Michael Feinstein

Photo: Lepestate

In the mid 20th century, brothers George and ira Gershwin produced many of the songs that have lived in America’s heart for decades.

With George’s melodies and Ira’s lyrics, tunes like “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” have endured for decades.

In 1977, a young cabaret singer named Michael Feinstein went to work as Ira Gershwin’s personal archivist.

For the next six years, until Gershwin’s death, feinstein worked closely with him, gathering insight, inspiration, and some great stories about Gershwin and his contemporaries like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Irving Caesar, among others.

In 1995 feinstein wrote a memoir, called Nice Work if You Can Gt It. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1995, Michael feinstein.
Michael Feinstein is 65 now. He is artistic director for The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana.

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Tony Bennett
Mel Torme

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Nigella Lawson

Photo: Cecile van Straten

The thing about food is that it’s not just fuel for a metabolic process of the human body. It’s a social construct, bringing family or friends together in a way few other experiences can. Can.

And that’s what’s at the heart of the writings of Nigella Lawson, the well-known British-born food writer and TV chef.

In fact, when I met her in 2004, the book she had just published was called Feast.

And a conversation with Nigella Lawson is all “feast” and no “famine.”

So here now, from 2004, Nigella lawson.

Nigella Lawson turned 62 last month. She was last seen on TV in 2020 in the limited series “Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat.”

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Wolfgang Puck
Emeril Lagasse

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Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

Benjamin O. Davis Jr. played a key role in World War II.

Not only were his combat accomplishments extraordinary, but his leadership helped shape the United States Air Force for decades to come.

Davis was the leader of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

As commander of the 99th Fighter Squadron and 332nd Fighter Group in Europe, Davis demonstrated that African-American pilots were just as skilled as their white counterparts.

Benjamin O. Davis flew sixty missions in the war.

He later became the first African-American general in the U.S. Air Force.

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Colin Powell
Elmo Zumwalt

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Framl Deford

Photo: Bridgeport Conn. Public Library

For more than half a century, Frank Deford wrote for Sports Illustrated magazine and for 37 of those years he was also heard regularly on NPR, and seen on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Six times, Deford was voted national sports writer of the year by the National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Association.

But after all those years it took him until 2012 to finally write his memoir, a book. He called Over Time.

I had met Frank a couple of times before that, but it was nice to see him again to talk about his book as we sat and chatted in a Washington DC hotel lobby.

So here now, from 2012, Frank Deford.

Framl Deford died in 2017. He was 78.

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Tom Boswell
Roy Firestone

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Gary Hart

Photo: Kenneth C. Zirkel

As many others of his generation were, former Colorado, senator Gary Hart was inspired to get into politics by John f. Kennedy, and Robert f. Kennedy, and their contemporaries in the 1960s.

By 1972, hard had established himself as a rising star in the Democratic party, and ran George McGovern’s unsuccessful campaign for president.

Two years later, heart ran for US Senate from Colorado and one. He was reelected in 1980. But he had his sights set on higher office.

He ran for president in 1984, narrowly losing the nomination to Walter Mondale. And he ran again in 1988, until his candidacy was done in by allegations of sexual misconduct.

I had the chance to interview Gary Hart several times during the 1980s and ’90s, including the interview you’re about to hear. Heart had just written another book reflecting on his years as someone who tried to be a political reformer .

For context, this interview was conducted less than 6 months after Bill Clinton was first elected president. And no one, including Gary Hart, knew exactly what the next few years would bring.

So here now, from 1993, Gary Hart:

Gary Hart is 85 now and remains active in public service.

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George McGovern
Eugene McCarthy

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Dr. Joycelyn Elders

Joyce Lynn elders was the eldest child of Arkansas sharecroppers, born in 1933. Through a series of remarkable happenstance, she ended up going to medical school and becoming a pediatrician.

When Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, he appointed her to be director of the Arkansas Department of Health. And when he became president in January 1993, Mr. Clinton chose Dr. Elders to be the U.S. Surgeon General. She was the first African American to serve in that position.

But almost from the beginning, Dr. Elders’s bluntness and forthright way of speaking. Got her into hot water. She was anything but politically correct .

And by the end of 1994, the president was forced to ask her for her resignation.

I met her in 1996, when she wrote a memoir.

Now a quick note about the audio quality of this interview. The tape it’s on is, of course, almost 26 years old. And it seems not to have held up as well as most of my collection. But I thought this was an important interview that you needed to hear.

So here now, from 1996, Dr. Joycelyn Elders.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders is 88 now. She is a professor emerita of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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Dr. Ben Carson
Robert Reiich

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Karen Salmansohn

It’s Valentine’s Day. And we could have done the usual mushy, romantic stuff, but instead I wanted to go more tongue in cheek .

Back in 1994 I interviewed the popular self-help author Karen Salmansohn. She had just written a book called how to make your man behave in 21 days or less using the secrets of professional dog trainers.

Really, how much more romantic can you get?

But you know, as much as I hate to admit it, behind every incisive piece of humor. There is a nugget of truth. As I think you’ll find out right now.

So here now, from 1994, Karen Salmansohn/

Karen Salmansohn’s most recent book, Instant Calm, was published in 2019.

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Cesar Millan
Phyllis Diller

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Doug Williams

It’s super bowl weekend, and as we prepare to watch the Rams and Bengals in super bowl 56, let me take you back to super bowl 22 in January 1988 between the Washington Redskins and the Denver broncos.

The quarterback for the Redskins that evening was 32-year-old. Doug Williams.

And by halftime, Williams had made NFL history. In the second quarter alone, he passed for $340 yards and four touchdowns. The Redskins ended up as super bowl champions, and Williams was the game’s MVP.

He was the first black quarterback to start and win a super bowl.
A couple of years later, he wrote an autobiography called Quarterblack.

And even though this interview is 30 years old, it still seems very relevant today, especially in light of the Brian Flores lawsuit against the NFL.

So here now, from 1990, Doug Williams.

Doug Williams of 66 now. He’s an executive with the Washington Redskins, now known as the Washington Commanders.

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Joe Theismann
Michael Oher

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Ali MacGraw

Back to back major movie roles in 1969 and 1970 made the young Ali MacGraw one of the world’s most popular actresses.

Her portrayal of Jennifer Cavallari in 1970s “Love Story” remains a film classic to this day.

As the years went by, Ali MacGraw starred in more major movies. She married actor. Steve McQueen. Later she was married to director Robert Evans.

Finally, in 1991, McGraw wrote her autobiography. That’s when I met her and we had a Frank conversation about her career and her personal life.

So here now, from 1991, Ali MacGraw.

Ali MacGraw is 82 now. She lives in New Mexico.

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Robert Evans
Erich Segal

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Elmore Leonard

Photo: Peabody Awards

He wants famously said that his writing was so crisp and tight because he simply left out the parts that people usually skip over.

During a writing career that spanned more than seven decades, Elmore “Dutch” Leonard produced scores of novels that established his reputation as one of America’s foremost and most popular storytellers of the second half of the 20th century.

I first met Elmore Leonard in 1986, and interviewed him every year or two for the next 20 years.

In 1990 we had a conversation about his newest novel, the interview you’re about to hear. The book we’re talking about: Get Shorty, which later became a hugely popular movie.

So here now, from 1990, Elmore Leonard.

Elmore Leonard suffered a stroke in the summer of 2013 and died a few days later. He was 87.

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James Patterson
Robert B. Parker

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