Airs Tuesday, July 2 at 2 p.m.  After fleeing Nazi Germany, Kurt Weill came to the United States in 1935. The music he subsequently wrote in this country was important in the development of American musical theater. After Weill's death in 1950, his wife Lotte Lenya devoted herself almost exclusively to his music and established the Kurt Weill Foundation in 1962.
     To mark the 85th anniversary of Weill's best-know work, The Threepenny Opera, and the 15th anniversary of the Lotte Lenya Competition for young musical theater singers, Fascinatin' Rhythm host Michael Lasser will be joined by Kurt Weill Scholar and Foundation President Kim Kowalke for a series of three special programs that explore the composer's place in American popular music.
     The programs will explore Kurt Weill's American Songs, Kurt Weill and Popular Singers, and Kurt Weill's American Lyricists. Kurt Weill, American is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, NY.

Airs Sunday, June 30 at 6 p.m.  The 2008 Presidential election marked the first time a woman, Hillary Clinton was seriously considered. Lady Bird Johnson was a pioneer First Lady who forged the way for this historic election. 

This award-winning documentary, produced by Joe Bevilacqua, chronicles her life and times. Lady Bird Johnson: Legacy Of A First Lady is an award-winning one-hour radio documentary that examines the challenges and achievements of this extraordinary woman. The documentary combines never-before-released archive audio, gleaned from thousands of hours of recordings housed at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, period news broadcasts, private conversations with Lyndon Baines Johnson, and the words of Lady Bird Johnson from an interview that has never before been released to the public.

Airs Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m.  Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is still provocative and disturbing a centenary (May 29) after its premiere caused one of the most sensational scandals in artistic history.  In this anniversary documentary, the ballet's 100 year shock-wave is traced from its initial explosion on May 29th 2013 right up to the present time.  First-hand recollections of the famous first night from Dame Marie Rambert, who was one of the dancers, and Igor Stravinsky, who was in the audience, lead through memories of the Berlin premiere in 1923 and the 50th anniversary performance in London conducted by Pierre Monteux, who was the original conductor in 1913, up to comments on the work's enduring power from major artists of today: dancer Dame Monica Mason, and conductors Sir Colin Davis and Valery Gergiev. 

Commentator Brian O'Nuanain takes a decidedly historical detour this morning as he ponders the psychology behind the different perspectives on the Civil War.

Giving Thanks with John Birge

Nov 22, 2012

Airs Thursday, November 22 at 12:00 noon New for 2012: With music and stories for Thanksgiving, host John Birge creates a thoughtful, contemporary reflection on the meaning of the holiday. This year, a grateful tribute to the great writer Nora Ephron, with a warm and funny highlight of her Giving Thanks visit last year. Original Thanksgiving music in the studio with pianist Jacqueline Schwab, heard by millions for her piano music for Ken Burns' "The Civil War." A Thanksgiving blessing from Baxter Black, and a visit from poet and former NEA chairman Dana Gioia. For listeners in the kitchen, on the road, or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music, and truly memorable words.