The Bob Edwards Show, December 30, 2013 – January 3, 2014
Monday, December 30, 2013: This week we continue to highlight Bob’s best interviews of the year and today we share the story of the “Secret City.” Oak Ridge, Tennessee did not appear on any map until 1942 when it was hastily thrown together for the Manhattan Project. The government employed thousands of young people - 27 was the median age - but they didn’t know what they were working on until the day the bomb was dropped. There are still plenty of Manhattan Project alumni living there, and Bob spoke with several of them during a visit to Oak Ridge. Colleen Black started working as a leak detector when she was just 18-years-old; Bill Wilcox, now the city’s historian, worked as chemist; and Richard Lord arrived 10 days after graduating with an electrical engineering degree.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013: It’s time once again for our annual visit from Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis. He shares with us his picks for the best music released in 2013. Then, Bob shares one of his best interviews of 2013 with American music legend Jimmy Webb. Webb is the Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and for good reason. He has written many well-known classics for other musicians including “Wichita Lineman,” “MacArthur Park,” “Up, Up and Away,” and “All I Know.” Several of those artists are now repaying the favor with guest appearances on his album, Still Within the Sound of My Voice, including Lyle Lovett, Carly Simon, Keith Urban, Joe Cocker, Kris Kristofferson and Art Garfunkel. Webb is the first and only artist to receive Grammys for music, lyrics and orchestration.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014: For the New Year, we continue to highlight Bob’s best interviews in 2013. First, beloved writer Judy Blume has been the voice of young people’s literature for over 40 years. The author of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, the Fudge books, and many others, Blume can now add screenwriter to her resume. Based on her 1981 novel, her film Tiger Eyes is available on Video on Demand. Then, the former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni, has released her fourth album, Little French Songs. It’s been called a “tightly crafted, sweet collection of French chasons” and features “Mon Raymond,” a love song to her husband, Nicholas Sarkozy. Bruni explains that Raymond was easier to rhyme than Nicholas.
Thursday, January 2, 2014: Today we air one of our best documentaries of 2013, End of Watch: What Happens to US Veterans Waiting for Help. On June 10, 2013, Army veteran Daniel Somers left behind a heartbreaking letter that began, “I am sorry that it has come to this. The fact is, for as long as I can remember my motivation for getting up every day has been so that you would not have to bury me.” Unfortunately, Daniel is one of 22 U.S. military veterans who take their own lives every day. Considering that figure, coupled with the massive backlog of veterans waiting for help from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Bob wanted to find out if there is a connection. In End of Watch: What Happens to US Veterans Waiting for Help, he talks to former VA workers who resigned in protest over VA practices and procedures, along with veterans waiting in line – currently more than 700,000 service men and women – to get the benefits they were promised upon enlisting. What Bob learns is an infuriating and vexing mix of stories and opinions.
Friday, January 3, 2014: The Best of 2013 celebration concludes today with our regular news analyst, L.A. Times columnist Doyle McManus, looking back at the year that was. Then, last year, Masterpiece’s hit show Downton Abbey stunned viewers by ending the season with tragedy. Bob talks about what’s in store this season with actresses Phyllis Logan and Lesley Nicol, who play Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore. Season 4 starts Sunday, January 5th on PBS. Finally, Buzz Aldrin was the second man to step foot on the moon and the first to punch an Apollo conspiracy theorist in the jaw after the man demanded Aldrin swear on a Bible that the Moon landings were not fake. Aldrin dedicated a chapter to the incident in his 2009 autobiography Magnificent Desolation, titled after the words that he uttered while walking on the moon. His new book, Mission to Mars, outlines his goals for the space program and how he believes we can get humans to Mars.