Fresh Air

Weekdays at noon and midnight

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Visit the Fresh Air website for more information.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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12:39pm

Tue August 13, 2013
Television

'Orange' Creator Jenji Kohan: 'Piper Was My Trojan Horse'

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:32 pm

Jenji Kohan, seen here on the set of Orange Is the New Black, began her writing career on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Ursula Coyote Netflix

A lot of people have been binge-watching the new Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, which is set in a minimum security women's prison.

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12:43pm

Mon August 12, 2013
Book Reviews

Addictive 'Infatuations' Takes A Metaphysical Look At Crime

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 1:48 pm

iStockphoto.com

If you're like me, you probably feel exhausted just thinking about how much cultural stuff is out there. A friend recently told me he was reading an acclaimed Hungarian novelist whose books I've never opened. "Please tell me he stinks," I begged, "so I don't have to read him."

"Actually, he's great," came the reply, and I groaned. This was something I didn't want to know.

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12:42pm

Mon August 12, 2013
Author Interviews

Behind 'The New Black': The Real Piper's Prison Story

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:18 am

Taylor Schilling plays Piper in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, which is based on Piper Kerman's memoir of her year in prison.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

Piper Kerman was a 24-year-old Smith College graduate in 1993, when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord.

This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with a woman who was part of what Kerman describes as a "clique of impossibly stylish and cool lesbians in their mid-30s." That woman was involved in a drug-smuggling ring, and got Kerman involved, too, though Kerman left that life after several months.

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11:37am

Mon August 12, 2013
Music Reviews

'South Texas' Collects Producer's Checkered Career

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 12:42 pm

Record producer Huey Meaux wound up in jail twice, but he sure had a knack for finding talent in unlikely places. Some of those songs are included on South Texas Rhythm 'n' Soul Revue.
Courtesy of the artist

Record producer Huey P. Meaux's career was, to put it mildly, a checkered one. It had two chapters, each of which ended with him in prison. But both times, he discovered some amazing Texas and Louisiana artists who made great music. Researchers are still piecing together the first half of the story, which saw hundreds of singles released on labels like Jet Stream, Tear Drop, Jet, Pacemaker and Eric. Now some of those songs have been collected on a compilation called South Texas Rhythm 'n' Soul Revue.

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9:03am

Sat August 10, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Bob Odenkirk, 'Love Affairs' And 'In A World ...'

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 11:44 am

Bob Odenkirk plays sleazeball lawyer Saul Goodman on AMC's Breaking Bad. The show is in its final season, but creator Vince Gilligan has talked about doing a spinoff series for Saul that would star Odenkirk.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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11:54am

Fri August 9, 2013
Interviews

Mike White On Creating HBO's 'Enlightened' Whistle-Blower

In HBO's Enlightened, Laura Dern stars as corporate executive Amy Jellicoe, who returns from a post-meltdown retreat to pick up the pieces of her broken life. Series creator Mike White stars as Tyler, Amy's friend and co-worker.
Lacey Terrell HBO

This interview was originally broadcast on March 04, 2013.

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11:54am

Fri August 9, 2013
Television

A 'Curb'-Like Comedy And The Return Of 'Breaking Bad'

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 1:55 pm

Before the midseason break, Breaking Bad's Walter White (Bryan Cranston) had stashed away plenty of drug money, but may have inadvertently tipped off his DEA agent brother-in-law.
Ursula Coyote AMC

This weekend, the AMC cable network begins showing the final episodes of its acclaimed drama series Breaking Bad, and launches a new one: Low Winter Sun. Meanwhile, HBO presents its newest made-for-TV movie — this one a comedy, starring and co-written by Larry David.

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10:59am

Fri August 9, 2013
Music News

Remembering The People's Throat Singer Of Tuva

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:57 am

Kongar-Ol Ondar at the 72nd Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Genghis Blues was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Short.
Scott Nelson Getty Images.

The technique known as throat singing is an ancient style still practiced in Tuva, a small republic between Siberia and Mongolia's Gobi desert. Traditionally, it was practiced by herders.

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12:23pm

Thu August 8, 2013
Movie Interviews

In 'A World,' All Voice-Overs Are Not Created Equal

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:35 pm

Both Lake Bell and Fred Melamed say they became interested in voice-over work because it didn't matter what you looked like. They play father and daughter voice-over artists in In a World ...
Bonnie Osborne Roadside Attractions

Don LaFontaine had a voice anyone would recognize. As a voice-over artist, he recorded thousands of movie trailers and TV commercials, and became famous for his delivery of the phrase "In a world," which kicked off countless trailers. He died in 2008, but the new comedy In a World ... -- written and directed by actress Lake Belltells the story of voice-over artists competing to become the next LaFontaine.

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1:25pm

Wed August 7, 2013
Health Care

'Paying Till It Hurts': Why American Health Care Is So Pricey

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 3:05 pm

"We need a system instead of 20, 40 components, each one having its own financial model, and each one making a profit," says New York Times correspondent Elisabeth Rosenthal.
iStockphoto.com

It costs $13,660 for an American to have a hip replacement in Belgium; in the U.S., it's closer to $100,000.

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12:50pm

Wed August 7, 2013
Movie Reviews

A Future Where Class Warfare Is Much More Than A Metaphor

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 3:19 pm

Jody Foster plays her political opposite as the brutal secretary of defense in Elysium.
Kimberley French Sony Pictures

11:30am

Tue August 6, 2013
Book Reviews

'Love Affairs' Of A Hip, Young Literary Hound Dog

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:18 pm

iStockphoto.com

Before I read Adelle Waldman's brilliant debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., I had about as much interest in reading about the hip, young literary types who've colonized Brooklyn as I do in watching Duck Dynasty, that reality show about a family of bearded Luddites who live in the Louisiana swamps. Both clans are ingrown and smug, each, in their own way, disdainful of the American mainstream.

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11:21am

Tue August 6, 2013
Television

Bob Odenkirk Brings Some Laughs To 'Breaking Bad'

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:01 pm

Bob Odenkirk plays sleazeball lawyer Saul Goodman on AMC's Breaking Bad. The show is in its final season, but creator Vince Gilligan has talked about doing a spinoff series for Saul that would star Odenkirk.
Ursula Coyote AMC

"When the going gets tough, you don't want a criminal lawyer — you want a criminal lawyer."

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2:22pm

Mon August 5, 2013
Technology

Bracing For Google Glass: An In-Your-Face Technology

A conference attendee tries Google Glass during the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco in May.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The likes of you and I can't buy Google Glass yet. It's available only to the select developers and opinion-makers who have been permitted to spring $1,500 for the privilege of having the first one on the block. But I've seen a few around my San Francisco neighborhood among the young techies who commute down to the Google and Facebook campuses in WiFi-equipped shuttle buses or who pedal downtown to Zynga and Twitter on their fixies.

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1:35pm

Mon August 5, 2013
Music Reviews

Vince Gill And Paul Franklin Ain't 'Foolin' Around' With Bakersfield Sound

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:21 pm

Vince Gill (left) and Paul Franklin.
Courtesy of the artist

Country-music star Vince Gill and steel guitarist Paul Franklin have teamed up to record a new concept album called Bakersfield. Their idea is to cover hits from the 1960s and '70s by two artists who helped define the Bakersfield, Calif., country sound: Merle Haggard and the Strangers and Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. But this is no nostalgia-fest — it's a vital testament to music that retains energy and innovation.

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1:32pm

Mon August 5, 2013
Author Interviews

Talent Or Skill?: Homing In On The Elusive 'Sports Gene'

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 11:59 pm

According to author David Epstein, hitters like the Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols look at the movement of the pitcher's shoulder, torso or hand to help them hit the ball.
Brian Bahr Getty Images

We've all had the experience of watching a great athletic performance — from gymnast Mary Lou Retton defying gravity to Michael Jordan sinking a mind-blowing turnaround jumper — and wondered: Were they born with that talent or can you get there with hard work and practice?

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9:03am

Sat August 3, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Masters Of Sex,' 'Blue Jasmine' And John Gallagher Jr.

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:57 am

William Masters originally hired Virginia Johnson, then a divorced mother of two, to help him conduct research interviews. They married in 1971.
Cook AP

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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1:34pm

Fri August 2, 2013
Interviews

Matthew McConaughey, Getting Serious Again

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:30 pm

Matthew McConaughey stars as a man on the run from authorities in Jeff Nichols' Mud.
Jim Bridges Roadside Attractions Publicity

This interview was originally broadcast on April 23, 2013.

Matthew McConaughey earned early attention as a sensitive actor with his turn in the 1996 legal drama A Time to Kill -- but since then he has mostly made a career with leading-man roles in romantic comedies like How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days, Failure to Launch and The Wedding Planner.

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1:34pm

Fri August 2, 2013
Movie Reviews

A Good Girl And A Lost Boy, Looking For A Way Forward

Shailene Woodley, who played George Clooney's rebellious daughter in The Descendants, turns in a splendidly calibrated performance as a soft-spoken good girl who falls hard for a high school party animal (Miles Teller) in The Spectacular Now.
Wilford Harewood

The teen romance The Spectacular Now is by turns goofy, exhilarating, and unreasonably sad — just like being a teenager.

It centers on a fast-talking, hard-drinking high school party animal named Sutter Keely, who boasts of living for today and in the now — instead of, say, studying — and how he takes up with a girl named Aimee, who's the opposite of a party animal.

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1:26pm

Thu August 1, 2013
Food

'America's Test Kitchen' On Grilling Peaches, Tofu And Burgers

Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen says the trick to grilling peaches is using fruit that's ripe but firm.
mccun934 via Flickr

When Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop talk about preparing food on the public TV series America's Test Kitchen, they're really good at explaining why the recipe works. Bishop is the editorial director of the show, and Lancaster is the lead instructor of its cooking school. They've both contributed to the new America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook. They join Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about preparing summer foods, and to answer some cooking questions from the Fresh Air staff.

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1:28pm

Wed July 31, 2013
Politics

As Summer Recess Looms, Congress Remains Inactive

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:20 pm

Jonathan Weisman writes that the last week before the long summer recess is usually crunchtime for Congress, but it's "a sleepy time for the underachieving 113th."
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Friday is the last day before the 113th Congress scatters for their summer recess. And what has it accomplished so far? Almost nothing, says New York Times congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman. As he points out in a recent article:

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3:26pm

Tue July 30, 2013
Author Interviews

Pioneering 'Masters Of Sex' Brought Science To The Bedroom

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 4:40 pm

Human sexuality researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson Masters, shown in San Francisco in 1972.
AP

William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous in the 1960s for their groundbreaking and controversial research into the physiology of human sexuality. Instead of just asking people about their sex lives, Masters and Johnson actually observed volunteers engaging in self-stimulation and sexual intercourse. Changes throughout their bodies during arousal were measured with medical equipment.

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1:06pm

Tue July 30, 2013
Book Reviews

With 'Arrangements' And 'The Rest,' Two Debut Novelists Arrive

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:41 pm

The novel I've been recommending this summer to anyone, female or male, who's looking for the trifecta — a good story that's beautifully written and both hilarious and humane — is Seating Arrangements, Maggie Shipstead's debut novel from last summer. I was about to go all old-school and excitedly add that Seating Arrangements is now out in paperback, except since more and more readers are instantly downloading new books at a discount, paperbacks are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

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12:48pm

Tue July 30, 2013
Music Reviews

'The Edenfred Files': Darryl Harper's Blues-Infused Jazz

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:41 pm

Clarinetist Darryl Harper discovered jazz as a teenager in Philadelphia.
Courtesy of the artist

In jazz, the clarinet went into eclipse for awhile, drowned out by louder trumpets and saxes. The instrument has long since made a comeback, and the modern clarinet thrives in settings where it doesn't have to shout to be heard.

Take "Spindleshanks," a little out-of-sync boogie-woogie for Darryl Harper's clarinet and Kevin Harris' piano. It's from Harper's The Edenfred Files. In his long-running Onus Trio, the spare unit Darryl Harper features on most of his new album, he can sing softly as an owl in the night.

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2:27pm

Mon July 29, 2013
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers Former Louisiana Congresswoman Lindy Boggs

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 5:51 pm

Former Democratic representative from Louisiana Lindy Claiborne Boggs attends the Distinguished Service Award ceremony at the Capitol on May 10, 2006.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Lindy Boggs, the former congresswoman from Louisiana, died Saturday at the age of 97. Boggs came to Washington in 1941, the year her husband, Hale Boggs, began his first term as a Democratic congressman from Louisiana. She was 24 years old.

In 1972, on a campaign trip through Alaska, Hale Boggs' plane disappeared, never to be found. Lindy Boggs ran for her late husband's seat and won, becoming the first woman elected to Congress from her state. She remained in Congress through 1990. In 1997, President Clinton appointed her ambassador to the Vatican.

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2:02pm

Mon July 29, 2013
Television

John Gallagher Jr. On 'Newsroom' Dialogue And Staging Green Day

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 2:28 pm

In Season 2 of The Newsroom, Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.) goes on the 2012 campaign trail.
Melissa Moseley HBO

In HBO's The Newsroom, John Gallagher Jr. plays Jim Harper, the senior producer of the nightly cable news program anchored by Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). The show's second season, which began in July, takes place in 2012 during the presidential primaries. Ever since the start of the series, Gallagher's character has been in a will-they-or-won't-they relationship with one of the young producers of the news show.

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1:20pm

Mon July 29, 2013
Television

This Summer, Vintage TV Shows Thrive On DVD

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 2:27 pm

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis is the first in a straight line of teen comedies from the teen point of view. It starred Dwayne Hickman (right) as Dobie and Bob Denver as his best friend, Maynard.
Courtesy of Shout! Factory

So much TV, so little time. Even during the summer — when broadcast TV slows down and leaves mostly cable and satellite TV series, and now Netflix, to watch and review — the TV shows on DVD keep coming. And summertime is the perfect time to dive into some of them.

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9:03am

Sat July 27, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Maria Bamford, 'Lunches With Orson' And '& Sons'

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 11:11 am

Maria Bamford is a stand-up comedian and voice actress. She recently appeared in the fourth season of Arrested Development.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Read more

11:59am

Fri July 26, 2013
Interviews

Michael Apted, Aging With The '7 Up' Crew

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 1:40 pm

Jackie, Lynn and Sue — pictured here at age 7 — are three of the children featured in the landmark 1964 documentary 7 Up. The series returns this year with 56 Up, checking in with a group of 14 men and women whose lives have been documented since they were kids.
First Run Features

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 5, 2013.

Every seven years since 1964, in what's known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.

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11:57am

Fri July 26, 2013
Interviews

Tig Notaro On Going 'Live' About Her Life

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 1:40 pm

Comedian Tig Notaro dealt with a cancer diagnosis the best way she knew how — with humor.
tignation.com

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 8, 2012.

"Good evening, hello. I have cancer. How are you?"

That's how comedian Tig Notaro began her set at Largo in Los Angeles the day she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. As she uttered those words to the audience, there was nervous laughter, weeping and total silence in response.

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