Archive for The Radio Program

Stephen and Stephen. King and Colbert.


Stephen King is someone I’d like to figure out.  Here are two questions about him that bewilder me.

First, how does he imagine such outlandish, fiendish characters and stories?  Where do his ideas come from?  What fuels his creative spark?

Second, how is he able to do what he does at such a high level for such an extended time?  Stephen King is not a one-trick pony.  He’s produced a body of work over nearly 40 years that’s sold over 350 million copies and scared the wits out of even more people than that.

This program asks, and keeps asking, those questions.  And gets some answers.  Listen and see what you think.  Here’s one of his answers to whet your appetite, “The road is hell is paved with adverbs.”

1401x788-Screen-Shot-2015-07-15-at-4_23_29-PMAnother Stephen joins the program as the half-time entertainment.  And he’s joined by that effervescent astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who wants to keep Pluto as a “Dwarf” planet despite all its recent publicity.

If you’re feeling anxious about listening to Stephen King, you can skip over to Stephen Colbert for a break (26:55).

Lots of entertainment here for you.  Enjoy.

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The Beatles Last Year Together – Part Two


Listen to StitcherLast week we posted a podcast that was the first part of our radio program about The Beatles last year together.

It began the story of the breakup of The Beatles and offered an explanation for why one of the greatest musical groups ever couldn’t stay together.

Best of all, you got to hear in that first episode some of The Beatles’ humor and finest work.

And in that first episode I introduced my explanation for why The Beatles broke up.

The reason, I think, wasn’t the lack of privacy and unrelenting pressure to produce and perform.  Certainly they added to the larger problem that The Beatles couldn’t solve.

The beginning of the end of The Beatles began 20 months before they came together for the last time in January 1969.

When we think of The Beatles, most of us think only of John, Paul, George and Ringo, the band’s four performers.  But there was a fifth Beatle – Brian Epstein.  He was the strategic glue that held the band together and kept them focused on why they were doing what theyprx-logo-B (2) did.

The Beatles knew they were in trouble after Epstein’s untimely death – he was only 32 at the time – but they didn’t know what to do about it.


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The Beatles Last Year Together – Part One


Listen to StitcherThe Beatles were famous for more than the great music they played.  They approached life with what seemed to be endless fun-loving creativity and energy.

The “Lads from Liverpool” seemed to have some sort of special magic that held them together.  Could it last forever?  Would they ever run out of iconic, chart-topping tunes that we never tired of?

And what were The Beatles?  Were they four young men who somehow blended together their individual skills of singing and playing?  Or was there a sound or a style – could it be called a “brand”- that was The Beatles and the band’s four members always focused on that?

The Beatles last year together began in January 1969 at Twickenham Studios, about 10 miles west of downtown London.  The band hadn’t toured for two years and it seemed like much of their cohesiveness and creativity was missing.

What had happened?  Had the unrelenting pressure of being international superstars taken its toll?  Or did John, Paul, George and Ringo want to express themselves individually rather than being part of The Beatles?prx-logo-B (2)

Or did the end of The Beatles begin 20 months earlier when the fifth Beatle – Brian Epstein – suddenly died?  Who was Brian Epstein?  He didn’t play in the band or write its songs or arrange its music.  What did he do that made him the “Fifth” Beatle?


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Edith the Holdout


Edith Macefield’s house occupies some of Seattle’s most valuable real estate.  Edith Listen to Stitcherdoesn’t live in her house anymore.  But the house is still standing.  And it’s still surrounded by five stories of concrete, steel and glass commercial development.  She was offered a million dollars to sell it but she said, not very politely, that her house wasn’t for sale.

You probably think you’ve heard this story before.  And that you’ve seen a movie based on it.  But that’s a different story.  One that was imagined by some talented and creative writers and artists.

Edith’s story is a true story.  One that actually happened.  And some say it’s still happening today.  But be forewarned.  Her story causes “driveway moments.” Public Radio Exchange

Special thanks and appreciation go out to our good friend, Roman Mars and his program, 99% Invisible, along with the Public Radio Exchange, for producing and distributing some of what you’re about to hear.  Enjoy.

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Galloping Gertie and the Tacoma Narrows


Listen to StitcherThanks to our Radio Program’s association with the Public Radio Exchange, we were able to broadcast Roman Mars’ story of Galloping Gertie, the ill-fated bridge built across the Tacoma Narrows.  And we especially want to acknowledge Roman’s radio program and podcast, “99% Invisible” and thank him for the fabulous work he’s produced.

There are many lessons, all of which matter, embedded in the story of Galloping Gertie.  The first might be bringing a measure of humility to every task you begin.  Or said differently, know what you don’t know.  The chutzpah of Galloping Gertie’s designers and engineers speaks to that essential ingredient.

And no less essential would be constantly recalling President Reagan’s admonition to Soviet Premier Gorbachev, “Trust but verify.”  Bring a healthy dose of skepticism to every assignment and relationship.  Trust is essential and necessary but trust can and should be subjected to scrutiny from time to time.

This segment from our radio program includes a special bonus, the story of Portland State University’s national College Bowl winning championship team.  It’s a story I know well and tell often.  Any story that merits a plaque is worth telling and worth listening to.  Every prx-logo-B (2)chance you get, look for a plaque and if you find one, find out the story behind it.  You can bet it will be a good one.

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