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Doors Keyboardist Ray Manzarek

Manzarek has written the new autobiography called "Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors."He talks about his experience playing in one of the 1960's most influential bands. The Doors disbanded after its lead singer Jim Morrison died in 1971. Since The Doors, Manazarek has produced four albums for the punk rock band X and recorded several solo albums. He also performs with Beat poet Michael McClure at nightclubs and on college campuses.


Pianist Jessica Williams in Concert.

An in-studio concert and interview with jazz pianist Jessica Williams, recorded at WHYY. The concert was previewed on last Wednesday's show. It will feature Williams' original songs as well as some interpretations of standards, some from Williams' 1997 release: "Higher Standards" (Candid). Williams has been recording albums, both solo and with ensembles, since 1978. Her music is often featured on Fresh Air between interview segments.


George Copeland: A Lost Treasure.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reminds us of a pianist that most of us have probably never heard of: George Copeland, who died at the age of 71 in 1971. Lloyd says none of Copeland's recordings are currently in print.


Dawn Upshaw Sings Rodgers and Hart

Opera soprano Dawn Upshaw performs a concert with jazz pianist Fred Hersch at WHYY. The program includes highlights from her just-released album "Dawn Upshaw sings Rodgers and Hart," as well selections by Leonard Bernstein, Mark Blitstein and George Gershwin. Upshaw joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1984. Later in the show, Upshaw will be accompanied by a 15-piece orchestra, led by Broadway music director Eric Stern, and singer David Garrison.


Novelist Frank Conroy.

Novelist Frank Conroy. At 57, he's just published his first novel, "Body & Soul" (Houghton & Mifflin). He is currently the director of the prestigious Iowa Writers Program, and this novel has been long awaited by fans of his 1967 autobiography "Stop Time". Conroy has one other book, a collection of short stories called "Midair"; he's worked as a jazz pianist in Greenwich Village and Nantucket for many years.


Singer, Songwriter, and Pianist Randy Newman

Newman joins Terry in the studio for music and conversation. Known for his satiric songs, he has sung from the perspective of a racist, a rapist and even God in songs like "Suzanne" and "Rednecks." He is currently working on a musical based on "Faust."


Singer Barbara Lea Pays Tribute to Cole Porter

Lea started singing in the 1950s; she recorded her first album in 1955 to critical acclaim. After a hiatus from music, she made a comeback during the 70s in New York's cabaret world. Today, Lea is accompanied in studio by pianist Tony Tamburello. In honor of Cole Porter's 100th birthday, they perform several of the songwriter's compositions.


Artur Schnabel's Legendary -- and Flawed -- Performance

A while back, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviewed a live recording by the late pianist Artur Schnabel. Schnabel lost his place during the performance, but the error was edited out of the recording. Now Lloyd has a chance to play the original for us, which he actually finds more enjoyable.


A First-Time Novelist and His Remarkable Debut

Dennis McFarland's severe stage fright led him to give up a career as a concert pianist. He chose writing instead, in part because it didn't involve performing in front of an audience. His first novel, about a divorcé whose brother commits suicide, is called The Music Room.


Pianist Dubravka Tomsic.

Pianist Dubravka Tomsic. Tomsic came to the United States from her native Yugoslavia as a teenager. Her playing so impressed Arthur Rubinstein that he personally intervened with the Yugoslavian government to fund her music studies here. Tomsic returned to Yugoslavia after her graduation from Juilliard. She is now back in the United States for the first time in 30 years, for a small number of concerts and recording sessions.


Recordings of the Great Pianist Dubravka Tomsic Reach the United States.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews the latest recording of Yugoslavian pianist Dubravka Tomsic. Tomsic launched her career in America as a teenager, was a student of Arthur Rubinstein, played with the New York Philharmonic, and made her debut at Carnegie Hall before returning to Yugoslavia. Last year she was rediscovered in America on a number of critically acclaimed compact discs. On July 10 she returns to America to open the Newport Festival.


Remembering a Forgotten Louisiana Legend

Many listeners aren't familiar with the New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair, but his songs have had a profound influence on the current generation of Louisiana musicians. Rock historian has this profile.


Glen Gould

Classical Music Critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a newly re-issued recording of the late pianist GLENN GOULD playing Haydn's last six piano sonatas. Gould made these recordings in 1980, two years before his death.


Classical Pianist Richard Goode

Goode was recently commissioned to record all of Beethoven's piano sonatas. He joins Fresh Air to discuss the challenges of that endeavor, the process of memorizing the repertory, and his early musical training.


The Most Elegant Tear-Jerker on Home Video

Critic Ken Tucker lauds the VHS release of Letter from an Unknown Woman, a 1948 drama about a philandering pianist and the mother of his child. Tucker also recommends Floating Weeds, License to Drive, and Monkey Shines.


"Five Easy Pieces" Now Available for Home Viewing

Critic Ken Tucker revisits the classic Jack Nicholson film, now on home video. He says the movie is idiosyncratic, but fizzles out by the end, after Nicholson's character has killed off so many of his emotions.


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