, Dave Brubeck and other musicians?  Jazz historian Ted Gioia, author of Work Songs, joins Night Lights for a Labor Day look at the work song's relationship to jazz and popular music.  Other featured artists include Louis Armstrong (his ode to Pullman porters, "Red Cap"), Cassandra Wilson (her cover of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman") and Sting (with saxophonist Branford Marsalis joining him for the tribute to English coal-miners, "We Work the Black Seam").

Isn't it Good: The Beatles' RUBBER SOUL (2 hour and 1 hour NON-NEWSCAST versions)

From Paul Ingles | 01:57:57

To mark the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' landmark album RUBBER SOUL, producer Paul Ingles presents another in his acclaimed series of specials on Beatles' history. Over a dozen musicians, music writers and Beatles fans comment on the significance of this 1965 release by the band along with song-by-song notes on the writing and performances of each track. RUBBER SOUL was slotted at #5 in a ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE 2012 survey of the Top 500 Rock Albums of All-Time.

Rubber_soul_small To mark the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' landmark album RUBBER SOUL, producer Paul Ingles presents another in his acclaimed series of specials on Beatles' history.  Over a dozen musicians, music writers and Beatles fans comment on the significance of this 1965 release by the band along with song-by-song notes on the writing and performances of each track.  RUBBER SOUL was slotted at #5 in a ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE 2012 survey of the Top 500 Rock Albums of All-Time.

In the two-hour version, each song in the 14-track original UK version is spotlighted including "Drive My Car," "Nowhere Man," "I'm Looking Through You," "If I Needed Someone," "In My Life," "Michelle," and others.

Commentators include music writers Anthony DeCurtis of Rolling Stone magazine, John Kruth, author of a new book on Rubber Soul , Paul Zollo, Harvey Kubernik, Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal , NPR's Ann Powers, and Scott Freiman.  Musician commentators include Shawn Colvin, BJ Leiderman, Jon Spurney, David Gans, Rob Martinez, and Peter Mulvey.  Also featured are music teacher Sara Schafer Jones, public radio DJ Scott MacNicholl.

The one-hour version features complete versions of most of the panel's favorites, and excerpts of others.


American as Pumpkin Pie: A History of Thanksgiving [special]

From BackStory with the American History Guys | Part of the BackStory with the American History Guys: Special Programming series | 54:00

On this holiday edition of BackStory, the History Guys search for the true roots of Thanksgiving.

Boy-w-turkey_small When we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, we think we know what we're commemorating. After all, the story of Pilgrims and Indians breaking bread together is one of the first history lessons many of us had. But if an actual Pilgrim were to attend your Thanksgiving dinner, chances are he'd be stunned, and not a little disgusted, by what transpired there. On this holiday edition of BackStory, the History Guys search for the true roots of Thanksgiving. They discover that the holiday we celebrate today begins not with the Pilgrims, but with the Victorians, who in the midst of the Civil War sought a national holiday honoring home and family. But did Thanksgiving strengthen the Union, as its proponents had hoped? What relation do Indians have to the holiday in reality - and in myth? And what does football have to do with any of it?

Highlights include:

* Historian James McWilliams explains why the Puritans would have turned up their noses at the Thanksgiving foods we consider most traditional.
* Legendary NFL quarterback Roger Staubach describes what it was like to spend every Thanksgiving on the football field.
* Religion scholar Anne Blue Wills discusses the life of Sarah Hale, the 19th century magazine editor who waged a 30-year campaign to make Thanksgiving a holiday.
* BackStory listeners - including experts on the pardoning and the roasting of turkey - weigh in with their thoughts on the holiday.

Giving Thanks—or Miigwetch (Hour Long Version)

From With Good Reason | Part of the With Good Reason: Weekly Hour Long Episodes series | 53:57

In this special holiday episode, we're taking a look at the indigenous side of a Thanksgiving table.

Native_american_cuisine_small In this special holiday episode, we're taking a look at the indigenous side of a Thanksgiving table. Minnesota Chef Sean Sherman (the Sioux Chef) gives us a taste of pre-contact American Indian cuisine. We'll also take a look at the complicated history of the most well-known reservation food, fry-bread. And talk with American Indian scholars Anton Treuer and Karenne Wood about their food traditions.

Later in the show: An oldie but goodie from our archives… W ith Good Reason invites you to a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but nearly everything on the table is grown, made, or brewed within 100 miles of our studios in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Snap Judgment #228: Gratitude

From Snap Judgment | Part of the Snap Judgment hosted by Glynn Washington - Specials series | 53:57

'Tis the season to consider those things that we are most thankful for. And so this week on Snap Judgment we're taking a look back on some of the stories we've done that touch on this theme of gratitude, because we are so thankful.

Snapseriesprxlogo_small The Orange

Storyteller Joel ben Izzy recalls a conversation he had with an older gent who describes the true beauty of a piece of fruit.

Visit Joel's site for more stories.

Produced by Stephanie Foo



Salted Egg

Thirty years after the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge, a Cambodian Family begins an unlikely search for their missing father.

Produced by Anna Sussman.


Molly
In an amazing performance, Marc Bamuthi Joseph uses his many gifts to transport an entire live audience from San Francisco to the heart of Africa. National Poetry Slam champion, Broadway veteran, GOLDIE award winner, Marc is also an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship which annually recognizes 50 of the country's "greatest living artists."


So Embarrassed

For Jeff Greenwald, Tibet was a transcendentalist paradise. The people, the food, and the breathtaking beauty captivated him. And Tibet loved Jeff right back, granting him access to areas no Westerner had ever seen. It was almost like he fit right in.

Almost.

Produced by Roman Mars and Stephanie Foo


The Thanksgiving Foo Mix

Stephanie Foo brings a mashup of thanks.


Just Like Your Father

Tracy never knew her Father. (She never knew that she wanted to...)

Producer: Rita Daniels


Frances Liberty

Frances Liberty was a good Catholic school girl. But that all changed when she decided to serve as a nurse in the army. She served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Grenada, and developed a sass that deeply affected many she came into contact with.

Thank you to the Veterans History Project for providing audio for this story. To hear other veterans' stories, go to http://loc.gov/vets. The painting you see above is a portrait of Frances Liberty by J.D. Nelson.

Producer: Natalia Jaeger and Mark Ristich

Bob Dylan: Writers' Favorites

From Paul Ingles | 59:00

Music writers, musicians and Bob Dylan fans were invited to write to music host Paul Ingles with a choice of a Dylan track since mid-1975 that they each believe demonstrates his worthiness for the Nobel Prize in Literature that he was bestowed in October of 2016. Hear their 9 choices in this hour long special.

Dylantypewriter_small Music writers, musicians and Bob Dylan fans were invited to write to music host Paul Ingles with a choice of a Dylan track that they each believe demonstrates his worthiness for the Nobel Prize in Literature that he was bestowed in October of 2016.  Hear their 9 choices in this hour long special.

Contributors included Anthony DeCurtis, Mary Gauthier (go-shay), Jim Fusilli, Paul Zollo, Gardner Campbell, Peter Mulvey, Kevin Odegard, John Kruth, Rob Martinez, Darren DeVivo, and Jon Spurney.

Humankind special: The Christmas Truce

From David Freudberg | 58:59

Produced in association with WGBH/Boston. On the occasion of its 100th anniverary, we take a moving look at the 1914 Christmas Truce, in which opposing soldiers in WW1 risked court-martial by laying down their arms. They actually exchanged holiday gifts and sang carols together during their short-lived ceasefire on the frozen battlefield of Flanders, Belgium. John McCutcheon performs and discusses his Grammy-nominated folksong, 'Christmas in the Trenches', which he sang decades after the war for elderly veterans who participated in the truce. And we hear details from historians Stanley Weintraub and Scott Bennett who have written about fascinating war-time peace efforts.

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Fraternizing with the enemy was an offense for which a soldier could be court-martialed. Yet on the frozen battlefield of Flanders, Belgium in the bitter first Christmas of WW1, troops on all sides broke the trance of war a century ago and — for a fleeting few hours — became friends.

Previously shooting at each other from the miserable trenches, they now sang Christmas carols in different languages. They exchanged boxes of candy and cigarettes and even played a match of soccer in No Man's Land. Until of course, the deadly mission of war resumed.

You'll hear folksinger John McCutcheon, whose Grammy-nominated song, Christmas in the Trenches, movingly tells the story. And distinguished historian Stanley Weintraub, who searched through century-old diaries and news articles for his book, Silent Night. The second half of this documentary examines the history of U.S. conscientious objectors in WW1, some of whom were brutalized for their opposition to the Great War, includes rare WW1 archival audio.

A Show For You: A Leon Russell Appreciation

From Paul Ingles | 58:58

Produced the day after Leon Russell's death on November 13, 2016, music host Paul Ingles plays some spectacular Leon Russell performances and reviews his career with guest contributors Steve Pendlebury, Gardner Campbell, Darren Devivo and Scott Freiman.

Leon-russell1-e1403666257933_small Produced the day after Leon Russell's death on November 13, 2016, music host Paul Ingles plays some spectacular Leon Russell performances and reviews his career with guest contributors Steve Pendlebury, Gardner Campbell, Darren Devivo and Scott Freiman.

Songs include:

Jumping Jack Flash / Youngblood - Leon Russell
Stranger in a Strange Land - Leon Russell
Shootout On The Plantation - Leon Russell (not in Newscast Friendly Cut)
Little Hideaway (excerpt) - Leon Russell
This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis and the Playboys
Sitting Right Here In Heaven - Leon Russell
Superstar - Carpenters / Bette Midler
I Should Have Sent Roses - Leon Russell
The Hands of Angels- Leon Russell
A Song For You (excerpt) - Leon Russell
Back to the Island (excerpt) - Leon Russell

A Bow To Prince: An Appreciation of The Artist

From Paul Ingles | 58:59

Paul Ingles hosts an hour of music and reflections by his friends and fans of music legend Prince who died April 21, 2016.

Prince_small Paul Ingles hosts an hour of music and reflections by friends and fans of music legend Prince who died April 21, 2016.

Songs featured-

A Case of You,

Pop Life,

1999,

Diamonds and Pearls,

Baby I’m A Star,

Soft and Wet (Break Music),

Purple Rain,

Kiss,

Nothing Compares to U,

I Feel For You (Break Music),

While My Guitar Gently Weeps,

Sign of the Times,

Baltimore,

Raspberry Beret,

Little Red Corvette (59:00 Version Only)

Say it Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity

From American Public Media | Part of the American RadioWorks: Black History series | 59:00

"Say It Loud" traces the last 50 years of black history through stirring, historically important speeches by African Americans from across the political spectrum. With recordings unearthed from libraries and sound archives, and made widely available here for the first time, "Say It Loud" includes landmark speeches by Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry Louis Gates, and many others.

Say_it_loud_prx_small Say It Loud traces the last 50 years of black history through stirring, historically important speeches by African Americans from across the political spectrum. The documentary illuminates tidal changes in African American political power and questions of black identity through the speeches of deeply influential black Americans. With recordings unearthed from libraries and sound archives, and made widely available here for the first time, Say It Loud includes landmark speeches by Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., James Cone, Toni Morrison, Colin Powell, and many others.

Bringing the rich immediacy of the spoken word to a vital historical and intellectual tradition, Say It Loud reveals the diversity of ideas and arguments pulsing through the black freedom movement. Say it Loud is a sequel to the American RadioWorks documentary, Say it Plain. A companion book and CD set, Say It Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity, is now available from The New Press.

Sound Opinions Presents: Music of the Civil Rights Movement

From Sound Opinions | Part of the Sound Opinions Specials series | 54:00

Sound Opinions explores the music of the Civil Rights Era. From Bob Dylan to Odetta to the Staples Singers, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot remark upon the impact music made on the fight for civil rights in the 1960s.

Mlk_small Professional music critics Jim and Greg discuss influential and game-changning music from the 1960s that provided a soundtrack to the civil rights movement. They analyze tracks by artists like Sam Cooke, The Staple Singers, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone and more. They also chat with former Chicago WVON DJ Herb Kent.

Lincoln in Music and Letters

From The WFMT Radio Network | 58:30

Take an hour-long, song-filled journey on Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train with Lincoln in Music and Letters. Never before had a president’s death been memorialized by rail. Travelling 1,654 miles through seven states, it was a cutting-edge technical notion - extraordinary for its time - but well suited to the extraordinary times the United States faced. You’ll hear how the image of Lincoln, a seemingly awkward man from a humble background, transcended that troubled era and stepped into history.

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Audio for this series will become available January 2, 2017.

This series is available free of charge to all affiliate stations for one broadcast through January 1, 2018

For more information contact:

Estlin Usher at eusher@wfmt.com (p) 773-279-2112 
Tony Macaluso at tmacaluso@wfmt.com (p) 773-279-2114

Lincoln in Music and Letters

Take an hour-long, song-filled journey on Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train with Lincoln in Music and Letters.  Never before had a president’s death been memorialized by rail.  Travelling 1,654 miles through seven states, it was a cutting-edge technical notion - extraordinary for its time - but well suited to the extraordinary times the United States faced.  You’ll hear how the image of Lincoln, a seemingly awkward man from a humble background, transcended that troubled era and stepped into history. 

Hosted by Coco Elysses and written by award-winning audio producer George Zarr, the program features nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and folk musician Chris Vallillo.  Showcased are letters and diaries of the period, many unpublished and from the collection of Chicago’s Newberry Library.  Plus the songs our citizens sang, some long unheard or unrecorded.  Included are dramatic scenes based on actual historical dialogue and accounts.   Lincoln in Music and Letters presents the American voices of those who lived through a difficult time, civilians and soldiers alike, and brings them to vivid life.

Host:                                      Coco Elysses

Actors:                                   Stefan Brün, Greg Hardigan, Jenny Magnus, Marssie Mencotti and Beau O’Reilly

Producer, Writer & Director:    George Zarr

Featured performer:               Chris Vallillo (vocals & guitar)

Executive Producer:                Tony Macaluso

Managing Producer:                Heather McDougall

Production Assistant:              Rebecca Nystedt

Sponsor/Underwriter:             Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation

 

The program is produced in collaboration with Chicago’s Newberry Library

 

Special thanks to the program’s advisory team:

·         Thomas Campbell, of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation

·         Kristin Emery, Fellowships and Seminars Manager, Newberry Library

·         D. Bradford Hunt, Vice President for Research and Academic Programs, Newberry Library

·         Thomas J. Kernan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Music History at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University

 

Additional acknowledgements to James Cornelius, Curator of the Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and to the team at The Lincoln Funeral Train for providing audio. 

About Chris Vallillo

Chris Vallillo is a singer/songwriter and folk musician whose prairie poet style has been  compared to the works of Edgar Lee Masters and Vachel Lindsay.  His natural affinity for American roots music makes the people and places of “unmetropolitan” America come to life in song.  In the 1980s he conducted the Schuyler Arts Folk Music Project, documenting the last of the pre radio generation of musicians along the Illinois River. From 1990 through 1998 he served as the performing host and co-producer of the nationally distributed, award-winning public radio performance series Rural Route 3 where he performed next to (and with) a virtual who’s who of contemporary and traditional folk musicians. His one man show, Abraham Lincoln in Song, received the endorsement of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the accompanying CD charted at #10 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Chart in March of 2008. Chris has twice served as the Illinois Scholar for the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit on roots music, New Harmonies. His latest project, Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement, was released on Martin Luther King Day in 2016 and reached #6 on the National Folk Charts.

About Coco Elysses

Coco Elysses, a modern day renaissance woman hails from Robbins, Illinois and is a producer, musician, actress, voice-over artist, screenwriter and poet. Coco completed her MFA in creative writing and was a published poet before graduation. During their second season she was a featured musician in the critically claimed FOX drama Empire. In 2014, Coco was a semi-finalist in Lifetime Television Unscripted Development Pipeline. Coco’s voice can be heard at the Adler Planetarium in the permanent instillation, Skywatchers of Africa. Coco’s voice can also be heard on spots for BET, BlackVoices.com, McDonald’s, Nike, IN and OUT Burger, Saint’s Row video game, EverQuest II and Watchdogs. Coco has performed as an actress in several Chicago theatres.

In 2015 Coco was a featured actress in George E. Lewis’ film, Afterword and in the opera of the same name at The Museum of Contemporary Art. She was also in two exhibits, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the AACM (The DuSable Museum of African American History and the Museum of Contemporary Art. She performed at the Frankfurt, Germany Jazz Festival with Generation Now of the AACM and at the Made in Chicago Jazz Festival in Poznan, Poland with Voice Heard- a collective of female musicians of the AACM. Coco was featured in an episode on Chicago PD. She recently appeared in the Midwest premier of Detroit 67’ at Northlight Theatre directed by Ron O.J. Parsons. She also appeared at Organic Theatre in The Old Settler, where she received a Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination for Best Featured actress in a drama. Coco also appeared in the Chicago Theatre Company, Black Theatre Alliance Award-winning, and Jeff Nominated production of Shakin the Mess Outta Misery. Coco can be seen in the independent film, Severed Ties, available at Blockbuster video. Coco debuted her one woman show entitled, You Can’t Hide, a part of MPAACT’s solo jam series, directed by Ilesha Duncan. Most recently, she has appeared in Northlight Theatre’s Detroit 67’ and Nicole Mitchell’s, JBM- Images Beyond, a theatrical concert.

Coco was also a featured musician in the book, Black Women and Music: More than The Blues, documenting historical female musicians and Jazz- A Documentary featuring several Chicago musician and their unique contributions to this classic American music. Coco performed with the Great Black Music Ensemble of the AACM in Pisa, Italy for the Insolent Noise Festival, at Millennium Park Chicago for the Tribute to Fred Anderson, and George Lewis at the University of Chicago Artspeaks Festival. She has also performed with Renee Baker’s Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. She was a featured artist in Taiko Legacy 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art with Tatsu Aoki, Tsukasa Taiko and Amy Homma. She also performed with Tatsu Aoki’s Miyumi Project at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Coco’s poetry is featured in 99 New Poems: A Contemporary Anthology. She is also a featured essayist in America is...Personal Essays for Social Justice. A few of her noted recordings were in Chile, South America, with Raiza, on their CD, Latin Soul-EMI and Nicole Mitchell’s Africa Rising. Coco is a member of AFTRA-SAG, AEA, AACM and the AFM.

Peace Talks Radio: JFK's Turn Towards Peace (59:00 / 54:00)

From Good Radio Shows, Inc. | Part of the Peace Talks Radio: Weekly Hour Long Episodes series | 58:57

A conversation with James Douglass, author of "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters". Douglass makes the case for his theory that the 35th President was the victim of a murder conspiracy and that he died largely because of his peacemaking policies. Offered in either 59:00 or 54:00 versions.

Jfk_small In an in-depth conversation, James Douglass, author of "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters", spells out his theory that the 35th President was the victim of a murder conspiracy and that he died because of his peacemaking policies. He tracks Kennedy's transformation from a hawkish anti-Communist to someone who helped save the world from nuclear war by establishing back-channel conversations with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. Listeners will also hear much of Kennedy's 1963 speech at American University during which he laid out his vision for world peace, less than 6 months before his murder. Paul Ingles hosts. Language Advisory: A film clip includes the characters saying "Those god-damn Kennedys...." about 18:20 into Part A. If you feel it offensive to your listeners, you may edit it out or contact the producer for a version with that clip stripped out. paul@paulingles.com.

The Obama Years

From Open Source | Part of the Open Source with Christopher Lydon series | 58:30

Re-reading Obama with Marilynne Robinson and David Bromwich.

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What the “Yes I Can” president wanted most of all was to bring together a robust democracy in spirit if not every line of substance. What he ran into was a rockslide of revolt and a singular embodiment of it: a three-ring circus of a successor, Donald Trump, who seems to be the very opposite in tone and temperament of Barack Obama. 

Before turning the page on the “next great chapter in the American Story,” we’re re-reading the Obama years for what they meant. While the President’s approval ratings soar to their highest levels since his first few months in office, he leaves behind a checkered legacy–especially around war, trade, and immigration. For our guest David Bromwich, the Obama years were too often characterized by forgotten promises and unrealized hopes. Reconciliatory speech and radical centrism covered up imperial misadventures and neoliberal exploits.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Of course, many of us, like Marilynne Robinson, beloved novelist and personal friend of the president, will miss a lot from Mr. Obama. Robinson says the transnational aspects of Obama embody the very best in us, and, she tells us, “Our refusal to acknowledge him as he was really is a refusal to acknowledge ourselves as we are.” Robinson speaks of Obama as a “saintly man” with an impossible job:

This idea of the transformative leader, I think that that Obama is smarter than that. He knows that change is incremental and that it is collective. But what liberals tend to do–and I call myself a liberal under every possible circumstance, I’d put it on my headstone–but what they tend to do is create some ideal that nobody could live up to and then diminish what is good, what is accomplished by comparison with this almost childlike, supposed expectation. It’s no way to run anything.

Bromwich, Sterling professor of English at Yale, sees Obama differently. Bromwich was a supporter in 2008, but in 2009 became a skeptic who saw serious limits to the man’s gracious style:

…you can’t keep giving that reconciliatory post-war speech with a euphemistic and gentle rhetoric appropriate to a magnanimous victor in a war. Obama wanted to be the magnanimous victor and conciliator before he even fought a contest… and that’s a temperamental quirk so strange…. a fixed, false idea that he could be the unifier.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Nathan Robinson and Randall Kennedy join us to hash out the meaning of the Obama years in the context of the inauguration.

Illustration by Susan Coyne


The View from Room 205

From WBEZ | 59:00

"The View from Room 205" is a one-hour documentary that takes an unflinching look at the intersection of poverty and education in this country. It tells the story of a fourth grade classroom at William Penn Elementary, a public school in one of the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side. The documentary weaves together human stories in the school, from the children to their teacher to the principal, and pulls back to explain the big picture. It looks at poverty’s hold on school achievement and explores the unintended consequences of a core belief driving school reform today – that poverty is no excuse for low achievement.

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The View from Room 205 is a one-hour documentary that takes an unflinching look at the intersection of poverty and education in this country. It tells the story of a fourth grade classroom at William Penn Elementary, a public school in one of the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side. The documentary weaves together human stories in the school, from the children to their teacher to the principal, and pulls back to explain the big picture. It looks at poverty’s hold on school achievement and explores the unintended consequences of a core belief driving school reform today – that poverty is no excuse for low achievement.

Peabody Award-winning reporter Linda Lutton of WBEZ Chicago spent months reporting from Penn and the neighborhood around the school. Her work tackles fundamental questions about how we educate poor children, and whether schools can actually overcome poverty. It documents—often painfully—how we struggle and fail to lift poverty’s burdens off children. It is an hour that is personal, up-close, story-driven, and of far-reaching national importance.

Stations airing this special can find images, audiograms and suggested language for social media in this toolkit. Addititonally, you can download the pdf under the Additional Files section in this piece page. 

Black History Special - We Shall Overcome: Civil-Rights Jazz

From WFIU | Part of the Night Lights Classic Jazz: Specials series | 58:59

A one-hour program of jazz music, exploring the connection between jazz and civil rights in 20th-century America. Perfect for Black History Month (February).

We-shall-overcome-image_small There was a strong relationship between jazz and civil rights in 20th-century America; musicians and many critics as well were advocates for equal rights for African-Americans, and jazz provided a cultural bridge between blacks and whites that helped to work as a force for integration. In the post-World War II era black musicians began to speak up, directly and indirectly, against racial injustice, and they also began to record works with titles or lyrics that referred explicitly to the struggle for equality.

This program includes music from Nina Simone (her take on the legendary anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit”), Sonny Rollins (his instrumental version of “The House I Live In,” first sung by Frank Sinatra in 1945, and co-written by Abel Meeropol, who also wrote “Strange Fruit”), John Coltrane (a live and complete performance of “Alabama” taken from Ralph Gleason’s Jazz Casual TV show), and Max Roach’s powerful “Prayer/Protest/Peace” from the 1960 album We Insist! Freedom Now Suite.

Can Do: Stories of Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs

From The Kitchen Sisters | 54:00

From The Kitchen Sisters and PRX, a Black History Month Special: "Can Do: Stories of Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs," with host, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress, Alfre Woodard. These stories come from The Kitchen Sisters collection -- stories of black pioneers, self-made men and self-taught women, neighborhood heros and visionaries. People who said "yes we can" and then did.

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A man tapes the history of his town with a scavenged cassette recorder, a woman fights for social justice with a pie, a DJ ignites his community with a sound. Join us for this richly produced and deeply layered hour long special that resonates for Black History Month, or any month.  Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) and Roman Mars.
 
"Can Do" is supported in part by the Reversioning Project of the Public Radio Exchange at PRX.org and The CPB, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Chuck Berry and His Disciples

From Paul Ingles | 59:00

A rollicking music intensive salute to the music of Chuck Berry, who passed away at the age of 90 at his home in Missouri, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Music historian Paul Ingles focuses on the music presenting a lively hour of Berry's best loved tunes played by himself and by artists throughout rock 'n' roll's history who have treasured and emulated his music.

Berry1_small A music intensive salute to the music of Chuck Berry, who passed away at the age of 90 at his home in Missouri, Saturday, March 18, 2017.  Music historian Paul Ingles focuses on the music presenting a lively hour of Berry's best loved tunes played by himself and by artists throughout rock 'n' roll's history who have treasured and emulated his music.

Music by Chuck Berry, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, EmmyLou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, The Grateful Dead, Elvis Presley, Electric Light Orchestra and More.

SONGLIST:
Maybelline - Chuck Berry
School Days - Chuck Berry
Rock and Roll Music - The Beatles
Brown-Eyed Handsome Man - Paul McCartney
You Can't Catch Me - John Lennon
Come On - Chuck Berry
Around and Around - The Rolling Stones
Little Queenie - Excerpt - Chuck Berry
Reelin' and Rockin' - Chuck Berry
Carol - Tom Petty and the Heartbreaksers (not in 53:00 show)
Johnny B. Goode - Grateful Dead
The Promised Land - Elvis Presley
Memphis - Excerpt - Chuck Berry
Sweet Little Sixteen - Chuck Berry
You Never Can Tell - Emmylou Harris
Back in the U.S.A. - Linda Ronstadt
Roll Over Beethoven - Electric Light Orchestra
No Particular Place To Go - Chuck Berry