Fresh Air

Weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. 

Composer ID: 
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Author Interviews
12:08 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Fictional 'Mothers' Reveal Facts Of A Painful Adoption Process

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:38 pm

After years of trying to conceive, novelist Jennifer Gilmore and her husband decided to pursue a domestic open adoption. They were told they'd be matched within a year; it took four. And along the way they faced complicated decisions and heartbreak.

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Music Reviews
10:14 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Daft Punk: Accessing Electronic Music's Humanity

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are the two men behind Daft Punk.
David Black Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 12:08 pm

I freely admit that, until the new Random Access Memories, I wasn't much of a Daft Punk fan. I could appreciate the craft and imagination that went into creating the French duo's mixture of electronic genres — techno, house, disco — but the mechanical repetitions and heavily filtered vocals didn't turn me on in any other way.

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Movie Interviews
11:51 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Soderbergh's Liberace, 'Behind The Candelabra'

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson, in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:45 pm

Director Steven Soderbergh had been looking for a way to frame a film about the extravagant entertainer Liberace for years when a friend recommended the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.

The book — a memoir — is by Scott Thorson, who for five years was Liberace's lover, though that wasn't publicly disclosed at the time.

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Television
12:40 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Brooks: "I'm An EGOT; I Don't Need Any More"

Once vehemently opposed to the idea of being the subject of a documentary, Brooks had a change of heart. The result is a new American Masters episode, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise.
WNET/American Masters

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:54 am

Over the 60 years that Mel Brooks has been in the entertainment business, his name has become synonymous with comedy. He is the man who broke Broadway records for most Tony Award wins with The Producers (an adaptation of his own movie); who satirized Westerns and racism in Blazing Saddles; and who poked fun at monster movies with Young Frankenstein.

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Sarah Vaughan: A New Box Set Revels In Glorious Imperfections

Sarah Vaughan performs during the International Jazz Festival of Nice in southeast France in July 1984.
Raph Gatti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 4:43 pm

Singer Sarah Vaughan came up in the 1940s alongside bebop lions Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, starting out in Earl Hines' big band. Hines had hired her as his singer and deputy pianist, while Gillespie praised her fine ear for chords as she grasped the arcane refinements of bebop harmony.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:09 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Gerwig, Baumbach, Dawes And Polley

For her latest film, Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley turns her camera on her own family.
Roadside Attractions

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

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Music Reviews
12:29 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Jerry Lee Lewis: Live, Singing As If Life Depended On It

Jerry Lee Lewis shot to fame in the 1950s with hits such as "A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:49 pm

It was April 4, 1964, and Jerry Lee Lewis had officially bottomed out. He hadn't charted a record in years, and now, on tour in England and Germany, he was getting paid so little that he couldn't afford to bring his own musicians. Instead, he was forced to use pickup bands in England, and then, when he arrived in Hamburg, a British band called the Nashville Teens was waiting for him. The venue was the Star Club, where The Beatles, who had just leaped into stardom in America, had played not long before.

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Television
12:05 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Bill Hader On Sketch Comedy, Classic Hollywood

Bill Hader was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Stefon on Saturday Night Live.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:49 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 22, 2012.

Comedian Bill Hader is adept onstage and doing live TV. But he's scared to death of standup.

He remembers watching Chris Rock's 1996 HBO special, Bring the Pain, and thinking, "I don't know how people do that."

"I need a character," Hader tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I need people out there with me."

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Your Money
1:04 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

The Tricky Business Of Retirement: Hidden 401(K) Fees

iStockPhoto.com

A couple generations ago, when older Americans retired they could rely on pension plans to support them. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many companies switched their retirement plans over to 401(k) accounts. The security of workers' retirement savings suddenly became subject to the vagaries of the stock market.

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Music Reviews
11:48 am
Thu May 16, 2013

100 Years Of Woody Herman: The Early Bloomer Who Kept Blooming

American jazz musician Woody Herman rehearses in London during a tour of England.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:04 pm

Woody Herman, who would have turned 100 on Thursday, bloomed early and late — and then later still. He turned pro by age 9, singing and dancing in movie theaters on summer vacation. He'd perform one song deemed too risqué for radio when he recorded it decades later: "My Gee Gee From the Fiji Isles."

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