Azam Ali has performed for crowds all over the world. Three years ago, she found her most challenging audience: her newborn son. Azam began to collect Middle Eastern lullabies for her son and they from the new album, “From Night to the Edge of Day.”
For Leslie Scott, barbecue is a way of life. As she tells Dick Gordon, making great ribs can make someone fall in love with you. Leslie comes from a family with a barbecue sauce that goes back five generations.
Ching Yeung Russell is a writer. Her breakthrough book is called "First Apple." It tells the story of a young girl in China who's never tasted an apple, and sets her mind to do just that. It's pretty close to a true story about her own upbringing.
Singer Kathy Mattea grew up in West Virginia. She remembers a mining disaster in 1968. She and her parents were glued to the television as news of 78 trapped Sago miners came across the screen. Rescuers eventually had to give up. After another Sago mine disaster in 2006, Kathy became convinced the time had come to understand her family's roots in coal. So she set aside the country singing she's famous for and embraced the mountain music of her heritage. The result is her album Coal. Kathy tells Dick Gordon how this musical journey helped her find the story of her own life.
Abigail Washburn and her group The Sparrow Quartet are currently in Beijing. The group was invited by the Chinese government to be "cultural Olympians." For Abigail, it was an invitation to return to a country she loves.
Joan Snyder paints her way through pain and pleasure. Last year, her 40-year career as an abstract painter was recognized by the MacArthur Foundation with a $500,000 fellowship. But Joan didn't always want to be a painter. Also in this episode, for Maggie Turnbull, the search for extra-terrestrial life is a personal mission, ever since she saw the movie "Contact" years ago. She talks to Dick about how scientists try to look for signs of life 'out there', and what drives her to do so.
Three months after Doug Block's mother died, Doug's father announced that he was marrying his former secretary. The event shocked the entire family. Doug later came across his mother's diaries and was stunned to learn how frustrated she had been - and how his parents relationship had been based on function, not love. He made a film about what he learned about his family called "51 Birch Street".