Monday, December 8, 2014: Bob talks with Mac McCaughan about running a very successful independent record label and heading up two bands that are darlings of college radio. McCaughan is a co-founder of North Carolina’s Merge Records and his two bands are Superchunk and Portastatic. His label is celebrating its 25th year in 2014. Then, Bob visits with Irish singer and songwriter Sinead O’Connor. They’ll discuss her long and confounding career in music, her family and her thoughts on religion. In 2007, the singer was here to promote her CD titled Theology. Today is Sinead O’Connor’s 48th birthday.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014: “A novel is a great act of passion and intellect, carpentry and largess,” writes Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline and other best-sellers. In 2010, Conroy wrote about the books that shaped him, the books in which he found solace, the books that made him want to become a writer, the books he says saved his life. It’s called My Reading Life. Then Bob talks with Conroy about his latest book, The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014: Bob talks with Nando Parrado about his book Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home. Parrado was one of the Uruguayan rugby players whose airplane crashed in the Andes Mountains on October 13, 1972. The survivors did their best to keep warm and resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. They were rescued on December 23rd. Then, another story of survival against long odds. At the beginning of World War II, just as Hitler’s army was invading Poland – 30 members of two local Jewish families sought refuge in a series of caves. The documentary No Place on Earth tells the story of the Stermer and the Wexler families who lived underground for 511 days. Bob speaks with filmmaker Janet Tobias and Sonia Dodyk who was just a little girl when she lived in the cave with her family. In 2010, Dodyk and four other survivors returned to the site with their grandchildren.
Thursday, December 11, 2014: Bob speaks with music biographer, Peter Guralnick. He’s written extensively about American music, including biographies of Robert Johnson and Elvis Presley. Guralnick is also the author of Dream Boogie, the most thorough account ever written about the life and death of Sam Cooke. The R&B legend died 50 years ago today.
Friday, December 12, 2014: Christopher Plummer is one of the greatest actors of both the stage and the screen. He talks with Bob about his memoir, In Spite of Myself which chronicles his seemingly foolhardy move to abandon his upper-class Canadian home for New York City’s theaters. Then, actor Max von Sydow has portrayed priests, doctors, dads, a James Bond villain, Jesus Christ, the devil, an assassin, a soccer loving Nazi and Ming the Merciless in a Flash Gordon remake, to name just a few of his many roles. Bob talks with the Swedish-born actor about his long career and about his second Oscar nomination for his part as “the renter” in the 2011 film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.