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Paul Thorn - Too Blessed to be Stressed

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

It’s always a pleasure to have Paul Thorn on our program. The man just seems to emanate happiness and sunshne and rainbows - even at 6:37am which is when Paul and his songwriting partner and mentor Billy Maddox showed up a few Monday mornings ago. They had just played a concert that Sunday night at the Birchmere and after our interview would be on their way to Ohio to play another show that night. This is Thorn’s fourth appearance on our show since 2008 and whether this was your first taste or if you’re a long-time fan, I hope you enjoyed the interview. Thorn’s new CD is titled Too Blessed to be Stressed and it really is quite good - overflowing with feel-good numbers and rollicking singalongs - songs meant to lift your spirit. For more information about the cruise Paul discussed with Bob, click here. I went last year and had more fun than I could have imagined. Send us a Facebook message or an email to telling us why you love our show and why you deserve to go on a free, fun-filled music cruise in the middle of winter. The Norweigan Pearl leaves from Miami on Saturday January 10th, 2015 for a week with stops in Antigua and St. Croix. Paul Thorn will be on the boat.  So will many, many other musicians, inlcuding Delbert McClinton and Lyle Lovett. 


Nashville Part Six (Marty Stuart / Suzi Ragsdale Party)

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

Here’s the original blog entry from Marty Stuart’s 2010 appearance on our show. It includes lots of pictures from his collection of country music memorabilia. His new double CD is called Saturday Night, Sunday Morning. Stuart’s new book of photography is titled American Ballads.

We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to interview Marshall Chapman and got a taste of their collection as we walked through (we sat down with her in a fancy board room upstairs). But this week, we drove about 30 miles northeast of Nashville to meet Marty Stuart and to get an up close tour of his personal collection of country music history. It was early on a foggy Saturday morning and Marty Stuart had just returned to town a few hours earlier after a gig the previous night in Ohio. We sat down for about 30 minutes in the office half of his warehouse for an interview about his career, his special relationship with Johnny Cash (he was once the Man in Black’s son in law) and Stuart’s latest Grammy-nominated album, Ghost Train. And then, Stuart walked us through his staggering collection. Here’s a slideshow of the tour.

And the entire reason for this Nashville trip was to attend a dinner at Suzi Ragsdale’s house. She made a load of delicious-sounding tapas and desserts, and invited some of her musical neighbors over for a performance in Bob’s honor. Unfortunately, I had to leave town before the party, so I missed out on the fun. Suzi mailed a CD of the music and Bob wrote a script and I put this segment together with his help. I hope you enjoy it as much as Bob did.



Gerald Wilson (1918-2014)

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

This was written in June of 2011, when Gerald Wilson released his album Legacy. The jazz great died this past Monday in his Los Angeles home at the age of 96.

What’s left to accomplish for a 92-year-old jazz icon who has literally done it all in his seven-decade music career? Gerald Wilson is a trumpeter, pianist, arranger, composer and bandleader who worked with giants like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Billie Holliday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. For his latest album, Legacy, Gerald Wilson had the joy of working with his family members. Wilson’s grandson Eric Otis and his son Anthony Wilson each contributed original compositions to the CD. And both are accomplished musicians in their own right. 

Gerald Wilson got his big break with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra way back in 1939. From there he went into the service and played with the Navy Band. Then he settled in Los Angeles and formed his own successful orchestra. At the prime of his career, at the peak of his success, Wilson realized he still had so much more to learn. He put his career on hold to study classical music. Then he started teaching at various California colleges, mostly at UCLA where he taught a wildly popular class on the history of jazz. Wilson integrated the Flamingo Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, composed for Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and married a young, Mexican-American fan named Josefina and wrote a song for her (They’re still married, more than 50 years later). In fact most people, places and things dear to Gerald Wilson’s heart have songs composed and named for them.

To read more about Gerald Wilson, click here. And here. Or here.



The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (September 8-12, 2014)

The Bob Edwards Show, September 8-12, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014:    Today we replay Bob’s award-winning documentary, “Exploding Heritage,” which addressed the controversial issue of mountaintop removal in the south-central Appalachian Mountains.  The method of extracting coal by blowing the tops off of mountains is devastating plant and animal life, and causing trouble for the people who live nearby.  Bob explored how mountaintop removal is leveling the oldest mountain range in America — leaving the landscape, the local economy, and the local culture ravaged.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014:  Over the last few years, Nev Schulman has investigated dozens of online relationships to determine whether they’re based on truth or fiction. Now, he takes his knowledge to the page in his new book In Real Life.  Bob talks to Schulman about his book, the TV show, and the complexities of identity in the digital age.  Then, Bob talks to public radio treasure and host of “A Prairie Home Companion” Garrison Keillor.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014:  Today Bob spends the hour with public radio host and recent National Humanities Medal recipient Diane Rehm, talking about end of life medical decisions.  Rehm’s husband, John, was in the final stages of Parkinson’s and wanted to end his life, but his doctor refused to help.  As a result, he chose to deliberately die by dehydration, the process taking nine days.  Rehm says “He should have had better choices.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014:  Academy Award-nominated actress Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear) plays Kelly, a new mother stuck in suburbia, who befriends 17 year old Cal (Jonny Weston) in director Jen McGowan’s new film Kelly & Cal.  Bob talks with Lewis and McGowan about Kelly & Cal, which is in theaters now.   Then, the term cult following could have been invented to describe the popularity of Bob Dylan, an enigmatic figure who recoils from most one-on-one contact with his fans.  Despite that, there are legions of people obsessed with Dylan to a degree far beyond what seems healthy and reasonable.  They are Dylanologists and that’s the title of a new book about them by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Kinney.

Friday, September 12, 2014:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.   Then, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.  And finally, we remember American jazz icon Gerald Wilson.  He started his professional music career in 1939, playing trumpet for the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra.  Over the course of his seven-decade career, Wilson had great success as a composer, arranger, bandleader, and jazz educator, writing music for and playing with jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, Bobby Darin, and Ray Charles, to name a few. Gerald Wilson died Monday at the age of 96.


Bob Edwards Weekend Lineup (September 6-7, 2014)

Bob Edwards Weekend, September 6-7, 2014


Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Then, we’ll hear the latest essay from children’s author and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.

Best-selling author and master storyteller Ben Macintyre focuses his most recent book on Britain’s most notorious spy.  Charming and brilliant, MI6 agent Kim Philby rose to the top of Britain’s intelligence agency during the Cold War, all the while passing secret information on to the Soviet Union.  Macintyre’s book is A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal.


Google maps have given us access—at least remotely—to some of the most far flung places on the Earth. But social geographer Alastair Bonnett says there is still plenty left in the world to be discovered. Bonnett’s new book is titled Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies.

If you’re looking for the perfect walking partner, look no further than writer and cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz… or if she’s unavailable, you can take along her book, On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation.  Here Horowitz teaches readers what it means to be an expert observer.  On Looking is now available in paperback. 

Bob Edwards Weekend airs on Sirius XM Public Radio (Channel 121) Saturdays from 8-10 AM ET. 

Visit Bob Edwards Weekend on PRI’s website to find local stations that air the program.