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

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

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

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Television
2:42 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

For Host Larry Wilmore, A Year Of 'Extraordinary' Highs And 'Humbling' Lows

Larry Wilmore debuts Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Jan. 19.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images for Comedy Central

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 3:12 pm

Larry Wilmore has been consumed with making his new late-night show prime viewing. And he wants to make one thing clear: He has "no desire" to host The Daily Show when Jon Stewart leaves later this year.

"I'm doing my show right now," Wilmore tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I'm very happy doing it."

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Music Reviews
3:00 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Robert Earl Keen Delves Into Bluegrass With A Texan Twang

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Media
3:00 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

David Remnick Looks Back On Tough Decisions As 'The New Yorker' Turns 90

David Remnick has been the editor of The New Yorker since 1998.
Courtesy of The New Yorker

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 6:21 pm

When David Remnick took the job as editor of The New Yorker in 1998, he learned quickly to make firm decisions about contentious stories. Just a few months into the position, Remnick called Si Newhouse, the magazine's owner, to tell him about a piece he was running that was accusing "all kinds of high-level chicanery."

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Author Interviews
1:22 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

In Richard Price's New Novel, Haunted Cops And Cases They Couldn't Close

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 2:28 pm

Richard Price used a pseudonym for his new novel, The Whites, but in retrospect, he wishes he hadn't. "It was going to be different from my other books and I wanted to signal that," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. But by the time he realized it was just "another damn book by me" it was too late to withdraw the pen name.

Price is the author of Clockers, the novel about police detectives and drug dealers that Price and Spike Lee adapted into a film. He also wrote for the HBO series The Wire, which was about police detectives and drug dealers.

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Music
3:04 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

The Furniture Company That Sang The Blues

Paramount Records, founded in 1917 by a furniture company in Wisconsin, found itself in a curious position by the mid-1920s: it was the leading blues label in America, and selling lots of records. J. Mayo "Ink" Williams, the first black record executive in America, had used his street smarts to attract a number of artists, and his best-seller was Blind Lemon Jefferson. Then, suddenly, Williams quit in 1927. But Paramount's greatest moments were yet to come.

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Author Interviews
3:04 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

The Politics Of Passing 1964's Civil Rights Act

The act, which turned 50 last year, ended the era of legal segregation in public accommodations, like restaurants and hotels. Author Todd Purdum talks about the battles that surrounded it.

Originally broadcast Jan. 20, 2014.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:34 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Photojournalist Lynsey Addario And Michael Keaton

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who has worked in war zones for well over a decade.
Kursat Bayhan Courtesy of Penguin Press

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

Twice Kidnapped, Photographer Returns To War Zone: 'It's What I Do': Lynsey Addario was taken captive in 2011 while covering Libya's civil war. With a gun to her head, she says she was thinking, "Will I ever get my cameras back?"

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Movie Reviews
1:52 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

If You Strip The Bondage, '50 Shades' Is A Conventional Love Story

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Remembrances
1:52 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

David Carr Called Himself 'Part Pirate, Part Thug' But Also 'A Decent Person'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Remembrances
1:35 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers '60 Minutes' Correspondent Bob Simon

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Interviews
1:35 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

'Ida' Director Made Film To 'Recover The Poland' Of His Childhood

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Music
1:35 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Schneider Quartet's Haydn Recordings Reissued

Among the best loved recordings from the 1950s were 15 LPs of Haydn string quartets played by the Schneider Quartet. They originally appeared on the Haydn Society label, but were never reissued on CD until now. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
2:44 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Twice Kidnapped, Photographer Returns To War Zone: 'It's What I Do'

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who has worked in war zones for well over a decade.
Kursat Bayhan Courtesy of Penguin Press

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 9:07 am

In March 2011, photojournalist Lynsey Addario was kidnapped in Libya while covering the fighting between dictator Moammar Gadhafi's troops and rebel forces. She was with Anthony Shadid, Tyler Hicks and Stephen Farrell in the town of Ajdabiya, all on assignment for The New York Times.

Looking back, Addario says she had a premonition that something bad would happen.

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Television
1:59 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

New Comedy 'Schitt's Creek' From Canada Is A Reboot Of 'Green Acres'

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 2:07 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
1:59 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

David Axelrod Recounts His Years As Obama's Adviser And 'Believer'

President Obama talks with senior adviser David Axelrod at the airport in New Orleans following a meeting on the response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 2:23 pm

David Axelrod recalls the first time he met Barack Obama in 1992 when they had lunch: "I was really impressed by him," he says.

The veteran political consultant was struck that Obama, who had been the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and was highly sought after by big law firms, instead decided to put together a voter registration drive and practice civil rights law at a little firm in Chicago.

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Book Reviews
1:59 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Funny If It Weren't So True: A Farce About 'The Importance Of Beauty'

Amanda Filipacchi is also the author of the novels Nude Men, Vapor and Love Creeps.
Marion Ettlinger Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 4:54 pm

"Does this obituary make me look fat?"

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Movie Interviews
2:28 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

From 'Batman' To 'Birdman,' Michael Keaton Knows Suits And Superheroes

In Birdman, Michael Keaton plays both the actor Riggan Thomson, who is having an identity crisis, and his alter ego, Birdman, who badgers him because he gave up a lucrative Hollywood career for a play in an old Broadway theater.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 8:59 am

In the existential comedy Birdman, Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, a washed-up, insecure actor looking for a second shot at fame and success. He's entirely focused on himself. Keaton says this sort of narcissism — "that constant neediness and insecurity and whininess and me, me, me" — didn't come easily to him.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:28 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Bradley Cooper, Review Of 'Better Call Saul,' David Linden

Jonathan Banks (left) plays Mike Ehrmantraut, a former cop and a hit man, on the new AMC series Better Call Saul. He often carries out illegal instructions from Saul Goodman (right, played by Bob Odenkirk).
Ben Leuner Courtesy of AMC

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

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Movie Reviews
1:41 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Second 'SpongeBob' Movie Is A Nonsensical, Loud, Choppy Triumph

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 1:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
1:18 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Bob Odenkirk Brings Some Laughs To 'Breaking Bad'

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 1:43 pm

Lawyer Saul Goodman knows how to bend the law, or break it, depending on his clients' needs. Odenkirk talks about playing the comedic character, and the origins of Saul's comb-over.

Originally broadcast Aug. 6, 2013.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Remembrances
2:55 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers Charlie Sifford, Who Broke Barriers In Golf

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 3:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
2:55 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Novelist's 'Disgruntled' Heroine Is Drawn From Her Own Childhood

In 2007, Asali Solomon was named one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35." Her previous book, Get Down, is a collection of short stories. She teaches English literature and creative writing at Haverford College.
Ron Nichols Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 3:23 pm

Growing up in West Philadelphia, novelist Asali Solomon felt like an outsider. "The lifestyle I was leading was different from what other people were leading," Solomon tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Like, my parents taught us to revere Africa — people at school made fun of Africa."

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Music
1:52 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Lennie Tristano: Cool Reputation, Hot Jazz

Lennie Tristano had a cool, egghead reputation — Time called him the "Schoenberg of Jazz" — but he could play pretty hot. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly released 1951 live recording by the pianist's sextet at Chicago's Blue Note club.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
1:52 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

'Better Call Saul,' The Prequel To 'Breaking Bad,' Stands On Its Own

On Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk plays Jimmy McGill, a fast-talking, struggling public defender who decides to remake himself as Saul Goodman, a lawyer specializing in representing unabashed criminals.
Ben Leuner Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 4:35 pm

I'm guessing that the first thing fans of Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad want to know is whether its AMC prequel series, Better Call Saul, premiering Sunday and Monday, is anywhere near as good as the original — which was TV at its very best. And I'm also guessing that people who haven't yet worked their way through Breaking Bad -- and, really, by now, why haven't you? — are wondering whether they can enjoy this new series without having absorbed the old one.

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Medical Treatments
1:52 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

New Meds Block Heroin Craving, But Reporter Finds Treatment Centers Don't Use Them

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music
1:51 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Bob Dylan Looks To The Ageless American Songbook

Bob Dylan's unusual new album Shadows in the Night consists of ten cover versions of standards from the American Popular Songbook including "Autumn Leaves" and "Some Enchanted Evening." Dylan is accompanied by a five-piece band on songs that usually use orchestral accompaniment, and the singer has said the recordings were done live in "one or two takes." Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Dylan both infuses the songs with his personality, while also allowing them to be heard anew.

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Shots - Health News
1:51 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Fingertips To Hair Follicles: Why 'Touch' Triggers Pleasure And Pain

David Linden is a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is a former chief editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology. He also wrote The Compass of Pleasure.
Jacob Linden Courtesy of Viking

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 4:39 pm

The rate at which someone strokes your hair can cause feelings of pleasure or annoyance — too slow is repulsive, too fast is annoying, and just right soothes.

There's a scientific explanation for this: People have special nerve endings (wrapped around the base of hair follicles) that detect the deflection of the hairs.

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Movie Interviews
2:44 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Bradley Cooper: 'Sniper' Controversy Distracts From Film's Message About Vets

Bradley Cooper gained 40 pounds of muscle to play Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in the film American Sniper. "It wasn't at all like a costume," he said. "It was like ... this sort of transformative experience to me because there was no going home from it."
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 3:17 pm

The film American Sniper has prompted arguments about its depiction of the Iraq War and become a cultural lightning rod. But Bradley Cooper, who plays Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and was also a producer on the film, didn't expect the conversation to go that way. Then again, "war is such an emotional subject, so maybe I was a fool to think it wouldn't," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:35 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Benedict Cumberbatch, 'American Sniper' Review And 'Teenage Brain'

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

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Movie Reviews
2:29 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

When Islamists Impose Their Will In 'Timbuktu,' One Family Resists

Mehdi A.G. Mohamed (left) plays Issan, the orphaned boy who lives with a family outside Timbuktu. The family decides not to leave when radical Islamists come to impose Sharia, or Islamic law.
Courtesy of Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 3:09 pm

The word "Timbuktu" is slang in the West for East of Nowhere, but in the film Timbuktu, this city in Mali on the edge of the Sahara is an epicenter, a volatile crossroads for several distinct cultures. There are African women in radiant colors, white-garbed Muslim men in mosques, fishermen who live along the river and nomadic herders who pitch their tents on dunes. And then there are the most recent arrivals: an al-Qaida-affiliated group called Ansar Dine that in 2012 took over Timbuktu and announced the enforcement of Sharia, or Islamic law.

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