Rank #1: Peter and the Wolf
2016 marks 80 years since the first performance of Prokofiev’s children’s piece, Peter and the Wolf. As WNYC’s Sara Fishko tells us, the millions of children listening over the decades knew only part of the story. (Produced in 2011)
Dec 22 2016
Rank #2: Stanwyck & Co.
An upcoming FX series shines a spotlight on the sometimes competing eccentricities of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. They were just two of a generation of Hollywood actresses who worked fiercely to hold onto their peculiarities of style, stance, and voice. WNYC’s Sara Fishko tells us more in this edition of Fishko Files. (Produced in 2007)
Feud: Bette and Joan premieres on FX on March 5. For more information, visit http://www.fxnetworks.com.
Mar 02 2017
Rank #3: Pianists After Glenn Gould
We're coming up on the birth anniversary of the brilliant Canadian pianist Glenn Gould (1932-1982). It was Gould's strikingly original take on the music of Bach that brought him great acclaim. In this archival piece made for Studio 360, Sara Fishko asked then-current Bach pianists about Gould's influence. (Produced in 2002)
Sep 19 2019
Rank #4: Marilyn
Many decades after Marilyn Monroe's death in August of 1962, her image - often imitated, but never quite duplicated - is still everywhere. WNYC's Sara Fishko has more, in this archival Fishko Files. (Produced in 2011)
Sep 06 2018
Rank #5: World's Fair 1939
Starting in April of 1939, a generation of New Yorkers - as well as visitors from all over - were treated to a spectacular World's Fair. The theme was "The World of Tomorrow," and as Sara Fishko tells us, the futuristic buildings and visionary exhibits held special promise for Depression-era Americans. (Produced in 2009)
Apr 11 2019
Rank #6: Chopin's 'Raindrop' Prelude
As we approach winter and 2018, WNYC's Sara Fishko looks back to the winter of 1838, when Chopin and Georges Sand lived through a damp and dismal moment abroad - and lived to write about it. The richly repetitive "Raindrop Prelude," in this Fishko Files. (Produced in 2010)
Dec 07 2017
Rank #7: Arnold Schoenberg
In 1918, Arnold Schoenberg founded the Society for Private Musical Performances with the aim of making new music, excellently played, available to the then-modern audience. In this archival Fishko Files, composer and author Allen Shawn reflects on his own efforts, in his book Arnold Schoenberg's Journey, to demystify the composer himself for our own era. (Produced in 2002)
Apr 26 2018
Rank #8: Robert Frank
The death on Monday of the photographer Robert Frank sent us back to this short Fishko Files, made from an interview taped at Frank’s Bleecker Street studio in 2009. Called “pivotal” by The New York Times this week's obituary, Frank is widely credited with having changed the direction of photography with his book The Americans, which liberated documentary photographs from a formal and formulaic style. Here, Frank talks about freelancing in New York in the years leading up to his celebrated book. (Produced in 2009)
Sep 12 2019
Rank #9: Sid Caesar
This September will mark 95 years since the birth of Sid Caesar (1922-2014), undisputed master of the comedy sketch. For this archival edition of Fishko Files, Sara Fishko talked to Caesar as well as his castmate Carl Reiner about their insanely creative adventures in TV. (Produced in 2002)
Jul 20 2017
Rank #10: Jazz Masters
The National Endowment for the Arts has honored exceptional jazz figures with the Jazz Masters Fellowship for the past 35 years. Despite threats to the NEA’s funding, the NEA has announced the next round of Masters for 2018. For this archival Fishko Files, WNYC’s Sara Fishko listened in on a group of recently minted Jazz Masters as they reflected on their careers, and on jazz itself. (Produced in 2011)
*The 2018 NEA Jazz Masters are Joanne Brackeen, Pat Metheny, Dianne Reeves, and Todd Barkan. For more information, visit https://www.arts.gov/.
Note: Distinguished record executive and producer Orrin Keepnews (1923-2015) has died since this episode originally aired.
Jun 15 2017
Rank #11: Moonlight Sonata
With Monday's eclipse still resonating in our memory, here's a Fishko Files meditation on music and moonlight, with thanks to Beethoven and a dozen or so pianists. (Produced in 2000)
Aug 24 2017
Rank #12: Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol was born on August 6, 1928, and 'dreamt himself' out of his Pittsburgh childhood into his extraordinary celebrity life. Sara Fishko and guests consider how Warhol's own fandom figured into his self-creation, in this archival Fishko Files. (Produced in 2001)
Aug 02 2018
Rank #13: Ida Lupino
Ida Lupino (1918-1995) was a film business pioneer - a tough but tender actress who turned herself into a movie director, having been only the second woman to be inducted into the Director's Guild in 1950. In honor of her centenary, commemorated by Film Forum with a Lupino film festival, we bring you a Fishko Files meditation on her life and work. (Produced in 2010)
Ida Lupino 100 runs at Film Forum Friday, November 9 through Thursday, November 22. For tickets and information, visit their website.
Nov 08 2018
Rank #14: Lalo Schifrin
Lalo Schifrin is 85 this year, and his career as a jazz pianist and composer of film and TV scores ("Mission Impossible") has been stellar. WNYC's Sara Fishko talked to Schifrin - who was born in Argentina - about his gift for capturing the American sound. (Produced in 2008)
A new CD of Schifrin classical piano works has just been released by fellow Argentinian pianist Mirian Conti on the Grand Piano label. Schifrin: Piano Works is available on Amazon.
Nov 23 2017
Rank #15: Vorkapich
This week, our thoughts turn to a behind-the-scenes Serbian cinematic poet whose contribution to film fit in between the major scenes of Golden Age Hollywood movies. Sara Fishko, with commentary by the late film critic Andrew Sarris, considers the master of the old-school "montage," Slavko Vorkapich.
Jun 07 2018
Rank #16: The Jazz Loft Radio Series, Episode 1: Introduction
Few people in history had as much access to the great midcentury jazz musicians as W. Eugene Smith - born 100 years ago this week, on December 30, 1918. The famous LIFE magazine photographer left his home and family in a New York suburb and moved to a rundown loft building on 6th Avenue, in the heart of Manhattan’s Flower District. As Smith printed in his darkroom there, the likes of Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea, and Sonny Rollins came by to jam and hang out - and Smith captured nearly of all it, his quarter-inch tape recorders running nearly nonstop for about eight years. (Produced in 2009)
The Jazz Loft Anthology, a four-part series of hour-long episodes, airs this Tuesday, January 1 at 10 AM on WNYC.
More information about the film The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith is available here.
Thanks to the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, our original partner in the production of The Jazz Loft Radio Series.
The Jazz Loft Radio Series was supported in part by a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities; and by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts.
Dec 27 2018
Rank #17: On Hamlet
The 2019 season of free Shakespeare in the Park gets underway this week. In honor of that great New York tradition, WNYC's Sara Fishko considers the infinite variety of voices that have squeezed every vocal drop out of the Bard's most celebrated soliloquy. (Produced in 2012)
May 23 2019
Rank #18: Shrinks on Screen
It's August - when the analysts, psychologists, and therapists leave town. For those who may miss them, here is this archival Fishko Files. (Produced in 2002)
Aug 08 2019
Rank #19: Five Four Time
60 years ago, in 1959, Dave Brubeck released one of the landmark recordings of the 20th century: Time Out, which played with off-beat time signatures. Our archival piece, Five Four Time, considers unconventional musical time – and its persistent coolness, here in the west. (Produced in 2008)
Jan 10 2019
Rank #20: Theremin
The theremin, a remarkable musical instrument with a unique sound, was invented in 1919 (or 1920, according to some) - and its story includes science, artistry...and espionage. More, in this archival episode of Fishko Files. (Produced in 2002)
May 02 2019