In more than 40 years of broadcasting, Fresh Air has recorded some of the most famous and beloved figures in American life showing sides of themselves rarely seen by the public. This collection, which includes interviews with Ray Charles, Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and others, features a selection of memorable interviews handpicked by Terry Gross (pictured in 1991) and the Fresh Air staff.
Singer and pianist Ray Charles has a new four CD box-set out that captures his contribution to country music. "Ray Charles: The Complete Country and Western Recordings 1959-1986. (Rhino) Charles may be best known for his blues, R&B and soul music. He has won 12 Grammy Awards.
Meryl Streep won a Golden Globe for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She talks about preparing for that role, her other films and how her perceptions of herself have changed over the years.
It's been more than 40 years since David Bowie created the gender-bending Ziggy Stardust and released the now-classic album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. With it, Bowie helped invent glam-rock. In conversation with Fresh Air's Terry Gross from 2002, Bowie was in the midst of making the following year's Reality, and here talks about leaving characters in his songs, his love of Tibetan horns, and his childhood desire to write musicals and play saxophone in Little Richard's band.
A concert and interview with singer Rosemary Clooney taped before a live audience in San Francisco, January 18th, as part of the City Arts & Lectures series. Clooney sings some of her best known songs, accompanied by a quintet directed by John Oddo. She also talks with Terry about her life. Her 1996 album "Dedicated to Nelson" has been nominated for a Grammy.
Legendary writer James Baldwin is the author of modern classics such as "Notes of a Native Son," "Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone," and "Go Tell It On the Mountain." Here, Baldwin delivers a lecture and has a "rap" session with students at an event at Lehigh University.
Music legend Johnny Cash. Cash has been recording albums and performing since the 1950's. Representing Cash's varied musical styles, he has been inducted into the Songwriters, Country Music, and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. He's just released an autobiography called "Cash" (Harper) The book tour for the memoir has been cancelled due to complications with Cash's Parkinson's disease.
Children's book writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak. He's been at it for over 40 years. His books are classics: "Where the Wild Things Are," "In the Night Kitchen," and others. They are "unsentimental fantasizes" (LA Times Magazine), challenging the belief that children should be protected from their fears and anxieties. In all, Sendak has illustrated 80 children's books (19 of which he wrote).
Bumble-ardy is a deeply imaginative tale about an orphaned pig who longs for a birthday party. Sendak, who is 83, wrote and illustrated the book while caring for his longtime partner, who died of cancer in 2007. "I did Bumble-ardy to save myself," Sendak says. "I did not want to die with him."
Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s "Resistance" podcast explores different aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement. The podcast has been mostly devoted to the protests that started last summer after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but it also chronicles Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s personal history.
The story of the Sackler dynasty--the family that owns Purdue Pharma, which created oxycontin, the drug marketed to relieve acute and chronic pain, that played a major role in creating the opioid epidemic. Patrick Radden Keefe's new book is Empire of Pain. It’s based in part on leaked documents and private emails that reveal the Sacklers knew about how addictive oxycontin is--before they admitted it, and they used deceptive practices to keep selling more of the drug.