Marian McPartland: From Jazz Virtuoso to Radio Host

Marian McPartland had not just one, but two stellar careers. As a pianist during the halcyon days of modern jazz, she became enough of a star that photographer Art Kane included her in Esquire magazine’s famous 1958 group photograph in Harlem, alongside such immortals as Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus. Here she is in 1974, performing “In A Mist.”   From 1978 to 2011, McPartland had a second act as host of National Public Radio’s popular show Piano Jazz. She …

My Interview With NPR About Alzheimer’s and My Dad

I recently spoke about my Dad with NPR’s Jacki Lyden for their Weekend All Things Considered story on Alzheimer’s disease. I told her it was a bittersweet experience for me. I started listening to the show as a young child with Dad, and there I was, 40 years later, at the NPR studio, talking about him and the ways that Alzheimer’s disease  is slowly robbing his brain. The first few notes of the show’s theme song immediately summon warm, secure “all …

The Takeaway: Public Radio Stations Worry Shows (and Audiences) Getting Too Old

At public radio stations across the country, the biggest draws are decades-old shows like “A Prairie Home Companion” (started in 1974), “Fresh Air” (1987) and “This American Life” (1995). This has some producers trying to ‘youthanize’ NPR, if you will, with new programs designed to attract younger listeners. But could these appeals seriously change the tone of U.S. public radio?

Au Revoir, “Car Talk”

The following is a guest post from Steve Mencher, AARP multimedia editor.  The Car Guys are retiring from the weekly grind. There was never any doubt: Car Talk isn’t really a show about cars. It’s Abbot and Costello, Burns and Allen for the public radio crowd. But here’s the thing – they really do solve car problems and take their callers, who serve in the role of straight men (and women) seriously. So why the huge success over the course …

Want Your Test Results? Don’t Wait. Nag Your Doctor

Patients who passively wait for their doctor to call them with medical test results need to wake up  – and start dialing. As one doctor put it, “No news is not good news. If a patient gets a test done and doesn’t get a result, he should follow up.” Failure to pass along test results promptly — or even at all — is a growing problem and partly to blame for the big spike in medical malpractice payouts, according to …