Free Range Radio
Not all great public radio programs are easily categorized. That's where WNIJ's Free Range Radio comes in. It's a collection of nationally-syndicated and locally-produced documentaries, features and music specials which otherwise might not find a home on our regular program schedule. Hear something new every week.
July 3, 2016: Stars and Bars
Celebrating America with flags, fireworks and summer festivals, featuring recitations and reflections on The Pledge” of Allegiance, the annual Rainbow Family migration into the forest on July Fourth, a town that covets their title of the “Armpit of America”, and Mississippi moonshine, barbecued goat and old-time Fife & Drum at Otha Turner’s Afrosippi Picnic.
July 10, 2016: The Pioneers of Punk -- Please Kill Me: Voices from the Archives
Part 1: How the Warhol 60s morphed into the Punk 70s and marginalized inhabitants of a near-bankrupt New York City changed 20th century culture and influenced the World. Music, stories, and voices of people who were actually there: Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, the Ramones and more.
Presented by the authors of Please Kill Me, Legs McNeil and Gilian McCain. Hosted by Michael des Barres. Produced by Jon Ehrens (WHYY).
July 17, 2016: The Pioneers of Punk -- Please Kill Me: Voices from the Archives
Part 2: The music of the Velvet Underground, Iggy and the Stooges, and The New York Dolls and others the others were meeting fierce resistance in the US. With no other options open to them, during the July 4rth weekend of 1976, as America was celebrating it’s bicentennial, the Ramones went to London and launched punk rock. In England, punk would explode and become a cultural force to be reckoned with.
June 26, 2016 : Dying Words
The AIDS Reporting of Jeffrey Schmalz Twenty-five years ago, New York Times reporter Jeffrey Schmalz ended up in the middle of one of the biggest stories of our time: He had AIDS. His writing about the disease changed journalism and himself. Narrated by Rachel Maddow.
June 19, 2016: A special Father's Day edition of The Moth Radio Hour
We’ll hear from Harry S. Truman’s grandson, the children of military fathers, divorced dads, and more. Hosted by The Moth Radio Hour Producer, Jay Allison.
June 12, 2016 : Re:Sound -- The Stories From Childhood Show
This hour on Re:sound, some of our favorite childhood icons: from the man who gave us Thing One and Thing Two, to Dorothy, the tin man and Toto too….and let’s not forget about a quiet old lady whispering "Hush!"
June 5, 2016 : Re:Sound -- The Rivers Show
Rivers feed us in all ways, literal and figurative. This hour on resound, we wind our way down the Green, the Ganges and the Chicago rivers, for solace, spiritual healing and of course, total domination. Alex Chadwick and Roman Mars are among the talented contributors in this episode.
May 29, 2016 : Mine Enemy: The Story of German POWs in America
During World War II, some 400,000 captured German soldiers were shipped across the Atlantic to prison camps dotted across the U.S. Suddenly the enemy was hoeing the back garden, and sometimes, sitting at the kitchen table. This sound-rich, hour-long special combines archival sound and period music with voices of those who lived this most unusual moment in history.
May 22, 2016 : Bought and Sold: The New Fight Against Teen Sex Trafficking
Advocates for kids are pushing for a new approach to combating underage prostitution: treating young people caught up in sex trafficking as victims, not delinquents. This documentary looks at how police and lawmakers are increasingly turning to a public health approach to help vulnerable young people break free of sex trafficking. And it explores the high-tech chase to thwart traffickers and buyers.
May 15, 2016 : Thirsty Planet
Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water — either too much or too little. This documentary explores some of the most salient problems and solutions regarding water by visiting two countries where water issues are critical: India and Israel. A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution and lack of access by the poor. In Israel, a combination of cutting-edge technology and sweeping government policy has largely solved the nation’s long struggle with water scarcity. But the benefits of abundant water are not shared equally throughout Israel and the West Bank.
MAY 8, 2016 : The Moth Radio Hour’s Mother's Day Special 2015: Mother, Mommy, Mama, Mom
Molly Ringwald, Queen of the underdogs, is horrified to discover that her daughter is bullying kids in school.
Anthony Griffith finds his way in life with the aid of his strong mama bear of a mother.
Julian Goldhagen attempts to make a friendship work with the tough-boy son of his mother’s best friend.
Kate Tellers tries to hold on tight to happy memories of her dying mother.
MAY 1st, 2016 : Walt Whitman: Song of Myself
We take National Poetry Month into overtime while celebrating nature. The program peels back Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and we discover that this groundbreaking work was the product of a man so far ahead of his time that we are just now able to fully appreciate his work.
April 24, 2016 : We'll Be Here All Night: Stories For Passover
Passover is April 22 - 30, and this one-hour special from Tablet Magazine features funny, poignant, and thought-provoking stories and conversations that touch on the plagues, on slavery, on food, on the act of story-telling and more. Hosts Sara Ivry and Jonathan Goldstein lay out the basics of the holiday of Passover, then hand it over to an impressive cast of storytellers for a fast-paced hour with something for everyone, no matter what your beliefs.
April 17, 2016 : Shakespeare Becomes American
William Shakespeare died 400 years ago this month. From the very beginning, Americans have sought to make Shakespeare an honorary citizen. Whether we have succeeded in that or not, one thing is clear. On the stage, within the realm of performance Americans have certainly made Shakespeare our own, bringing American passion to the performance of Shakespeare. Hosted by actor Sam Waterston.
April 10, 2016 : When Words Matter: A National Poetry Month Special
In this National Poetry Month special, State Of The Re:Union explores all facets of poetry and its influence in host Al Letson's life. We talk to poets from all over the country about the craft, the lifestyle, the resurgence of poems, and of course, hear some incredible poetry.
April 3, 2016: The April Fools
"The April Fools" comprises some of the best classical comedy routines ever performed. From Spike Jones' "The Blue Danube," to PDQ Bach, to Anna Russell deconstructing the entire Ring Cycle in less than 20 minutes, it's a joyful reminder that even classical musicians and composers get to laugh at themselves. Host Lynne Warfel shares some of the most beloved moments from the world's great classical clowns.
March 27, 2016: The Business With Bees
With all of the buzz about bees lately, KSVR's Jodie Buller and Alex Westcott took to the fields, the farmers' market, and the research labs in an effort to understand why bee populations are struggling.
March 20, 2016: Is Free Speech Threatened On Campus?
Protests have erupted on university campuses across the country. To many, these students are speaking out against racial injustice that has long been manifested in unwelcoming, sometimes hostile environments. But to critics, their demands have gone too far, creating an atmosphere of intolerance for opposing or unpopular points of view. Are the protesters silencing free speech, or are they just trying to be heard? This is an Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate.
March 13, 2016: The Fifth Beatle: A George Martin Appreciation
Radio Producer Paul Ingles mines his many documentaries on Beatles albums for a few stories that show off producer George Martin's contributions to Beatles records. The legendary record producer died March 8, 2016, at the age of 90.
Songs include, "In My Life," "Rain," "I'm Only Sleeping," "Eleanor Rigby," "Yellow Submarine," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Penny Lane," "She's Leaving Home," "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite," "Within You Without You," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," "The End".
March 6, 2016: Votes for Women!
Votes For Women was the slogan on the banners that many American suffragists wore in their 72-year struggle to get the vote. Although American men had been voting since the 1700s, it wasn't until 1920 that American women were allowed to vote for president. Award winning Producer Sandra Sleight-Brennan's documentary uses song, interviews, re-creations of events, and comments from historians to bring this dramatic history to life.
February 28, 2016: Trans Families
It’s estimated that there are nearly 1.5 million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as transgender. That’s more than a million people with families, communities and stories we are only just starting to hear from. When someone transitions, the impact of that decision ripples beyond them to the people often closest to them: their families. In this hour of radio, “State of the Re:Union” will tell stories of trans people and their families at many different moments of life, from childhood to adulthood to elders, as parents, as spouses and as kids, themselves.
February 21, 2016: Soapbox: A sampling of 20 th Century Political Speech
In this pre-election stretch, “Hearing Voices” host Sarah Vowell guides us through some of the political speeches that shaped the campaign for the White House over previous decades. (A re-broadcast of “Hearing Voices” from 2004 but still relevant today)
- The Presidents of the United States swear their Inaugural Oaths.
- Scott Carrier has friends across from the White House in "Lafayette Square."
- Dave Eggers snaps a "Family Photo Opp" in brother Bill's campaign Hummer.
- Joe Frank's "Presidential Candidate" is just like us -- and that's scary.
February 14, 2016: For Valentine’s Day: “Wordshakers” Poetry Special
From “Hearing Voices”, Host Andrei Codrescu (NPR & The Exquisite Corpse) leads the way as we listen to some of the great poetry through literary history. Lord Alfred Tennyson bangs the podium in "The Charge of the Light Brigade." Thomas Edison waxes Walt Whitman's "America." Cheerleaders Chant" a found-poem. Host Andrei Codrescu decontructs his "Poetry." Denise Levertov knows "The Secret." Carl Sandburg wonders "What is Poetry?" It’s much more than “Roses are red…violets are blue…”
February 7, 2016: The Power of African-American Art
State of the Re:Union has made it an annual tradition to commemorate Black History Month with a special episode exploring lesser known corners of African-American history. This year, State of the Re:Union recognizes Black History Month through the lens of African-American art, the role it has played in social movements and everyday life, and why it matters both to the black community and the United States as a whole. From a poem celebrating Nina Simone and her powerful voice for social change, to the story of the surprising event that sparked the hip-hop cultural revolution, to unsung heroes of the culinary arts, SOTRU provides a rich hour of art as a window into African-American history, and how communities have been transformed by it.
January 31, 2016: Hearing Voices: Life on the Mississippi
Hosts Scott Carrier and Larry Massett take us on a tour of the river towns along the Mississippi…including a stop in Hannibal, Missouri, birthplace of Mark Twain. We’ll also spend a day on a tugboat; tour St. Louis showboats; and hear about changing the course of mighty rivers. We spend the whole hour on this downstream trip through the history and mystery of the “Big Muddy.”
January 24, 2016: State of the Re:Union: American Justice
The United States has the world’s largest prison population. In 2012, there were 2.3 million people in American prisons or jails – and even more under some kind of “correctional supervision.” In fact, if you added up all the people in America in prison, on probation, or on parole, it’d total about 6 million – just a little smaller than the population of New York City. The system is vast, but how well is it working? In this episode of State of the Re:Union, we expore how a few communities across the country have responded creatively to problems with police, courts, and prisons. And we’ll look into how these institutions, when challenged, adapt and change.
January 17, 2016: Hearing Voices: Snow and Ice
Stories about the winter season. Alex Chadwick takes us to a sledding party. Scott Carrier tells use the story about seven skiers who went into the back-country, only six returned. Plus, a training day for three Olympic speed-skaters and the sounds of Iceland's largest glacier, captured by field-recordist Chris Watson.
January 10, 2016: Islam and the United States
At a recent campaign rally, Donald Trump said that all Muslims should be banned from entering the country. His comments were condemned by leaders around the globe—including many Republicans—but drew cheers from his political base. It’s proof that despite their growing presence, the country’s 2.6 million Muslims are often stereotyped in the American imagination.
We’ll take a look at the long and surprising history of America’s relationship with Islam, from the Barbary Wars of the early 19th century to the clash between American-born Muslims and more recent immigrants from the Middle East. What does it mean to be Muslim in America? And how has the practice of Islam in the U.S. changed over time?
January 3, 2016: New Year’s: A Reflection—A special from the Western Folklife Center of Elko, Nevada
Join in a New Year journey with host Hal Cannon to an ancient Gaelic ritual of bringing in the year with fiddler Alasdair Frazier. Then join Jean Redpath for the original “Auld Lang Syne.” From the Isles back to the States we travel to delve into the Native American way of marking time with a heartfelt story from Lakota elder, Leonard Littlefinger telling how ritual can help us transform a brutal history into a new story of hope. We end with the hope of a healthy land from the Grand Canyon.
December 27, 2015: Best of the Best: 2015 Third Coast Audio Winners
Best of the Best presents the winners of public radio’s 15th annual TC / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Innovative and insightful, the stories will engage, provoke, entertain, and transport listeners, proving that all you need to discover new worlds is . . . a little box and an antenna. This year's winners were especially memorable. Here's a sampling: The Living Room, an intimate account of one woman's voyeuristic relationship with her neighbors. 695BGK, an African-American man is shot by a white police officer, and lives to tell his story of racial injustice. And, Sounds Up There, astronauts and a sound designer meditate on the unearthly soundscape of outer space.
December 20, 2015: Moth Radio Hour Holiday Special 2015
A collection of holiday stories for the 2015 season. Tricia Rose Burt tries to reunite her family with Christmas ornaments. Amy Klein is 38 and single and is told by a Rabbi in Jerusalem that she’ll meet her husband by Hanukkah. Alexandra Rosas gives her son one last gift from his grandmother. Ted Conover, a writer working undercover as a corrections officer, witnesses New Year’s Eve at Sing Sing Prison. And, Matthew Dicks has just finished Christmas shopping for all his friends when he gets in a near fatal car accident.
December 13, 2015: A Christmas Carol
An original WNIJ production featuring a performance of the Charles Dickens’ classic tale by the Rockford Artists’ Ensemble with Richard Raether as artistic director. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. *Click here for the complete cast list. (.pdf format - Get Adobe Reader)
December 6, 2015: Hanukkah Lights 2015
A perennial public radio favorite, Hanukkah Lights features Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by Kathryn Blume, Leah Lax, Eric Kimmel, Issaac Bashevis Singer, and Jonathan Safran Foer as read by NPR’s Susan Stamberg and Murray Horowitz.
November 29, 2015: The Giants Who Ruled Over the Dinosaurs
Before dinosaurs ruled the Earth, there were some enormous relatives that ruled over them. Sterling Nesbitt talks about these giants of the past and catches us up on the latest in dinosaur news. And some say Monarchs are the most beautiful of all butterflies. But they could end up on the endangered species list. Plus: Tree rings don’t just show the age of a tree, they also tell us about the past and, maybe the future. According to Stockton Maxwell tree rings might even help solve climate change.
November 22, 2015: The Sporkful—Thanksgiving is for Eaters
Would you like to spend Thanksgiving with Mo Rocca, Amy Sedaris and Robert Krulwich? Well unfortunately, you can't. But listening to this one-hour radio special “Thanksgiving is For Eaters” is the next best thing. It’s an entertaining combination of in-studio interviews, listener calls, and in-kitchen segments. You’ll learn useful tips about how to make classic Thanksgiving dishes, interesting facts about the science of cooking and the art of eating, and surprising details about the ways in which diverse cultures have adapted Thanksgiving traditions and made them their own.
November 15, 2015: Green Acres: A History of Farmers in America
As the fall harvest comes in, the public radio program BackStory takes a look at how farmers came to wield so much influence in American politics and life. In the 18th century, Thomas Jefferson viewed farmers as ideal citizens, their agricultural lifestyle providing the foundation for a virtuous republic. Just two percent of Americans live on farms today, but farmers still occupy a special place in the national identity. BackStory considers why the ideal of the self-sufficient, independent American farmer is still so powerful (even as the reality has largely disappeared) and who has invoked that ideal over time. From railroad companies to anti-imperialists, the image of the “yeoman farmer” has served many different ends and anchored one of the most successful government lobbies in history.
November 8, 2015: We’ve Never Been the Same: A War Story For Veteran’s Day
All wars are the same, it is said; only the scenery changes. And the repercussions are pretty much the same too. Over the course of five years, Adam Piore gathered the stories of the surviving members of Delta Company, a Vietnam-era paratrooper unit; public radio producer Jay Allison joined him for the last two years when it turned from a book into a radio story.
November 1, 2015: Nominating the President
It’s easy to imagine that front-runner Donald Trump could emerge with the GOP nomination in 2016. But that’s unlikely, according to Marty Cohen co-author of The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform. He says the party “elites” still choose the nominee. Plus: Patrick Rhamey studies and teaches politics. And now he’s putting his expertise to use as a member of city council in the small town where he lives. And: Abraham Lincoln sat for some one hundred photo portraits. Richard Lowry’s new book The Photographer and the President explores Lincoln’s relationship with his photographer. Today when we vote, we enter a private space, secretly make our choice, and go about our day. Don Debats explains that early voting wasn’t just public; it was a raucous, drunken community festival.
October 25, 2015: Re:sound: The “If You Build It” Show
They built it and we see who came. The story of Clyde Casey, a street performer who used surrealism and abstract art to fight crime on Los Angeles’ Skid Row in the 1980s, and the creator of a place called Another Planet. In rural Tennessee, you will find a peculiar mansion. The world's largest tree house. This is the story of Horace Burgess, the man who made the tree house, and the price he had to pay for it. And, at the edge of San Francisco at the edge of the ocean there’s a curious jumble of concrete ruins: a palatial indoor swimming pool and amusement park built in 1898.
October 18, 2015: Prime Candidates
Portraits of Past Presidential Campaigns: Politicians who fancy themselves president tromp thru the New Hampshire mill town of "Claremont," produced by Larry Massett, Art Silverman and Betty Rogers. The media spin myths out of misquotes in "Democracy and Things Like That" by Sarah Vowell with “This American Life.” The Language Removal Service concocts the world's first wordless political debate in their "California Recall Project." And some of the former primary losers re-appear in "Super Tuesday Mixdown," from Peter Bochan's series Presidential Shortcuts.
October 11, 2015: About Aging
Host David Greenberger presents glorious moments and observations from people in the last years of their lives: Dave Alvin discusses the song he wrote about his dying father, "Man in the Bed?" Comedians Bob & Ray are "The Whirleys". A remembrance from Richard Craig of his days as a dance host on cruise ships. Journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc faces mortality in recordings she made during her father’s last months alive.
October 4, 2015: Immigration Uncovered
The United States has always been a beacon for those searching for safe haven, for a place to build a better life. Though the barriers are high, and the odds are stacked against them, hundreds of thousands of people leave their homes in Mexico, Honduras and other Central American countries and head for the U.S. Immigration Uncovered: Untold Stories of Moving North flies close to the ground, bringing you personal stories — sometimes uplifting, sometimes heartbreaking, but always surprising — of people crossing borders, encountering new cultures, and building new lives in a new land.
September 27, 2015: ENCORE
A preview of the 2015-2016 Rockford Symphony Orchestra season with WNIU's Eric Hradecky and RSO music director Steve Larsen. An original WNIU Northern Public Radio production. "Encore" on WNIU is sponsored in part by 1st Step Chiropractic and the Illinois Arts Council.
September 20, 2015: Where There's Smoke: A History of Fire
This summer, hundreds of thousands of acres are burning across the West. It's a reminder that a force of nature, mastered but not tamed over the millennia, doesn't always bend to the will of human beings. Until the early 20th century, fire was essential for heat, cooking and light. But as electrification spread, few Americans still relied on fire at work or in their homes. Brian, Ed and Peter will blaze a trail across time in search of stories about how Americans have harnessed the power of fire, managed its dangers, and made meaning in its flames.
September 13, 2015: Beyond the Blackboard: Building Character in Public Schools
In the 1940s, British headmaster Kurt Hahn set up a wilderness school to teach the skills young men needed to survive World War II: leadership, persistence, working together. Fifty years later, Hahn's ideas inspired the founding of a network of public schools in the U.S. Students in these schools outperform their peers when it comes to test scores, graduation rates, and problem-solving ability. This documentary explores the "Expeditionary Learning" approach and investigates what American schools could learn from its success.
September 6, 2015: Nine to Five: A Labor Day Special
The work we do, from Wall Street traders to taxi cab drivers. People who work with brassieres, with dead bodies, and off-the-books in an underground economy. A tone-poem by Ken Nordine, a podcast from Love and Radio, and sound-portraits from Radio Diaries, Toni Schwartz, Ben Rubin, David Greenberger, and hosts Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler.
August 30, 2015: Teaching Teachers
Research shows that good teaching makes a big difference in how much kids learn. But the United States lacks an effective system for training new teachers or helping them get better once they’re on the job. This documentary examines why, and asks what it would take to improve American teaching on a wide scale. We meet researchers and visit U.S. schools that are taking a page from Japan and rethinking the way they approach the idea of teacher improvement.
August 23, 2015: Ithaca, New York: Power to the People
The climate is going haywire, and politicians are bickering over what to do about it, or whether to do anything at all. But that’s only part of the story. Around the country, communities are taking matters into their own hands, publicly pledging to shrink their carbon footprints, then setting out to make good on their promises. Leading, they hope, from below. In this hour, producer Jonathan Miller gives us a tour of his uber-progressive but practical-minded hometown of Ithaca, New York, where citizens and civic leaders are hustling to wean themselves from fossil fuels. Through a series of connected stories, tinged with gentle humor, Miller looks at the technical, political, physical, and emotional work involved in trying to steer the future in an environmentally responsible direction.
August 16, 2015: Considering Loneliness
Put the words "murder" and "loner" into a web search and you won’t have any shortage of matches. Certainly it’s been a characteristic used to describe several perpetrators of mass violence in the fairly recent past. Some research about loneliness, and those who retreat deeply into it, suggests that a significant number suffer physical and emotional risks of their own…which sometimes can trigger backlash behavior against society. We reflect on how an individual can get help and how those close to a lonely loved one can offer support.
August 9, 2015: Between Homelands
Nine stories from immigrants who left their homelands for America, but find themselves somewhere in between. A Nigerian pop star, an Iraqi Kurdish restaurant owner, a group of Central American women and others make the journey to America, only to be reeled back home. Some might be reeled back by the trauma and conflict they left behind. Others might try to recreate a piece of their homelands here in America, while still others might stay put while the ground beneath them fundamentally changes. Each of these short audio documentaries was produced by a graduate student at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in collaboration with Bending Borders.
August 2, 2015: Improving the Relationship Between Citizens and Police
In some communities in the United States, the relationship is frayed between law enforcement officers and the citizens they are sworn to serve. Some high profile police shootings or overly aggressive police encounters with citizens captured on video by police cams or citizens have only intensified the tension in some places. Current and former police officers, city councilors, community leaders, police trainers, and criminologists all suggest ways to bring more peace around the sometimes frayed connection between citizens and police.
July 26, 2015: Road Trip
From NPR’s Hearing Voices series: Host Larry Massett spends a "Long Day on the Road" with ex-KGB in the Republic of Georgia. Scott Carrier starts in Salt Lake and ends on the Atlantic in this cross-country "Hitchhike." Lemon Jelly adds beats to the life of a "Ramblin' Man." The band Richmond Fontaine sends musical postcards from the flight of "Walter On the Lam." And Mark Allen tells a tale of a tryst with a "Kinko's Crackhead."
July 19, 2015: Generation Putin
It's been almost 25 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Young people in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Georgia are facing unemployment, democratic pressure, and the legacy of repression, while being influenced by the West, punk music, and the Pussy Riot trials. PRX sent a reporting team from the Seattle Globalist to explore the tensions in these countries, described by The Atlantic as 'uneasily suspended' between two political eras. Join host Brooke Gladstone for Generation Putin, an in-depth look at the millennial generation in the post-Soviet states.
July 12, 2015: Futurework
Could a robot do your job? What kinds of jobs will be available 50 years from now? What does the office of the future look like, and sound like? What kind of training will you need for jobs in the future? How will technology affect hiring practices? Technological advances have put us on the edge of a new industrial revolution. Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and Susan Hassler, Editor-In-Chief of IEEE Spectrum Magazine, are joined by engineers, scientists, and futurists from MIT, Carnegie-Mellon, Rice Univ., and the Institute for the Future to give listeners insights into how technology will redefine work in the not too distant future.
July 5, 2015: Surviving The Summer Heat
From NPR’s Hearing Voices series: A collection of stories and poems about oppressive hot weather. “Symptoms of heat fatigue: A sound-poem” for "Dead of Summer" in the city by Marjorie van Halteren & Lou Giansante. Tuscon residents reflect the desert "Heat," with author Charles Bowden, poet Ofelia Zepeda, and music by Steve Roach; produced by Jeff Rice. The perfection of family, a crippled man on a blind man's back, and a collective scream of "I'm not dead," sweat it out in Joe Franks's "Summer Notes." Cats pulling pianos are "The Little Heroes" in John Rieger's Dance on Warning series. And host Scott Carrier takes a long hot cross-country drive down "Highway 50," the loneliest road in America.
June 28, 2015: "Re:Sound – The Dinner Table Show"
The dinner table and all that it inspires. A collection of stories about socializing around meals and the meaning of dinner as a daily family event. This American Life producer Jonathan Goldstein made every girl he ever dated watch the home movie of his family's Rosh Hashanah dinner he made when he was 17. He hoped that seeing his family life on film might make the women more sympathetic to his shortcomings. Public Radio producer Gwen Macsai tells the story about her recent dinner at a clothing optional restaurant in New York. Documentarian Lorelei Harris reports about five very fat women meet to feast and discuss their relationship with food. And, writer Jennifer Nathan shares a story about when Cedric Chambers and John Gallagher met by chance 45 years ago, neither imagined that they’d be caring for each other into old age. But after John’s wife passed away and his children moved across the country, John turned to Cedric when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Together they faced the end of his life.
June 21, 2015: "Father’s Day Special 2015"
A special Father's Day edition of The Moth Radio Hour: A man who faints at the sight of blood prepares to become a father, a Russian immigrant takes a trip home and tries to fulfill a promise to his mother, a child goes to great lengths to hide brussels sprouts from her stepfather, and a family fights to stay in the country they call home. Hosted by The Moth Radio Hour Producer, Jay Allison. The Moth Radio Hour is produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media.
June 14, 2015: "Johnny Cash: At Folsom Prison"
One-hour radio special takes you inside Folsom Prison for Johnny Cash's historic 1968 concert. It wasn’t his first show there, or his last. But, this time, he captured on tape the raw energy of the prisoners and camaraderie he felt with him. Cash knew that there were a lot of people living in prisons like Folsom that needed to be treated like human beings. In time, he became a powerful voice for prison reform. We’ll hear highlights from Cash’s Folsom concert and talk to people who were there to see it—Folsom prison guards and inmates, journalists who covered the event, Cash biographer Michael Streisguth and special guest, Merle Haggard.
June 7, 2015: "Re:Sound - The Waiting Show"
From the Third Coast International Audio Festival of Chicago: A program about waiting. Waiting in line, waiting on hold during telephone calls, waiting on a friend. Seems like our whole lives we are waiting. We’ll hear a story about people waiting in line outside of the Rockefeller Center in New York for tickets to see Saturday Night Live. Hundreds wait, only a few will get in, but one man keeps the whole thing in order. Plus, we’ll meet passengers waiting for a bus that never shows up and some patients wait for a life-saving organ transplant.
May 31: "Rocket Girls and Astro-nettes"
The story of women in the ultimate Man’s World – the labs and Shuttle crew cabins of NASA. Told in the first person, these stories explore the experiences of NASA’s first woman engineers and scientists and its first astronauts. It also tells the fascinating story of a group of women pilots who – in the early 1960s – were led to believe that they would be America’s first women astronauts and were given the exact same physical tests are the Mercury astronauts. The program is narrated by Eileen Collins, the first woman commander of a Space Shuttle.
May 24, 2015:"We've Never Been The Same: A War Story"
Over the course of five years, Adam Piore gathered the stories of the surviving members of Delta Company, a Vietnam-era paratrooper unit; Jay Allison joined him for the last two years when it turned from a book into a radio story.
At Fort Campbell before deployment, Delta was a ragtag bunch, the “leftovers” as one of their fellow soldiers put it, but on the night of March 18th, 1968, they became heroes. Their leader won the Congressional Medal of Honor and two others won the nation’s second highest honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, for their valor that night when the company endured a long and devastating battle—not as long or as devastating, however, as the years that followed, after the men of Delta Company came home separately to live alone with the memories.
May 17, 2015: "Greater Expectations: The Challenge of the Common Core"
The United States is in the midst of a huge education reform. The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations for what students should learn each year in school. The standards have been adopted by most states, though there’s plenty of controversy about them among activists and politicians. Most teachers, however, actually like the standards. This American RadioWorks documentary takes listeners into classrooms to explore how the standards are changing teaching and learning. Teachers say Common Core has the potential to help kids who are behind, as well as those who are ahead. But many teachers have big concerns about the Common Core tests. The new, tougher tests are meant to let the nation know how kids are really doing in school — but bad scores could get teachers and principals fired.
May 10, 2015 - Three Part Special
6 p.m. - "S.T.E.M. Reads: War of the Worlds"
Local northern Illinois students wrote, acted and produced this radio drama featuring a “new take” on H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” that includes DeKalb County landmarks and an invasion of adorable but deadly hamsters from space!
6:30 p.m. - "The Making of the War of the Worlds Broadcast"
Award-winning radio producer and voice actor Joe Bevilacqua looks at how the landmark broadcast came about and examines its impact on broadcast history. The half-hour program includes rare interviews with Mercury Theater producer John Houseman and writer Howard Koch, actor Arthur Anderson and the people of Grover's Mill, NJ who lived through the "Martian Invasion."
7 p.m. - "Moth Radio Hour: Mother's Day Special 2015 - Mother, Mommy, Mama, Mom"
Actress Molly Ringwald finds herself in the principal's office with her daughter, a young man navigates life with his single mom, a boy who loves Barbies is terrified at the thought of playing tackle football, and a daughter contemplates how to face her mother’s death with grace.
May 3, 2015: "Lincoln's Funeral"
The last week of April 2015 marks the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's funeral. From WUIS Public Radio in Springfield, Illinois, this program explores the days following Lincoln's assassination and his train ride to his final resting place. Historians James L. Swanson and Dr. Richard Wightman Fox present lectures on what we've forgotten about Lincoln's funeral, and what we've never known, based on newspaper articles and journal entries from eye witnesses to the president's procession and burial.