Monday, February 2, 2015: The 57th Grammy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 8th. Today we offer a preview by hearing from some of this year’s nominees. Bob talks with Tony Bennett, Rosanne Cash, Pedrito Martinez and Dianne Reeves.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015: Bob talks with Alena Graedon about her debut novel titled The Word Exchange. The story takes place in the near future, after our smart phones become even smarter, leaving us a little dumber and susceptible to a virus called “word flu.” The “word nerd dreamscape” created by Graedon mixes mystery and love stories with a dystopian thriller. Then we’ll hear from Graedon’s parents. Joe and Terry Graedon are co-hosts of the public radio show The People’s Pharmacy and co-authors of many books, including Quick and Handy Home Remedies. The Graedons join Bob to discuss their favorite beneficial foods and what items in your fridge or cupboard can treat some common ailments.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015: We’ll mark Black History Month all February, starting with Bob’s conversation with Peniel Joseph. He wrote about such militant civil rights figures as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael in his 2006 book Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America. Then, Bob talks with Jamal Joseph. In Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion & Reinvention, Joseph vividly recounts his introduction to Panther life, and his progression from a young, naïve street kid to a confident and outspoken member of an influential national movement, and later to an Oscar nominee and professor at an Ivy League college.
Thursday, February 5, 2015: From April to November 1919, white mobs led race riots and lynchings across the country, from Bisbee, Arizona to New York City. Attacks occurred in more than three dozen cities and by the end of it, hundreds of blacks were dead. Cameron McWhirter writes about this little-remembered period of history in his book, Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and The Awakening of Black America. Then, one of the most famous photographs to come out of the Civil Rights era is of a black high school girl, dressed in white, walking stoically in front of Little Rock Central High School, while behind her stands a white girl screaming racial epithets, her face showing rage. The two girls are now grown women. In 1962, Hazel Bryan Massery tracked down Elizabeth Eckford and apologized, and the two had a public reconciliation in 1997. Journalist David Margolick tells the history of their lives and complicated relationship in the book, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock.
Friday, February 6, 2015: Bob talks with Tom Brokaw, the former anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News. They spoke in 2007 when Brokaw wrote about the 1960’s in his book Boom!: Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the ‘60s and Today. Today is Brokaw’s 75th birthday. Then, Bob talks to Marion Jacobson, an ethnomusicologist and accordionist, about her book Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America. It’s the first history to trace the instrument’s evolution from its invention to its inclusion in nearly every style of American music today - from polka, Cajun and klezmer to Tejano, classical and rock n’ roll.