Fresh Air

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Hosted by Terry Gross, Fresh Air from WHYY is the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. One of public radio's most popular programs, Fresh Air features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

Jazz Legend Allen Toussaint's Touch And Timing Shine On His Last Record

8 hours 11 min ago

The New Orleans-based musician completed recording his final album a month before he died last November. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead calls American Tunes a "fond last look" at Toussaint's talent.

How The FBI's Wiretaps And Sting Operation Failed To Stop The Orlando Shooter

8 hours 11 min ago

New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau discusses the FBI's investigation of shooter Omar Mateen prior to the Orlando attack, as well as the bureau's broader efforts to pinpoint suspected terrorists.

'They May Not Mean To, But They Do' Is A Sparkling, Sad Family Affair

8 hours 11 min ago

Cathleen Schine's new novel explores how one character's physical and mental decline ripples out to affect his whole family. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls it a mix of "fun and bad behavior."

Remembering Michael Herr, Whose 'Dispatches' Brought The War In Vietnam Home

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 12:55pm

Herr's 1977 book, Dispatches, was based on his time covering the Vietnam War. He also contributed to the films Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. Herr died last week. Originally broadcast in 1990.

'Nobody Is Immune': Bracing For Zika's First Summer In The U.S.

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 12:49pm

Author Donald. G. McNeil Jr. predicts that 2016 will be the worst for Zika transmission in the U.S. "After this year, a fair number of people will be immune, and ... immunity will grow," he says.

Broadway Chanteuse Barbara Cook: 'My First Memories Are Of Singing'

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:14pm

After starring in Broadway shows like The Music Man and Candide, Cook struggled with addiction, then staged a successful second career as a cabaret singer. Her new memoir is Then and Now.

A 'Wiener-Dog' Sows The Seeds Of Tragedy In New Film

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:14pm

Todd Solondz's new film consists of four episodes linked by a female dachshund, who has four different owners and four different names. Critic David Edelstein calls Wiener-Dog tragic and inspiring.

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Veep' Actor Tony Hale; Sobriety And Sex; 'What A Fish Knows'

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 8:00am

Hale talks about playing "anxious characters" on Arrested Development and Veep. Sarah Hepola had to rethink her sex life after she quit drinking. Jonathan Balcombe discusses the inner lives of fish.

Pen-Pal Passion Is Revived In Broadway's 'She Loves Me'

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:01pm

BroadwayHD will be live-streaming a performance of the Tony Award-winning musical, She Loves Me on June 30th. Director Scott Ellis and lyricist Sheldon Harnick spoke to Fresh Air on March 15, 2016.

Remembering Bluegrass And Banjo Legend Ralph Stanley

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 1:59pm

The Grammy Award-winning bluegrass pioneer died yesterday. He was 89. Stanley spoke to Fresh Air in 2002 about his career and his work on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Handguns In America And The Rise Of The 'Concealed-Carry Lifestyle'

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 1:35pm

"Something really profound has changed in the way that we use guns," journalist Evan Osnos says. He estimates that 13 million people are licensed to carry a concealed gun in America.

What It's Like To Be A Part Of The 'Vanishing Middle Class'

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 1:10pm

Mat Johnson grew up poor, but managed to land in the middle class as an adult. Still, he says, opportunities for advancement are few and far between, and it's all too easy to slide back economically.

'There's A Reason Why I Play Anxious Characters,' Says 'Veep' Actor Tony Hale

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 1:06pm

Hale played Buster on Arrested Development and is Gary Walsh on the HBO series, Veep. "It comes from a lot of personal anxiety," Hale says. "It's really fun to bring that into the characters."

Forgotten History: How The New England Colonists Embraced The Slave Trade

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 12:11pm

American slavery predates the founding of the United States. Wendy Warren, author of New England Bound, says the early colonists imported African slaves and enslaved and exported Native Americans.

How The Band Eggs Over Easy Kicked Off The Pub-Rock Movement Of 1970s London

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 12:11pm

Did you know that a hard-luck band from California changed the rock-and-roll scene in London by being in the right place at the right time? Rock historian Ed Ward has the story of Eggs Over Easy.

Sobering Up, And Facing The Reality Of Sex Without 'Liquid Courage'

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:35am

Author Sarah Hepola had to rethink her sex life after she quit drinking when she was 35. "Nothing frightened me as much as sex without alcohol," she says.

For Ellie Kemper, Kimmy Schmidt Is Just Her Latest 'Weirdo' Role

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 11:36am

"I still am not sure what in my face screams 'bunker-cult victim,' " Kemper says. The actress plays a woman who was rescued from an apocalyptic cult in the Netflix series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Fish Have Feelings, Too: The Inner Lives Of Our 'Underwater Cousins'

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 11:26am

Jonathan Balcombe, author of What A Fish Knows, says that fish have a conscious awareness — or "sentience" — that allows them to experience pain, recognize individual humans and have memory.

Fresh Air Weekend: 'O.J.: Made In America'; Margaret Glaspy's Album; 'Sweetbitter'

Sat, 06/18/2016 - 8:00am

Ezra Edelman and Jeffrey Toobin discuss ESPN's new documentary series about O.J. Simpson. Ken Tucker reviews Emotions and Math. Stephanie Danler's novel draws from her work in restaurants.

Producer Nick Venet Recalls The Story Behind Bobby Darin's 'Beyond The Sea'

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 1:30pm

In 1996, Venet spoke with Fresh Air about his friend's recording of "Beyond the Sea." (A version of this song is the theme of the new Pixar film, Finding Dory.) Venet died in 1998.

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