At the recent Public Radio Conference in San Antonio, Texas, three Fresh Air arts reviewers swapped stories at a critics forum. Rock critic, Ken Tucker; commentator and book critic, Maureen Corrigan; and TV critic, David Bianculli, offered their thoughts on issues such as media hype and how to deal with it. They shared anecdotes about angry subjects of negative reviews who seek revenge against the reviewer. That panel discussion will be aired today.
Terry interviews writer Greil Marcus about his new book, "Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession." (see above) Marcus has written a biography of Presley that begins at his death. He documents the many-faceted cultural obsession with Elvis that has arisen since his death.
Gary Giddins, jazz critic for The Village Voice and author of the books Celebrating Bird: the Triumph of Charlie Parker, and Rhythm-a-ning: Jazz Tradition and Innovation in the 80s. He is the founder of the American Jazz Orchestra, which performs important and neglected jazz works of the past.
Fresh Air's classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz. It's part of our continuing series of conversations with Fresh Air's contributors. Schwartz is the classical music editor of the Boston Phoenix and writes for The Atlantic magazine and Vanity Fair. Schwartz was the winner of the 1987 ASCAP Deems Taylor for music criticism.
Leonard Feather, probably the best known jazz critic in America. His Encyclopedia of Jazz, a three-volume work, is considered the standard reference work on the subject. Feather has also been influential in jazz as a producer. (Rebroadcast. Original broadcast 7/24/87.)
Rock Critic Greil Marcus. His new book is a compilation of the writings of the late rock critic Lester Bangs, who, from 1969 until his death in 1982, wrote prodigiously for publications such as Rolling Stone, Creem and The Village Voice. Marcus is also the author of the highly-acclaimed Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n Roll Music.
British music critic and producer Leonard Feather worked with fellow producer John Hammond to desegregate jazz in the United States, as well as to promote women jazz musicians. In his new book, The Jazz Years, he considers how racism, radio stations and record labels affected the popularity of different styles like big band and bebop.
Nat Hentoff writes about jazz and civil liberties, but describes his profession as "being a troublemaker." Hentoff began collecting jazz records and hanging out in jazz clubs as a young adult, and later hosted a jazz radio show and edited a magazine before co-founding the Jazz Review, a journal of criticism. Hentoff currently writes a column for the Village Voice and his subjects are often the First Amendment or civil liberties, and he is a staunch defender of free speech. His latest book, "Boston Boy," is a memoir about growing up in Chicago and Boston.