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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: 40 min 13 sec ago

Fresh Air Weekend: NPR's Robert Siegel; 2017 In Music; 'Quest'

Sat, 12/23/2017 - 8:00am

The NPR host reflects on what it was like to "grow up on the air." Critic Ken Tucker presents his favorite music of '17. Jonathan Olshefski's new film centers on Christopher Rainey and his family.

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Foundation)

Remembering Jazz Singer Keely Smith

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 12:48pm

Smith, who died Saturday, was discovered by bandleader Louis Prima as a teenager. She later married Prima, and the two became a popular Las Vegas lounge act. Originally broadcast in 2000.

Trombonist Roswell Rudd Packs A Lot Of Wisdom Into Every Note Of 'Embrace'

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 12:48pm

Rudd started out playing dixieland before graduating to free jazz. Now he's collaborating with singer Fay Victor on his latest album. Critic Kevin Whitehead says Embrace has a "valedictory air."

'Phantom Thread' Is Deeply Weird And Marvelously Entertaining

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 12:48pm

Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a British women's fashion designer in the 1950s. Critic David Edelstein says the film is an amusing portrait of artistic and marital anguish.

NPR's Robert Siegel Reflects On What It Was Like To 'Grow Up On The Air'

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 12:39pm

The longtime host of All Things Considered will retire in January. NPR had only been on the air for five years when Siegel started in 1976. "So we really could make it up as we went along," he says.

'Better Call Saul' Tops Critic David Bianculli's Picks For The Best TV Of 2017

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 12:39pm

Fresh Air's TV critic spends a lot of time watching television — in part because there are so many great shows to watch. Godless, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Fargo are also among his favorites.

A Filmmaker's 'Quest' For A Quiet Family Portrait Is Pierced By Unforeseen Trauma

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:41pm

Jonathan Olshefski spent 10 years filming Christopher Rainey and his family, who run a recording studio in a working-class African-American section of North Philadelphia. Then their daughter was shot.

'The Post' Is A Crackling Newsroom Thriller With Electrifying Relevance

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:41pm

Steven Spielberg's new drama revisits The Washington Post's 1971 decision to publish the Pentagon Papers in defiance of the Nixon administration. Justin Chang calls it "terrifically entertaining."

A Look Back At 4 Jazz Luminaries Who Died In 2017

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:39pm

Kevin Whitehead remembers alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe, pianist Geri Allen, guitarist John Abercrombie and singer Jon Hendricks. Each "helped shape jazz after the upheavals of the 1960s," he says.

A Writer Remembers The Quake That Rocked Mexico City, And Brought Its People Together

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:39pm

Dagoberto Gilb was fulfilling a dream to be in Mexico City for an extended stay when an earthquake struck on Sept. 19, 2017. Amidst the destruction, he says, there was a feeling of collective resolve.

How Battles Over Sex, Gender And Sexual Orientation 'Fractured American Politics'

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:39pm

Moral Combat author R. Marie Griffith says the fight for women's suffrage and legal birth control in the early 20th century helped create a political divide in the U.S. that still exists today.

In A Year Of Heartbreak And Reckoning, 12 Films Remind Us Of Cinema's Greatness

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 1:19pm

Film critic Justin Chang picks his top 12 movies of the year, pairing them thematically, from Call Me By Your Name and The Florida Project, to War For The Planet of the Apes and Dunkirk.

'American Seafood' Author Recommends Putting 'Underloved' Fish On the Plate

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 1:19pm

Chef and sustainable seafood advocate Barton Seaver works to get people excited about fish. He says there are lots of species that are not endangered that we should be eating, like Hake.

For Novelist Jennifer Egan, 'The Joy Of Writing Is Being Delivered Out Of My Life'

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 1:19pm

"I don't use my life as inspiration," says the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. Her new book, Manhattan Beach, imagines the lives of the women who worked on the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II.

Ken Tucker Looks Back On 2017 In Music

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 1:19pm

Fresh Air's music critic presents his annual list of favorite music — along with some thoughts about the rock, pop and country stars who died in 2017.

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Foundation)

Fresh Air Weekend: Director Spike Lee; 'Godless' Creator Scott Frank

Sat, 12/16/2017 - 8:00am

Lee reprises his 1986 film She's Gotta Have It in a new 10-part Netflix series. Though Frank packed his Netflix miniseries with train robberies and shootouts, Godless isn't exactly a typical Western.

(Image credit: David Lee/Netflix/Courtesy of Netflix)

'Last Jedi' Puts The Smarts — And The Heart — Back Into The 'Star Wars' Franchise

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 12:28pm

The late Carrie Fisher makes her final appearance — now as General Leia — in Star Wars Episode VIII. Critic David Edelstein says The Last Jedi is nothing short of terrific.

How Katharine Graham Defied A Federal Judge To Publish The Pentagon Papers

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 12:28pm

Graham, who died in 2001, held the title of publisher at The Washington Post from 1969 until 1979. She spoke to Fresh Air in 1997 about her 1971 decision to publish the top-secret documents.

Former 'Post' Executive Editor Ben Bradlee On Publishing The Pentagon Papers

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 12:28pm

Bradlee served as executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 to 1991. In 1995, he told Fresh Air about his decision to publish the top secret documents related to U.S. policy making in Vietnam.

31 Years Later, Spike Lee Puts A New Spin On 'She's Gotta Have It'

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 2:14pm

In a new 10-part Netflix series, Lee revisits his story of a young black artist who loves sex, but isn't interested in a committed relationship.

(Image credit: David Lee/Netflix/Courtesy of Netflix)

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