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This Author: Terry Gross
This Publisher: National Public Radio

NPR: Fresh Air Podcast by Terry Gross

NPR: Fresh Air Podcast

by Terry Gross

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Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.


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The Hollywood Blacklist and the Classic Western 'High Noon'

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 21, 2017


Journalist Glenn Frankel talks about a chapter of paranoia and persecution in America, in which the president, Congress, the courts and the press all played a part. Frankel's new book is about the Hollywood Blacklist and the making of the classic film 'High Noon,' which was written as a parable about the blacklist.

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Presidential Secrets

Author: NPR
Mon, Feb 20, 2017


Author Mary Graham says President Trump has demonstrated a lack of transparency, in his refusal to release his tax records and health records, and in his immigration ban, which was issued without consultation from government lawyers, or agencies. Her book is 'Presidents' Secrets.' Also, 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger talks to Sebastian Barry about his novel 'Days Without End,' about an Irish immigrant who enlists in the U.S. Army in the 1850s.

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Best Of: Mahershala Ali / James Baldwin / Dir. Raoul Peck

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 17, 2017


Actor Mahershala Ali talks about 'Moonlight,' converting to Islam, and why he didn't feel understood as a kid. Filmmaker Raoul Peck's documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro' features the work of late writer and social critic James Baldwin. "Baldwin was one of the first authors ever where I felt not only at home, but he was speaking directly to me," says Peck. We'll also listen back to a 1986 interview that Terry Gross recorded with James Baldwin.

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'Manchester By The Sea' Dir. Kenneth Lonergan

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 17, 2017


'Manchester by the Sea' is nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture. We listen back to Terry Gross' recent conversation with director Kenneth Lonergan. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the CBS 'Good Wife' spin-off 'The Good Fight,' and the HBO series 'Big Little Lies.' We remember jazz pianist and singer Barbara Caroll, and film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Great Wall,' starring Matt Damon.

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Actor Mahershala Ali

Author: NPR
Thu, Feb 16, 2017


The Oscar-nominated actor talks about 'Moonlight,' converting to Islam, and why he didn't feel understood as a kid. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novella 'Ghachar Ghochar.'

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Climate Change And The Trump Presidency

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 15, 2017


'ProPublica' journalist Andrew Revkin talks about President Trump's possible cuts to the EPA, as well as the potential impact of pulling out of the Paris Agreement. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Tift Merritt's album 'Stitch of the World.' Also, we remember heroic Vietnam War commander Lt. General Harold Moore who died last week. Critic at-large John Powers reviews 'Kedi,' a documentary about the street cats of Istanbul.

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James Baldwin / 'I Am Not Your Negro'

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 14, 2017


Filmmaker Raoul Peck's Oscar-nominated documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro' features the work of late writer and social critic James Baldwin. "Baldwin was one of the first authors ever where I felt not only at home, but he was speaking directly to me," says Peck. We'll also listen back to a 1986 interview that Terry Gross recorded with James Baldwin.

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How Retailers Are Watching Us

Author: NPR
Mon, Feb 13, 2017


Consumers have grown accustomed to the idea of online retailers collecting information about them, but author Joseph Turow says now brick-and-mortar stores are doing it too. His book is 'The Aisles Have Eyes.' Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new Count Basie sampler album, and writer Sarah Hepola shares her complicated feelings about Valentine's Day.

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Best Of: 'Tower' Director / Writer Bharati Mukherjee

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 10, 2017


The new documentary film 'Tower' tells the story of the 1966 University of Texas shooting that killed more than a dozen people. Director Keith Maitland says the incident was largely pushed aside for years. Maureen Corrigan reviews George Saunders' first novel 'Lincoln in the Bardo.' Also, we remember writer Bharati Mukherjee who died last month. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2002.

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Jeff Bridges

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 10, 2017


Bridges talks about the lessons he learned from his father, actor Lloyd Bridges, the cult of 'Big Lebowski' fans, and how he calms his nerves. Bridges is nominated for an Oscar for his role in 'Hell or High Water.' TV critic David Bianculli shares an appreciation of the 1960s duo The Smothers Brothers, and John Powers reviews the Criterion reissue of 'Black Girl,' by Senegalese director Ousmane Semb?ne.

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The GOP Wants To Repeal Obamacare. But Then What?

Author: NPR
Thu, Feb 09, 2017


President Trump has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but Sarah Kliff of 'Vox' says it's "an overreach" to say that Republicans have a plan for what comes next. Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews George Saunders' first novel, 'Lincoln in the Bardo.'

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The 1966 Campus Shooting That Was 'Pushed Aside'

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 08, 2017


The new documentary film 'Tower' tells the story of the 1966 University of Texas shooting that killed more than a dozen people. Director Keith Maitland and survivor Claire Wilson James say the incident was largely pushed aside for years afterwards. "I think that cost people ... an opportunity to deal with that trauma," says Maitland.

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Uncovering Wall Street's Biggest Insider-Trading Scandal

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 07, 2017


Sheelah Kolhatkar talks about the investigation into billionaire hedge-fund trader Steven A. Cohen. Her book is 'Black Edge.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new FX series 'Legion,' based on the Marvel comic.

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'The Shattering Of An All-American Town'

Author: NPR
Mon, Feb 06, 2017


Once a bustling factory town, Lancaster, Ohio is now beset by unemployment, low wages and drug abuse. Brian Alexander chronicles the rise and fall of his hometown in his new book, 'Glass House.' Also, we remember writer Bharati Mukherjee. She spoke to Terry Gross in 2002.

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Best Of: Director Jim Jarmusch / Modern Death

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 03, 2017


Jarmusch's new movie, 'Paterson,' which was inspired by William Carlos Williams' epic poem, is about a bus driver who writes poetry. His previous film was a documentary about Iggy and the Stooges. Film critic David Edelstein reviews Asghar Farhadi's film 'The Salesman,' which is nominated for an Oscar. Dr. Haider Warraich talks about how advances in medicine have changed the dying process — and the tricky situations that can arise as a result. Warraich also shares his experience as a Pakistani Muslim living in the U.S.

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'La La Land' Director / Meryl Streep

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 03, 2017


'La La Land' hearkens back to Hollywood's glory days of song and dance. Director Damien Chazelle says he aimed to make a movie even musical skeptics would love. The film is nominated for 14 Oscars. Meryl Streep works hard to sing badly in her film, 'Florence Foster Jenkins.' In it, she plays the title role, a character based on an actual heiress and socialite who devoted her life to music — despite having a squeaky, screechy singing voice. Streep is nominated for an Oscar for the role.

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President Trump's Nationalistic & Christian Right Influences

Author: NPR
Thu, Feb 02, 2017


Sarah Posner, a reporter with The Nation's Investigative Fund, talks about how the Steve Bannon-Jeff Sessions-Mike Pence nexus is influencing President Trump's policies.

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Would SCOTUS Nominee Gorsuch Rule Contrary To Trump?

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 01, 2017


Legal expert Jeffrey Rosen says of Neil Gorsuch: "If he thought that individual liberty was threatened by presidential or congressional overreaching, then he would step in." Also, we remember British actor John Hurt, who died last week. Film critic David Edelstein reviews Asghar Farhadi's film 'The Salesman,' which is nominated for an Oscar.

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Director Jim Jarmusch / Sundance Recap

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 31, 2017


Jarmusch's new movie, 'Paterson,' which was inspired by William Carlos Williams' epic poem, is about a bus driver who writes poetry. His previous film was a documentary about Iggy and the Stooges. Also, 'Fresh Air' producer Ann Marie Baldonado talks with 'Los Angeles Times' film critic Justin Chang about the highlights from the Sundance Film Festival.

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Medicine And Modern Death

Author: NPR
Mon, Jan 30, 2017


Dr. Haider Warraich talks about how advances in medicine have changed the dying process — and the tricky situations that can arise as a result. Warraich also shares his experience as a Pakistani Muslim living in the U.S. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Perfect Little World' by Kevin Wilson.

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Best Of: Silicon Valley Survivalists / 'Manchester By The Sea' Director

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 27, 2017


Journalist Evan Osnos talks about the Silicon Valley survivalists who are stockpiling food and weapons and investing in luxury underground bunkers. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'A Really Good Day,' by Ayelet Waldman. Kenneth Lonergan's new film is about a janitor (Casey Affleck), crippled by guilt and grief, who returns to his hometown after the death of his brother. The film is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Director and Best Picture.

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Remembering Mary Tyler Moore

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 27, 2017


The television icon died Wednesday at the age of 80. She inspired a generation playing a single professional woman in the 1970s series 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show.' She spoke with Terry Gross in 1995. Also, rock historian Ed Ward listens back to The Monkees, 50 years later.

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What Does Putin Want?

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 26, 2017


Luke Harding, the former Moscow Bureau Chief for 'The Guardian,' says that Putin "wants to turn the clock back to an age ... where strong sovereign nations didn't talk about values or human rights." Harding also talks about the KGB break-ins at his apartment in Moscow.

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'Survival Of The Richest'

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 25, 2017


Journalist Evan Osnos talks about the Silicon Valley survivalists who are stockpiling food and weapons and investing in luxury underground bunkers. "They feel a sense of fragility in our politics," he says. Osnos has also been writing about Trump.

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The History of U.S. Intervention

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 24, 2017


Journalist Stephen Kinzer's book, 'True Flag,' explains how the Spanish-American War launched an ongoing debate about America's role in the world. Kinzer has also been writing about President Trump. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'A Really Good Day,' by Ayelet Waldman.

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'America In Laos & The Birth Of A Military CIA'

Author: NPR
Mon, Jan 23, 2017


In the '60s, the CIA began a secret program that aimed to curb Communism by arming and training local fighters in Laos. Author Joshua Kurlantzick calls it "the largest covert operation in US history." Kevin Whitehead reviews a new double album from jazz trio BassDrumBone. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Founder,' starring Michael Keaton, about the founder of McDonalds.

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Best Of: Segregation In Schools / Rachel Bloom Of 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 20, 2017


Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says school segregation will continue to exist in America "as long as individual parents continue to make choices that only benefit their own children." Comedian and commentator Zahra Noorbakhsh often jokes about being a "pork-eating, alcohol-drinking Muslim, but after Trump's election she finds herself wanting to connect with her religious traditions. Rachel Bloom talks to 'Fresh Air' producer Ann Marie Baldonado about 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,' the CW musical comedy series, now in its second season, that she co-created and stars in.

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Zadie Smith

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 20, 2017


Writer Zadie Smith talks about nostalgia and why she likes talking to people with whom she disagrees. Her new novel is 'Swing Time.' [Originally broadcast November 2016]

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Ethics Lawyers Call Trump's Business Conflicts 'Nakedly Unconstitutional'

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 19, 2017


Norm Eisen and Richard Painter discuss Trump's business conflicts. The new president will be "violating the constitutional conflicts clause ... as soon as he takes the oath of office," Eisen says.

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Muslim Chaplain Khalid Latif

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 18, 2017


Khalid Latif is one of the people profiled in 'The Secret Life of Muslims,' a digital series about Islamophobia. He is also the first Muslim chaplain at New York University. Comedian and commentator Zahra Noorbakhsh often jokes about being a "pork-eating, alcohol-drinking, married-to-an-atheist" Muslim, but after Trump's election she finds herself wanting to connect with her religious traditions. Commentator Mat Johnson looks back on Obama's legacy.

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Mormon Polygamy & Women's Rights / Rachel Bloom Of 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 17, 2017


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich says that for Mormon women living in 19th century Utah, "plural marriages" were empowering in complicated ways. Rachel Bloom talks to 'Fresh Air' producer Ann Marie Baldonado about the CW musical comedy series, now in its second season, that she co-created and stars in. Bloom plays a woman who follows an ex across the country.

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The Systemic Segregation Of Schools

Author: NPR
Mon, Jan 16, 2017


Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says school segregation will continue to exist in America "as long as individual parents continue to make choices that only benefit their own children."

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Best Of: Jeff Bridges / Sportscaster Joe Buck

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


Bridges talks about growing up in an acting family and the cult of 'Big Lebowski' fans. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix adaptation of Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events.' NFL and MLB sportscaster Joe Buck talks about why he rubs some fans the wrong way, and his dad, hall-of-fame broadcaster Jack Buck.

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Lemony Snicket, AKA Author Daniel Handler

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix show based on 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler). Handler spoke to Terry Gross in 2001 and in 2012, when he brought his accordion to the studio. Also, we remember celebrated Indian actor Om Puri, who died last week. David Edelstein reviews the German comedy 'Toni Erdmann.'

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Rewriting the Genetic Code

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 12, 2017


New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter talks about the dramatic advances in genetic research. He says there are new tools that allow scientists "to edit genes in the way a word processor would edit words," so they can alter, delete, and rearrange the DNA of living organisms. Critic at large John Powers reviews '20th Century Women,' the new film written and directed by Mike Mills.

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Sportscaster Joe Buck

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 11, 2017


Buck's new memoir, 'Lucky Bastard,' details his experiences in sports and life, including his addiction to hair-plug transplants. When it comes to announcing, he says, "I don't have a rooting interest for either side." Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Natalie Hemby's album 'Puxico.'

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Why More Americans Are Giving Up On Banks

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 10, 2017


Author Lisa Servon says a growing number of Americans are finding alternatives to traditional banks, including prepaid debit cards, check-cashing centers, and payday lenders. Her book is 'The Unbanking of America.' Also, we remember activist and jazz writer Nat Hentoff with an excerpt of his 1986 interview.

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Jeff Bridges

Author: NPR
Mon, Jan 09, 2017


Bridges talks about the lessons he learned from his father, actor Lloyd Bridges, the cult of 'Big Lebowski' fans, and how he calms his nerves on set. Maureen Corrigan reviews Betty Fussell's book of essays, 'Eat, Live, Love, Die.'

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Best Of: Lin-Manuel Miranda / 'La La Land' Director

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 06, 2017


'Hamilton' creator Lin-Manuel Miranda talks about Disney, code-switching as a kid in New York, and addressing Vice President-elect Mike Pence at a recent performance. 'La La Land' hearkens back to Hollywood's glory days of song and dance. Director Damien Chazelle says he aimed to make a movie even musical skeptics would love.

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Comic Chris Gethard On 'Career Suicide'

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 06, 2017


Gethard tells stories of hitting rock bottom in his new one-man off-Broadway show, which is billed as a comedy about "suicide, depression, alcoholism and all the other funniest parts of life." [Originally broadcast October 2016] Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Paterson.'

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'La La Land' Director Damien Chazelle

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 05, 2017


'La La Land' hearkens back to Hollywood's glory days of song and dance. Chazelle says he aimed to make a movie even musical skeptics would love.

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Reflections On Moderate Islam

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 04, 2017


Omar Saif Ghobash has written a book of letters to his sons, urging them to find knowledge, wisdom and understanding in all cultures and to reject hate and extremism. Ghobash is the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Russia. Also, we remember world religions scholar Huston Smith. He spoke to Terry Gross in 1996.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 03, 2017


The 'Hamilton' creator talks about making mixtapes in the '90s, code-switching as a kid in New York, and addressing Vice President-elect Mike Pence at a recent performance.

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Roast Comic Jeff Ross

Author: NPR
Mon, Jan 02, 2017


Jeff Ross says he learned to "dish it out and take it" as a kid in Newark, N.J. He says that ideally a celebrity roast is "like a party where everybody goes and has a good time." [Originally broadcast September 2016]

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Best Of: 2016 Pop Culture Wrap-Up

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 30, 2016


Film critic David Edelstein, TV critic David Bianculli, critic at-large John Powers, rock critic Ken Tucker and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead share their picks for the best of 2016.

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Stephen Colbert

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 29, 2016


For the first time since hosting 'The Late Show,' Colbert talks to Terry Gross about shedding his 'Colbert Report' character and becoming comfortable playing himself. [Originally broadcast November 2016] Also, this year marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a recent CD that celebrates Shakespeare in words and music.

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Francis Ford Coppola On 'The Godfather'

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 29, 2016


Coppola was 29 when he signed on to direct a film based on Mario Puzo's novel about an Italian-American crime family. "I was always just trying to bluff the studio to let me do it my way," he says. [Originally broadcast November 2016]

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Remembering Carrie Fisher

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 28, 2016


Carrie Fisher, the actress who became a pop culture icon for her performance as Princess Leia in 'Star Wars,' has died at age 60. She spoke to Terry Gross in 1990, 2004 and most recently in 2016 for her memoir, 'The Princess Diarist.' Rock critic Ed Ward reflects on The Ramones' self-titled first album, which debuted 40 years ago.

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Gaby Hoffmann / 'Blackish' Creator Kenya Barris

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 27, 2016


Gaby Hoffmann grew up in the Chelsea Hotel with her mother, an actress in Andy Warhol's Factory. Gaby appeared in 'Field of Dreams' and other films as child, but says she saw acting as "a means to an end." She now stars in the Amazon series 'Transparent.' [Originally broadcast October 2016] Kenya Barris' ABC comedy series 'Black-ish' was inspired by his own family experiences. He says the show is about "raising your kids in a different environment than you were accustomed to being raised in." [Originally broadcast May 2016]

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Bruce Springsteen

Author: NPR
Mon, Dec 26, 2016


Recorded at his home studio, Springsteen speaks to Terry Gross about growing up in Jersey, songwriting, and wishing to be his stage persona. His new memoir is 'Born to Run.' [Originally broadcast October 2016]

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