In 1950, a red-haired Alabama boy who'd learned about radio and electronics in the U.S. Army opened a recording studio to document the blues and country music he loved. A new box set compiles the beginnings of Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service, and the record label he would soon create.
Alice McDermott's characters can often be described as average, and Marie, the heroine of her latest novel, is no exception. But critic Maureen Corrigan says the power of McDermott's writing is that she can make even Marie's run-of-the-mill life one for the record books.
Cradle to Grave brings at-risk youth into a Philadelphia hospital to get them to think about the consequences of getting shot. "You only have to die one time," the director tells them, "but the people that you leave behind die a little bit each and every day for the rest of their lives."
The new mobile operating system's design acknowledges that we no longer need physical analogs — like a camera shutter or old-timey microphone — to describe an app's function. Tech writer Alexis Madrigal says its release will trigger the largest and fastest change in the history of computer software.
The singer-songwriter earned a name for himself while playing with Drive-By Truckers and The 400 Unit, but on his new album — written after he got sober — Isbell finds a new level of emotional honesty. Here, he talks with Terry Gross about his life and plays songs from Southeastern.
For Fresh Air's Late Night week, we listen back to a 2008 interview with Seth Meyers, head writer at Saturday Night Live, and the co-anchor of Weekend Update. Meyers will be taking over from Jimmy Fallon on Late Night, now that Fallon is moving to The Tonight Show. A longer version of this interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 29. 2008.