Fresh Air

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Hosted by Terry Gross, Fresh Air from WHYY is the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. One of public radio's most popular programs, Fresh Air features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Updated: 4 min 21 sec ago

'Top Of The Lake: China Girl' Takes You Places Cop Shows Usually Ignore

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 9:59am

The TV series' second season takes place four years after its first, and begins with an unknown Asian woman's body washing up (in a suitcase) on a beach near Sydney.

Actress Pamela Adlon Says 'Better Things' Is Dedicated To Her Daughters

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 9:59am

Adlon's FX series is based on her own experience raising three girls as a single mom. Her daughters are very much a part of the show, she says. Originally broadcast Sept. 6, 2016.

Director Mike White Unpacks The Impulse To Compare In 'Brad's Status'

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 11:24am

In White's new film, a father starts to experience status anxiety while taking his son on a college tour. White says it's a universal situation, "but it's definitely a waste of time and energy."

(Image credit: Jonathan Wenk/Amazon Studios)

Two High-Profile Creators Pass The Baton From 'Twin Peaks' To 'The Deuce'

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 11:08am

David Lynch's perplexing 18-hour revival just ended on Showtime, and David Simon's latest ambitious drama is about to begin on HBO.

Loudon Wainwright III Opens Up About The 'Exes & Excess' That Inform His Music

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 9:36am

Wainwright has written remarkable songs about family, and how we hurt and heal each other. Now he details his life as a husband, father, son, philanderer and musician in the memoir Liner Notes.

Novelist John Le Carré Reflects On His Own 'Legacy' Of Spying

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 2:29pm

The 85-year-old novelist worked for MI5 and MI6 early in his career. "I felt I had to suppress my humanity," he says of those years. His new novel is called A Legacy of Spies.

(Image credit: Christina Ascani/NPR)

Billy Bragg On Skiffle, The Movement That Brought Guitar To British Radio

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 12:56pm

The singer describes skiffle as "a bunch of British school boys in the mid '50s playing Lead Belly's repertoire ... on acoustic guitars." Originally broadcast July 19, 2017.

Fresh Air Weekend: Director Elia Kazan; Singer Ronnie Spector; Novelist John Updike

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 8:00am

We commemorate Fresh Air's 30th anniversary as a nationally syndicated show with interviews from our first years on air. Kazan and Spector spoke to Terry Gross in '88. Updike's interview is from '89.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Writer/Director John Waters

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 2:40pm

Once called the "King of Bad Taste," Waters is known for his off-beat cult films Pink Flamingos and Polyester, as well as the more mainstream Hairspray. Originally broadcast in 1988.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Rocker Joey Ramone

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 2:40pm

The Ramones helped launch the punk rock scene in the mid 1970s with songs that were short, fast and loud. In 1988, lead singer Joey Ramone spoke to Terry Gross about the band's history.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Character Actor Divine

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 2:40pm

Divine spoke to Terry Gross in 1988 about his most memorable film credits, including his role as the woman who wins the title of "Filthiest Person Alive" in the John Waters' film Pink Flamingos.

After Harvey Hit, A Houston-Based Novelist Forged Floodwaters To Reach His Mother

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 2:39pm

Though Mat Johnson's home wasn't flooded in the recent hurricane, the roads around him were. He had to pass these roads to make sure his elderly mother got the care she needed.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Big Band Pianist Jay McShann

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 1:20pm

A native of Oklahoma, McShann came to Kansas City, Mo., in 1937, when it was the capital for boogie-woogie, blues and swing. He spoke to Terry Gross in 1987, and also played a few songs in the studio.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Jazz Singer Anita O'Day

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 1:20pm

O'Day first became known in 1941 when she joined Gene Krupa's band. Later, she later sang with Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman and many other small groups. Originally broadcast in 1987.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Drummer And Composer Max Roach

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 1:20pm

Considered one of the inventors of modern jazz drumming, Roach helped formulate the language of bebop, along with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Originally broadcast in 1988.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Remembering Horror Film Director Tobe Hooper

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 1:37pm

Hooper, who died Saturday, wrote and directed the 1974 cult classic film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which helped inspire a wave of slasher films that followed. Originally broadcast in 1988.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist John Updike

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 1:37pm

Over the course of his decades-long career, Updike authored more than 25 novels, including the Rabbit series. He also penned short stories, poems, essays and a memoir. Originally broadcast in 1989.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Writer/Director Paul Schrader

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 1:37pm

Schrader wrote the screenplays for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ, and wrote and directed Blue Collar. He spoke in 1988 about his religious upbringing and his work in film.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Singer Otis Williams, Founder Of The Temptations

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:23pm

Williams started the famed harmony group, whose hits included "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg." Later he kept The Temptations together after its lead singers left. Originally broadcast in 1988.

Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Soul Singer Ben E. King

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:23pm

King began his career in the '50s with The Drifters, but it was the '61 hit "Stand by Me" that sealed his musical legacy. He spoke with Terry Gross in '88 about his career and his childhood in Harlem.




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