In July 1970, Duke Ellington recorded two tunes engineered by Conny Plank. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says The Conny Plank Session, which is now on CD, is a window onto Ellington's working method.
Wonder Woman's creator had a few secrets of his own. Historian Jill Lepore describes William Moulton Marstothe's unusual life in The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Originally broadcast Oct. 27, 2014.
In Do I Sound Gay?, director David Thorpe discusses the so-called "gay voice" and reveals his own attempt (with speech pathologist Susan Sankin) to sound "less gay." Originally broadcast July 7, 2015.
For 25 years, attorney Mary Bonauto and activist Evan Wolfson helped shape the gay marriage movement. They discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling, which represented the culmination of their efforts.
Sean Baker's bleak, boisterous farce follows two transgender sex workers on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. David Edelstein says Tangerine is "brilliantly shaped, edited, scored and performed."
In the dawning of the digital age, "She was the unlucky one to be having a nervous breakdown in public at the time," Amy director Asif Kapadia tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
Two new works of art — the documentary film Cartel Land and the novel The Cartel — shine a light on the seemingly endless drug war in Mexico. John Powers says both works are bleak, but gripping.
In Do I Sound Gay?, director David Thorpe searches for the origin of the so-called "gay voice" and documents his own attempts (with speech pathologist Susan Sankin) to sound "less gay."
The 26-year-old singer focuses on cleverly constructed lyrics — instead of rebellion — in her new record. Critic Ken Tucker says the singer falls short of creating a "sustained great album."
"Good people with the best of intentions ... can get things terribly, terribly wrong," says legal scholar Adam Benforado. His book, Unfair, explores the intrinsic flaws of the American justice system.
Summer and suspense fiction go together like the Fourth of July and firecrackers. Book critic Maureen Corrigan recommends four books that are deadly accurate in their aim to entertain.
Mat Johnson discusses his book Loving Day. David Bianculli says cable comics keep news-makers honest. Rick Famuyiwa calls Dope a celebration of kids whose interests don't fit into pop-culture norms.
The new film illustrates the inner workings of an 11-year-old's mind. Her emotions — Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Joy — are the stars. Originally broadcast June 10, 2015.
The singer-songwriter brings his acoustic guitar to the Fresh Air studio to sing some new songs as well as some of his favorites from the 1920s and '30s. Originally broadcast April 27, 2014.
Film critic David Edelstein calls Terminator Genesys "strenuously witless" and "lousy." But, he adds, the loose and fun Magic Mike XXL is "anything but a typical machine-tooled sequel."
Adam Liptak of The New York Times discusses the court's most recent session and says the rulings reveal deep philosophical differences regarding the role of judges and the Constitution.
Critic David Bianculli says the commentary, questioning and ridicule of Jon Stewart, Larry Wilmore, John Oliver and Bill Maher help keep news outlets — and newsmakers — honest.
Rick Famuyiwa's new film is about a black high-school student who's into 90s hip hop and Japanese comic books. He calls Dope a celebration of kids whose interests don't fit into pop-culture norms.
Jerry Douglas, considered by many to be the best dobro player in the world, brings his instrument to the studio and talks about his new album, The Earls of Leceister, a tribute to Flatt and Scruggs.
The main character in Vendela Vida's new novel is alone in Morocco when her bag with her passport and credit cards is stolen. Vida says The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty was inspired by her own travels.