The passage of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun as seen from Earth is called “the Transit of Venus”. It is the rarest eclipse in our solar system and occurs typically only twice every century. In the Eighteenth Century, it was of critical importance to observe and carefully measure the Transit of Venus because it would allow a more precise measurement the distances of the planets from the sun. More importantly, these numbers could be used in calculating nautical longitude. The country that could best measure longitude ruled the seas. Tune in tonight when we talk with journalist and author MARK ANDERSON about his latest book that follows several Venus transit expeditions to the ends of the earth in 1761 and 1769. These scientist adventurers braved wars, disease, hostile locals, and horrible weather all to observe a distant planet pass in front of the sun. Anderson’s amazing book is titled THE DAY THE WORLD DISCOVERED THE SUN: AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF SCIENTIFIC ADVENTURE AND THE RACE TO TRACK THE TRANSIT OF VENUS
Soul singer/songwriter Eddie Floyd scored one of the defining hits of the Memphis soul sound with "Knock on Wood," a number one R&B smash that typified the Stax Records style at its grittiest. Join host Tom Shaker as he celebrates Eddie's 75th birthday this Monday starting at 7pm!
At first blush, this Jamaican pianist seems an unlikely leader to honor a "king" and a "chairman of the board." But Monty Alexander discovered jazz at a Nat King Cole concert and played his first New York gig at Sinatra's old haunt called 'Jilly's'. Alexander offers fresh, inventive readings on "Sweet Lorraine," "Come Fly with Me" and more -- with vocalists James DeFrances and Allan Harris. Wendell Pierce hosts.
For 21 years retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Lising took orders from the United States government. But, he signed up for that. What he didn't sign up for was a Federal Government that constantly oversteps it's bounds to interfere in state sovereignty and individual freedoms. Tune in this Sunday evening when Al is joined by Doug Lising to talk about his new book, "Remember Roscoe Filburn" the true story of how one man's freedoms were completely stripped away.
In the 1890s New York City was truly a “Sin City”. Illegal gambling was rampant. Countless bars and taverns guaranteed spectacular alcohol consumption even on Sundays when the bars were supposed to be closed. It was estimated that there were minimally 30, 000 prostitutes active in the metropolis at the time, and shocking live sex shows could be found any night in certain sections of the city. So where were the city’s police force? The police were part of the city’s Tammany Hall political machine and were astonishingly corrupt and on the take. Then came the infamous muckracking Lexow Committee and an election that swept many of the corrupt politicians out. Future President and anti-vice crusader Teddy Roosevelt was brought on as Police Commissioner. But were the rank and file New Yorkers ready to give up their vices like drinking on Sunday? Tune in tonight when Inquiry talks to writer RICHARD ZACKS about his rollicking history ISLAND OF VICE: THEODORE ROOSEVELT’S DOOMED QUEST TO CLEAN UP SIN LOVING NEW YORK.
In the mid 1800s, a number of Americans formed unique communes to live separate form the rest of society and aspire to a more spiritual life. None of these experiments in living were as unique or as destined for failure as the Fruitlands in Harvard, Massachusetts. Founded by Bronson Alcott, father of Louisa May, the Fruitlanders had very strict beliefs about diet, sex and what you could wear. But their tight little group nestled in the hinterlands could not avoid internal turmoil and conflict that would eventually tear their idyllic group life apart. This is a gripping story of lofty spiritual ideals chaffing against earth bound human emotions. Tonight on Inquiry, we speak with RICHARD FRANCIS, Research Fellow at Harvard, he has taught American Studies on both sides of the Atlantic. His fascinating new history is titled FRUITLANDS: THE ALCOTT FAMILY AND THEIR SEARCH FOR UTOPIA.
Abbey's musical daughters sing her songbook: "Bird Alone and "It's Supposed To Be Love (Reeves), "Wholly Earth and "Another World (Bridgewater), "Throw It Away and "Talking to the Sun (Wilson), "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and "Freedom Day from We Insist: Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite. Grammy Award winner Terri Lyne Carrington leads the band.
Songwriters Marilyn & Alan Bergman are a legendary power couple in American popular music. Their work includes the themes for television programs Alice, Good Times, and In The Heat Of The Night. They have earned multiple Emmys, Grammys, and Academy Awards, including Best Original Song for “The Way We Were,” written with Marvin Hamlisch. And the hits keep coming, with a new, never before heard tune co-written with Feinstein, “There’s You,” which he sings on this program.
“We do not come from dust, nor do we return to dust” writes tonight’s guest internationally recognized scientist BERND HEINRICH in his latest book LIFE EVERLASTING: THE ANIMAL WAY OF DEATH. In the natural world every death helps nourish and feed other life. Tonight on Inquiry, Bernd Heinrich talks about the weird lifestyles of burying beetles, what happens when whales die and who scavenged the huge carcasses of dinosaurs. Don’t miss this conversation with one of the great writers about life on earth.
Banjoist Béla Fleck, discusses his work with Chick Corea and those 11 Grammies and 27 nominations!
There wasn't anything the "white queen of soul" couldn't sing. From pop to R'n'B, jazz to disco, Dusty's voice transcended it all. Born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, Dusty made her mark in soul music with her 1969 release on Atlantic Records "Dusty In Memphis." Join host Tom Shaker as he celebrates her life and music this Monday. It all starts at 7pm!
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