Fresh Air

Weekdays at Noon

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

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Television
2:01 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Letterman Signs Off, With A Heartfelt Guest-Filled Finale

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Television
1:11 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Letterman's Executive Producer: 'He's Meant A Lot To A Lot Of People'

Rob Burnett celebrates with Barbara Gaines (left) and Maria Pope (right) after winning an Emmy Award for his work on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2000.
Kevork Djansezian Associated Press

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:01 pm

Rob Burnett started working with David Letterman as an intern in 1985 and never left, even when the talk-show host moved from NBC to CBS. During the course of his 29-year tenure, Burnett evolved from intern to head writer to executive producer of the Late Show with David Letterman, a position he held through last night's final show.

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Media
12:36 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Terry Gross To Marc Maron: 'Life Is Harder Than Radio'

Terry Gross and Marc Maron took the stage at WNYC's RadioLoveFest on May 6. During their conversation, Gross says, Maron "occasionally looked a little nervous or frustrated when he thought I was unforthcoming — or worse yet, being dull --€” but mostly, he looked emotionally present, curious and attentive."
Rebecca Greenfield Brooklyn Academy of Music

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 10:08 am

Earlier this month, almost 2,000 radio fanatics gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) to listen in as Marc Maron, the neurotic and sometimes gruff comedian and podcast host, interviewed Fresh Air's Terry Gross. He is known for being vulnerable and bringing his personal life into his interviews; she tends to keep her personal life separate from her work. The conversation that resulted blurs those two styles and ends up revealing aspects of Gross' life that even the biggest Fresh Air fans may find surprising.

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U.S.
12:04 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Reporting On Rape Kit Backlog Leads To New Law And Arrests In Ohio

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Movie Interviews
12:04 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Elizabeth Banks On Success: 'You Don't Get What You Don't Ask For'

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Television
12:10 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

The 'Mad Men' Ending: A 'Twisted' And 'Perfect' Conclusion

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 3:36 pm

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Music Reviews
12:10 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

In 'Take Off,' Ramon Valle Makes The Piano Sing

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 3:36 pm

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All Tech Considered
12:10 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Attention White-Collar Workers: The Robots Are Coming For Your Jobs

The German service robot Toomas was designed to welcome customers and help them find items in a store.
Joerg Sarbach AP

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 9:56 am

From the self-checkout aisle of the grocery store to the sports section of the newspaper, robots and computer software are increasingly taking the place of humans in the workforce. Silicon Valley executive Martin Ford says that robots, once thought of as a threat to only manufacturing jobs, are poised to replace humans as teachers, journalists, lawyers and others in the service sector.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:26 am
Sat May 16, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Contemplating Life, Sex And Elevators In Space

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:26 am
Sat May 16, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Tom Brokaw Reflects On His 'Lucky Life'

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:26 am
Sat May 16, 2015

Heavy-Handed And Preachy, 'Good Kill' Misses Its Mark

Ethan Hawke plays an Air Force commander engaged in drone warfare in Andrew Niccol's Good Kill.
Lorey Sebastian IFC Films

"Drones aren't going anywhere. In fact, they're going everywhere." These are the words of an Air Force commander played by Bruce Greenwood, and they sum up both the relevance and the heavy-handedness of Good Kill. The film, written and directed by Andrew Niccol, unfolds in a present-day reality where state-of-the-art drone technology has made killing one's enemies as easy as pushing a button. Ethan Hawke plays Major Thomas Egan, an ace U.S. Air Force pilot who served six tours of duty overseas.

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Movie Reviews
1:04 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Souped-Up Vehicles And Road Warriors Reign In 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 8:29 pm

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Music Interviews
1:04 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

B.B. King On Life, Plantation Living And His 'Droopy-Drawers' Sound

B.B King in 1996.
David Redfern Redferns

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 5:56 am

B.B. King, the legendary blues musician, died Thursday after spending much of the month in hospice care. He was 89.

Born Riley B. King in Indianola, Miss., in 1925, King began his life on a plantation, where he was born the son of a sharecropper. Speaking to Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 1996, King remembered an early life without telephones, electricity or any outside opportunities. "A lot of the people, including myself in the early years, just thought this was it, you raise your families and you get old, you die, your families take over, kids, what have you," King said.

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Race
1:16 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How Our Government Created Ghettos

A helicopter flies over a section of Baltimore affected by riots. Richard Rothstein writes that recent unrest in Baltimore is the legacy of a century of federal, state and local policies designed to "quarantine Baltimore's black population in isolated slums."
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 11:25 am

Fifty years after the repeal of Jim Crow, many African-Americans still live in segregated ghettos in the country's metropolitan areas. Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, has spent years studying the history of residential segregation in America.

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Music Reviews
12:06 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Country Hit Writer Chris Stapleton Breaks Out On His Own In 'Traveller'

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 1:16 pm

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Author Interviews
1:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Tom Brokaw Reflects On Cancer, 'Nightly News' And His 'Lucky Life'

Tom Brokaw served as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 until 2004.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 2:08 pm

By his own admission, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw has lived a charmed life. "In the seasons of life I have had more than my share of summers," he writes on the opening page of his new memoir, A Lucky Life Interrupted.

But two years ago, Brokaw's good fortune turned when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that has led to bone fractures and pain unlike any he'd known.

"It was paralyzing in a way," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "There were times when I simply couldn't get out of bed."

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Music Reviews
1:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

'The In Crowd': An Audience-Fueled Jazz-Pop Crossover Hit

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Fifty years ago today in a Washington nightclub, Chicago's Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded "The 'In' Crowd," the rare jazz single that landed on the pop charts. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the audience was half the show.

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Book Reviews
11:55 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Misadventures And Absurdist Charm Take Root In 'George Orwell's House'

Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 9:31 am

In 1946, reeling from the death of his wife and seeking an escape from the demands of London literary life, Eric Blair, aka "George Orwell," moved to a cottage on the isle of Jura off the west coast of Scotland. What the place lacked in modern conveniences like electricity and running water, it perhaps made up for in misty views of the Atlantic and samplings of the local whiskey.

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Author Interviews
12:47 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Making Art Out Of Bodies: Sally Mann Reflects On Life And Photography

Photographer Sally Mann drives with her greyhound, Honey, in the early 2000s.
Michael S. Williamson Courtesy of Michael S. Williamson

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 2:30 pm

Photographer Sally Mann is fascinated by bodies. In the early 1990s, she became famous — or notorious — for her book Immediate Family, which featured photographs of her young children naked. Critics claimed Mann's work eroticized the children, but Mann says the photos were misinterpreted.

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Space
12:08 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

The Great 'Beyond': Contemplating Life, Sex And Elevators In Space

Astronomer Chris Impey examines the possibilities of the universe in his new book Beyond. "I like the idea that the universe — the boundless possibility of 20 billion habitable worlds — has led to things that we can barely imagine," he says. In the 1970s, NASA Ames conducted several space colony studies, commissioning renderings of the giant spacecraft which could house entire cities.
Rick Guidice NASA Ames Research Center

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 2:53 pm

The possibility of humans colonizing outer space may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but British astronomer Chris Impey says that if the U.S. were pumping more money into the space program, the sci-fi fantasy would be well on its way to reality.

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Movie Reviews
12:08 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

An Indian Coming-Of-Age Trilogy, Restored To Its 'True Splendor'

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 8:42 am

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:06 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Inside 'Mad Men'; British Pulp Fiction; Youth Sports

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) faces personal and professional upheaval in the final season of Mad Men.
Justina Mintz AMC

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 12:09 pm

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Interviews
11:56 am
Fri May 8, 2015

'Fresh Air' Remembers Soul Singer Ben E. King

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STAND BY ME")

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Movie Reviews
11:56 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Schwarzenegger Meets Zombies In A Haunting, Slow-Paced New Film

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Interviews
11:56 am
Fri May 8, 2015

'Fresh Air' Remembers Mystery Novelist Ruth Rendell

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

We're remembering British mystery writer Ruth Rendell, who died last Saturday in London at the age of 85. Rendell was interviewed twice by Terry Gross, first in 1989. Terry asked her to describe her best-known character, Reg Wexford.

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Book Reviews
12:32 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Gangsters, Goons And 'Grievous Bodily Harm' In Ted Lewis' London

Ted Lewis' gritty storytelling takes readers inside London's seedier quarters.
Soho Press

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 3:29 pm

In his famous essay, "The Simple Art of Murder," Raymond Chandler put down the classic British mystery, making fun of its arcane killings and hokey air of gentility. He preferred the tough American style and praised Dashiell Hammett for, as he put it, taking murder out of the vicar's rose garden and dropping it in the alley where it belonged.

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Television
12:32 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

'Mad Men' Creator On Don Draper's Losses And The End Of The Road

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) faces personal and professional upheaval in the final season of Mad Men.
Justina Mintz AMC

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 3:08 pm

Editor's note: This conversation discusses plot points from the seventh season of Mad Men.

With just two episodes to go until the AMC series Mad Men wraps for good, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the series protagonist, seems to have nothing left — no Sterling Cooper ad agency, no apartment, no wife, no lover and no family life.

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Television
12:02 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Meet The Power Couple Behind 'The Good Wife'

Julianna Marguiles plays attorney Alicia Florrick in the CBS drama The Good Wife.
CBS

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:31 am

The CBS drama series The Good Wife explores the behind-closed-doors drama of a smart female lawyer who stands by, silently supportive, as her husband admits to scandals both political and extramarital. Robert and Michelle King, the real-life husband and wife team who created the show, say that when it came to creating the series' main character, it was a question of art imitating life.

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Music Reviews
12:02 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Cuban Drummer Dafnis Prieto's Crisp Rhythms Are 'Good For Jazz'

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:31 am

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Television
10:49 am
Wed May 6, 2015

The Allure Of Gore: 'Walking Dead' Producer On Zombies And Mean Tweets

Andrew Lincoln plays Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.
Frank Ockenfels 3 AMC

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:31 am

The AMC series The Walking Dead, about a band of survivors in a zombie apocalypse, is known for killing off characters without much warning. But while the show's sudden plot twists keep viewers engaged, they can also create explosions of fan grief and rage on social media. Much of the audience's ire has landed on Scott M. Gimple, the series' executive producer and this season's showrunner.

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