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Programming Highlights

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 12:00pm

Singer-songwriter and jazz entrepreneur Tracy Clark joins host Bonnie Johnson to talk about her self-titled CD and band's upcoming performance at Scullers Jazz Club on Wednesday, December 3, 2014.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 9:00pm

Writer and Teacher Beverly Gray returns to Inquiry to talk about her biography Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon...and Beyond. Ron Howard starred in two of the most iconic television series, but from and early age dreamed of being a serious film director. Tune in and learn about his early his early film and television career and how he got his break sitting in the Director's chair thanks to Roger Corman.

Tonight on Inquiry,poet Martha Silano returns to discuss the recent controversy about the poet laureate of North Carolina and what being a laureate entails. She also reads a work from her recently published collection, Reckless Lovely: The United States of America. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 10:00pm

In an all-new episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Rick Saia, editor of Worcester Business Journal. They talk about WBJ’s “25th Anniversary” and “2015  Economic Forecast” issues.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve did freelance writing and editing for WBJ’s “25th Anniversary” issue.

As Worcester Business Journal observed in its recent “25th Anniversary” issue, “There’s the old adage, ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’ To a certain degree, that applies to the Central Mass. business community. Banking, finance, technology, retail and education continue to be our economic pillars. But much change has also occurred over the last quarter century. Most of our regional banks are no longer locally based and many of our local retailers – Spag’s, O’Coin’s and Building 19, among them – have gone out of business.

“In examining business and the economy on Central Mass. over the last 25 years, we have discerned key patterns. Perhaps the dominant one is the importance of the region’s economic diversity in both good times and bad. Because Central Mass. and its main city, Worcester, have always had more than one industry to rely on, even bad times weren’t as bad as they might have been in a place with a single type of business. That advantage has been put to the test over the past quarter century, though. Because of the increasing globalization of world markets, Central Mass. and the rest of the nation have struggled to discard old business models and help construct the economy of the 21st century. It will be one based largely on highly skilled and trained labor and focused on emerging markets, including clean energy, medical devices, fitness and nutrition.”

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 10:30pm

Did the war on women rhetoric taint voters in the most recent midterm election? Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30pm and find out just what voters really thought of this strategy when Al speaks with Charlotte Hays of the IWF, Independent Womens's Forum.

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 6:00pm

A postcard from a two-day celebration of Henry Threadgill, one of the world’s leading avant-garde composers and arrangers. The concert is curated by pianist Jason Moran and features dozens of performers, from those who played in Threadgill’s various ensembles to members of a new generation of admirers. On Jazz Night in America, we’ll share highlights.

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 7:00pm

Join host Tom Shaker on this Thanksgiving Day themed special edition of The Soul Serenade. The menu includes songs about mashed potatoes, Ribs, chicken, wine and, of course, biscuits. It all starts at 7pm. Come hungry!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 6:00pm

Catherine has enjoyed a long career as a back up singer with everyone from David Bowie to Jackson Browne but is now focusing on the music of her father, Luis Russell, who was music director for Louis Armstrong and led his own bands in the 20′s and 30′s. Catherine discusses her love of New Orleans music and early jazz and what it means to come to this music at this stage of her career.

Thursday, November 27, 2014 - 7:00pm

A pre-recorded show for Thanksgiving night, featuring songs about songs and singing… Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 30, 2014 - 9:00pm

Justice John Marshall Harlan is considered one of the “great” Supreme Court  Justices of the United States. Mainly because he dissented on the famous Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896 which promoted the idea of “separate but equal.” He had a long tenure on the court and voted on some 14,000 cases. But he came from a slave holding family and opposed emancipation. How can we explain this apparent contrast in his attitudes to race? Associate Professor of History at Notre Dame Linda Przybyzewski has written a very untraditional biography of this justice that looks in depth at the ideas Justice Harlan had on religion, race and rights to explain his voting record. Tune in tonight for an in depth discussion on The Republic According to John Marshall Harlan.

Many women are and have been uncredited collaborators to their successful husbands. Tonight on Inquiry we speak with Susan Henry, Professor Emeritus of Journalism at California State University, Northridge. Her new book is titled Anonymous in Their Own Names: Doris E. Fleischman, Ruth Hale and Jane Grant. These were three dynamic women who lived in the first half of the twentieth century and who really were the reasons their husbands were so successful and famous yet until now they never got the credit they deserved. Tune in tonight and learn about these Lucy Stoners and their amazing lives.

Sunday, November 30, 2014 - 10:00pm

In an all-new episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Stu Esty, founder and owner of Dr. Gonzo's Private Stock. They talk about the re-awakening of the "Good Doctor's" all-natural condiment recipes.

“Tired of the same old, same old when it comes to condiments? Do you often forget what you ate at your last meal? Life is too short to be bland! Man bites hot dog: No news. Hot dog bites man: BIG NEWS!”

That’s how my guest, J. Stuart Esty – a.k.a. the "Good Doctor" – was promoting his products when I last interviewed him in 2008. Back then, he was founder and owner of Dr. Gonzo’s Uncommon Condiments, located on North Main Street in Worcester. At the time, he produced a line of all natural condiments with no fillers or preservatives -- just what's in the produce -- that can be used in a ariety of ways.

These days, in keeping with the “Hot dog bites man: BIG NEWS!” approach to the business of condiments, Stu has returned with Dr. Gonzo’s Private Stock. And he’s doing so without a bricks-and-mortar store. He is also taking an uncommon approach to funding his new, online-only business – with a Kickstarter campaign that kicks off this December 1. His new version of Dr. Gonzo’s will have 30 days to raise the target goal of $75,000, to fund for production, infrastructure and payroll.

Click here for Stu Esty's three-minute-45-second "Gimme My Gonzo's" video, which promotes his Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

Sunday, November 30, 2014 - 10:30pm

The 2014 midterm elections are over and the new Congress is gearing up for 2015. Yet before 2015 can begin, the country must still be governed. President Obama seems to be indicating that he will govern by executive orders especially on the issue of immigration. Republicans have been warning him not to do this. Where is this headed? Is this based on politics or policy? Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 when Al speaks with political strategist and author Kevin Paul Scott. Will the new Congress begin the new year with a stalemate? 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 6:00pm

German boogie-woogie pianist Axel Zwingenberger and American vocalist Lila Ammons (opera singer and granddaughter of pianist Albert and niece of saxophonist Gene) talk about working together, in spite of their very different cultural and musical backgrounds.

Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 7:00pm

Including old favorites and songs from CDs newly arrived in the station. Always a good time!

Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 9:00pm

We often hear about the lone genius, but in reality some of the most creative people work in pairs: John Lennon and Paul McCartney; C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkein; Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The list is endless. How do these dynamic duos meet; how do they work together and what leads to their eventual break up? Tonight on Inquiry I talk with curator, writer and essayist Joshua Wolf Shenk about his fascinating new book Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs.

A rusted wreck of a 1957 Chevy wagon led tonight’s guest on Inquiry into an exploration into the history of the American middle class and a meditation on what cars mean to us. Our love affair with our cars in a fact of life, but like all romances, it goes through stages and often has an unhappy ending. Earl Swift is a writer, journalist and residential fellow of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia. His new book is part cultural history and part auto romance and much more. His book is titled Autobiography: A Classic Car, An Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream. If you have had a love affair with a car you have owned, be sure to tune in!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 6:00pm

Novelist E. L. Doctorow (Ragtime, The Book of Daniel) was first introduced to jazz through his father who owned a record store in the thirties and helped John Hammond build his early record collection.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 7:00pm

Four hours of holiday recordings in the folk tradition, part of the WICN end-of-year membership drive.

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 9:00pm

Michelangelo was a new kind of artist for the Renaissance. His life redefined how people thought about artists in society. He was difficult to work with, often did not finish commissions and had a hard time delegating work to assistants. He lived through turbulent times, working with six popes and through wars, violence and plague. Yet he sculpted and painted some of the most beautiful and important works of the Renaissance. Tonight on Inquiry we talk with Miles J. Unger writer, author and former Managing Editor of Art New England about his dynamic new biography Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces.

We live at a time in which we are surrounded by visual media and bright colors. But our experience of color is never just about vision. Colors can also be used to manipulate and control. The colors we now interact with on TV and our computers are not pigments, like those found in paintings and drawings. Contemporary colors are generated and manipulated through mathematics, using complicated systems very few of us understand. We live in the age of the algorithmic image. Everything looks bright and colorful, but do we live in a New Dark Age? Tune in tonight when we have a lively conversation with Carolyn L. Kane, who writes about the history, philosophy and aesthetics of electronic media. We talk about her new landmark book Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art and Aesthetics After Code.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 6:00pm

Tony Award winning director/lyricist Richard Maltby discusses his Fats Waller inspired play “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, his screenwriting, and how jazz influences everything he creates.

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 7:00pm

Broadcasting live from the WICN Performance Studio, featuring a lineup of talented local artists (TBA).

Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 9:00pm

Inquiry welcomes Angela Cartwright, film and television actress, artist, photographer and writer. With Tom Mclaren she has produced and written an extraordinary new book of photographs of classic Hollywood stars that have never before been seen by the public. Angela Cartwright was allowed access to the Twentieth Century Fox archives and discovered a veritable treasure trove of what are called continuity photographs: stills taken for the make up, costume and hair departments. These photographs are of the highest quality and reveal a lot about how a film lot works. There are pictures of Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Gene Tierney, Henry Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, and many, many other stars like you have never seen them before. Angela Cartwright’s book is titled Styling the Stars: Lost Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archives.

Inquiry welcomes back Carolyn L. Kane  who writes about the history, philosophy and aesthetics of electronic media. We continue our conversation about her new book Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art and Aesthetics After Code. Tonight Kane talks about the wild history of Bell Telephone Laboratories and the artists/scientists that worked there who pioneered some bizarre new technology for producing colors that affected the viewer. We also talk about the invention of Day-Glo and synthetic color. It all began with a problem with dogs peeing on a fence. If you are interested in art and technology, don’t miss this show!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 6:00pm

80-years young, Marilyn performs with energy a 40-year-old would envy and a talent that Johnny Carson honored a record 70 times on his “Tonight Show”.

Sunday, December 28, 2014 - 9:00pm

It’s a commonly held belief that men crave multiple sexual partners and that women crave monogamy. But recent research has shown that in fact the opposite is true. In labs around the world, researchers are finding that women are a vision of anarchic arousal and do not really lust after monogamy at all. They crave novelty. What does this say about keeping a long term relationship interesting? Tonight on Inquiry we speak with author and journalist Daniel Bergner about his new book What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire.

Novelist Chuck Palahniuk returns to Inquiry to talk about his new novel Beautiful You, which is about sex addiction and sinister corporate forces, among other things. “Young people want mirrors, older people want art.” Tune in for a fun and candid discussion with this challenging writer who thoroughly enjoys himself on his book tours.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 6:00pm

Listen to a full-length program of Jazz Inspired, featuring British film director Roger Michell (Notting Hill).

Sunday, January 4, 2015 - 9:00pm

Artist Matt Freedman returns to Inquiry tonight. Matt is the author and illustrator of Relatively Indolent But Relentless: his revealing journal of his painful months  being treated for cancer. But tonight we talk about Matt’s other artwork. Matt Freedman is a sculptor, performance artist, and writer among other things. His work is complex and fascinating. Tune in tonight and learn about his Srendi Vashtar performance, the wild “More Than Super” piece that was performed during a broadcast of the 2010 Super Bowl and all about the almost forgotten art movement called “Clumpism”. For look at some of Matt Freedman’s work, go to his website: http://mattfreedman.org/

Tonight on Inquiry we talk with Martin Windrow, author and military editor of Osprey Publishing. His latest book is quite unique and unexpected. The Owl Who Liked Sitting On Caesar: Living With A Tawny Owl is a fascinating account of Martin’s 14 year close bond with a captive Tawny Owl. This owl lived in his house and became an intimate part of his life. But this is not your typical nature lover’s tale, not by a long shot. Tune in and find out why.

Sunday, January 11, 2015 - 9:00pm

Tonight on Inquiry we have a lively chat with George K. Russell. He is a member of the Biology Department of Adelphi University, on of the co-founders of Orion Magazine and editor of a wonderful collection of essays titled Children and Nature Connections. Tonight we talk about why it is critical to encourage children to be outside and to play among the trees and grasses of the natural world and why digital learning may not be the best thing in some cases. To order this book, please go to: http://www.myrin.org/

 

Tonight on Inquiry we have a fascinating conversation with writer and journalist Dana Goldstein. Her new history is The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession. No other profession operates under this extreme level of political scrutiny and in recent years the situation has gotten far worse. Tune in and find out why one teacher remarked: “Everything I loved about teaching is extinct.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 6:00pm

The comedian Chevy Chase talks about jazz and comedy and his own Bill Evans-influenced piano playing.

Sunday, February 1, 2015 - 9:00pm

Students in Finland and Poland consistently score better at math and problem solving than American students. Why? What are their school systems doing that we aren’t? Tonight on Inquiry we talk with literary journalist Amanda Ripley about her very important new book The Smartest Kids in the World, and How They Got That Way. Tune in and find out why Korean students are better prepared than American students for the global economic world of the twentieth century.

Inquiry welcomes back Carolyn L. Kane who writes about the history, philosophy and aesthetics of electronic media. We continue our conversation about her new book Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art and Aesthestics After Code. Tonight Kane talks about the wild history of Bell Telephone Laboratories and the artists/scientists that worked there who pioneered some bizarre new technology for producing colors that affected the viewer. We also talk about the invention of Day-Glo and synthetic color. It all began with a problem with dogs peeing on a fence. If you are interested in art and technology, don’t miss this show!

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