As corporations are making record profits, workers are being squeezed more than ever. But workers are fighting back in surprising ways. Jon Melrod, has been involved as hell raiser and union organizer for decades, ever since his groundbreaking union organizing on the shop floor for the United Auto Workers in the 70s and 1980s. He’s now written a rip-roaring memoir called Fighting Times: Organizing on the Front Lines of the Class War about his fight to make workers lives better, and I was happy to get the chance to interview him.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear my interview with Jon Melrod, as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
Here’s a story by Mark Twain that was never published until after his death.
“The War Prayer” was written in 1905, in response to both the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American Wars, but even Mark Twain didn’t have the courage to publish it in his lifetime. It was left unpublished at his death in April 1910. Twain said about it, “I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead.”
Click on the triangle to hear the story as broadcast today on the Art Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
Monday Morning, Nat King Cole tells his story. Lots of versions of this song from Frank Sinatra to Johnny Mathis to Linda Ronstadt, but my favorite by far is Nat King Cole’s version. No pyrotechnics, just pure and simple singing with tasteful accompaniment.
“This week, I imagined a radio station in dire financial straits deciding the only way out of its financial difficulties was to take on underwriting sponsorships, like you hear on NPR or PBS. Now I know that’s a completely hypothetical situation, I know that would never happen at a place like this, Pacifica WBAI…”
Monday morning we salute Judith Durham of the Seekers who died this month. The 1964 hit featured the Australian singer’s wonderful voice which would ring out from the harmonies of her band mates. They had other hits including the theme song to the film, Georgy Girl, but this song is my favorite of theirs.
Monday morning, crack guitar player, singer, songwriter, and videomaker Mary Spender takes us behind the scenes to her castle, as she gives us a backstage explanation of how she put together her Romeo-and-Juliet influenced music video with zero crew. A really fascinating look at what talent and resourcefulness can do. Oh, and add camera drone operator to that list.
In our Arts Express Playhouse, a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Gilman is best known for her novella The Yellow Wallpaper, but she also wrote hundreds of other short stories. The one I’m reading above, “If I Were a Man,” was written in 1914, before women even had the right to vote in the US, but it seems a whole lot more modern.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the story as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio show, heard on WBAI-FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
The American mass obsession with guns is clearly unique and filmmaker Richard Chisolm has made an intriguing short documentary called Gun Show which details one artist’s attempt to come to grips with the national gun worship.
Click on the triangle above or the mp3 link to hear my review as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program heard on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
Joni Mitchell, 78 years old, appeared this week at the Newport Folk Festival–her first public concert for 20 years. She’s had an aneurysm and other health problems, but with a little help from her friends (Brandi Carlile, Wynona Judd) she sang, among other songs, “Both Sides Now,” “Summertime,” and the song above, a very touching “The Circle Game.”
Monday morning, a beautiful song written and sung by Allison Young and Josh Turner. Josh writes:
“When Allison and I started to conceive of this project, we both wanted to do something acapella in the Scots-Irish-Appalachian folk tradition. I had suggested a few covers, and then Allison come to me with a verse and a chorus. We finished the song together over the next two days and recorded it just a few days after that. Allison woke up with her voice feeling terrible the morning of recording but it was one of the last days we had, so when she said she felt good enough to give it a try, I hit record on the camera without even checking it – couldn’t waste time! as a result, it is not a very good shot, with Allison almost out of frame and me blocked by the mic. But the recording I’m very happy with.
Longtime friend of the channel Gabe Terraciano added some subtle fiddle drones after the fact for this one, and I put just a tiny bit of Moog synth on there for bass. Topping it off is a recording of some birds Allison took at Edwin Warner park.”
Kenneth Patchen’s poetry is a bullet right between the eyes.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear Mary Murphy and me read a selection of poems by Kenneth Patchen, as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the country.