Monday, June 29, 2015: Legendary guitarists George Harrison, Pete Townshend and Brian Setzer all wailed on the same axe, the Gretsch 6120. First sold in the 1950s with the endorsement of Chet Atkins, the 6120 has since become a favorite of guitarists the world over. Author and guitar aficionado Edward Ball and his fellow guitarist Fred Stuckey play selections on the renowned instrument and illuminate why the Gretsch is so well loved. Then, Bob talks with Brian Setzer about his Gretsch guitars, his four decades in the music business, the hits in the 1980s with The Stray Cats, his 18-piece “orchestra” and his CD, Setzer Goes Instru-mental. The eleven tracks feature Brian Setzer on guitar and banjo playing a mix of original compositions and covers like Blue Moon of Kentucky, Be-Bop-A-Lula and Earl’s Breakdown.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015: In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, leaked 7,000 pages of top secret documents about the war to the press. It was a Defense Department study never meant to be seen by the public. Its publication in the New York Times proved the war was based on lies and eventually led to president Richard Nixon’s resignation and the end of America’s involvement in Vietnam. Bob talks with Ellsberg about his decision to release the “Pentagon Papers” and with filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith about their documentary called The Most Dangerous Man in America. On this date in 1971, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the New York Times and the Washington Post to continue publishing the documents and Ellsberg was indicted for theft and espionage.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015: The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme is the title of a book by award-winning investigative cartoonist Joe Sacco. This illustrated timeline explains the events of the first great battle of World War I. Then - something completely different as you start to plan a summer road trip. Do you often honk at other drivers or think rude gestures are a good way to teach people better driving etiquette? Bob talks with writer Tom Vanderbilt about his book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us). It examines traffic patterns and driving behaviors to better understand our individual and collective psyche.
Thursday, July 2, 2015: On this date in 1937, Amelia Earhart’s plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, as she and her navigator Fred Noonan attempted to circle the globe. They were declared dead, but neither their bodies nor the plane’s wreckage were ever found. Bob looks for answers with biographer Susan Wels, author of Amelia Earhart: The Thrill of It. Then, the average American uses 150 gallons of water per day. In the developing world, the average is five. Even then, the water is often contaminated: The United Nations estimates that dirty water is responsible for the deaths of 500 children each day. Water is the third largest industry in the world, right behind electricity and oil. But can anyone really own water? That’s the question Irena Salina investigates in her documentary, Flow.
Friday, July 3, 2015: We’ve assembled a special batch of conversations to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend. Bob talks with Peter Sagal, host of the NPR quiz show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. A few years ago, he set out across America on a motorcycle to find out what we as citizens of this nation know – and how we feel – about the our founding document. The result was a four-part documentary called Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. The series is available online at PBS. Next, we’ll talk about our new citizens. Each year, about one million people renounce the country of their birth and swear allegiance to the United States of America. A few years ago, one of those new American citizens was the Dutch-born husband of filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi. “I can’t be a foreigner in my own family,” Pelosi recalls her husband saying. His story inspired Pelosi to travel the country attending naturalization ceremonies and hearing the stories of brand-new Americans. Her film is titled Citizen USA: A 50 State Road Trip. Then an essay from children’s author Daniel Pinkwater about his father’s personal journey as a naturalized citizen.