Joel Styzens is a musician, a drummer. But when he developed tinnitus in his ears, he thought he'd have to give up his passion. Soon, Joel realized that he could still play music, he just needed to change instruments. His latest album is Relax Your Ears.
Colonel Jack Tueller began playing the trumpet as a young boy. The instrument helped him through a rough childhood, was the reason he met his wife, served as a constant companion when Jack was a bomber pilot during World War II and even helped save his life.
This is another in our series of favorite stories, and it comes from our partnership with Salon.com. When Michael Humphrey was growing up, he would sometimes hear his father telling strangers a story about how the Beatles stole the composition for “Lady Madonna” from him. Eventually, he looked into his father’s story himself.
The Blues, as a genre, is not exactly known for its fidelity to holy days. But Christmas has inspired a whole subset of the blues. Bill Ferris is with the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina. He is The Story's resident folklorist, and this Christmas he talks to Dick about growing up with the blues at Christmastime - and he brings along with him some wonderful musical surprises.
Dawa Drolma was born in a Tibetan community the same year her family's business went bankrupt. With hefty tuition bills to pay for their older children, Dawa's parents sent her away. Dawa was passed around from relative to relative, always struggling to find a place where she belonged. But Dawa did find something that kept her grounded - school. Dawa found solace in her studies and in learning about traditional Tibetan music, which is quickly disappearing from her homeland.
After months of negotiations, Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangiraihave signed an agreement to share power in Zimbabwe. That's welcome news to musician Chiwoniso Maraire. Like most Zimbabweans, she struggled all summer with food shortages and skyrocketing prices, and the constant threat of political violence. Also in this episode: intervening in a dog fight.
Corey Harris has spent his career exploring the roots of African American music. Blues, reggae, and pop music from Cameroon and Mali - all of it is part of his musical palette. It's been an enthralling journey for someone who grew up in suburban Colorado. Corey is convinced that music has the ability to both confront and transcend history. Corey recently received a $500,000 MacArthur grant. Also in this epsiode: a listener connection to our story on Jane Fonda's legacy.
Artur Talvik is an Estonian filmmaker who grew up under the iron thumb of the Soviet Union. He used to attend huge song festivals, where Estonians would sing "My Homeland is My Love." That song helped remind them of their dream of freedom, and it gave them courage when, in 1991, Artur and other Estonians stood down Soviet tanks.
Lauren Bohn was a student at Columbine high school in 1999 when the shootings there occurred. She speaks to Dick Gordon about her own journey from shock to bitterness and ultimately towards forgiveness. Also in this episode, composer William Grant Still's granddaughter, Celeste Headlee.
When Camden New Jersey laid off one third of its fire fighters - 60 in total - Lydia Chapman was one of the ones who had to turn in her equipment. Lydia was one of the few women there. Dick speaks with Lydia about the cost of social cuts.
Skip Ockomon is a firefighter in Anderson, Indiana. Even in these tough times, Skip and others have managed to raise money for something they've long been dreaming of…a rescue house for families whose homes have been destroyed by fire.
Teachers and principals are also feeling the effects of a budget pinch. We first spoke with Joyce Irvine back in September. She was the principal who had to give up her job under new federal guidelines for her school to qualify for federal funding. We checked in to see what's happened since.