Bob Edwards Weekend (August 1-2, 2015)

HOUR ONE:

Blues guitar great Buddy Guy just celebrated his 79th birthday and he has a brand new CD out called Born to Play Guitar.  Guy’s father bought him his first guitar, a “worn-in instrument with two strings,” for $4.35.  Since then, Guy says life “ain’t never been the same.”  Bob talks to Guy about his music and his journey from Lettsworth, Louisiana to Chicago and beyond.  Buddy Guy wrote about it all in his memoir titled When I Left Home: My Story.  

 

HOUR TWO:

Today we’ll talk about some inspirational summer trips.  First, Bob talks with travel writer Rick Steves.  Throughout his career, Steves has advocated for thoughtful and informed traveling in his PBS series, his radio show, and of course his best-selling travel guide books.   In his book, Travel as a Political Act, Steves writes about why we travel and how being a good traveler creates positive ties with the citizens of other nations. 

Then, Bob talks to Keith Bellows, former editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Bellows compiled a list of the 500 greatest trips the world has to offer, encompassing every continent and every possible mode of transportation, including the world’s top 10 elevator rides. That book is titled Journeys of a Lifetime.

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (July 27-31, 2015)

 

Monday, July 27, 2015: Decision fatigue can affect everyone from a judge on a long day of hearing cases, to a quarterback late in the game, to a shopper at IKEA trying to pick out wall mounts and drawer pulls. But what people don’t realize is that making decisions uses the very same willpower that you use to say no to doughnuts, drugs or illicit sex. New York Times science writer John Tierney investigates the connection in his book titled Willpower: The Science Behind Decision Making and Self Control. Then, Bob talks with multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird about his career and the music from his CD called Break It Yourself. Primarily known as a violinist, Bird has been playing since he was four, and collaborated with the Squirrel Nut Zippers during their later recordings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015: The rest of the week is devoted to birthdays. Jim Davis turns 70 today. He started out writing and drawing a comic strip called Gnorm Gnat.  It ran for five years in an Indiana newspaper, but when Davis tried to take it national, an editor told him, “Your art is good, your gags are great, but bugs — nobody can relate with bugs!” And so the bugs were replaced with an ornery, chubby, orange cat who loves lasagna and hates Mondays. Garfield made his first appearance in 1978.  It’s now the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world — translated into 45 languages and delighting more than 200 million readers. Jim Davis has kept the Garfield operation in his home state, Indiana, where Paws, Inc., employs about 50 people, most life-long employees.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015: Long before he directed The Last Picture Show and Mask, Peter Bogdanovich was an enthusiastic moviegoer who spent hours upon hours in the theater, watching everything he could. So it makes sense that in 2005 Turner Classic Movies asked him to host The Essentials, their weekly showing of Hollywood’s greatest movies. Bob and Bogdanovich talk about his list of essential movies, the history of American film, and about the director’s art. Bogdanovich is turning 76 years old.

Thursday, July 30, 2015: Blues guitar great Buddy Guy celebrates his 79th birthday today. His father bought him his first guitar, a “worn-in instrument with two strings,” for $4.35.  Since then, Guy says life “ain’t never been the same.”  Bob talks to Guy about his music and journey from Lettsworth, Louisiana to Chicago and beyond.  Buddy Guy wrote about it all in his memoir titled When I Left Home: My Story.   

Friday, July 31, 2015: Stanley Jordan is one of the most innovative jazz guitarists around today.  Known for his “tapping technique,” which he demonstrates for Bob, Jordan has inspired an entire generation of musicians. Jordan joins Bob in the studio to play a few tunes, discuss his career and his passion for music therapy. Today, Stanley Jordan celebrates his 56th birthday.

 

Bob Edwards Weekend (July 25-26, 2015)

HOUR ONE:

In 2012, Joshua Oppenheimer made a very disturbing documentary film about a genocide in Indonesia that happened 50 years ago. The Act of Killing was nominated for an Oscar and showed the bizarre and casual callousness of those who carried out the crimes in the 1960s.  Now Oppenheimer has followed that film with a brand new sequel called The Look of Silence. He’s here to discuss how the survivors and family members live among the now elderly perpetrators – many of whom are still powerful in Indonesia. 

Plus a short remembrance of novelist E.L. Doctorow who died Tuesday at the age of 84.

 

HOUR TWO:

Bob talks with his old friend Simon Winchester.  The erudite Brit used to inform Bob and millions of public radio listeners about the news in the rest of the world when he was a journalist for The Guardian newspaper in England. Since those days, Winchester has become an American citizen and written many non-fiction best-sellers - about interesting people, historic events, brilliant ideas, even the biography of an ocean. His latest book is for kids – a first for Winchester. It’s called When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis.

 

Buzz Aldrin's Magnificent Desolation

NOTE: This blog entry is from May 2013

The first time Buzz Aldrin filled out the forms to be a NASA astronaut, his application was turned down.  He was a jet fighter and the newly formed space agency was only interested in test pilots.  Aldrin applied again and this time he was accepted, partly because NASA was intrigued by the thesis he had recently completed at MIT: “Guidance for Manned Orbital Rendezvous” – an outline of a plan for two piloted spacecraft to meet in space.  This would hardly be the first time Aldrin would have ideas for NASA.  The underwater training for the first Apollo mission was his idea. And he holds three US patents for his schematics of a modular space station, reusable rockets and multi-crew modules for space flight. 

 

Many decades have passed since Aldrin stepped onto the moon’s surface and uttered the words that popped into his head: magnificent desolation.  And he still has a lot more ideas fo space exploration: cycling ships and a flexible path concept; Block 1 Exploration Modules and the Aldrin Mars Cycler — all things he talked about in his interview with Bob.  Aldrin also talked about an infamous punch he once threw. You can see it here:

 

Aldrin’s new book, published by National Geographic, is Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (July 20-24, 2015)

 

Monday, July 20, 2015: On this date in 1969, humans left the Earth and reached another world for the first time in our history. To mark the occasion, Bob talks with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever set foot on the moon. Then, what can those guys possibly do for an encore? Bob finds out when he talks with author Andrew Smith. Smith tracked down nine surviving astronauts who’ve stepped on the lunar surface. His book, Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Tell to Earth explores the lives of these Moonwalkers before and after their historical steps.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015: We continue our appreciation of the Apollo missions to the moon.  Today, Bob talks with astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the lunar surface. Bean is the author of Painting Apollo and he’s also an artist, whose works features lunar landscapes and fellow astronauts. Then Bob talks with director David Sington about his documentary titled In the Shadow of the Moon. It gathers the stories of the only 12 people to have walked on the moon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015: Today we’ll talk about some trips that are a little closer to home.  First, Bob talks with travel writer Rick Steves.  Throughout his career, Steves has advocated for thoughtful and informed traveling in his PBS series, his radio show, and of course his best-selling travel guide books.   In his book, Travel As a Political Act, Steves writes about why we travel and how being a good traveler creates positive ties with the citizens of other nations.  Then, Bob talks to Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Bellows compiled a list of the 500 greatest trips the world has to offer, encompassing every continent and every possible mode of transportation, including the world’s top 10 elevator rides.

Thursday, July 23, 2015: Bob enjoys a new conversation with his old friend Simon Winchester.  The erudite Brit used to inform Bob and millions of public radio listeners about the news in the rest of the world when he was a journalist for The Guardian newspaper in England. Since those days, Winchester has become an American citizen and written many non-fiction best-sellers - about interesting people, historic events, brilliant ideas, even the biography of an ocean. His latest book is for kids – a first for Winchester. It’s called When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis. Then, a seismic shift in the office.  There’s a good chance you’re sitting at one as you read this.  Cubicles, whether we like it or not, are part of many of our jobs.  Writer Nikil Saval looks at the week-day setting of many of our lives in his book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace.

Friday, July 24, 2015: In 2012, Joshua Oppenheimer made a very disturbing documentary film about a genocide in Indonesia that happened 50 years ago. The Act of Killing was nominated for an Oscar and showed the bizarre and casual callousness of those who carried out the crimes in the 1960s.  Now Oppenheimer has followed that film with a brand new sequel called The Look of Silence. It’s in limited release now and opens in Washington DC and many other cities next week. He’s here to discuss confronting the now elderly perpetrators – many of whom are still powerful in Indonesia – and to explain how addressing the atrocities can help set the country on a path of reconciliation.  In desperate situations, fear can give us the adrenaline we need for survival, or drive us to total terror and impede our ability to think clearly.   Science writer Jeff Wise, columnist for Popular Mechanics, examines how and why we respond to fear in his book Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger.

 

Bob Edwards Weekend (July 18-19, 2015)

HOUR ONE:

Louis Ferrante has been on this show a few times before. This is a brand new interview. In the past, he told us about his former life of crime as a member of the Gambino 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.

 

HOUR TWO:

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. The pioneering author and journalist was born 78 years ago this weekend. 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 hours of footage.

 

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.

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.

 

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

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.

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

 

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (June 29-July 3, 2015)

 

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.

 

Bob Edwards Weekend (June 27-28, 2015)

 

HOUR ONE:

As an ex-felon, writer Jack Gantos might have seemed like an odd choice to win the 2012 Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in children’s literature.   But Gantos has been writing acclaimed books for young people for years, including his popular Joey Pigza series.  Now he’s written two novels Dead End in Norvelt and the sequel From Norvelt to Nowhere.  Gantos talks with Bob about these two almost-but-not-quite true books, as well as his own surprising tales from his unusual past.

 

HOUR TWO:

Today we offer a collection of conversations with some of the biggest names in children’s literature.  Bob talks with writer Kate DiCamillo whose young adult novels have been honored with some of the genres most prestigious awards, including the Newberry Medal for The Tale of Despereaux.  Then Bob visits with British author Neil Gaiman.  He’s the author of many award-winning books, including Coraline and The Graveyard Book, which follows the story of young Nobody Owens who lives, where else - in a graveyard.

Next up is Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket, the author of the popular “children’s” tales A Series of Unfortunate Events. Then Bob talks with Irish writer Eoin Colfer about his famous series of Artemis Fowl books.

Beloved writer Judy Blume has been the voice of young people’s literature for over 40 years.  The author of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, the Fudge books, and many others, Blume has added screenwriter to her resume.  Based on her 1981 novel, Tiger Eyes follows a young woman forced to cope with the aftermath of her father’s murder.  

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (June 22-26, 2015)

Monday, June 22, 2015: Today we begin a week-long series of interviews about books for kids. Bob talks with writer Kate DiCamillo whose young adult novels works have been honored with some of the genres most prestigious awards, including the Newberry Award.  DiCamillo’s third novel, The Tale of Despereaux, was even turned into an animated film.  Next, Bob talks with William Joyce. He’s the author and illustrator of many beloved children’s books, including George Shrinks and Rolie Polie Olie, both of which are Emmy Award winning TV shows.  He is also a commercial illustrator whose has graced multiple New Yorker covers and a filmmaker who contributed to Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Robots.   He also wrote The Man in the Moon, the first in a series called The Guardians of Childhood.  Joyce turned that book into a film for DreamWorks Animation.  Then, Bob talks with the 2013 Caldecott Medal winner Jon Klassen, author and illustrator of This Is Not My Hat and 2011’s I Want My Hat Back

Tuesday, June 23, 2015:  Caldecott award-winning illustrator Brian Selznick is the author of 2007’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was turned into a movie by director Martin Scorsese.  Selznick talks with Bob about that book and about Wonder Struck, which tells two congruent tales, one in illustrations and the other in words. Then, Bob talks with illustrator Chris Van Allsburg, a three-time Caldecott winner and the creator of a number of classic children’s books, including Jumanji, The Polar Express, and The Z Was Zapped.  In 1984, Van Allsburg drew The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a series of illustrations that hint at stories.  More than a dozen notable writers – Sherman Alexie, Jules Fieffer, Gregory Maguire among them – along with millions of school children – have written short stories to go with each illustration in a book titled The Chronicles of Harris Burdick.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015: Bob talks with British author Neil Gaiman about his career of writing for kids and his many award-winning books, including Coraline and The Graveyard Book, which follows the story of young Nobody Owens who lives, where else - in a graveyard. Next up is Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket, the author of the popular “children’s” tales A Series of Unfortunate Events. Then Bob talks with Irish writer Eoin Colfer about his famous series, the highly popular Artemis Fowl books for young people.

Thursday, June 25, 2015: Beloved writer Judy Blume has been the voice of young people’s literature for over 40 years.  The author of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, the Fudge books, and many others, Blume has added screenwriter to her resume.  Based on her 1981 novel, Tiger Eyes follows a young woman forced to cope with the aftermath of her father’s murder.  Then, Bob talks with children’s book author Norton Juster. He’s the author of the classics The Phantom Tollbooth and The Dot and The Line.  In 2011, he teamed up again with friend and illustrator Jules Feiffer for the book titled The Odious Ogre.

Friday, June 26, 2015: As an ex-felon, writer Jack Gantos might have seemed like an odd choice to win the 2012 Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in children’s literature.   But Gantos has been writing acclaimed books for young people for years, including his popular Joey Pigza series.  Now he’s written two novels Dead End in Norvelt and the sequel From Norvelt to Nowhere.  Gantos talks with Bob about these two almost-but-not-quite true books, as well as his own surprisingly true tales from his unusual past.

 

Bob Edwards Weekend (June 20-21, 2015)

 

HOUR ONE:

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 artists of the past half century: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, James Taylor and Paul McCartney to name a few.  Pizzarelli will share the stories of his life. His book is titled World on a String: A Musical Memoir.

 

HOUR TWO:

For Father’s Day weekend, Bob talks with bestselling author Michael Lewis – not about the latest financial scandal on Wall Street, but about the unexpected joys and challenges of being a dad. Lewis is the author of Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood.

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.”

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (June 15-19, 2015)

 

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, 2015Garret 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.”

Bob Edwards Weekend (June 13-14, 2015)

 

HOUR ONE:

Saul Bellow was a self-taught writer, whose prose remade American fiction in his own image and created many literary “sons” who were influenced by him. Now Bellow’s oldest biological son has written a memoir titled, Saul Bellow’s Heart, which seeks to enlighten the world about his father’s inner life. Bob talks with Greg Bellow about family stories, literary legacies and the man he loved and still misses today. Saul Bellow was born 100 years ago – June 10, 1915.

 

HOUR TWO:

Bob talks with Emily Bingham about her brand new book. It’s a biography of her great aunt Henrietta who lived life to the fullest during the Jazz Age.  She was both intoxicating and often intoxicated as she tore through love affairs with men and women of the 1920s and 30s. Bingham’s book is titled Irrepressible and it will be released next week.

Then, Bob talks with artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude about their life together and their bigger-than-life art projects. During their decades together, the couple wrapped bridges and temporarily draped massive amounts of fabric over mountains, valleys, coastlines, rivers and parks. Both artists were born 80 years ago - June 13th in 1935. Christo’s partner Jeanne-Claude died in 2009.

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (June 8-12, 2015)

 

Monday, June 8, 2015: National Geographic explorer-in-residence Wade Davis takes readers along George Malloy’s ill-fated and harrowing attempt to climb Mt. Everest in his book Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest. Mallory was last seen on this date in 1924, headed for the summit and his body wasn’t found until 1999.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015:  It’s been nearly 70 years since the Hollywood Ten stood before the House Un-American Activities Committee. They refused to name their fellow screenwriters, directors, actors and musicians who were suspected of having communist ties. Bob talks with three blacklisted artists: publisher Victor Navasky, actress Marsha Hunt and screenwriter Walter Bernstein.  Then, Dalton Trumbo was one of Hollywood’s most respected screenwriters when he was called before HUAC in 1947. Because he refused to comment on his political affiliations, he became one of the “Hollywood Ten” and was blacklisted from Hollywood. His son, screenwriter Christopher Trumbo and filmmaker Peter Askin discuss making their documentary called Trumbo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015: Saul Bellow was a self-taught writer, whose prose remade American fiction in his own image and created many literary “sons” who were influenced by him. Now Bellow’s oldest biological son has written a memoir titled, Saul Bellow’s Heart, which seeks to enlighten the world about his father’s inner life. Bob talks with Greg Bellow about family stories, literary legacies and the man he loved and still misses today. Saul Bellow was born on June 10, 1915 – 100 years ago today.

Thursday, June 11, 2015: Bob talks with Emily Bingham about her brand new book. It’s a biography of her great aunt Henrietta who lived life to the fullest during the Jazz Age.  She was both intoxicating and often intoxicated as she tore through love affairs with men and women of the 1920s. Then, Bob speaks with actor Gene Wilder about his novel, My French Whore: A Love Story set in Europe in 1918.   They also discuss Wilder’s film career, collaborations with Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor, and the final illness of Gilda Radner, who was married to Wilder when she died of cancer in 1989.

Friday, June 12, 2015: As the daughter of the chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art during the 1960s and ‘70s, Gabrielle Selz grew up surrounded by the most famous artists of the day.  Now a writer, Selz looks back on the art and artists of her childhood in her memoir titled Unstill Life: A Daughter’s Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction. Then, Bob talks with artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude about their exhibit Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over the River, a Work in Progress. The exhibition of more than 150 photographs, collages, drawings, and maps, chronicled the artists’ process as they assembled and suspended massive panels of silvery fabric over the Arkansas River in Colorado. The exhibition traced the development of this ambitious project for over a decade. Both artists were born 80 years ago - June 13th in 1935. Christo’s partner Jeanne-Claude died in 2009.

 

Bob Edwards Weekend (June 6-7, 2015)

HOUR ONE:

On this anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy Bob talks with writer Stephan Talty.  His book is titled Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day.  It chronicles the life of Barcelonan poultry farmer Juan Pujol and his strange but true tale as one of World War Two’s most important double agents.

Bob talks with journalist Scott Christianson about his book, 100 Diagrams That Changed the World: From the Earliest Cave Paintings to the Innovation of the iPod. It charts human evolution from the Babylonian days of Pythagoras and his Theorem to the construction of our very own World Wide Web.

 

HOUR TWO:

Historian and author Thurston Clarke talks with Bob about the lessons we can learn from Robert Kennedy’s presidential bid in 1968. Clarke’s latest book is titled The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America.  Kennedy was shot and killed 47 years ago this weekend, just after winning the California Democratic primary.

In many high schools, shop class is now a thing of the past, replaced by classes aimed to turn students into “knowledge workers.”  Physicist, philosopher and motorcycle mechanic Matthew Crawford disagrees.  In his book Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work Crawford argues that the detailed craft of a trade teaches workers to use their hands AND their brains – and allows them to accomplish something truly useful.

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (June 1-5, 2015)

 

Monday, June 1, 2015: Rupert Holmes won a Tony for “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” created the Broadway show “Say Goodnight Gracie,” won an Emmy for “Remember WENN” (a TV show about old-time radio)—-and all of this followed his pop music career. He wrote the Pina Colada Song, but here is the best thing—— in trying escape a record deal, he satisfied the label’s requirement for a song by writing and performing one he figured they could never release. The result was “Timothy,” a song about cannibalism, and it was a Top-40 hit. Bob spends the hour with Holmes today.

 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015Gene Weingarten is so good at what he does that he’s won a Pulitzer… twice. As a feature writer for the Washington Post, Weingarten muses about whatever strikes his fancy. One of his most well-known pieces was about a stunt he set up with the violin virtuoso, Joshua Bell. Weingarten stationed Bell outside of a busy metro stop to see if anyone noticed. Hardly anyone did.  Weingarten talks with Bob about that and many of his other memorable stories from a collection titled The Fiddler in the Subway.

 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015: Bob talks with writer Malcolm Gladwell about rapid cognition, the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye.  Gladwell’s book Blink examines how we think about thinking.  He’s also the author of other bestsellers like The Tipping Point and Outliers.

 

Thursday, June 4, 2015: John Wooden was the most successful men’s college basketball coach ever. “The Wizard of Westwood” led his UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA Basketball Division 1 championships. In addition to his unquestionable on-court success, he also imbued his players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, with indelible life lessons for success.  Seth Davis, senior writer for Sports Illustrated and analyst for CBS Sports, is the author of Wooden: A Coach’s Life. John Wooden died on this date in 2010 at the age of 99. Over the past five decades, Bruce Dern has worked with just about every iconic actor and director … and he’s not afraid to say what he thinks about all of them in his book, Things I’ve Said, but Probably Shouldn’t Have. Today the actor turns 79 years old.

 

Friday, June 5, 2015: We feature two conversations about the creepier side of science today. Author Harry Brunius talks with Bob about the disturbing yet little-known history of eugenics in America.  It can be traced all the way to the Supreme Court, which voted 8-1 to make forced sterilization a constitutionally-acceptable method for a state to keep anyone deemed “unfit” from having kids. Then Bob talks with David Plotz author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank.  Plotz recounts the story of this life-giving bank and the families involved.  Criss-crossing the country and loggin countless hours online, Plotz succeeded in tracking down donors and their children, and in some case, introducing donors to their children.