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Playlist: Shorts

Compiled By: Roland Foster

 Credit:

Short pieces

Record Bin Roulette - What's Up, Doc?

From John Kessler | 03:52

Weekly 4 minute binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics, this time we examine Doctors. With Aretha Franklin, The Beatles and The Chipmunks.

Three-stooges-doctors_small Weekly 4 minute binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics, this time we examine Doctors. With Aretha Franklin, The Beatles and The Chipmunks.

Record Bin Roulette - Woman

From John Kessler | 03:57

Weekly 4 minute dash through musical rarities, oddities and classics. We pay tribute to Women with songs from Etta James, Peggy Lee, Helen Reddy, balanced by John Lennon, Neil Diamond and Elvis.

Peggy_small Weekly 4 minute dash through musical rarities, oddities and classics. We pay tribute to Women with songs from Etta James, Peggy Lee, Helen Reddy, balanced by John Lennon, Neil Diamond and Elvis.

Record Bin Roulette - Sleep

From John Kessler | 03:54

Weekly 4 minute jaunt through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This week we lull you with Little Willie John, Petula Clark and The Beatles.
Special cameos from Groucho Marx and The Three Stooges.

Bobby_lewis_small Weekly 4 minute jaunt through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This week we lull you with Little Willie John, Petula Clark and The Beatles. Special cameos from Groucho Marx and The Three Stooges.

Record Bin Roulette - The Election

From John Kessler | 03:59

Weekly 4 minute jaunt through popular music oddities, rarities and classics. This time we ponder the political animal with Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper and Bob Dylan.

Alice_small Weekly 4 minute jaunt through popular music oddities, rarities and classics. This time we ponder the political animal with Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper and Bob Dylan.

Record Bin Roulette - Hawaii

From John Kessler | 03:58

Weekly 4 minute excursion through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we go Hawaiian with Elvis Presley, Don Ho, Ethel Merman and The Ventures.

Annette_small Weekly 4 minute excursion through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we go Hawaiian with Elvis Presley, Don Ho, Ethel Merman and The Ventures.

Record Bin Roulette - Politics

From John Kessler | 03:48

Weekly 4 minute jaunt through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time a look at pop music and politics with Rage Against The Machine, Nicky Minaj and Frank Sinatra.

Rage_small Weekly 4 minute jaunt through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time a look at pop music and politics with Rage Against The Machine, Nicky Minaj and Frank Sinatra.

Record Bin Roulette - The Telephone

From John Kessler | 03:57

Weekly 4 minute dash through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we pick up the phone with Glenn Miller, Wilson Pickett, Astrud Gilberto and special cameo by Lily Tomlin.

Phone_small Weekly 4 minute dash through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we pick up the phone with Glenn Miller, Wilson Pickett, Astrud Gilberto and special cameo by Lily Tomlin.

Record Bin Roulette - Feuds

From John Kessler | 03:53

Weekly 4 minute loop de loop through pop music history, this time FEUDS with Mozart & Salieri, Beyonce & Etta James, and Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Duel_small Weekly 4 minute loop de loop through pop music history, this time FEUDS with Mozart & Salieri, Beyonce & Etta James, and Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Record Bin Roulette - Choirs

From John Kessler | 03:52

Weekly 4 minute romp through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we look for choirs in popular music, with The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and The Swingle Singers!

Swingle_small Weekly 4 minute romp through musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we look for choirs in popular music, with The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and The Swingle Singers!

Record Bin Roulette - Age

From John Kessler | 03:54

Weekly 4 minute binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we take on age with Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and Peter Pan.

Marchoftime_small Weekly 4 minute binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we take on age with Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and Peter Pan.

Record Bin Roulette - The Sun

From John Kessler | 03:51

4 minutes of musical rarities, oddities and classics, this week, songs about and inspired by the Sun. With The Beatles, John Denver and the Fifth Dimension.

Solarflare_small 4 minutes of musical rarities, oddities and classics, this week, songs about and inspired by the Sun. With The Beatles, John Denver and the Fifth Dimension.

Record Bin Roulette - Dreams

From John Kessler | 03:54

Weekly 4 minute dash through musical oddities, rarities and classics, this week it's Dreams with Enrico Caruso, Ella Fitzgerald and (yikes) Katy Perry.

Morpheus_small Weekly 4 minute dash through musical oddities, rarities and classics, this week it's Dreams with Enrico Caruso, Ella Fitzgerald and (yikes) Katy Perry.

Record Bin Roulette - The Slammer

From John Kessler | 03:53

4 minute weekly spin through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This week a quick trip to the hoosegow with The Kingston Trio, Johnny Cash and The Soggy Bottom Boys.

Cashfolsom_small 4 minute weekly spin through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This week a quick trip to the hoosegow with The Kingston Trio, Johnny Cash and The Soggy Bottom Boys.

Record Bin Roulette - Time

From John Kessler | 03:53

4 minute weekly stumble through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This week the heady topic of TIME...with Tony Bennett, Pink Floyd and Albert Einstein explains relativity.

Time_small 4 minute weekly stumble through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This week the heady topic of TIME...with Tony Bennett, Pink Floyd and Albert Einstein explains relativity.

Record Bin Roulette - Thanksgiving

From John Kessler | 03:43

4 minute breeze of musical oddities, rarities and classics...this week, songs of thanks with The Beatles, Maurice Chevalier and Bob Hope.

Turkey_small 4 minute breeze of musical oddities, rarities and classics...this week, songs of thanks with The Beatles, Maurice Chevalier and Bob Hope.

Record Bin Roulette - Happiness

From John Kessler | 03:52

Weekly 4 minute musical journey unearthing rarities, oddities and classics. This week, Happiness with Bobby McFerrin, The Turtles and The Partridge Family

Smiley_small Weekly 4 minute musical journey unearthing rarities, oddities and classics. This week, Happiness with Bobby McFerrin, The Turtles and The Partridge Family

Record Bin Roulette - The Jingle

From John Kessler | 03:39

A weekly excavation of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This week, a look a the history of the advertising jingle, from Wheaties to Lucky Strikes.

Radiomag_small A weekly excavation of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This week, a look a the history of the advertising jingle, from Wheaties to Lucky Strikes.

Record Bin Roulette - Real Events

From John Kessler | 03:50

Weekly 4 minute binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we get real with songs about stuff that actually happened. With Deep Purple, U2, Don Mclean and Lou Reed.

41-fh-qh0zl Weekly 4 minute binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time we get real with songs about stuff that actually happened. With Deep Purple, U2, Don Mclean and Lou Reed.

Record Bin Roulette - Reefer Madness

From John Kessler | 03:55

Weekly 4 minute overdose of musical rarities and classics, this time, in honor of Washington and Colorado's vote to legalize cannabis, it's Reefer Madness, with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Cab Calloway, with a special appearance of Puff The Magic Dragon.

Reefer_madness_small Weekly 4 minute overdose of musical rarities and classics, this time, in honor of Washington and Colorado's vote to legalize cannabis, it's Reefer Madness, with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Cab Calloway, with a special appearance of Puff The Magic Dragon.

Record Bin Roulette - Mr. Businessman

From John Kessler | 03:46

Weekly 4 minute jaunt through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This time we enter the high-powered world of business with Ray Stevens, BTO and Dolly Parton, with a special cameo by Principal Skinner/

Bizlp_small Weekly 4 minute jaunt through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This time we enter the high-powered world of business with Ray Stevens, BTO and Dolly Parton, with a special cameo by Principal Skinner/

Record Bin Roulette - Work Songs

From John Kessler | 03:34

Weekly 4-minute thrill-ride through music history, featuring oddities, rarities and classics. This time, Work Songs with Harry Belafonte, Dolly Parton, Lee Dorsey and the Dwarf Chorus.

Whistle_2_small Weekly 4-minute thrill-ride through music history, featuring oddities, rarities and classics. This time, Work Songs with Harry Belafonte, Dolly Parton, Lee Dorsey and the Dwarf Chorus.

Record Bin Roulette - Product Placement

From John Kessler | 03:59

Weekly 4 minute binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time, we buy into brand names in song with NIrvana, Paul Simon, Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga.

Teenspirit_small Weekly 4 minute binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics. This time, we buy into brand names in song with NIrvana, Paul Simon, Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga.

Record Bin Roulette - The 1 Percent

From John Kessler | 03:56

Weekly 4 minute dash through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This time we take a poke at the 1%, with Zero Mostel, The Beatles, Ethel Merman and Yosemite Sam.

Zappa_small Weekly 4 minute dash through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This time we take a poke at the 1%, with Zero Mostel, The Beatles, Ethel Merman and Yosemite Sam.

Record Bin Roulette - Sound Effects

From John Kessler | 03:47

4 minute weekly cruise through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This week, Sound Effects in Pop Music with Spike Jones, The Ronettes and Dolly Parton.

Cannon_small 4 minute weekly cruise through musical oddities, rarities and classics. This week, Sound Effects in Pop Music with Spike Jones, The Ronettes and Dolly Parton.

Record Bin Roulette-Money

From John Kessler | 03:53

Weekly musical oddities, rarities and surprises. Just in time for fund drive, it's songs about money with Liza Minelli, the O'Jays, Elvis and Monty Python.

Money_small Weekly musical oddities, rarities and surprises. Just in time for fund drive, it's songs about money with Liza Minelli, the O'Jays, Elvis and Monty Python.

Record Bin Roulette - Obsolete Technology

From John Kessler | 03:40

A musical excavation of rarities, classics and oddities, this week obsolete technologies like the Theremin and the cassette tape are enjoying a resurgence. We'll break the barriers of technology with Marvin Gaye, the Partridge Family and Zero Mostel.

Cassette_small A musical excavation of rarities, classics and oddities, this week obsolete technologies like the Theremin and the cassette tape are enjoying a resurgence. We'll break the barriers of technology with Marvin Gaye, the Partridge Family and Zero Mostel.

Record Bin Roulette - Lascivious Love Songs

From John Kessler | 03:55

4 minute weekly binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics, this week diving deep into the velvety cushion of love songs. From "Voulez Vouz Couchez" with Labelle to Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl", we offer love songs in their many splendored ways.

Mgaye_small 4 minute weekly binge of musical rarities, oddities and classics, this week diving deep into the velvety cushion of love songs. From "Voulez Vouz Couchez" with Labelle to Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl", we offer love songs in their many splendored ways.

Record Bin Roulette - Pop Music in Politics

From John Kessler | 03:50

This week, a look at the many ways politicians have used the power of pop music to enhance their images. With Tom Petty and Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin and Heart, and Chrissie Hynde and Rush Limbaugh.

Sarahbarracuda_small This week, a look at the many ways politicians have used the power of pop music to enhance their images. With Tom Petty and Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin and Heart, and Chrissie Hynde and Rush Limbaugh.

Record Bin Roulette-The Moon

From John Kessler | 03:54

This week we moon over some of our favorite lunar toons with Van Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Dean Martin and Julie London, among others.

Lunarsalute_small This week we moon over some of our favorite lunar toons with Van Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Dean Martin and Julie London, among others.

A Syrian refugee adjusts to life in Los Angeles

From Bending Borders | Part of the Tectonic Urbania series | 06:32

Shahan Sanosian, a student living in the U.S., fears for the safety of his parents back in Damascus.

142954-full_small

In Los Angeles, we continually cross unseen borders. That was the case for Allison Wolfe. She teaches English as a second language to young adults. Some of her students have fled faraway places in upheaval and ended up conjugating verbs with Wolfe. If you knew some of their stories, it might keep you up at night. Most students keep those stories to themselves. But sometimes they share. For Wolfe, one student stood out.


Talking Trump Is Funny

From Bending Borders | Part of the At Risk in the Age of Trump series | 05:10

Sara Schaefer does standup comedy in L.A. Taking her act on the road to college campuses--some in red, religious territory--has its own risks and comic rewards. Produced by Joanna Clay.

Sara_ny_show_small L.A. Comic Sara Schaefer is taking off across the U.S. to do stand-up at colleges. This time around, after the election of Donald Trump, she’s decided to tackle politics head on. Sean Spicer, misogyny, Trump voters – all of it is free game. As she travels, she figures out how to work in the more pointed material while keeping it fun for all. 

A Pastor Transforms a Church into a Sanctuary

From Bending Borders | Part of the At Risk in the Age of Trump series | 04:36

Once in plain view, many immigrants are missing from work sites, classrooms, and bus stops. But one pastor has vowed to do what he can to keep his immigrant parishioners safe, including make his church a refuge. Produced by Melanie Gonzalez.

Melanie-church_small Due to recent ICE raids and anti-Mexican rhetoric, many undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles fear leading their normal lives – driving, going to work, and going to the doctor all pose great risks. A Methodist pastor in the San Fernando Valley is offering his church as a sanctuary – literally.

A Muslim woman pulls off her hijab, and puts up her fists

From Bending Borders | Part of the At Risk in the Age of Trump series | 03:40

When attacks on Muslims and Mosques spiked, one young woman removed her headscarf but refused to be intimidated. Produced by Pasha Zolfaghari.

Marwa-asa-pasha_small Trump’s travel ban and the following news coverage of crimes at mosques and against Muslims in the U.S. made 22-year-old Marwa Abdelghani no longer comfortable being completely herself in public. She decided to remove her headscarf. Then, she took it a step further by signing up for a self-defense so that if she has to protect herself physically, she can.

A homeless artist struggles to practice her craft

From Bending Borders | Part of the Tectonic Urbania series | 07:18

Life as an artist is hard enough, but Juanita Pina carries the extra burden of being homeless in Los Angeles.

132233-full_small Virtually every skid row in America feels like someplace you don’t want to be. They are in gritty neighborhoods; people live under tarps and in tents and belongings are pushed into overstuffed bags. People look weary; older than they should be. But as Michael Ratcliffe found, sometimes you can find a very small hothouse where something beautiful grows, though it might be short-lived.

A Nigerian Pop Star Struggles with her Musical Identity

From Bending Borders | Part of the Between Homelands: Hope, Fear and Longing in America series | 04:17

In her native Nigeria, Cynthia Dieyi is a pop singer who celebrates her culture through her music. But here in America, she's still unknown, and holding on to her "Nigerian sound" in face of Hollywood producers has proven difficult.

Cy-3-e1430769021748_small In her native Nigeria, Cynthia Dieyi is a pop singer who celebrates her culture through her music. But here in America, she's still unknown, and holding on to her "Nigerian sound" in face of Hollywood producers has proven difficult.

The Boundaries of Love in the Holy Land

From Bending Borders | Part of the Love is Complicated series | 12:18

It is rare for an Israeli and a Palestinian to fall in love. There are physical barriers, as Israelis can’t enter Palestinian areas, and Palestinians can’t enter Israeli areas, without special permits. There are also cultural barriers, of course. But a year ago, two 29-year-old men - one from Jerusalem, the other from a West Bank village - met one another and demonstrated that sometimes love can be found. Reporter Daniel Estrin brings us their story.

Boundariesoflove_small This production is part of the Global Story Project, with support from the Open Society Foundations. Presented by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange.

Seattle: Sanctuary City

From Yuko Kodama | 05:38

There are over 75,000 legal permanent residents in the Seattle King County area, and many residents whose legal status could be in question. The city of Seattle is a Sanctuary City. KBCS Producer Jim Cantu spoke with Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez about what that means.

Default-piece-image-2 There are over 75,000 legal permanent residents in the Seattle King County area, and many residents whose legal status could be in question. The city of Seattle is a Sanctuary City. KBCS Producer Jim Cantu spoke with Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez about what that means.

A Very Brief History of the Microphone

From Open Source | Part of the Open Source Shorts and Podcasts series | 04:13

John Szwed, historian of sound and music, walks us through how Billie Holiday — along with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, and Johnnie Ray — shaped the art of recording.

Screen_shot_2015-08-17_at_4 John Szwed, historian of sound and music, walks us through how Billie Holiday — along with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, and Johnnie Ray — shaped the art of recording.

Black Prophetic Fire

From Open Source | Part of the Open Source Shorts and Podcasts series | 11:14

Cornel West calls for new fervor and love—the kind once heard in Coltrane or B.B. King—in a rising generation.

Screen_shot_2014-11-21_at_5 Cornel West calls for new fervor and love—the kind once heard in Coltrane or B.B. King—in a rising generation.

Jill Lepore: The Feminist and the Superhero

From Open Source | Part of the Open Source Shorts and Podcasts series | 13:34

Jill Lepore tells the secret history of Wonder Woman—and how the superhero mirrored the ups and downs of a feminist movement.

Screen_shot_2014-11-06_at_1 Jill Lepore tells the secret history of Wonder Woman—and how the superhero mirrored the ups and downs of a feminist movement.

The Most Dangerous Book

From Open Source | Part of the Open Source Shorts and Podcasts series | 11:54

What in James Joyce's Ulysses was so dangerously obscene? And why were the novel's greatest champions women? Chris Lydon talks with Kevin Birmingham about his new book.

James-joyce-and-nora-barn-008_small What in James Joyce's Ulysses was so dangerously obscene? And why were the novel's greatest champions women? Chris Lydon talks with Kevin Birmingham about his new book.

An Encounter with Bob Dylan

From This Land Press | 07:40

Jeff Martin, This Land’s fiction editor, tells us about the time he met Bob Dylan behind Cain’s Ballroom. Dylan’s fingernails left a lasting impression.

Bob_by_ben_salter_small_small Jeff Martin, This Land’s fiction editor, tells us about the time he met Bob Dylan behind Cain’s Ballroom. Dylan’s fingernails left a lasting impression.

It Started with a Crush

From This Land Press | 17:36

Ron Padgett is a poet, translator, and memoirist from Tulsa. He left for New York in 1960 to find inspiration from poets like Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara. Last year Ron released Collected Poems, a tome collecting five decades of his work.

In this segment, Ron reads to us from his Collected Poems, then tells us where his first poem came from and what Allen Ginsberg used to do with tomatoes.

1068420494_78a1c871d8_b_small Ron Padgett is a poet, translator, and memoirist from Tulsa. He left for New York in 1960 to find inspiration from poets like Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara. Last year Ron released Collected Poems, a tome collecting five decades of his work. In this segment, Ron reads to us from his Collected Poems, then tells us where his first poem came from and what Allen Ginsberg used to do with tomatoes.

Plane Wreck at Los Gatos: Finding Woody's Deportees

From This Land Press | 13:26

What do you call someone who breaks the law by crossing the border into the United States? An illegal? An alien? Jesús? In 1948, Woody Guthrie asked a similar question when a plane carrying four Americans and 28 Mexican nationals crashed in California. News coverage of the crash identified the Americans, while the Mexicans went unnamed.

Here, Abby Wendle tells the story of two men who fought to restore the identities of these “Deportees.”

Screen-shot-2014-03-27-at-10 What do you call someone who breaks the law by crossing the border into the United States? An illegal? An alien? Jesús? In 1948, Woody Guthrie asked a similar question when a plane carrying four Americans and 28 Mexican nationals crashed in California. News coverage of the crash identified the Americans, while the Mexicans went unnamed. Here, Abby Wendle tells the story of two men who fought to restore the identities of these “Deportees.”

The Queen and the King

From This Land Press | 03:48

Wanda Jackson talks about dating Elvis Presley and becoming the Queen of Rockabilly.

We_small Wanda Jackson talks about dating Elvis Presley and becoming the Queen of Rockabilly.

In the Negro Leagues

From This Land Press | 03:50

Porter Reed is one of two former Negro League baseball players still alive today in Oklahoma. Here, he talks about growing up in the sandlots of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and life as a black athlete in a segregated America.

1947_kansas_city_monarchs_small Porter Reed is one of two former Negro League baseball players still alive today in Oklahoma. Here, he talks about growing up in the sandlots of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and life as a black athlete in a segregated America.

Gorilla, Guerilla

From This Land Press | 07:27

An Okie travels to the African mountains to see Dian Fossey's gorillas, but forgets to turn off her flash.

Lacitadelle_jungle_small An Okie travels to the African mountains to see Dian Fossey's gorillas, but forgets to turn off her flash.

Holy Ghost All Over You

From This Land Press | 04:56

Bishop Carlton Pearson once led one of the largest megachurches in the country. But when he stopped preaching about hell, he lost it all. Now he preaches the gospel of tolerance to a mega Web congregation. Here, Pearson recalls the first time the Holy Ghost woke him up and made him dance.

Church_reallyboring_small Bishop Carlton Pearson once led one of the largest megachurches in the country. But when he stopped preaching about hell, he lost it all. Now he preaches the gospel of tolerance to a mega Web congregation. Here, Pearson recalls the first time the Holy Ghost woke him up and made him dance.

So Long Johnny Cale

From This Land Press | Part of the The Short So Long series | 05:16

JJ Cale was best known for writing hits for Eric Clapton and Waylon Jennings. Neil Young famously called him one of the two best electric guitar players ever. The other being Jimi Hendrix.
Cale was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in Tulsa. He died earlier this year at the age of 74. Abby Wendle spoke with his long time friend and part time harmonica player, Jimmy Markham, about Cale's natural swagger and his distaste for fame.

Jjcale_3_small JJ Cale was best known for writing hits for Eric Clapton and Waylon Jennings. Neil Young famously called him one of the two best electric guitar players ever. The other being Jimi Hendrix. Cale was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in Tulsa. He died earlier this year at the age of 74. Abby Wendle spoke with his long time friend and part time harmonica player, Jimmy Markham, about Cale's natural swagger and his distaste for fame.

Sister Helen Prejean Passes Through

From This Land Press | Part of the Just Passing Through series | 04:15

Sister Helen Prejean, of "Dead Man Walking" fame, discusses her spiritual awakening and the problems she has with how wealthier people look down on the working class.

Sr_prejean_speaks_to_tu_law_students_image_by_abby_wendle_small Sister Helen Prejean, of "Dead Man Walking" fame, discusses her spiritual awakening and the problems she has with how wealthier people look down on the working class.

Jazz on a Diamond-Needle Hi-Fi

From This Land Press | Part of the Poetry to the People series | 02:29

Deborah J. Hunter's poem "Jazz on a Diamond-Needle Hi-Fi" is performed live in Central Park by jazz musicians Tin Pan. Full poem below.

Tin_pan_performing_in_central_park_small Deborah J. Hunter's poem "Jazz on a Diamond-Needle Hi-Fi" is performed live in Central Park by Tin Pan. Full poem below.

"Jazz on a Diamond-Needle Hi-Fi"
by Deborah J. Hunter

Mama dropped the needle and my heart jumped.
It was fascinating, titillating,
be-boppin’, foot stompin’, traffic stoppin’, biscuit soppin’,
donut dippin’, daytrippin’, corn sippin’,
make me wanna shout,
cuss somebody out;
it was without a doubt,
the most sinfully rappin’, toe-tappin’,
thigh slappin’, happenin’ event.

It was the sun risin’, moon smilin’,
bees hummin’, lovers comin’,
mamas cryin’, souls dyin’,
life goin’ on
goin’ on
goin’ on.

It was Coltrane shatterin’ shackles,
Bird making the night air moan,
Dizzy gettin’ busy with the brass,
Brubeck redefining time,
Miles moving mountains meter by meter,
Ella bouncing lightning bolts off the sky.

It was jazz.
Ooh, jazz.
Yeah, jazz.
It was ss-ss-ss-ss-ss-ss

jazz.


Tulsa resident Deborah J. Hunter is an award-winning poet, spoken-word performance artist, and actor. Since 1997, she has facilitated poetry workshops and worked as a poet-in-residence in schools and community programs across the state. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, and her chapbooks include The Red Shoes and Other Poems from the Edge. 

Stringtown Prison Blues

From This Land Press | Part of the Poetry to the People series | 03:37

Former inmates and activist Mary McAnally read "Stringtown Prison Blues" and discuss their experiences with the penal system. Full transcript of poem included below.

Hand_around_bar_small

Activist Mary McAnally and former inmates read "Stringtown Prison Blues" and discuss their experiences with the penal system. Full transcript of poem included below:

This time is so hard to do here, I think I’ll go and pray.
I say this time is so hard to do here, I think I’ll just go and pray.
But someone just tol me gawd went on a holiday.

In Stringtown Prison the men number four-one-eight.
Yeah, I say in Stringtown Prison the men number four hundred, one-eight.
Cross this lonely country, 418 women wait.

Oh I’m so lonely Lord, I wish somebody would write.
I say I’m so lonely Lord, I wish somebody would just write.
Let the dog bark in the envelope and even that’ll be all right.

Well you and I are the only ones left baby, the only ones left alive.
Yeah baby, I say you and I are the only two goddam people left alive.
And now here you are telling me that I should take a dive.

This place is a cemetery, folks, each cell a cold tombstone.
I say this place is a cemetery, people, and each cell is a cold tombstone.
The spirit of decay just seeps deep into your bone.

My baby says she wrote me, and I know what she says is true.
Yeah, my baby says she wrote me, and I know what she says is true.
But somebody robbed the stagecoach carrying the mail and now what’m I gonna do?

Lord it was better when I had some wine to drink.
Yes Lord, it was a helluva lot better when I had some cheap wine to drink.
But now I ain’t got wine but only time to sit and think.

Yes Lord, I’m out of marijuana, out of uppers too.
I say I’m clean outta marijuana, and out of uppers too.
The guards are on a rampage, and boy am I sure blue.

Gonna leave this joint one day folks, and I ain’t lookin’ back.
Say I’m gonna leave this joint one day folks and ain’t ever lookin’ back.
Gonna catch the next thing rollin’ and hope it don’t jump the track.


From Warning: Hitch Hikers May Be Escaping Convicts, 1980, Moonlight Publications.

Paula Poundstone

From This Land Press | Part of the Just Passing Through series | 02:36

Paula Poundstone has been criss-crossing the country performing as a stand-up comic since she was in her late teens. As a result of traveling so frequently, Poundstone remembers little about the cities she visits. Take a listen as Poundstone turns her unique brand of amnesia into -- what else -- a joke.

Paula_poundstone_small Paula Poundstone has been criss-crossing the country performing as a stand-up comic since she was in her late teens. As a result of traveling so frequently, Poundstone remembers little about the cities she visits. Take a listen as Poundstone turns her unique brand of amnesia into -- what else -- a joke.

History Under Oath

From This Land Press | Part of the The Sound of Our Land series | 04:34

In the early 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan had been so active in Tulsa, Oklahoma - doing everything from holding parades to organizing lynch mobs - that the Governor of the state declared martial law in August of 1923. A month later, the National Guard launched an investigation into the Klan's activities - over 700 people testified. Tate Brady, a prominent businessman in Tulsa at the time, was called to the stand to discuss his role in the Klan.

Tatebrady1_small In the early 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan had been so active in Tulsa, Oklahoma - doing everything from holding parades to organizing lynch mobs - that the Governor of the state declared martial law in August of 1923. A month later, the National Guard launched an investigation into the Klan's activities - over 700 people testified. Tate Brady, a prominent businessman in Tulsa at the time, was called to the stand to discuss his role in the Klan.

Plain Terror

From This Land Press | Part of the The Sound of Our Land series | 05:21

Oklahoma is considered a conservative state these days. But in the early 1900s, Oklahoma had an active leftist movement. Equally active was the Ku Klux Klan, organizing to squelch the growing power of the socialists and the working class. Here we have a story from Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, about her grandfather's involvement in the socialist party in Piedmont, Oklahoma and as a labor organizer for the Industrial Worker's of the World. Dunbar-Ortiz is a native Oklahoman, author of Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie and a retired history professor from California State University at Hayward.

Roxie__age_10_small Oklahoma is considered a conservative state these days. But in the early 1900s, Oklahoma had an active leftist movement. Equally active was the Ku Klux Klan, organizing to squelch the growing power of the socialists and the working class. Here we have a story from Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, about her grandfather's involvement in the socialist party in Piedmont, Oklahoma and as a labor organizer for the Industrial Worker's of the World. Dunbar-Ortiz is a native Oklahoman, author of Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie and a retired history professor from California State University at Hayward.

Honesty

From Carla Seidl | 03:19

A West African folktale in which dishonesty is revealed through a dance competition.

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Honesty
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Carla_in_farende_small "L'honnêteté," or "Honesty," is a West African folktale that treats themes of corruption and trust. It was told in French to narrator Carla Seidl by M. Bayamna in Kanté, Togo, in 2010. Seidl later translated it into English and interprets it here. 

Practicing Awareness

From Carla Seidl | 06:37

Students of the shakuhachi flute learn about music, listening, and presence in their daily lives.

Shakuhachi_small Phil Nyokai James teaches shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute, in Portland, Maine. For Phil and his students, the lessons of the shakuhachi extend beyond the music to teach them about listening and presence in their daily lives. Produced while Seidl was a student at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

From a review by Hal Sokolow, January 29, 2008:

***** Contemplative, Inspiring, Thoughtful

Excellent opportunity to stop, not look, just listen. My favorite reflection brought up in this narrative is (paraphrased): Don't ask yourself "What should you do today, but how should you be today." This statement can be debated just like a chicken-or-the-egg question, however it's sufficient that its phrasing can stir thinking. It puts life in a somewhat different perspecitve and focus. What are our priorities? What should be our priorities? Where should we start? Overall, this submission's short collection of sounds, music and comments, effectively draws you in to the simple, yet often overlooked, portal to the world of sounds, environmental and self produced, that can take you to a different state of awareness, a peaceful meditative state where nothing needs to be done, and everything can be noticed, absorbed, and appreciated. Through a combination of soft meditative background music and insightful musings, the listener is rewarded with a light pathway towards heavier meanings.

This I Believe - Studs Terkel

From This I Believe | 03:52

Acclaimed oral historian Studs Terkel believes when it comes to action, there is strength in numbers.

Tiblogobluesmallrgb_small HOST INTRO: Studs Terkel has spent a life listening to other people's stories, and passing them on. It has been his way of encountering the world. We wanted to turn the microphone on him, to hear the story of HIS beliefs. So, here is Pulitizer Prize-winning oral historian Studs Terkel with his essay for This I Believe. ESSAY TEXT: My own beliefs, my personal beliefs, came into being during the most traumatic moment in American history, the Great American Depression of the 1930s. I was 17 at the time, and I saw on the sidewalks pots and pans and bedsteads and mattresses. A family had just been evicted and there was an individual cry of despair, multiplied by millions. But that community had a number of people on that very block who were electricians and plumbers and carpenters and they appeared that same evening, the evening of the eviction, and moved these household goods back into the flat where they had been. They turned on the gas; they fixed the plumbing. It was a community in action accomplishing something. And this is my belief, too: that it's the community in action that accomplishes more than any individual does, no matter how strong he may be. Einstein once observed that westerners have a feeling the individual loses his freedom if he joins, say, a union or any group. Precisely the opposite's the case. The individual discovers his strength as an individual because he has along the way discovered others share his feelings, he is not alone; and thus a community is formed. You might call it the prescient community or the prophetic community. It's always been there. And I must say, it has always paid its dues, too. The community of the '30s and '40s and the Depression, fighting for rights of laborers, and the rights of women, and the rights of all people who are different from the majority, always paid their dues. But it was their presence as well as their prescience that made for whatever progress we have made. And that's what Tom Paine meant when he said: "Freedom has been hunted around the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. In such a situation, man becomes what he ought to be." Still quoting Tom Paine: "He sees his species not with the inhuman idea of a natural enemy" - you're either with us or against us, no. "He sees his species as kindred." And that happens to be my belief, and I'll put it into three words: community in action.

This I Believe - Aldous Huxley

From This I Believe | Part of the Edward R. Murrow's This I Believe series | 04:31

Novelist Aldous Huxley talks about self-knowledge and the power of change.

Default-piece-image-0 British born novelist Aldous Huxley is best know for his 1932 book, Brave New World. His themes usually explored humanism, mysticism, science, philosophy and social commentary. After moving to Hollywood 1937, Huxley became a successful screenwriter. TRANSCRIPT: In every one of the higher religions, there is a strain of infinite optimism on the one hand and on the other, a profound pessimism. In the depths of our being, they all teach there is an inner light, but an inner light which our egotism keeps, for most of the time, in a state of more or less complete eclipse. If, however, it so desires, the ego can get out of the way, so to speak, can diseclipse the light and become identified with its divine source, hence the unlimited optimism of the traditional religions. Their pessimism springs from the observed fact that though all are called, few are chosen for the sufficient reason that few choose to be chosen. To me, this older conception of man?s nature and destiny seems more realistic, more nearly in accord with the given facts than any form of modern utopianism. In the Lord?s Prayer, we are taught to ask for the blessing which consists in not being led into temptation. The reason is only too obvious. When temptations are very great or unduly prolonged, most persons succumb to them. To devise a perfect social order is probably beyond our powers, but I believe that it is perfectly possible for us to reduce the number of dangerous temptations to a level far below that which is tolerated at the present time. A society so arranged that there shall be a minimum of dangerous temptations?this is the end towards which, as a citizen, I have to strive. In my efforts to achieve that end, I can make use of a great variety of means. Do good ends justify the use of intrinsically bad means? On the level of theity, the point can be argued indefinitely. In practice, meanwhile, I find that the means employed invariably determine the nature of the end achieved. Indeed, as Mahatma Gandhi was never tired of insisting, the means are the end in its preliminary stages. Men have put forth enormous efforts to make their world a better place to live in. But except in regard to gadgets, plumbing, and hygiene, their success has been pathetically small. Hell, as the proverb has it, is paved with good intentions. And so long as we go on trying to realize our ideals by bad or merely inappropriate means, our good intentions will come to the same bad ends. In this consists the tragedy and the irony of history. Can I, as an individual, do anything to make future history a little less tragic and less ironic than history past, and present? I believe I can. As a citizen, I can use all my intelligence and all my goodwill to develop political means that shall be of the same kind and quality as the ideal ends which I am trying to achieve. And as a person, as a psychophysical organism, I can learn how to get out of the way so that the divine source of my life and consciousness can come out of eclipse and shine through me.

This I Believe - Thomas Mann

From This I Believe | Part of the Edward R. Murrow's This I Believe series | 04:30

Thomas Mann talks about faith, integrity, and creativity.

Default-piece-image-2 Nobel prizing-winning author Thomas Mann was noted for his examination and critique of the European and German soul in the first half of the twentieth century. Noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist, his major works include Death in Venice, The Magic Mountain, and Doctor Faustus. TRANSCRIPT: What I believe, what I value most, is transitoriness. But is not transitoriness--the perishableness of life--something very sad? No! It is the very soul of existence. It imparts value, dignity, interest to life. Transitoriness creates time--and ?time is the essence.? Potentially at least, time is the supreme, most useful gift. Time is related to--yes, identical with--everything creative and active, with every progress toward a higher goal. Without transitoriness, without beginning or end, birth or death, there is no time, either. Timelessness--in the sense of time never ending, never beginning--is a stagnant nothing. It is absolutely uninteresting. Life is possessed by tremendous tenacity. Even so, its presence remains conditional, and as it had a beginning, so it will have an end. I believe that life, just for this reason, is exceedingly enhanced in value, in charm. One of the most important characteristics distinguishing man from all other forms of nature is his knowledge of transitoriness, of beginning and end, and therefore of the gift of time. In man, transitory life attains its peak of animation, of soul power, so to speak. This does not mean man alone would have a soul. Soul quality pervades all beings. But man?s soul is most awake in his knowledge of the interchangeability of the terms ?existence? and ?transitoriness.? To man, time is given like a piece of land, as it were, entrusted to him for faithful tilling; a space in which to strive incessantly, achieve self-realization, move onward and upward. Yes, with the aid of time, man becomes capable of wresting the immortal from the mortal. Deep down, I believe--and deem such belief natural to every human soul--that in the universe, prime significance must be attributed to this earth of ours. Deep down, I believe that creation of the universe out of nothingness and that of life out of inorganic state ultimately aimed at the creation of man. I believe that man is meant as a great experiment whose possible failure by man?s own guilt would be paramount to the failure of creation itself. Whether this belief be true or not, man would be well-advised if he behaved as though it were.

This I Believe - Edward Murrow

From This I Believe | Part of the Edward R. Murrow's This I Believe series | 04:25

Murrow talks about values in the media and introduces the concept of the show.

Default-piece-image-0 Edward R. Murrow was the host of the original This I Believe series, which aired daily on nearly 200 radio stations in the U.S. from 1951 to 1955. Murrow rose to prominence for his radio reports from London during World War II. In the early 1950s, Murrow helped bring news, interview and documentary programming to the new medium of television with shows like See it Now, Person to Person and Small World. TRANSCRIPT: Originally broadcast in 1951. This I Believe. By that name, we present the personal philosophies of thoughtful men and women in all walks of life. In this brief space, a banker or a butcher, a painter or a social worker, people of all kinds who need have nothing more in common than integrity, a real honesty, will write about the rules they live by, the things they have found to be the basic values in their lives. We hardly need to be reminded that we are living in an age of confusion?a lot of us have traded in our beliefs for bitterness and cynicism or for a heavy package of despair, or even a quivering portion of hysteria. Opinions can be picked up cheap in the market place while such commodities as courage and fortitude and faith are in alarmingly short supply. Around us all, now high like a distant thunderhead, now close upon us with the wet choking intimacy of a London fog, there is an enveloping cloud of fear. There is a physical fear, the kind that drives some of us to flee our homes and burrow into the ground in the bottom of a Montana valley like prairie dogs, to try to escape, if only for a little while, the sound and the fury of the A-bombs or the hell-bombs, or whatever may be coming. There is a mental fear, which provokes others of us to see the images of witches in a neighbor?s yard and stampedes us to burn down this house. And there is a creeping fear of doubt, doubt of what we have been taught, of the validity of so many things we had long since taken for granted to be durable and unchanging. It has become more difficult than ever to distinguish black from white, good from evil, right from wrong. What truths can a human being afford to furnish the cluttered nervous room of his mind with, when he has no real idea how long a lease he has on the future? It is to try to meet the challenge of such questions that we have prepared these pieces. It has been a difficult task and a delicate one. Except for those who think in terms of pious platitudes or dogma or narrow prejudice (and those thoughts we aren?t interested in), people don?t speak their beliefs easily, or publicly. In a way, our project has been an invasion of privacy, like demanding that a man let a stranger read his mail. General Lucius Clay remarked that it would hardly be less embarrassing for an individual to be forced to disrobe in public than to unveil his private philosophy. Mrs. Roosevelt hesitated a long time. ?What can I possibly say that will be of any value to anybody else?? she asked us. And a railway executive in Philadelphia argued at first that he might as well try to engrave the Lord?s Prayer on the head of a pin as to attempt to discuss anything thoughtfully in the space of five minutes. Yet these people and many more have all made distinctive contributions of their beliefs to the series. You will hear from that inspiring woman, Helen Keller, who despite her blindness, has lived a far richer life than most of us; from author Pearl Buck; sculptor William Zorach: businessmen and labor leaders, teachers and students. Perhaps we should warn you that there is one thing you won?t read, and that is a pat answer for the problems of life. We don?t pretend to make this a spiritual or psychological patent-medicine chest where one can come and get a pill of wisdom, to be swallowed like an aspirin, to banish the headaches of our times. This reporter?s beliefs are in a state of flux. It would be easier to enumerate the items I do not believe in, than the other way around. And yet in talking to people, in listening to them, I have come to realize that I don?t have a monopoly on the world?s problems. Others have their share, often far bigger than mine. This has helped me to see my own in truer perspective: and in learning how others have faced their problems--this has given me fresh ideas about how to tackle mine.

This I Believe - Muhammad Ali

From This I Believe | Part of the This I Believe series | 02:54

To be the “Greatest of All Time,” boxing legend Muhammad Ali says you have to believe in yourself.

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HOST:  Today on This I Believe, we hear from former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.  Beyond his athletic achievements, he's known for his irrepressible personality, his public conversion to Islam, his resistance to the Vietnam War, and his humanitarian efforts around the world.  Ali worked on his statement with his wife, Lonnie.  They discussed with family members the stories and lessons of Ali's life.  And because his speech and motor skills are affected by Parkinson's Disease, Ali asked his wife to read the essay out loud for him.  But we also left a recorder at their house so, when his voice was strong, Ali could speak a few words of introduction. Here are Lonnie and Muhammad Ali with his essay for This I Believe.  

MUHAMMAD ALI:  I’m Muhammad Ali, and this I believe.

LONNIE ALI:   have always believed in myself, even as a young child growing up in Louisville, Ky.  My parents instilled a sense of pride and confidence in me, and taught me and my brother that we could be the best at anything.  I must have believed them because I remember being the neighborhood marble champion and challenging my neighborhood buddies to see who could jump the tallest hedges or run a foot race the length of the block. Of course I knew when I made the challenge that I would win.  I never even thought of losing.

In high school I boasted weekly—if not daily—that one day I was going to be the heavy weight champion of the world. As part of my boxing training, I would run down Fourth Street in downtown Louisville, darting in and out of local shops, taking just enough time to tell them I was training for the Olympics and I was going to win a gold medal. And when I came back home I was going to turn pro and become the world heavyweight champion in boxing.  I never thought of the possibility of failing—only of the fame and glory I was going to get when I won. I could see it.  I could almost feel it.  When I proclaimed that I was the “Greatest of All Time,” I believed in myself.   And still do.

Throughout my entire boxing career, my belief in my abilities triumphed over the skill of an opponent. My will was stronger than their skills. What I didn’t know was that my will would be tested even more when I retired.

In 1984, I was conclusively diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Since that diagnosis, my symptoms have increased and my ability to speak in audible tones has diminished.  If there was anything that would strike at the core of my confidence in myself, it would be this insidious disease. But my confidence and will to continue to live life as I choose won’t be compromised.

Early in 1996, I was asked to light the cauldron at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.  Of course my immediate answer was yes. I never even thought of having Parkinson’s or what physical challenges that would present for me. 

When the moment came for me to walk out on the 140-foot high scaffolding and take the torch from Janet Evans, I realized I had the eyes of the world on me. I also realized that as I held the Olympic torch high above my head, my tremors had taken over.  Just at that moment, I heard a rumble in the stadium that became a pounding roar and then turned into a deafening applause. I was reminded of my 1960 Olympic experience in Rome, when I won the gold medal.  Those 36 years between Rome and Atlanta flashed before me and I realized that I had come full circle.  

Nothing in life has defeated me. I am still the “Greatest.” This I believe.

MUHAMMAD ALI:  I’m still the greatest of all time. This I Believe.

This I Believe - Brian Eno

From This I Believe | Part of the This I Believe series | 03:54

English musician Brian Eno believes group singing is good for the mind, body, spirit and community.

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HOST: Our This I Believe essay today comes from artist, producer, and musician Brian Eno (EE-noe).  Eno is known as the father of ambient music, and he's collaborated with musicians like David Byrne, Bono, David Bowie, and Paul Simon.  We recorded Eno one evening in the London flat where he keeps his recording studio.   Here's Brian Eno with his essay for This I Believe.

ENO: I believe in singing.  I believe in singing together.

A few years ago a friend and I realized that we both loved singing but didn't do much of it.  So we started a weekly a capella group with just four members.  After a year we started inviting other people to join.  We didn't insist on musical experience-in fact some of our members had never sung before.  Now the group has ballooned to around 15 or 20 people.

I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness, and a better sense of humor.  A recent long-term study conducted in Scandinavia sought to discover which activities related to a healthy and happy later life.  Three stood out:  camping, dancing and singing.

Well, there are physiological benefits, obviously:  You use your lungs in a way that you probably don't for the rest of your day, breathing deeply and openly.  And there are psychological benefits, too:  Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness.  And then there are what I would call "civilizational benefits."  When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community.  That's one of the great feelings-to stop being me for a little while, and to become us.  That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.

Well here's what we do in an evening:  We get some drinks, some snacks, some sheets of lyrics and a strict starting time.  We warm up a bit first.

The critical thing turns out to be the choice of songs.  The songs that seem to work best are those based around the basic chords of blues and rock and country music.  You want songs that are word-rich, but also vowel-rich because it's on the long vowels sounds of a song such as "Bring It On Home To Me" ("You know I'll alwaaaaays be your slaaaaave"), that's where your harmonies really express themselves.  And when you get a lot of people singing harmony on a long note like that, it's beautiful.

But singing isn't only about harmonizing pitch like that.  It has two other dimensions.  The first one is rhythm.  It's thrilling when you get the rhythm of something right and you all do a complicated rhythm together:  "Oh, when them cotton ball get a-rotten, you can't pick very much cotton."   So when 16 or 20 people get that dead right together at a fast tempo that's very impressive.  But the other thing that you have to harmonize besides pitch and rhythm is tone.  To be able to hit exactly the same vowel sound at a number of different pitches seems unsurprising in concept, but is beautiful when it happens.

So I believe in singing to such an extent that if I were asked to redesign the British educational system, I would start by insisting that group singing become a central part of the daily routine.  I believe it builds character and, more than anything else, encourages a taste for co-operation with others.  This seems to be about the most important thing a school could do for you.

This I Believe - Yo-Yo Ma

From This I Believe | Part of the This I Believe series | 03:06

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma believes in embracing many cultures and finding something to love in each of them.

Tiblogosmall_small HOST: For our This I Believe essay today, we hear from one of the world's most accomplished and versatile musicians, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The recipient of 15 Grammy Awards, Yo-Yo Ma has the ability to speak, musically, to audiences all over the world. The range of his musical interest is echoed in his belief in crossing borders, boundaries, and even identity. Here is Yo-Yo Ma with his essay for This I Believe. MA: I believe in the infinite variety of human expression. I grew up in three cultures: I was born in Paris, my parents were from China and I was brought up mostly in America. When I was young, this was very confusing: everyone said that their culture was best, but I knew they couldn't all be right. I felt that there was an expectation that I would choose to be Chinese or French or American. For many years I bounced among the three, trying on each but never being wholly comfortable. I hoped I wouldn't have to choose, but I didn't know what that meant and how exactly to "not choose." However, the process of trying on each culture taught me something. As I struggled to belong, I came to understand what made each one unique. At that point, I realized that I didn't need to choose one culture to the exclusion of another, but instead I could choose from all three. The values I selected would become part of who I was, but no one culture needed to win. I could honor the cultural depth and longevity of my Chinese heritage, while feeling just as passionate about the deep artistic traditions of the French and the American commitment to opportunity and the future. So, rather than settling on any one of the cultures in which I grew up, I now choose to explore many more cultures and find elements to love in each. Every day I make an effort to go toward what I don't understand. This wandering leads to the accidental learning that continually shapes my life. As I work in music today, I try to implement this idea-that the music I play, like me, doesn't belong to only one culture. In recent years, I have explored many musical traditions. Along the way, I have met musicians who share a belief in the creative power that exists at the intersection of cultures. These musicians have generously become my guides to their traditions. Thanks to them and their music I have found new meaning in my own music making. It is extraordinary the way people, music and cultures develop. The paths and experiences that guide them are unpredictable. Shaped by our families, neighborhoods, cultures and countries, each of us ultimately goes through this process of incorporating what we learn with who we are and who we seek to become. As we struggle to find our individual voices, I believe we must look beyond the voice we've been assigned, and find our place among the tones and timbre of human expression.

This I Believe - Mary Chapin Carpenter

From This I Believe | Part of the This I Believe series | 03:53

Singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter believes in valuing the simple blessings each day brings.

Tiblogosmall_small HOST: Today, on This I Believe, we hear from singer-songwriter, Mary Chapin Carpenter, who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Carpenter has won 5 Grammy Awards and sold 13-million records, and yet she says she discovered her belief in difficulty, not success. CARPENTER: I believe in what I learned at the grocery store. Eight weeks ago I was released from the hospital after suffering a pulmonary embolism. I had just finished a tour and a week after returning home, severe chest pain and terrible breathlessness landed me in the ER. A scan revealed blood clots in my lungs. Everyone told me how lucky I was. A pulmonary embolism can take your life in an instant. I was familiar enough with the medical term, but not familiar with the pain, the fear and the depression that followed. Everything I had been looking forward to came to a screeching halt. I had to cancel my upcoming tour. I had to let my musicians and crewmembers go. The record company, the booking agency: I felt that I had let everyone down. But there was nothing to do but get out of the hospital, go home and get well. I tried hard to see my unexpected time off as a gift, but I would open a novel and couldn't concentrate. I would turn on the radio, then shut if off. Familiar clouds gathered above my head, and I couldn't make them go away with a pill or a movie or a walk. This unexpected time was becoming a curse, filling me with anxiety, fear and self-loathing -- all of the ingredients of the darkness that is depression. Sometimes, it's the smile of a stranger that helps. Sometimes it's a phone call from a long absent friend, checking on you. I found my lifeline at the grocery store. One morning, the young man who rang up my groceries and asked me if I wanted paper or plastic also told me to enjoy the rest of my day. I looked at him and I knew he meant it. It stopped me in my tracks. I went out and I sat in my car and cried. What I want more than ever is to appreciate that I have this day, and tomorrow and hopefully days beyond that. I am experiencing the learning curve of gratitude. I don't want to say "have a nice day" like a robot. I don't want to get mad at the elderly driver in front of me. I don't want to go crazy when my Internet access is messed up. I don't want to be jealous of someone else's success. You could say that this litany of sins indicates that I don't want to be human. The learning curve of gratitude, however, is showing me exactly how human I am. I don't know if my doctors will ever be able to give me the precise reason why I had a life-threatening illness. I do know that the young man in the grocery store reminded me that every day is all there is, and that is my belief. Tonight I will cook dinner, tell my husband how much I love him, curl up with the dogs, watch the sun go down over the mountains and climb into bed. I will think about how uncomplicated it all is. I will wonder at how it took me my entire life to appreciate just one day.

This I Believe - Bela Fleck

From This I Believe | Part of the This I Believe series | 02:53

In life and in music, banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck believes in figuring out his own way of doing things.

Tiblogobluesmallrgb_small HOST: When artists write for our series, they tend toward a belief in the creative spirit. This is true for banjo player Bela Fleck too, but he partially derives his belief from his grandfather, who applied HIS creativity to things other than art ... things like plumbing. No matter, says Fleck, personal inventiveness is what's important to him. Here is Bela Fleck with his essay for This I Believe. FLECK: I believe in figuring out my own way to do things. This approach can yield great results, but it?s got its negative sides. Much of my individualist, bone-headed nature comes from my grandfather. Opa grew up in New York's rough and tumble Lower East Side, didn't go to college, but owned and ran two successful businesses: a restaurant and a car wash. He figured out what he wanted to do, and how to do it without studying a manual. He used his own creativity to solve problems as they came up. After he died, realtors tried to sell his home. They discovered he had devised his own way of hooking up the septic system. No one could figure out how it worked, so it couldn't pass codes. But it worked and for many years beyond his time. Sometimes I wonder if my banjo playing would pass codes. I didn't learn to play bluegrass, classical music or jazz in school. I took banjo lessons from some of the best, but my breakthrough moments came when I left the lesson plans. I remember seeing jazz great Chick Corea when I was 17. There was a moment of revelation when I realized that all the notes he was playing had to exist on my banjo. I went home and stayed up most of the night, figuring out the scales, modes and arpeggios for myself, mapping out the banjo fingerboard in my own way. When I perform with my own group, my map of the banjo is all I need. But when I move into more conventional jazz or classical situations, I don't always have the tools to fit in. I can barely read music. I don't thoroughly understand the conventions of each tradition and I?m not sure how to voice jazz chords?which notes to leave out, how the scales work, all the rhythmic concepts. I heard that when George Gershwin wanted to study harmony from Ravel, he was advised against it. Ravel felt that Gershwin would obliterate the very thing that made him special by learning conventional approaches to rhythm and harmony. I?d like to think that the same is true for me, but I?m not convinced. I worry that my approach might not be built on a strong enough musical foundation. It?s this fear that allows me no rest in my musical pursuits. When I?m at work--whether it is writing, practicing, or editing and mixing CDs?I obsess. To say that I am picky is an understatement. Delegating is pretty much impossible; I can be downright controlling. I have to get everything just right. Then, one day, the intensity disappears. This usually means the project is done. My grandfather didn?t seem to worry that he was making it up as he went along, and I try not to either. I believe in living with and giving into my obsessive side when it serves the music. I believe in doing things my own way, and I want them to last, just like my grandfather?s plumbing.

Shopping Your Way to Hell

From Nathan Callahan | Part of the The SoCal Byte series | 06:20

Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of South Coast Plaza, I Fear No Evil

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As a member of Reverend Billy’s Church of Stop Shopping, I recognize the Devil in corporate commercialism where I see it; how this devil inhabits nearly every aspect of our 21st century lives; how the sign of the brand has replaced the holy spirit; how we are christened consumers rather than citizens; how our public spaces, our information, our history, our laws are all subjugated to the forces of the money market, where the endless treadmill of consumption defines human progress.  Money may not be the root of all evil, but it’s a good place to start looking. 

This I Believe - Loudon Wainwright III

From This I Believe | Part of the This I Believe series | 03:04

Musician Loudon Wainwright III believes the joy in writing a song comes from the mystery of its creation.

Default-piece-image-1 HOST: What you believe is distinct from what you know. Belief contains mystery. People who write for our series often tell us that in the process of naming their beliefs, they find themselves in uncharted terrain. That's okay with singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III ? the not knowing is what's important to him. Here he is with his essay for This I Believe. ESSAY: Here?s a question: How do you believe in a mystery, in something you don?t understand and can?t prove? When we?re children we?re encouraged to believe in some mysterious things that turn out to not necessarily be true at all, things like The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, or The Flag. Naturally we?re disappointed after our illusions have been shattered but usually we get over it. Some of us, however, become skeptical, even cynical, after that. I?ve been asked on many occasions how I write my songs. Often I?ll glibly reply, ?I sure don?t wake up in the morning and sharpen pencils.? Then I?ll admit how lazy and lucky I am, and how successful and downright great some of the more notorious pencil sharpeners have been?two of my heroes Frank Loesser and Irving Berlin being among them. If I?m feeling expansive I?ll bring up the mysterious aspect, the mere five to 10 percent that matters the most, what?s commonly called the inspiration. That?s the thing beyond the technique and the discipline, when the sharpening and the gnawing stop, and something, as they say, ?comes to you.? It?s a bit like fishing, really. There?s certainly luck involved but maybe what you took for laziness was (and I?m going out on a limb here) a sort of divine relaxation. When I write what I consider to be a good song, when I realize it?s going to hang together, when I somehow manage to get it into the boat, so to speak, I invariably find myself looking upwards and thanking something or even, dare I say it, Someone. If I?m alone my heartfelt thank you is often an audible one. Oh, yes, I?ve been known to mutter a few words at the head of the table at Thanksgiving dinner, or hoarsely whisper an ?amen? at a wedding, funeral or Christmas pageant, but usually it is just embarrassed lip service. As a rule I don?t give thanks at a dinner table or in a church pew. For me, it happens when I?ve been hunched over a guitar for a few hours I believe in the power of inspiration, in the mysterious gift of creation: Creation with a small ?c,? that is, creation as in one?s work, hauling in the day?s catch. When I write a song, I?m happy for a few days and it?s not just because I?ve been reassured that I still have a job, though that?s certainly part of it. Mostly I?m happy, I think, because I?ve experienced a real mystery. I haven?t the slightest idea how it happened or where or from whom or what it came. I?d prefer not to know. In fact, I?d prefer not to talk about it anymore. It might scare the fish away.

Listening at the Border

From jay45 group | 16:38

Former audio spy recounts his activites and the price he paid.

Lab_small This work examines what it means to monitor airwaves on patrol, listening in from the perspective of a westerner trained in the nuances of a foreign language, navigating the borders of translation. The piece has been created from a series of extensive interviews with a military linguist. His experiences as a spy and translator forever altered his listening skills and informed his desire to become an actor. The piece combines the forms of radio documentary and sound collage, and seeks insight into the psychological, moral, and ethical implications of this listening activity. The segmented version of this program will air on WSIU-FM. Carbondale IL on 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, and 2/11 at 6:33a, 8:33a, 5:29p.

4th of July Fireworks

From Hans Anderson | 03:27

A humorous piece about impressing the neighborhood with your fireworks.

July4_medium_medium_small Humorous piece about setting off fireworks on the 4th. It's good to know going in that this is about Fireworks. Probably should mention that in the intro if you use this piece. One piece is dry (no music bed) the other had some music. Take your pick.

Allen Ginsberg

From Facts About Fiction | :59

One of Allen Ginsberg's first publishers was taken to court for a book that an undercover police officer deemed "not fit for children to read."

Nypl One of Allen Ginsberg's first publishers was taken to court for a book that an undercover police officer deemed "not fit for children to read."

E. E. Cummings & Krazy Kat

From Facts About Fiction | :58

An unusual and irreverent comic strip about a misfit cat served as inspiration to 20th century poet e e cummings.

Felix_krazy_kat_small An unusual and irreverent comic strip about a misfit cat served as inspiration to 20th century poet e e cummings.

Allen Ginsberg - Lyrics

From WGBH Radio Boston | Part of the Moments of America series | :58

Author Alan Ginsberg extols Bob Dylan’s lyrics. (1995)

Default-piece-image-0 Taken from a 1995 interview with the poet for the PBS series "Rock and Roll." (See related moments with Ray Chalres)

Allen Ginsberg - Dylan

From WGBH Radio Boston | Part of the Moments of America series | :52

Author Alan Ginsberg recognizes Bob Dylan as the heir apparent to the Beat poets. (1995)

Default-piece-image-0 Taken from a 1995 interview with the poet for the PBS series "Rock and Roll." (See related moments with Ray Chalres)

Allen Ginsberg and Julian Beck on Reagan, Recordings & Resilience

From Blank on Blank | Part of the Blank on Blank series | 10:05

We came across an amazing tape that was just uncovered in a box in New York City. On tape: legendary Beat Generation poet, Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg brings a tape recorder to his old friend who is battling cancer. You're a fly on the wall during a special moment in time as he goes to the bedside of Julian Beck. It's in intimate audio glimpse inside a decades old friendship that cancer will soon cut short. Surreal. Raw. It's life.

Allen_ginsberg_square_small We came across an amazing tape that was just uncovered in a box in New York City. On tape: legendary Beat Generation poet, Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg brings a tape recorder to his old friend who is battling cancer. You're a fly on the wall during a special moment in time as he goes to the bedside of Julian Beck. It's in intimate audio glimpse inside a decades old friendship that cancer will soon cut short. Surreal. Raw. It's life.

1976 Allen Ginsberg - End Vietnam War

From Naropa University | Part of the Jack Kerouac Disembodied School of Poetics series | 04:16

great pro peace performance by Ginsberg

Default-piece-image-0 Ginsberg in 1976 sings a still relevant, moving, touching poem about peace, the environment, and American imperialism. THIS IS A GEM!!! This piece is from Naropa University Archive's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics collection. Allen Ginsberg founded the Kerouac School, a writing program, in 1974, and for 30 years he brought a group of counter culture writers, artists and thinkers to Boulder for a Summer Program. Naropa's Audio Archive is digitizing 2000 hours of readings, lectures and panel discussions, several hundred hours of which is available for free at www.archive.org. Click through 'audio' to 'naropa' and browse. The piece has never been broadcast - you will be among the first to make this rare recording available to listeners.

Sound Opinions Beat Generation Module

From Sound Opinions | Part of the Sound Opinions Specials series | 05:00

This is a 5-minute segment on the Beat generation's influence on rock.

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In this 5-minute excerpt, Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot speak with Text and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll author Simon Warner about the Beat generation's influence on rock 'n' roll. Warner begins by explaining that the Beat generation of writers were themselves influenced by music. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg tried to mimic the phrasing of Bebop jazz players. As rock music began to move away from its adolescent roots, rockers like Dylan and The Beatles turned to the Beats' personal, poetic writing style as a model for their own "serious" lyric-writing. Finally, Warner makes the case that the Beat influence continues today in the work of artists like Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, who recently scored a film adaptation of Kerouac's Big Sur.


Suggested Host Intro:

In the 1950's and '60s, Beat writers like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs shook up the literary establishment. Impressionistic, stream-of-consciousness works like Kerouac's On the Road and Ginsberg's Howl changed literature forever, but they also changed something else: Music. Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot recently sat down with University of Leeds lecturer Simon Warner. His new book is Text and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture. Warner explained how this "Beat" generation of writers inspired by jazz, ended up influencing generations of rock 'n' rollers.

 

 

A Howl for Literary Freedom

From Dick Meister | 03:30

It was 50 years ago this summer that a judge rejected attempts to ban poet Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" as obscene and virtually ended government book-banning.

Default-piece-image-0 This commentary recalls the trial held 50 years ago this summer that ended with Americans finally winning the legal right to read whatever they want to read. It was the trial in San Francisco of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" that I covered as a young reporter. Government officials had declared the poem "obscene," banned its sale and arrested and put on trial those who published and distributed it . The dramatic trial pitted some of the country's leading literary figures, who deemed "Howl" a masterpiece, against police officers and others who complained that "Howl" contained "dirty words." The trial judge's landmark decision held that only readers had the right to censor literature -- by simply ignoring works that offended them.

Ray Charles - Nat Cole

From WGBH Radio Boston | Part of the Moments of America series | :59

Musician Ray Charles remembers his early career as a Nat “King” Cole sound-alike. (1995)

Default-piece-image-2 Taken from a 1995 interview for the PBS series "Rock and Roll." (See related moments with Allen Ginsberg)

Ray Charles - Child

From WGBH Radio Boston | Part of the Moments of America series | 01:00

Musician Ray Charles explains what kind of music was around him growing up. (1995)

Default-piece-image-2 Taken from a 1995 interview for the PBS series "Rock and Roll." (See related moments with Allen Ginsberg)

Ray Charles - Kinds

From WGBH Radio Boston | Part of the Moments of America series | :59

Musician Ray Charles comments on the labels given to the music he played. (1995)

Default-piece-image-2 Taken from a 1995 interview for the PBS series "Rock and Roll." (See related moments with Allen Ginsberg)

Ray Charles - Teacher

From WGBH Radio Boston | Part of the Moments of America series | 01:58

Musician Ray Charles recalls the frustration he delivered to his early piano teacher. (1995)

Default-piece-image-0 Taken from a 1995 interview for the PBS series "Rock and Roll." (See related moments with Allen Ginsberg)

American Hipster

From With Good Reason | 02:27

Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs—all names you might recognize as poets of the Beat Generation. But a friend and inspiration to all three of them, Herbert Huncke, was, himself, a talented writer. Huncke's life is the subject a new book. Allison Quantz has the story.

American-hipstr_small Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs—all names you might recognize as poets of the Beat Generation. But a friend and inspiration to all three of them, Herbert Huncke, was, himself, a talented writer. Huncke's life is the subject a new book. Allison Quantz has the story.

THE WAY -- Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez Interview

From Andrea Chase | Part of the Behind the Scenes series | 11:58

THE WAY -- Father and son team Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez talk faith, filmmaking, and taking it on the road.

Wayposter_small The seeds of the idea for THE WAY, about a man walking an ancient pilgrimage route with his son's ashes, began years ago when actor Martin Sheen was on vacation with his grandson, Estevez's son, and he wanted to drive the pilgrimage route of El Camino de Santiago in Spain. Over time, the story changed, but the dedication to making the project remained the same. When I spoke to them on August 29, 2011. they were at the beginning of their American pilgrimage, i.e., the cross-country bus tour promoting the film. After discussing whether or not making the film got in the way of their pilgramage, the idea of which provoked a belly laugh from Sheen, the talk turned philosophical with them both weighing in on humankind's visceral need for pilgrimage, both religious and secular, as well as why the film, distinctly Catholic in story, is equally compelling for people of every faith. Even those who are, as Estevez put it, "a work in progress".

Native Roots of Jazz: John Lewis

From KBEM | Part of the Native Roots of Jazz series | 05:00

John Lewis was of Cherokee and Comanche lineage and is best known as the musical director and leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

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Being classically trained, John Lewis' piano style was different from that of most of his contemporaries. As a soloist he depended as much on space and silence as he did on notes to get his message across; and as an accompanist he was likely to play fuguelike counter lines rather than the staccato chords that were standard bebop procedure.
Lewis' favorite form was the fugue, and his compositions commonly combined the element of classical form with collective improvisation. 

MN90: And Now for Something Completely Gilliam

From Ampers | Part of the MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds series | 01:30

Terry Gilliam was the only American member of the legendry British comedy troupe Monty Python. Britt Aamodt has the story of Gilliam’s Minnesota connection.

5_terrygilliam_-_image_small Terry Gilliam was the only American member of the legendry British comedy troupe Monty Python. Britt Aamodt has the story of Gilliam’s Minnesota connection.

Pirate Radio: The Radio Caroline Story

From Ken Mills | Part of the American Voices series | 12:43

Just in time for debut of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's film PIRATE RADIO, here is the true story of RADIO CAROLINE -- grand-daddy of British pirate stations.

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Reporter Ken Mills interviews Johnny Walker, one of the founding DJs of Radio Caroline.

Ice Drip

From Ed Herrmann | Part of the Wake Up and Hear the Roses series | 02:20

the sound of ice dripping

Playing
Ice Drip
From
Ed Herrmann

Shutterstock_172982969_small Solid, cold, meets heat and converts to liquid with a dance of drips. An electronic fantasy.