American Culture

The Best of ST in 2012: "Panther Baby"

Jan 2, 2013

On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion from earlier this year with the author and activist Jamal Joseph. Joseph's autobiography, "Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention," is the focal point of our chat; it's an engrossing hybrid of coming-of-age candor, street-savvy wisdom, and recent socio-political history.

The Best of ST in 2012: Bob Balaban

Dec 27, 2012

On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion with the well-known Hollywood actor --- and children's book author --- Bob Balaban. When we spoke with Mr. Balaban by phone, back in early October, he had just put out a book called "The Creature from the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast" (Penguin Young Readers Group). We spoke with him about this work, and about his efforts as a writer and actor --- and film producer / director / screenwriter --- more generally.

The Best of ST in 2012: Arlie Russell Hochschild

Dec 26, 2012

On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion with the noted sociologist and bestselling author, Arlie Russell Hochschild. The focal point of our interview is Hochschild's latest book, "The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times." You can read a full description of this discussion --- and hear a free, on-demand "stream" of same --- at this link.

Our guest on this installment of ST is J.B. Kaufman, an author and film historian on the staff of the Walt Disney Family Foundation. He's just put out an extensively detailed and lavishly illustrated coffee-table book, "The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.'" This year marks the 75th anniversary of this classic film's initial release, and Kaufman's hefty volume explores every facet of the making of the film, with pages and pages of never-before-published facts and artwork.

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with Keith Ochwat, the Managing Director of the non-profit Documentary Foundation, which has produced some notable films that have appeared on PBS-TV. This organization's latest film, "Age of Champions," is due to appear on PBS in 2013. It's an inspiring, highly engaging group portrait of several different athletes/participants in the National Senior Olympics, and Ochwat is the film's producer.

Remembering Dave Brubeck, a Jazz Titan

Dec 6, 2012

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we remember the great jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, who died yesterday at 91. (He would have turned 92 today, the 6th.) Rich Fisher spoke with Brubeck back in the fall of 1996, prior to a Tulsa concert appearance. Brubeck's quartet with saxophonist Paul Desmond and drummer Joe Morello was among the most popular bands (of any sort) of the 1950s and '60s, and even today, their 1959 album, "Time Out," remains one of the most popular jazz recordings of all time.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Jacob Tomsky, whose new book, "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality," has been getting some rather glowing reviews from all over lately. A longtime veteran of the hotel biz, Tomsky here offers a detailed and unflinching yet also down-to-earth and amiable --- and, throughout, quite well-written --- autobiography about what it's really like to work (in every capacity) at an upscale hotel in America. New York Times critic Janet Maslin has thus called this book "Mr.

How many cigarettes are sold each year, worldwide? Believe it or not, six trillion. Our guest, who calls the cigarette "the deadliest artifact in the history of human civilization," was the first-ever historian, several years ago, to testify in court against Big Tobacco. On this installment of ST, which first aired earlier this year, we speak with Robert N. Proctor, Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University.

On today's show, we speak by phone with Davy Rothbart, a writer, editor, filmmaker, and contributor to public radio's "This American Life." He's also the founder/publisher of the popular "Found Magazine," which collects discarded notes, letters, photos, lists, and drawings that are both discovered and sent in by its readers.

"Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore"

Nov 28, 2012

On this edition of our show, we speak with the Bay Area-based writer Robin Sloan, whose smart, tech-savvy, entertaining, and decidedly adventure-driven debut novel, "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore," has been drawing some rave reviews. As critic Janet Maslin has noted in The New York Times, this book is a "slyly arch novel about technology and its discontents.... The culture clash at work here --- Google aces wielding the full, computer-assisted strength of their collective brainpower, one scholar fiddling with a quaint astrolabe --- has a topicality that works to this novel's advantage.

On this installment of our program, we are pleased to speak by phone with Michael Tilson Thomas, the renowned musician, conductor, and music director who has won ten Grammy Awards over the course of his still-thriving career (and who has appeared on scores of albums). Thomas has long served as music director of the San Francisco Symphony, a post in which he has flourished.

On this edition of ST, which first aired earlier this year, we speak with the widely acclaimed author Arlie Russell Hochschild. Her most recent book is "The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times." It's a readable and engaging --- and sometimes rather unsettling --- exploration of how, in so many different ways, the market enters (and profoundly alters) contemporary American life, particularly in this Internet Age.

"It's always five o'clock somewhere," as the old saying goes. And this expression, of course, was as true in the 1770s or 1860s or 1930s as it is today --- and maybe it's all the more fitting right this instant, as we approach the holiday season. On today's show, therefore, we are discussing the histories, traditions, origins, myths, and/or recipes related to various cocktails.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the renowned artist, art director, cartoonist, and illustrator Wayne White --- along with the filmmaker Neil Berkeley, who's directed a documentary about White's influential and still-thriving career, "Beauty Is Embarrassing." This film premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas, earlier this year, and it will be screened tonight, the 15th, at the Philbrook Museum of Art (at a "Third Thursday" event, beginning at 5:30pm), and tomorrow night, Friday the 16th, at the Circle Cinema (at 6pm).

(Note: This interview originally aired in August of this year.) The automobile thrived, of course --- in fact, it flourished --- in the 20th century. Especially in America, where entire cities were developed around the car. People bought houses, planned vacations, and chose their schools and supermarkets (and so forth) around their autos --- and we still do so today. But it seems highly unlikely that cars will have quite so great an influence on our lives (and our cities) in the 21st century. So, what's next?

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with the author and writing instructor B. A. Shapiro about her widely praised new novel, "The Art Forger." In 1990, more than a dozen works of art (today worth, in sum, $500+ million) were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, but in this equally fascinating and entertaining novel, our heroine --- Claire Roth, a struggling young artist --- learns more about this theft than she ever bargained for.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Catherine Whitney, who's been the Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa for the past couple of years now.

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 3rd, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will present the next concert in its current season at 7:30pm in the Tulsa PAC's Chapman Music Hall. This season's overall theme is "Color" --- and tomorrow night's concert is to be a "Green" evening, with music meant to evoke the natural world in all its wonder, variety, and majesty.

On this installment of our show, better living through savvy verb deployment. Our guest is Constance Hale, the bestselling author of "Sin and Syntax" and other books on language, writing, and word choice. A veteran journalist and teacher, Hale has a new book out called "Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing." It's a work in four chapters, each as informative as it is entertaining, and it's that rare example of a "how to" book on English usage that's genuinely accessible from start to finish.

On today's edition of ST, an interesting discussion with the Ohio-based artist Cecile Baird, who is currently the ARTworks Featured Artist at Holland Hall School in Tulsa. A master of the colored-pencil medium, Baird has recently been working with art students at that school --- and several of her striking, well-rendered, nearly photo-realistic works will be on view at Holland Hall's Holliman Gallery (in the Walter Arts Center on the HH campus) through November 26th.

On this edition of ST, we welcome Dr. Nicholas Carnes, an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. He's a 2006 graduate of The University of Tulsa; in 2011, he received a doctorate in Politics and Social Policy at Princeton University. Last week, Dr. Carnes presented two lectures as part of TU's Distinguished Alumni Lectureship in Law and Politics. The talks he delivered were entitled "What's the Matter with Law School?

We are pleased to welcome to ST Alfonso Martin, a Principal Dancer with Tulsa Ballet who first joined the company in 1998 as a Demi-Soloist. This season, Martin's 14th with TulsaBallet, will be his last; he's decided to "go out while still on top" in terms of his retirement from dancing.

Our guest on this installment of ST is Dr. Stuart Rockoff, who will give the annual Cadenhead-Settle Lecture --- presented by TU's Department of History every fall --- tomorrow night (Wednesday the 24th) here on the University of Tulsa campus. The lecture will begin at 7pm in the Tyrrell Hall Auditorium; it's entitled "Bagels and Grits: How Jews Found a Home in the South." Dr. Rockoff is Director of the History Department at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson, Mississippi.

On this installment of ST, which first aired in July, we're looking back on the life and music of the late Doc Watson, who died in late May at the age of 89. Watson was a truly legendary guitarist and singer whose work in the realms of folk, bluegrass, country, blues, and gospel music won him several Grammy Awards and universal acclaim. Despite being blind from infancy, he had a long, highly influential career; his guitar-playing (and especially his flat-picking skills) as well as his vast knowledge of traditional American music were, and still are, considered unequaled.

On this edition of ST, we chat with our friend and colleague, John Wooley, who's been hosting his popular "Swing on This" western swing program on Public Radio Tulsa KWGS 89.5-1 for the past nine years or so. This show is heard every Saturday night at 7pm, and this coming Saturday, the 13th, John host a special, two-hour broadcast of his program, LIVE from the historic Cain's Ballroom in downtown Tulsa.

Our guest on ST is Gary John LaRosa, who will be the guest director for a new production of "Little Shop of Horrors" that the University of Tulsa's Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre will soon present at the Lorton Performance Center on the TU campus.

Our guest is Jeanne Marie Laskas, the director of the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh. She's also an acclaimed and accomplished journalist whose writing has appeared in GQ, The Washington Post Magazine, Smithsonian, and Esquire, among other publications.

He's a familiar and award-winning Hollywood actor, as well as an acclaimed director and producer. He's also (who knew?) a highly successful children's book author. Our guest on ST is Bob Balaban, who tells us about his newest book, "The Creature from the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast" (Penguin Young Readers Group). In this funny, tween-friendly tale, we meet Charlie Drinkwater, a middle-school kid who's probably among the least popular --- and least noticed --- boys in his class.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with Matthew Yglesias, one of the nation's most widely-read political bloggers and columnists. Yglesias is a business and economics correspondent for Slate in Washington, DC, where he writes the Moneybox blog. He was previously a fellow at the Center for American Progress, an associate editor at The Atlantic, and a staff writer for the American Prospect.

The 2012 National Zarrow Mental Health Symposium and Mental Health America Annual Conference is a joint collaboration between the Mental Health Association in Tulsa and Mental Health America. It began here in Tulsa yesterday (the 19th) and concludes tomorrow (the 21st); it's happening downtown, at the Tulsa Convention Center, and this year's conference/symposium is entitled "From Housing to Recovery." Our guest on today's edition of ST is Jeffrey Olivet, who's the CEO of the Center for Social Innovation in Needham, Massachusetts (which is near Boston).

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