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


Monday, April 13, 2015: No one has a voice like Ken Nordine, and there’s nothing quite like Word Jazz, the audio art he created. It mixes atmospheric sound effects, free-form jazz and Nordine’s unique rumbling bass voice, pondering philosophical questions, plumbing the depths of his id, or simply wondering what’s in the fridge. Bob visited the now 95-year-old Nordine at his house in Chicago, which he’s lived in for more than half a century. We’ll tour his home studio and hear about his early days in radio, collaborations with The Grateful Dead and Tom Waits, and how Nordine created Word Jazz.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015:  Today marks the 150th anniversary of the day that John Wilkes Booth mortally wounded President Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theater. We’ll go beyond the myths and accepted truths of our 16th president’s life and death.  Bob’s scheduled guests include historians Henry Louis Gates and Doris Kearns Goodwin, screenwriter James Solomon, actress Sally Field and authors Joshua Shenk, Brad Meltzer and Ronald White.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015: Deepak Chopra and his brother Sanjiv have co-written a memoir called Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream. The brothers’ lives took different paths after they left for the United States in the 1970s to study medicine. Deepak has been instrumental in bringing Indian spirituality to the West, while Sanjiv has focused on Western medicine and is a professor at Harvard Medical School. Then, Bob goes inside the world of ESPN with writer James Miller. He’s the co-author of a history and a behind-the-scenes look at everyone’s favorite cable sports network called Those Guys Have All the Fun. The ESPN story is told through interviews with more than 500 people, including founders, current and former anchors, athletes and fans.

Thursday, April 16, 2015: More than six decades ago, doctors took cells from a cancer patient in Baltimore. She died soon afterward, forgotten to everyone except her family. But her cells became immortal and famous – known as HeLa. HeLa cells were the first to grow reliably in a laboratory, and they’re still the most widely used today. HeLa cells are responsible for everything from the Polio vaccine to gene mapping. They’ve ridden into space and into oblivion on atomic weapons. In a new book, Rebecca Skloot tells the story of the woman from whom HeLa cells were taken without permission, and what happened to her family after she died. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is part biography and part investigation into racial politics and medical ethics.

Friday, April 17, 2015: To mark the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Bob talks with the always delightful Simon Winchester.  He’s the author of A Crack in the Edge of the World. Winchester is an Oxford trained geologist and uses that background to explore the disastrous earthquake and resulting fire that almost destroyed San Francisco a little over a century ago.  Then we move to the other end of the United States to talk about another of his books. Winchester has made a career out of unearthing the fascinating stories of things many of us take for granted. He did the same in his book about the Earth’s second largest body of water. It’s titled Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories.


Word Jazz

NOTE: This blog entry originally appeared in February 2011

by Geoffrey Redick, producer

©2010 Jim HerringtonEvery day, we are bombarded by a constant media stream of information. The vast majority of it is shallow and transactional. Headlines in favor of in-depth reporting. “Reality” television shows in place of thoughtful dramas. Facebook friends instead of actual human interaction. In this environment, Ken Nordine traffics in something rare and precious: imagination. Nordine’s Word Jazz is much more than the sum of its parts. Words and music combine and conjure an individual experience — with the active participation of the listener, Word Jazz achieves a three-dimensional space in the mind. Nordine’s writing is always full of curiosity, and sometimes playful, sometimes mischevious. And then there’s that voice, which seems to be not so much heard as felt, something that resonates out of his chest and rumbles around between your ears. I’ve been a fan of Word Jazz since my first listen, in high school. Hearing those pieces on a compilation CD flipped a switch for me, showing what was possible with audio production. Take a listen yourself.

Nordine’s website has several podcasts.

And he has a YouTube channel, with videos he made to illustrate Word Jazz pieces. You can see similar videos on his DVD, The Eye is Never Filled.

You can also find many Word Jazz albums on CD and for download.

producer Geoffrey Redick, Ken Nordine, Bob Edwards


Leiber and Stoller

NOTE: This blog originally appeared in July 2009

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

There are many memorable and successful song writing duos in the recent history of music — George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Lennon and McCartney, Gilbert and Sullivan, Lerner and Loewe are a few pairs of names that come to mind. But somewhere near the top of that list, you’d have to make room for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. I had only a vague idea of who they were and what they had done before I started producing Bob’s interview with them. Let’s just say it’s a good thing they have a full hour to discuss SOME of the songs they’ve written together since meeting in 1950. Leiber and Stoller are the men behind hits as disparate as “Kansas City”, “Stand By Me”, “On Broadway”, “Yakety Yak”, “I’m a Woman” and “Hound Dog.” They wrote that last one for blues singer Big Mama Thornton, she did okay with it, then Elvis Presley recorded it. Hound Dog is also the title of the autobiography co-written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Click here to purchase the paperback. And to further impress you, here is the list of their songs I used, in the order they appear in the interview:


Hard Times by Charles Brown

Stuck in the Middle by Stealers Wheel (produced by Leiber and Stoller)

Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison

Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton

Hound Dog by Elvis Presley

Yakety Yak by The Coasters

Poison Ivy by The Coasters

Love Potion #9 by The Clovers

There Goes My Baby by The Drifters

On Broadway by The Drifters

Stand By Me by Ben E. King

Some Kind of Wonderful by The Drifters

Corrina, Corrina by Ray Peterson

Spanish Harlem by Ben E. King

I’m a Woman by Peggy Lee

Is That All There Is? by Peggy Lee

Smokey Joe’s Cafe by The Robins




Tigers Forever

NOTE: This blog originally appeared in May of 2014
by Dan Bloom, producer

© Steve Winter/National Geographic

The Tiger is one of the most beautiful and powerful animals from the earth, inspiring awe in cultures around the world, but its value on the black market makes it an attractive target for poachers.
In the book ‘Tigers Forever,’ photographer Steve Winter and writer Sharon Guynup present stunning images of these majestic creatures and lay out the challenges faced by tigers in today’s world, including degradation of their natural habitat. The book also highlights the work of intentional organizations, government groups and local individuals who devote their energies to preserving big cats.
To look upon the beautiful pictures taken by Winter while reading the words penned by Guynup, one is struck by an affection for these wonders of nature and a desire to aid the efforts for their conservation. 
For more information on how to do so, visit the website of Panthera, a leading big cat conservation group: They tweet at @pantheracats.
For more information on the book and to see photos, visit:
To learn more about the work of Steve Winter, his website is: and Sharon Guynup’s is:
Steve Winter tweets at @swfoto, Sharon Guynup tweets at @sguynup.
For a gallery of pictures from ‘Tigers Forever,’ click here.
Preview video for ‘Tigers Forever’ book:


Link to A Class Divided, the 1985 Frontline episode about Jane Elliott