Jack Hitt reports on one woman's opera about Chicken Little.
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Host Ira Glass talks with "Jim Steel," who tells a story about the social rules at his high school in Wisconsin.
A communist, the filmmaker Marcel Ophuls, the band Camper Van Beethoven, and other people who may be stuck in the wrong decade.
A former addict and a former prisoner discuss the developmental retardation their experiences caused.
An odd occurrence at 124 East Fourth Street in Manhattan's East Village. For the last five weeks, a singer named Nick Drakides has stood on the stoop singing Sinatra songs late at night to the delight of his neighbors.
John Perry Barlow, a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist, on an experience that began at the boundary of two conventions. (20 minutes)
Ellery Eskelin never met his father but always heard he was a musical genius. Years after his father's death, Ellery started finding recordings of his musical output: he was the king of "song-poems." These are the songs that result when people answer those ads in the backs of magazines that say, "Send us your lyrics, and we'll write and record your song." Ellery's father's musical output was prodigious — and very odd.
After all this doom and gloom about the difficult lives of artists, we end the show with a more hopeful story from Joel Kostman, a New York City locksmith, who tells us about an incident that happened to him on the job. Joel is author of Keys to the City: Tales of a New York City Locksmith.
Josh Seftel and Rich Robinson's trek across South Africa continues. They head to the "South African Woodstock" and to a group that's half Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign and half terrorist campaign.
Writer Sarah Vowell goes to Rock-n-Roll Fantasy Camp in Miami Beach.
Journalist Margy Rochlin on her first big assignment to do a celebrity interview. It was 1982.
Rennie Sparks from the band The Handsome Family.
How a guy named Tom became Camden Joy — and what he gained and what he lost. With Sarah Vowell.
Host Ira Glass, with a recording of a 1962 Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., appearance at the Villa Venice, a club outside Chicago. What's fascinating about Sinatra is how he is so many different people at once, and they're all on display in this recording: sentimental crooner, cruel woman-baiter, bully, goofball.
Michael Ventura, who grew up Sicilian in New York, says that as a kid he thought Sinatra was in his family. His book The Death of Frank Sinatra is not really about Sinatra.
Before Sinatra died, Sarah Vowell appeared on this radio program and made a prediction about how network news would cover Sinatra's death ... and she made a simple plea. We hear whether her prediction came true.
Ira and music contributor John Conners on Sinatra's worst songs. And a brief history of what makes that 1950s Sinatra sound so great, with Will Friedwald, author of the definitive book on Sinatra's music, Sinatra! The Song Is You: A Singer's Art.
Gay Talese reads from his classic 1966 Esquire article, in which he followed around Sinatra at the height of Sinatra's power.