Rich Fisher

General Manager & host of StudioTulsa

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government.  Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.  

In addition, Rich is an active musician. He’s currently the principal trombonist of the Signature Symphony at TCC, leads the Starlight Jazz Orchestra, and is a free-lance musician whose work ranges from the pit of touring Broadway musicals, to the salsa band, Grupo Salsabor.

Ways to Connect

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview from January of this year. At that time, we spoke with David R. Dow, a professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center and an internationally recognized figure in the fight against the death penalty. Dow discusses his latest book, a memoir entitled "Things I've Learned from Dying: A Book About Life." You can learn more about this interview --- and can hear all of it as a free, on-demand "stream" --- at this link.

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis, who's written eight previous books on the events and persons concerning the founding of the United States. His most recent book, "Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence," details two seminal events in the summer of 1776 that are central to our nation's founding. Of course, the actions of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia (resulting in the signing of the Declaration of Independence) is one.

US Supreme Court

While the Hobby Lobby contraceptives case made most of the headlines, the U.S. Supreme Court term, which concluded yesterday, also rendered important decisions in 1st Amendment free-speech rights, 4th Amendment search-and-seizure laws, copyright law, the limit of presidential powers, federal election law, and affirmative action. Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is constitutional scholar Lyn Entzeroth, the Associate Dean of the University of Tulsa College of Law, where she is also Professor of Law.

What do an anesthesiologist, an air-traffic controller, a translator at the United Nations, and a musical technician for Radiohead have in common? On this edition of StudioTulsa, Rich speaks with author David Zweig, who has studied this very group of highly competent professionals --- individuals who specialize in meticulous work outside of the public's view, where mistakes could be catastrophic, and where efforts almost always tend to be unrecognized.

On this edition of ST, we're discussing a special exhibit that's set to open at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa over the weekend. Indeed, it's Philbrook's first-ever exhibition of works by Claude Monet (1840-1926), the widely admired and highly influential Fresh Impressionist. "Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River" opens on Sunday the 29th and runs through September 21, 2014.

On this edition of our show, we're talking about buskers --- or, in other words, street performers. Whether it's by juggling, playing music, eating fire, doing magic tricks, enacting mime, or what-have-you, buskers take their creativity, theatricality, and pass-the-hat know-how directly to the streets, as it were --- and, as a socio-cultural phenomenon, they must be as old as cities themselves.

(Note: This interview originally aired earlier this year.) There's an old Lenny Bruce one-liner that goes like this: "Everyday, people are straying away from the church and going back to God." In this day and age, there must be some truth to that idea; while it's true that more and more people in this country are giving up on the religion they grew up with or else rejecting organized religion entirely, it's also true that many who have turned away from religious institutions --- as well as many others who've lived wholly without religion --- really do hunger for something more than what con

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Donis Casey, a mystery author and former librarian who is originally from Oklahoma and has been based in Arizona for many years. "Hell with the Lid Blown Off" -- the seventh title in Casey's popular Alafair Tucker series -- is newly available, and (as with the rest of Casey's fiction) this novel draws heavily upon her Oklahoma well as the roots of her Sooner State relatives.

Organized labor, generally speaking, has had a tough time of it in our country over the last several decades; from coast to coast, for many reasons, professional unions have been minimized, marginalized, disrespected, demonized, etc. But has this also been the case for today's professional musicians? Our guest is Raymond Hair, Jr., the President of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (or AFM). This labor union, founded in 1896, is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Craig Nelson --- who's written for Vanity Fair, Salon, Popular Science, and other periodicals, and who's the bestselling author of "Rocket Men" as well as a biography of Thomas Paine --- about his newest book, which is an engrossing cultural history of the Atomic Age. "The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era" is, as was noted by Kirkus Reviews, "no impersonal 'march of science' story.

Our guest is James Peterson, the James Beard Award-winning food writer, cookbook author, photographer, and cooking teacher who started his career as a restaurant cook in Paris in the 1970s. He's written more than a dozen cooking guides and recipe books over the years, including "Sauces," "Fish & Shellfish," "Meat: A Kitchen Education," and "Cooking." His newest book, just out, is called "Done.: A Cook's Guide to Knowing When Food Is Perfectly Cooked," and Peterson joins us today to discuss this volume.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the Lobeck Taylor Family Advocacy Clinic at the TU College of Law, which is, per its web page, "an intensive, one-semester course that offers students the unique opportunity to gain hands-on lawyering experience and explore the ethical, strategic, and theoretical dimensions of legal practice.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Rachel Urquhart, a writer whose work has been published in The New Yorker, Tin House, Elle, The New York Times, Vogue, and Spy, among other publications. Urquhart has recently published her first novel, "The Visionist," which is a widely acclaimed historical drama about a teenage girl who finds refuge --- or perhaps does not find refuge --- in an 1840s Shaker community.

On this edition of ST, an interesting conversation with the British author and scholar Toby Wilkinson, who earned a degree in Egyptology from Downing College, Cambridge, and has been awarded several prestigious awards in his academic field.

On this installment on ST, we chat with Steve Gerkin, who is originally from Iowa, has lived in Tulsa for more than 35 years, retired from his general dentistry practice in 2010, and has written a number of interesting articles for This Land Press about little-known aspects of Tulsa-area history. Gerkin has gathered several of these articles into a book, "Hidden History of Tulsa," which has just been published.

On this edition of ST on Health, we learn about Narcan, a/k/a Naloxone, which is a well-known and widely used opioid antagonist --- meaning, it's a drug that works to quickly block the effects of heroin, morphine, and similar opiates/sedatives. Narcan is thus administered in many instances where a person is experiencing (or has just recently experienced) a drug overdose; in this way, Narcan, which was originally developed in the 1960s, is thought to have saved some 50,000 lives nationally.

As soccer fans --- whoops, make that "football fans" --- everywhere will tell you, the fun gets underway tomorrow. Yes, it's finally upon us: The World Cup.

Our guest on this edition of ST is Michael Blanding, an author and magazine writer who's also a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Reporting at Brandeis University. Blanding tells us about his newest book, just out, which is "The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps." As was appreciatively noted of this title by Kirkus Reviews, "The Map Thief" profiles the "strange, mysterious world of rare maps --- and the even stranger mystery of the man who stole them for years without getting caught.

Our guest on ST today is William Joyce, the well-known children's book author and illustrator, veteran New Yorker magazine cover artist, and all-around creative guru. Joyce's many picture books include "George Shrinks," "Dinosaur Bob," and "Santa Calls" --- and he won three Emmy Awards for his "Rolie Polie Olie" animated TV series.

On this installment of ST, we offer a discussion of how oil, coal, and other energy sources are influencing today's international geo-politics. Our guest is James Clad, a diversely experienced foreign-affairs and oil-policy expert who consults for various energy and investment firms worldwide. Clad is a senior adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) in Arlington, Virginia, as well as an advisor to IHS Jane's and Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). From 2002 to 2010, Clad served as U.S.

On this edition of ST, a discussion of the distinctive films of writer/director Wes Anderson, whose vivid, detailed, and meticulously crafted movies include "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," and "Moonrise Kingdom" --- as well as "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which is still in theaters nationwide. Our guest is Matt Zoller Seitz, a critic for New York magazine who has a new book out about Anderson's decidedly ornate cinematic world.

On May 23rd, the Oklahoma State Legislature approved HB 3399, a bill which would, if it became law, withdraw this state from the Common Core State Standards initiative. This bill is now on Gov. Mary Fallin's desk, awaiting her decision; the Governor has until June 7th to sign the bill into law, or veto it, or do nothing (in which case the bill will not take effect).

On this edition of ST, we offer an interesting discussion with the mixed-media artist Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, who studied art at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and then at UCLA and now lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. As is noted of this artist at her personal website: "[Gakunga's] works are predominantly wall-hanging sculptures created from tin cans, steel wire, and oxidized sheet metal forms.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Myka Miller, who is a musician, teacher, and self-described (per one online bio) "agent for social change through music." Miller is also the executive director of the Los Angeles-based Harmony Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to music education for young people in low-income communities. Since taking the helm of this nonprofit in 2007, Miller has seen its number of enrolled students expand from 250 to 2,000 in and around Greater Los Angeles.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we speak with Dr. Barron H. Lerner, a Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Lerner is also an award-winning and quite prolific writer on the related subjects of medicine, medical history, medical ethics, and medicine and society.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Adam Makos: a longtime journalist and military historian who's also the editor of the military-themed magazine, Valor. Makos is likewise the co-author of the bestselling nonfiction account, "A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II," which is just recently out in paperback.

What if a bright young guy who had enough brains, training, and ambition to thrive on Wall Street suddenly decided --- in his mid-twenties, while watching an especially "passionate" pianist perform at a concert --- to give up on all the money and glory associated with his fledgling order to start a small, independent nonprofit dedicated to building schools in the world's poorest regions? On this edition of ST, we meet just such a person.

On this edition of ST, we speak with two faculty members here at the University of Tulsa who are among the authors of an important new research study which appeared last week in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the highly regarded, Vancouver-based dance company, Kidd Pivot. As is noted of this small but accomplished collective at the company's website: "Integrating movement, original music, text, and rich visual design, Kidd Pivot's performance work is assembled with recklessness and rigor, balancing sharp exactitude with irreverence and risk.

This edition of SToH presents an interesting discussion about the "food insecurity" affecting so many Native American individuals, families, and communities today, here in Oklahoma and all over the nation. Addressing this insecurity --- and the serious and widespread health issues stemming from it --- is no easy task, and we meet a locally based public-health researcher, filmmaker, activist, and advocate who's taking a deliberately multifaceted approach in doing so. Dr.