Monday, June 15, 2015: We begin with a brand new interview with jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli. He tells Bob about his latest album, a tribute to the songs of Johnny Mercer. Then, more with Pizzarelli. He grew up surrounded by music royalty, including his father, Bucky. Benny Goodman and Les Paul were regular guests in their home, and John has played with some of the most memorable: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, James Taylor and Paul McCartney. Pizzarelli will share the stories of his life as he wrote in his book World on a String: A Musical Memoir.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015: Garret Keizer opens his book with the admission that “noise is not the most important problem in the world.” But by examining noise in history, in culture, in our own backyards, Keizer argues that we can find answers to some of the big questions. His book is titled The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise. Then, for the millions of fan who didn’t get to see the Beatles, there’s 1964: The Tribute, The Grateful Dead were honored with the Dark Star Orchestra; and for the Rolling Stones, there’s Sticky Fingers, who bill themselves as the “leading international Rolling Stones tribute show.” Writer Steven Kurutz explores this odd world by focusing on Sticky Fingers and their fans in his book, Like A Rolling Stone: The Strange Life of a Tribute Band.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015: On this date in 1971, President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy number one” in the United States. That began this country’s costly and ultimately unwinnable war on drugs. Bob talks with filmmaker Eugene Jarecki about his remarkable documentary titled The House I Live In. The film explores every level of the “War on Drugs” – from the dealer, the narcotics officer, the inmate, the prison guard to the federal judge and offers a sobering view of our criminal justice system.
Thursday, June 18, 2015: Today is the 73rd birthday of Paul McCartney. To celebrate, Bob spends the hour with Sir Paul’s music and with his biographer. Peter Ames Carlin argues that McCartney was always the Beatles’ musical director – even teaching John Lennon how to play guitar chords and tune his instrument properly. Carlin’s book Paul McCartney: A Life is based on years of research and presents a textured portrait of one of music’s living icons.
Friday, June 19, 2015: On this date 51 years ago, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed following an 83-day filibuster in the Senate. Bob speaks with two journalists and authors who tell the story behind the creation of the landmark legislation. Clay Risen is an editor at The New York Times op-ed section and the author of The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act. And Todd Purdum is a senior writer at Politico and the author of An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Then, to prepare you for Father’s Day, Bob talks with Bobby Bare and his son Bobby Bare Jr. They’ll discuss their relationship, as well as the CD they co-produced which celebrates the songwriting of Shel Silverstein. It’s called Twistable Turnable Man and features contributions from My Morning Jacket, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price, Todd Snider, Lucinda Williams and Nanci Griffith. The Bares each sing a song as well with Sr. covering “The Living Legend” and Jr. singing the grown-up lead vocals with his daughter on “Daddy What If.”