Dave McKenna, the hard-swinging jazz keyboardist who died in October, was a particular favorite of Fresh Air dating back to the show's early local broadcasts. Our Thanksgiving Day broadcast is devoted to his memory — with excerpts from an interview and in-studio performance from 1988, plus remembrances from his sister, singer Jean McKenna O'Donnell.
Writer Frank Conroy died April 6, at 69. He had colon cancer. He was the longtime director of the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop. His 1967 memoir, Stop-Time, became a classic. In 1993, he published his first and only novel, Body & Soul. His other books were a collection of short stories, Midair, and his last book, the nonfiction Time and Tide: A Walk Through Nantucket. Conroy also worked as a jazz pianist in Greenwich Village and Nantucket for many years. (Originally aired Sept. 29, 1993)