Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays from 8-10 a.m.

Saturday mornings are made for Weekend Edition Saturday, the program wraps up the week's news and offers a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories. The two-hour program is hosted by NPR's Peabody Award-winning Scott Simon.

Drawing on his experience in covering 10 wars and stories in all 50 states and seven continents, Simon brings a humorous, sophisticated and often moving perspective to each show. He is as comfortable having a conversation with a major world leader as he is talking with a Hollywood celebrity or the guy next door.

Weekend Edition Saturday has a unique and entertaining roster of other regular contributors. Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, talks about music. Daniel Pinkwater, one of the biggest names in children's literature, talks about and reads stories with Simon. Financial journalist Joe Nocera follows the economy. Howard Bryant of EPSN.com and NPR's Tom Goldman chime in on sports. Keith Devlin, of Stanford University, unravels the mystery of math, and Will Grozier, a London cabbie, talks about good books that have just been released, and what well-read people leave in the back of his taxi. Simon contributes his own award-winning essays, which are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States, and around the globe on NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

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3:36pm

Fri November 25, 2011
Music News

New Liturgy Reanimates Catholic Music

Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 5:17 pm

Members of the St. Agnes Catholic Church choir sing during Sunday Mass. From left to right: Donald Hukle, Ray Valido, Richard Samp, Jack Grace and Ben Robles.
Peter Maher Courtesy of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians

When Catholics arrive at church for the beginning of Advent this weekend, they may find themselves stumbling over not only the words, but also the music. The Vatican has changed the English-speaking Mass to make it more faithful to the Latin — and as a result, the sung portions of the Mass often don't work.

It's the most dramatic change in more than 40 years, and it has Mike McMahon working overtime with his choir.

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11:29am

Sat November 19, 2011
NPR Story

Gadhafi's Son, Seif al-Islam, Arrested

Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 4:37 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Libya today, news that Moammar Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam has been captured as he was traveling in a convoy across the southern desert of Libya. Seif was the only Gadhafi family member still at large. Officials said he would be held in the mountain town of Zintan until his transfer to Libya's capital, Tripoli. Joining us to talk more about this development is Leila Fadel, The Washington Post correspondent based in Cairo. Leila, good morning.

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9:12am

Sat November 19, 2011
NPR Story

Congressional Cliffhangers A Holiday Tradition

Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 4:37 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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8:00am

Sat November 19, 2011
NPR Story

How Networks Are Filling Airtime Without The NBA

Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 4:37 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

With the current NBA lockout, TV networks like ESPN and TNT have had to figure out how to fill the holes left by cancelled games.

And they may lose advertising revenue, as NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: ESPN was ready. They say they put a contingency plan in place over a year ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTBALL GAME)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: But Texas A&M has so many points is their ability to run the football.

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8:00am

Sat November 19, 2011
NPR Story

New Thanksgiving Desserts: Rethinking Tradition

With Thanksgiving just days away, many are struggling this weekend with what to prepare. Thanksgiving dinner's menu is hard to change, but maybe we can get away with reconsidering dessert. Guest host Linda Wertheimer gets recommendations from chef Frank Stitt, author of Southern Table.

8:00am

Sat November 19, 2011
Movies

Movies To Watch For Over The Holidays

Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 4:37 pm

The holiday movie season offers a short break from the assault of summer blockbusters, and it's the last chance for movie studios to push some of their award season contenders. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday about the films of this holiday season.

2:57am

Sat November 19, 2011
Author Interviews

Speak, Memory: 'An Ending' That Uncovers The Past

The Sense of an Ending, winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, might be — paradoxically — Julian Barnes' slenderest and most emotionally forthcoming book to date. In his previous novels and short stories, emotion has been stifled, concealed or tucked behind technical devices (as in Flaubert's Parrot). In this latest book, feeling is laid bare and imbued into Barnes' longstanding intellectual preoccupations with authorship, authenticity and mortality.

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6:26pm

Fri November 18, 2011
Music Interviews

Peggy Sue: Mining The Dark And The Discordant

Peggy Sue's new album is Acrobats.
Patrick Ford

There's no Peggy Sue — or even a Margaret or a Susan, for that matter — in the British folk-rock band Peggy Sue. There is, however, a hard-driving group that has just released its second album, Acrobats. Peggy Sue is the trio of singers and guitarists Rosa Slade and Katy Young, and drummer Olly Joyce.

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6:24pm

Fri November 18, 2011
Music Interviews

Romeo Santos: Taking Bachata Mainstream

Romeo Santos.
Courtesy of the artist

10:20am

Sat November 12, 2011
NPR Story

MLB's Wilson Ramos Rescued In Venezuela

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host: This WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Venezuela, officials have announced a dramatic end to the high-profile kidnapping of Major League Baseball catcher Wilson Ramos. Police commandos swooped in on a remote mountainous hideaway and rescued him. This was the sound at the Ramos home in Valencia, Valenzuela, when he returned there late last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIREN AND CHEERING)

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8:12am

Sat November 12, 2011
Commentary

American Bluegrass, Imported By A Czech Band

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 8:41 am

The Czech band Druha Trava will perform in Wichita, Kan., Saturday night. The band is on its U.S. tour.
Don Gonyea NPR

NPR's Don Gonyea normally reports on politics, but he finds other stories along the way, like this one about a touring bluegrass band from the Czech Republic.

The first time I heard Druha Trava play was April 2009. I was covering President Obama's trip to the Europe. There was a big outdoor speech in Prague, and the band was playing Czech versions of Bob Dylan songs.

I did a short radio postcard story back then, figuring it was the kind of experience that every music fan knows: You stumble upon a great band somewhere and never see them again.

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7:57am

Sat November 12, 2011
Deceptive Cadence

Aaron Copland's Forgotten Score Premieres At Last

Manhattan, Copland's "Quiet City," at night.
Joseph Gareri iStock

American composer Aaron Copland began work on Quiet City in 1939 and completed it two years later. A lonely trumpet and an English horn, backed by hushed strings, offer an ode to New York.

The orchestral version of Quiet City is fairly well known, but there's more to this story. Another version has recently come to light.

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6:00am

Sat November 12, 2011
The Record

Non-Jamaican Reggae: Who's Making It And Who's Buying It

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 8:41 am

Hawaiian reggae band The Green. From left to right Zion Thompson, JP Kennedy, Caleb Keolanui and Ikaika Antone.
Tammy Moniz Courtesy of Press Junkie PR

Reggae music and the island of Jamaica are inseparable, right? Lately, a crop of artists from places like Hawaii, California and Italy are proving that hit reggae can come from anywhere. In the process, they're raising some complex questions about culture and ownership.

There's a new generation of reggae artists with two things in common: They're not from the birthplace of reggae music, and they are enormously successful.

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5:36am

Sat November 12, 2011
Author Interviews

'Mrs. Nixon' Reimagines An Enigmatic First Lady

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 8:41 am

Aside from being the wife of one of the most well-known politicians in recent American history, Pat Nixon is mostly a mystery. Throughout crisis and scandal, she somehow managed to remain a private public figure.

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5:30pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Record

'Stairway To Heaven' Turns 40: Celebrate With 7 Covers

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:25 pm

Heart's Nancy Wilson onstage in 1983, looking very Jimmy Page.
Paul Natkin WireImage

10:08am

Sat November 5, 2011
Author Interviews

'Train Of Small Mercies': RFK's Last Journey Imagined

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 11:51 am

Penguin Group USA

In the news business, time is marked by great events: the anniversaries of elections, wars, hit songs and the births and deaths of famous people.

But each of us also has a personal timeline by which we measure our life: the day we start our first job, fulfill a dream or glimpse history passing by, close enough to touch.

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8:00am

Sat November 5, 2011

8:00am

Sat November 5, 2011
NPR Story

GOP Front-Runners Pass Iowa By

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: While Herman Cain was wrapping up his week in Washington D.C., five of his fellow Republican presidential contenders were in Iowa last night for the GOP's Ronald Reagan dinner. Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum spoke at the annual fundraiser, but Mr. Cain and Mitt Romney did not attend the Iowa event. In fact, compared to the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, Cain and Romney have spent little time in Iowa.

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8:00am

Sat November 5, 2011
Author Interviews

Basketball Legend Shares 'Charmed, Tormented Life'

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Jerry West is the symbol of the National Basketball Association - truly so. The NBA's logo silhouette of a player dribbling the ball down court in perfect form is drawn from a 1969 photo of Jerry West when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers, which he did for 14 years and was an All Star 14 times.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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8:00am

Sat November 5, 2011
Simon Says

America's Stake In A United Europe

President Obama salutes service members from both sides of the Atlantic as he walks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy during the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, last week.
Markus Schreiber AFP/Getty Images

It is always tempting for Americans to look at problems in Europe and ask, "What does that have to do with me?"

Well, U.S. banks hold almost $17 billion in Greek debt and billions more bought through European banks. Billions of dollars that Americans have saved for retirement, college — or the rainy days that may be — are now invested in Greece.

But we also might remind ourselves why the euro and the European Union were created.

The problems of Europe led to two world wars in the 20th century, and America got involved in each.

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4:32am

Sat November 5, 2011
Author Interviews

A Global History, Told Through '100 Objects'

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:17 am

Trustees of the British Museum

Sometimes it's the little things that tell the best story. Across the ages, everyday items like plates, pots and even pipes have stood the test of time — and they are just as integral to our history as any monument or cathedral.

A new book takes a selection of these everyday objects and weaves their stories together to tell the ultimate story — a history of the world. In A History of the World in 100 Objects, author Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, culled 100 artifacts from his museum's collection to help him with the task.

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4:02pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Music Interviews

John Wesley Harding: The Musical Side Of A Split Personality

John Wesley Harding's latest album is called The Sound of His Own Voice.
Allison Michael Orenstein Courtesy of the artist

"When I first started making music, I took a fake name to disguise the fact I was going to embark on what was bound to be a short, unsatisfactory musical career," John Wesley Harding says. That was 23 years ago.

Harding recently launched a side career as a novelist, for which he uses his given name: Wesley Stace. But he's continued to release music under his alias, a name he shares with a 1967 Bob Dylan record. Speaking with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon, Harding says he's learned to spread the wealth between his two creative personas.

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3:54pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Marin Alsop on Music

Arthur Honegger's Joan Of Arc For The Ages

Actress Jean Seberg plays Joan of Arc in the 1957 Otto Preminger film Saint Joan.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

I became fascinated with Jeanne d'Arc Au Bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) by Swiss-French composer Arthur Honegger many years ago, when I first heard a snippet of the piece on the radio. It was one of those arresting moments where I felt I'd heard the music before and couldn't place it for the life of me. As it turns out, I'd never heard it, but it's understandable why I thought I had.

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12:47pm

Sat October 29, 2011
NPR Story

American Troops Die In Afghan Attack

Originally published on Sat October 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Afghanistan today, a Taliban suicide bomber slammed a car packed with explosives into an armored bus carrying NATO troops in Kabul. At least 13 U.S. soldiers died in the attack. According to a Pentagon spokesman, the blast incinerated the vehicle and is the latest in a series of recent high-profile attacks in Afghanistan. For more on the incident, we're joined now by NPR's Ahmad Shafi in Kabul. Shafi, what more details can you give us about the attack?

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8:00am

Sat October 29, 2011
Sports

The World Series As An Old Pro Sees It

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Jim Bouton knows what it's like to stand on the pitching mound in a World Series with the world watching. He pitched three World Series games for the New York Yankees in 1963 and '64. Of course, he's also wrote the classic baseball memoir about baseball and life, "Ball Four." Jim joins us from Western Massachusetts. Thanks so much for being with us.

JIM BOUTON: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: Couple of months ago, would a sane observer see the Cardinals winning the World Series?

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8:00am

Sat October 29, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: From Boxing Bros To Iowa Polls

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Last week, we spoke with NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea. He was in Iowa talking to voters about Republican presidential contenders ahead of the 2012 presidential caucuses.

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5:22am

Sat October 29, 2011
Author Interviews

After 40 Years, Grisly 'Exorcist' Book Gets A Rewrite

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

'I'm Not Regan': Linda Blair played the young Regan MacNeil in the 1973 film adaptation of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist. In the book, Regan becomes possessed by a malevolent demon who makes her head turn 360 degrees.

AP Warner Bros. Entertainment

In 1971, a novel set off a frenzy that soon inspired a film — and then a firestorm.

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4:20pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Studio Sessions

Tony Bennett's Art Of Intimacy

Michael Katzif NPR

When you think of American classics, you might think of baseball, Abe Lincoln, apple pie ... and Anthony Dominick Benedetto. That's Tony Bennett to you.

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4:03pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Music

A Musical Style That Unites Mexican-Americans

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Mono Blanco, a veteran Son Jarocho band from Veracruz, performs in Los Angeles.

Betto Arcos

11:23am

Sat October 22, 2011
NPR Story

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Dies

Originally published on Sat October 22, 2011 11:49 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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