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Friday
Jul102015

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (July 13-17, 2015)

 

Monday, July 13, 2015: Louis Ferrante has been on this show a few times before. He told us about his former life of crime as a member of the Gambino mafia family in New York. We heard about his time in prison and how the power of literature and books changed his life. Ferrante wrote a memoir called Unlocked then another book that compared Mob Rules with those of “legitimate” businessmen. Now he’s here to discuss his new book titled The Three Pound Crystal Ball: How the Dreaming Brain Can See the Future. Ferrante also talks about his time in the Clinton Correctional facility, what life in prison is really like and the difficulties ex-cons face after jail.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015:  In the US, we celebrate Independence Day every year on July 4th to commemorate our nation’s independence from Great Britain.  On July 14th, the French celebrate Bastille Day, not to mark independence from another country, but from their own monarchy.  Writer Ina Caro takes readers into French history via rail in her historical travelogue Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train.  Tonight, Major League Baseball marks the halfway point of its season with the annual All-Star game. Bob speaks with New York Times sportswriter George Vecsey about his book — Baseball: A History of America’s Favorite Game.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015: On July 15th, 1979, President Jimmy Carter addressed the country on live television.  It is now remembered as the “malaise” speech, though the President never said that word. What President Carter did say was that the country’s dependence of foreign oil “threatens our economic independence and the very security of our nation.” He also said it was an act of patriotism to conserve energy, to turn down the thermostat and to carpool. Historian Kevin Mattson is the author of What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?. It argues that the speech should have changed the country. Instead, it led to Carter’s mockery and downfall and the rise of conservatism. Then, one night in 2001, aspiring actor Charlie Todd was out with his friends at a Greenwich Village bar when they decided to pretend that Charlie was the famous but rarely recognized musician Ben Folds.  After an evening of signing autographs and getting free drinks, Todd realized New York City was the ultimate stage for his craft and from there dreamed up his group Improv Everywhere which is still living up to its mission statement: “we cause scenes.”   Founder Charlie Todd and fellow agent Alex Scordellis recount their finest missions in the book Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere.

Thursday, July 16, 2015: Denis Leary started his career as a stand-up comedian, but has developed into a respected film and television actor.  He led his own award-winning dramatic series Rescue Me on FX. Tonight, Leary’s new show premieres on the cable network.  In Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, he plays a washed up rock star looking to make a comeback. Leary is also the author of a book called Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid. Bob chats with Michael Ian Black about his career in comedy.  Black is an actor, pop critic and comedian who was our guest in 2007 to discuss his first stand-up album titled I Am a Wonderful Man.  He’s a member of The State comedy sketch group, has been a TV pitchman in many commercials and regularly pops up in new television series. The latest is called Another Period.

Friday, July 17, 2015: Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is back – yet again. The Peabody and Oscar Award-winner is here to share the life and work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. That documentary is titled Gonzo.  Then – a bonus feature from Gibney. Magic Trip features archival footage shot in 1964 by Ken Kesey and “The Merry Band of Pranksters” as they traveled by psychedelic bus from the West coast to the World’s Fair in New York City. They documented their LSD-fueled trip to the “World of Tomorrow” with 16mm film, but never quite finished editing the 100 hours of footage.

Friday
Jul102015

Bob Edwards Weekend (July 11-12, 2015)

 

HOUR ONE:

Bob talks with Jake Shimabukuro about his music and his chosen instrument. The native Hawaiian has been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele.” Shimabukuro demonstrates his talents on the CD Peace, Love, Ukulele and in our performance studio, where he plays jaw-dropping versions of originals and cover songs.

Then, you don’t get more genre-bending than classically-trained cellists playing hip hop and heavy metal hits, but that’s exactly what The Portland Cello Project does.  Two members of the group, Douglas Jenkins and Diane Chaplin, join Bob in our studio to talk about and perform some of their inspired arrangements.

 

HOUR TWO:

The Ahn Trio is a group of three Korean-born sisters, classically trained at Julliard.  Angella plays violin, Lucia plays piano and Maria plays cello.  The Ahn sisters will discuss their career with Bob and play a few songs from their CD titled Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac

Then, Verlon Thompson shares some of his “literate story songs” in a performance chat with Bob. Thompson is Guy Clark’s longtime songwriting and touring partner, but he’s a performer in his own right and plays some tunes from his own CD titled Works.

 

Monday
Jul062015

Jake Shimabukuro

NOTE: This blog entry is from March 2011

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

Jake Shimabukuro at Sirius XM RadioWe interview lots of talented and famous artists, actors, writers, filmmakers and musicians on this program, but no one embodies the combination of humility and artistry like Jake Shimabukuro. He is literally the nicest, most laid-back guy I’ve ever met and I’m so glad he stopped by our performance studio during his recent tour of the mainland. (Click here to read his bio.) Jake is a fifth-generation Japanese-American who was born, raised and still lives in Hawaii and says that despite living in paradise, going on tour and performing only once a night is actually like a vacation. In Hawaii, he sometimes squeezes in several shows in each day, many of them involve performing at schools, hospitals and nursing homes for an organization he started called Music is Good Medicine.

Jake plays what he calls “an instrument of peace” and truly believes that if everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place. His latest CD is called Peace Love Ukulele.

Jake Shimabukuro is only 34 years old, but he already has 30 years of experience on the ukulele - and he has put that time to good use. He composes his own original songs, but he’s better known for his mind-blowing covers of established songs. Here’s a video he made a few years ago of While My Guitar Gently Weeps which went viral on YouTube and took Jake’s renown to the next level.

and here is a live performance of his latest amazing cover, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Jake is playing a show in Hawaii this weekend, but will be touring up and down the west coast of the mainland for the next few weeks. Click this link to see if he’s playing near you. Jake Shimabukuro’s tour dates

Sunday
Jul052015

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (July 6-10, 2015)

Monday, July 6, 2015: All week long, we’ll feature some of our favorite musical performance chats from the past decade. To kick things off Bob talks with Jake Shimabukuro about his music and his chosen instrument. The native Hawaiian has been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele.” Shimabukuro demonstrates his talents on the CD Peace, Love, Ukulele and in our performance studio, where he plays jaw-dropping versions of originals and cover songs.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015:  As a banjoist for The Punch Brothers, Noam Pikelny has helped expand the sound of bluegrass.  He earned the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music, and released his second solo album, Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail.  Pikelny joins Bob in the Sirius XM Performance Studio to discuss his work and play a few tunes. Then, you don’t get more genre-crossing than classically-trained cellists playing hip hop and heavy metal hits, but that’s exactly what The Portland Cello Project does.  Four members of the group join Bob in our studio to talk about and perform some of their inspired arrangements.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015: We continue our week of performance chats with musician Janis Ian. She talks with Bob and performs a few songs from her CD Folk Is the New Black. They also discuss the signature songs from earlier in her career – like her first hit. Society’s Child dealt with interracial dating and was not well-received in many parts of the country. But Ian is best known for her heartbreaking teenage anthem At Seventeen – which won two Grammy Awards in 1975. She still performs that one on tour - she also played it during her visit to our studio.

Thursday, July 9, 2015: The Ahn Trio is a group of three Korean-born sisters, classically trained at Julliard.  Angella plays violin, Lucia plays piano and Maria plays cello.  The Ahn sisters will discuss their career with Bob and play a few songs from their CD titled Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac. Then, Verlon Thompson shares some of his “literate story songs” in a performance chat with Bob. Thompson is Guy Clark’s longtime songwriting and touring partner, but he’s a performer in his own right and plays some tunes from his own CD titled Works.

Friday, July 10, 2015: We conclude our week of musical performance chats with Arlo Guthrie who today celebrates his 68th birthday. Bob talks with the folk singer about the 50 year anniversary of Alice’s Restaurant Massacree, his epic 18 minute song detailing all sorts of real life indignities suffered by the draft-age Arlo in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Arlo only performs the song every ten years, saying that’s how it stays fresh. He’s currently on tour doing just that. Arlo will also talk about his career, his father, Woody, Huntington’s disease, his four musical children and possibly a little politics.

Sunday
Jul052015

Bob Edwards Weekend (July 4-5, 2015)

HOUR ONE:

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 our founding document.  The result was a four-part documentary called Constitution USA with Peter SagalThe series is available online at PBS.

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 to record the stories of brand-new Americans. Her film is titled Citizen USA: A 50 State Road Trip.

We close the show with a new essay from author Daniel Pinkwater about his father’s personal journey as a naturalized citizen.

 

HOUR TWO:

On July 2, 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 one of the questions Irena Salina investigates in her documentary, Flow: For Love of Water