Actor and writer Ricky Gervais is best known as creator and star of the British TV comedy The Office, which was adapted into a U.S. hit starring Steve Carrell. He also stars in Extras, which airs in the U.S. on HBO; it’s about an out-of-work actor scrambling for bit parts ? until he lands a leading role in a crass but popular sitcom. Gervais also writes the Flanimals children’s books. PLUS, editorial cartoonist and Kudzu comic-strip creator Doug Marlette died July 10 in a Mississippi car accident. He was 57. His skewering of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker helped earn him a Pulitzer Prize. This interview first aired on June 8, 1987. ock historian Ed Ward reviews three recent DVDs: the deluxe edition of D.A. Pennebaker’s Bob Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back, a Dylan press conference released as Dylan Speaks, and Rockin’ at the Red Dog, a documentary on an all-but-forgotten bar in Nevada.
It is estimated that Americans spent roughly $15 billion dollars last year on bottled water. Why do we pay for something we get for free? Business writer CHARLES FISHMAN takes us inside the bottled water industry and the health and environmental controversies surrounding our obsession with the product. We’re also joined by representatives from Nestle Corp. and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Beginning in the 1930’s “Sister” Rosetta Tharpe was gospel’s original cross-over artists — a vocalist and guitarist who influenced such rock and roll musicians like Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Issac Hayes. Tune in for a rebroadcast of our conversation with GAYLE WALD, author of “Shout Sister Shout: The Untold Story of Rock and Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe.”
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Throughout its rich history, Wilco has alternated between folk-tinged alt-country and experimental pop, surprising fans and critics with its sonic inventiveness along the way. In the process, it’s made some of the finest albums of the ’90s and ’00s, while establishing itself as a virtually peerless live band. After the demise of the legendary Uncle Tupelo in 1994, the band’s two leaders went their separate ways: Jay Farrar formed Son Volt, while Jeff Tweedy took the rest of Uncle Tupelo with him to form Wilco. While 1995’s A.M. remained firmly in the alt-country vein of Uncle Tupelo, 1996’s lush, sprawling Being There found Wilco broadening its ambitions considerably. Summerteeth followed three years later, and though it remains beloved, the band’s increased experimentalism strained relations with its label. After that acrimony held up the release of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot ? widely considered to be Wilco’s masterpiece ? the band’s uncompromising nature helped transform it into a pop-culture icon. After the release of another studio album (the Grammy-winning A Ghost Is Born) and a double-disc live collection (Kicking Television), Wilco just returned with a sixth studio disc, Sky Blue Sky. Already the band’s most commercially successful album to date, it showcases a newfound fire that’s well-suited for Tweedy’s melancholy, beautiful compositions.
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