Bob Edwards Weekend on NCPR


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About Bob Edwards Weekend

Bob Edwards Weekend is a two-hour interview showcase, in which Bob Edwardscelebrated host Bob Edwards highlights the life and work of interesting people, from newsmakers, historians, and authors to artists, actors, and regular folks too.

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Remembering Jesse Winchester
Apr 17, 2014 -

by Dan Bloom, producer

Late least week, we noted the death of our past guest Jesse Winchester with great sadness. The immensely talented singer & songwriter succumbed to bladder cancer and died in his sleep at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was 69 years old. Winchester’s personal story is compelling and his music is rich and mesmeric. We will miss Jesse Winchester, but his music will live on in the memory of his fans, and Bob & I certainly count ourselves among them.

**This program and the rest of this post originally ran in April 2009**

It was a choice that confronted many young Americans during the 1960s…you’ve been drafted into a war that you vehemently oppose, and the options are pretty bleak: report to the military, go to jail, or flee your homeland for a life in exile. Jesse Winchester faced this very decision after graduating from Williams College. He chose to move north to Canada, and proved to be a talented singer and songwriter. But one condition of going to Canada was the understanding that he could not return to the United States - no personal visits and no professional touring. That handicapped his chances at solo stardom. During his ten years in Canada, Winchester developed quality material, recording some brilliant tunes and writing hits for other artists. When he headed north, Jesse Winchester never imagined that American draft dodgers would be granted amnesty. In 1977, ten years after he left, president Jimmy Carter did just that. Winchester returned to the United States and settled in Charlottesville, Virginia. That’s where Bob and I met up with him to record a memorable interview in December of 2008.

I had never heard Jesse Winchester’s songs before our trip to Charlottesville, but as a producer who loves music and politics, I have to thank our host for turning me on to his work and his story. He was a gentle, talented and thoughtful man with a fascinating personal story of historical significance and an excess of musical talent…he was the total package of a Bob Edwards Show guest.

I thank Jesse Winchester for his time, his music, his candor and courage. It was a fascinating piece to put together and I hope you’ll find it an engaging listen.

Jesse Winchester, 1944-2014.

Hear Bob Edwards Weekend From April 12-13, 2014
Apr 16, 2014 -
Forthcoming on The Bob Edwards Show
Apr 13, 2014 -
The Bob Edwards Show, April 14-18, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014:  Conservationist and founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Dave Goulson found his passion for bees as a young boy in rural England. His book, A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees, looks at why bees worldwide are declining and what we can do about it. Then, director Liza Johnson’s new film, Hateship Loveship, is an adaptation of a short story by Nobel laureate Alice Munro and stars actress Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) as the shy lead character. Bob talks with Johnson and Wiig about this story of unlikely friendship and love. Hailee Steinfeld, Nick Nolte, and Guy Pearce co-star. 
Tuesday, April 15, 2014:  Four years ago, three American hikers in Iraqi Kurdistan accidentally crossed the border into Iran.  Captured by border patrol, they were accused of espionage and sent to Evin prison in Tehran.  Bob talks to Shane BauerJoshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd about their experience and book, A Sliver Of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran. Then, linguist and senior writer for the New York Times, Margalit Fox’s book The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code tells the fascinating tale of Linear B, a previously-unknown script discovered at the turn-of-the 19th century in the ruins of Knossos.  It’s now available in paperback.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014:  Bob talks to Michael Lewis about high frequency trading on Wall Street. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department is investigating high speed trading, saying it rigs the market. Michael Lewis explains how this relatively new, shadowy industry operates, and the efforts of a handful of traders to rein it in, in his new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. Then, for the past 18 years, photographer Robert Dawson traveled the United States cataloguing hundreds of public libraries.  His book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, combines his pictures with essays about our library system from America’s best writers and public thinkers.  Joining Dawson to talk with Bob about the state of this American institution is Luis Herrera, director of San Francisco Public Library.
Thursday, April 17, 2014:  On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Right Act, Bob speaks with two authors of new books that tell the story behind the creation of the landmark legislation. Clay Risen is an editor at New York Times op-ed section and the author of The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act. And Todd Purdum is a senior writer at Politico and the author of An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Then, we listen back to our talk with Jesse Winchester, who sadly lost his battle with cancer last week at age 69. In 1967, Winchester went to Canada to avoid being drafted into military service during the Vietnam War. While in Montreal, he wrote songs that were covered by various artists, but Winchester’s career as a performer suffered because he couldn’t tour in the United States. Only after President Carter’s amnesty in 1977 could Winchester return to the U.S. to perform for his American fans.
Friday, April 18, 2014:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news. Then, actor John Torturro has appeared in four films by the Coen Brothers, nine Spike Lee joints and all three of the Transformers blockbuster movies. His latest film is Fading Gigolo, which he wrote, directed and stars in. It includes a stellar cast, featuring Woody Allen as Torturro’s pimp.  We’ll discuss the new movie and Torturro’s eclectic acting career.
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