Monday, June 1, 2015: Rupert Holmes won a Tony for “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” created the Broadway show “Say Goodnight Gracie,” won an Emmy for “Remember WENN” (a TV show about old-time radio)—-and all of this followed his pop music career. He wrote the Pina Colada Song, but here is the best thing—— in trying escape a record deal, he satisfied the label’s requirement for a song by writing and performing one he figured they could never release. The result was “Timothy,” a song about cannibalism, and it was a Top-40 hit. Bob spends the hour with Holmes today.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015: Gene Weingarten is so good at what he does that he’s won a Pulitzer… twice. As a feature writer for the Washington Post, Weingarten muses about whatever strikes his fancy. One of his most well-known pieces was about a stunt he set up with the violin virtuoso, Joshua Bell. Weingarten stationed Bell outside of a busy metro stop to see if anyone noticed. Hardly anyone did. Weingarten talks with Bob about that and many of his other memorable stories from a collection titled The Fiddler in the Subway.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015: Bob talks with writer Malcolm Gladwell about rapid cognition, the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. Gladwell’s book Blink examines how we think about thinking. He’s also the author of other bestsellers like The Tipping Point and Outliers.
Thursday, June 4, 2015: John Wooden was the most successful men’s college basketball coach ever. “The Wizard of Westwood” led his UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA Basketball Division 1 championships. In addition to his unquestionable on-court success, he also imbued his players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, with indelible life lessons for success. Seth Davis, senior writer for Sports Illustrated and analyst for CBS Sports, is the author of Wooden: A Coach’s Life. John Wooden died on this date in 2010 at the age of 99. Over the past five decades, Bruce Dern has worked with just about every iconic actor and director … and he’s not afraid to say what he thinks about all of them in his book, Things I’ve Said, but Probably Shouldn’t Have. Today the actor turns 79 years old.
Friday, June 5, 2015: We feature two conversations about the creepier side of science today. Author Harry Brunius talks with Bob about the disturbing yet little-known history of eugenics in America. It can be traced all the way to the Supreme Court, which voted 8-1 to make forced sterilization a constitutionally-acceptable method for a state to keep anyone deemed “unfit” from having kids. Then Bob talks with David Plotz author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank. Plotz recounts the story of this life-giving bank and the families involved. Criss-crossing the country and loggin countless hours online, Plotz succeeded in tracking down donors and their children, and in some case, introducing donors to their children.