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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.