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13 Segments




'Beasts': Taking Southern Folklore To The Next Level.

Beasts of the Southern Wild came out of nowhere to win the Camera d'Or at Cannes and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The fable-like film, starring 6-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, takes place after a storm ravages Louisiana. (Recommended)


How Louisiana Became The World's 'Prison Capital.'

Louisiana imprisons more people per capita than any other state or country in the world. One out of every 86 adults in the state is behind bars. Times-Picayune reporter Cindy Chang says the state's correctional system has created financial incentives for local sheriffs to keep prisons full.


Fangtastic Voyage: 'True Blood' Vampires Live On

The third season of HBO's vampire soap True Blood is now out on DVD. TV critic David Bianculli says the show's success proves that vampires -- more than werewolves, zombies or witches -- will turn out to be the most durable media monsters of all.


'All the King's Men': Oscar Bait?

A new film of Robert Penn Warren's novel All the King's Men stars Sean Penn as political boss Willie Stark, a role that won Broderick Crawford an Oscar in 1949. The remake also features Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, and James Gandolfini. It's directed by Steven Zaillian, who won his own Oscar for the screenplay of Schindler's List.


Author Robert Olen Butler.

Author Robert Olen Butler. Butler's first novel, "The Alleys of Eden," has been called one of the finest books ever written about Americans in Vietnam. Butler has a new collection of stories, called "A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain." (It's published by Henry Holt). (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)


Louisiana's Lesser-Known, Home-Grown Talent

Rock historian Ed Ward says there was talent all over the state during the 1950s and '60s. Despite their excellent music, most of the recording artists of this era faded into obscurity. But contemporary musicians like Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello are rediscovering Louisiana's soulful, forgotten legacy.


The Roots of the Blues

Sam Charters is a white northerner who studies the history black southern music. He moved to Louisiana to learn about forgotten jazz players and make field recordings of unknown blues musicians.


Keeping Cajun Music Alive

Fiddler and folklorist Michael Doucet plays with the band Beausoleil. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about the history of and techniques involved in the Louisiana-based genre.


Nick Spitzer's Shares Hidden Jewels of the Gulf Coast.

Nick Spitzer is a folklorist who worked for the State of Louisiana for six years, and now works at the Smithsonian. Spitzer has also hosted several radio programs and recently produced the film "Zydeco: Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana" and helped produce the album "Zodico: Louisian Créole Music." Spitzer joins the show to discuss and share jazz music from New Orleans, with a focus on Mardi Gras music and lesser known styles. (INTERVIEW BY BOB CARLIN)

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