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41 Segments




Kinky Friedman Treads the Line Between Satire and Bigotry.

Country musician Kinky Friedman is know by some as "Texas Jew Boy." His songs, including "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore" and "Ride 'Em Jew Boy," often have anti-semitic, racist, and sexist lyrics. While some take the lyrics seriously, others appreciate the satire. He joins the show to discuss his work.


The Best Rock Songs from Sesame Street

Christopher Cerf's educational songs for children are featured on the television show Sesame Street. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about how he chooses his subject material and the popular songs he pays tribute to. An album of Sesame Street music, titled Born to Add, features many songs he wrote and performed.


The Smothers Brothers.

Tom and Dick Smothers are known as the "Smothers Brothers," a musical comedy duo that began by satirizing the folk acts of their day. Their popularity in the 1960s led to a Sunday night variety show. The show, with its topical content, often clashed with censors, and in 1969, the brothers were fired. The Smothers Brothers reunited in 1980.


A Career in Musical Parody

Composer John Morris is film director Mel Brooks' longtime collaborator. In addition to writing the music for comedies, Morris also scored David Lynch's The Elephant Man.


"Elvis is Everywhere."

Rock Critic Ken Tucker will review the novelty song "Elvis is Everywhere," by Skid Roper and Mojo Nixon.


Novelty Song is the Pre-Cursor to Sampling.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles some of rock's most memorable break-in records, which are singles made up of snippets of many different records. These include records by Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman's Flying Saucer.


Interview and Performance with David Frishberg, Part 1.

Jazz singer, songwriter David Frishberg. This is the first part of two-part interview. Throughout the 60s, Frishberg wrote songs like "I'm Hip" and "Peel Me a Grape." Then in the early 70s, he started singing his own songs. Frishberg will also play a few songs throughout both parts of the interview.


Britian's Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles one of the most eccentric rock groups from the other side of the Atlantic - the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (circa late 1960s). They infused their music with a typically British brand of humor, such as that associated with Monty Python's Flying Circus.


Introducing Alva Rogers.

Critic-at-Large Laurie Stone reviews the work of the young singer Alva Rogers. Rogers has performed in clubs throughout the New York City area over the last several weeks.


Fred Koller Gives Advice on Getting Your Song Heard.

Songwriter Fred Koller. He's one of Nashville's top songwriters. His songs have been recorded by Loretta Lynn, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dave Edmunds and Hank Williams Jr. He has also collaborated with John Prine, John Hiatt and Pat Alger. But in his book How to Pitch and Promote Your Song, Koller guides the novice songwriter through the music business, with tips on how best to present your songs. (Interview by Sedge Thomson)


Humor in Music: Success and Failure.

Rock Critic Ken Tucker considers two New York acts who are known for their humor: folk-singer Christine Lavin, and the eclectic rock group, They Might Be Giants. Lavin's album, "Attainable Love" is on Rounder Records. They Might Be Giants' album is "Flood," and it's on Elektra.


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