The Bob Edwards Show, April 21-25, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014: Cornell University professor Suzanne Mettler talks to Bob about her latest book, Degrees Of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream. Then, we explore the story of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a town that made big, defiant music. In its heyday, Muscle Shoals’ FAME Studio produced hits such as “I’ll Take You There,” “Brown Sugar,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” and “Freebird.” Greg ’Freddy’ Camalier is the director of the documentary, Muscle Shoals, and tells Bob about the place and its unique sound. Muscle Shoals airs tonight on the PBS series Independent Lens.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014: In a memorable episode of the hit TV show Seinfeld, a frustrated Elaine tracks down The New Yorker’s cartoon editor to get him to explain to her a particularly perplexing cartoon. Turns out, he didn’t get it either – he just “liked the kitty.” Elaine is not alone. In their annual Cartoon issue, The New Yorker runs a feature titled “I Don’t Get It” where the year’s most confounding cartoons are explained. Many of those cartoons were likely drawn or edited by Bob Mankoff. He published his first cartoon in The New Yorker in 1977 and is now that magazine’s cartoon editor. His new memoir is titled How About Never – Is Never Good for You? My Life in Cartoons. Then, Bob talks to Indiana University professorJacinda Townsend about her first novel, Saint Monkey, which tells the complicated story of two black girls living in eastern Kentucky after the Korean War.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014: James Vincent McMorrow burst onto the music scene with his debut album, Early in the Morning, which featured the striking and evocative song “We Don’t Eat.” Now, the Irish singer-songwriter is back with his sophomore effort, Post-Tropical, which places his lilting falsetto on a new collection of beautiful songs with a backdrop of lush instrumentation.
Thursday, April 24, 2014: In November of 1961, Michael Rockefeller vanished off the coast of Southwest New Guinea while on an art-collecting mission. Despite an exhaustive search, his body was never found and the case remains a mystery. But author Carl Hoffman thinks he may have solved it. Tracing Rockefeller’s final journey, he tells the story of what he found in a new book titled Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art. Then, in 2004, Peruvian writer Isabel Allende joined the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The award-winning author talks with Bob about her book Maya’s Notebook, as well as Allende’s particular contribution to Arts and Letters. Maya’s Notebook is now available in paperback.
Friday, April 25, 2014: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Next, if you google the name Vivian Maier today, you will get nearly a million hits. But just a few years ago, you would have gotten one: an obituary from the Chicago Tribune placed by three people unrelated to her. Vivian Maier died in 2009, and the fascinating story of her posthumous rise to fame is told in a new documentary titled Finding Vivian Maier. The film was produced byJohn Maloof and Charlie Siskel. Then, the latest installment of our ongoing series This I Believe.
by Dan Bloom, producer
Late least week, we noted the death of our past guest Jesse Winchester with great sadness. The immensely talented singer & songwriter succumbed to bladder cancer and died in his sleep at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was 69 years old. Winchester’s personal story is compelling and his music is rich and mesmeric. We will miss Jesse Winchester, but his music will live on in the memory of his fans, and Bob & I certainly count ourselves among them.
**This program and the rest of this post originally ran in April 2009**
It was a choice that confronted many young Americans during the 1960s…you’ve been drafted into a war that you vehemently oppose, and the options are pretty bleak: report to the military, go to jail, or flee your homeland for a life in exile. Jesse Winchester faced this very decision after graduating from Williams College. He chose to move north to Canada, and proved to be a talented singer and songwriter. But one condition of going to Canada was the understanding that he could not return to the United States - no personal visits and no professional touring. That handicapped his chances at solo stardom. During his ten years in Canada, Winchester developed quality material, recording some brilliant tunes and writing hits for other artists. When he headed north, Jesse Winchester never imagined that American draft dodgers would be granted amnesty. In 1977, ten years after he left, president Jimmy Carter did just that. Winchester returned to the United States and settled in Charlottesville, Virginia. That’s where Bob and I met up with him to record a memorable interview in December of 2008.
I had never heard Jesse Winchester’s songs before our trip to Charlottesville, but as a producer who loves music and politics, I have to thank our host for turning me on to his work and his story. He was a gentle, talented and thoughtful man with a fascinating personal story of historical significance and an excess of musical talent…he was the total package of a Bob Edwards Show guest.
I thank Jesse Winchester for his time, his music, his candor and courage. It was a fascinating piece to put together and I hope you’ll find it an engaging listen.
Jesse Winchester, 1944-2014.