Letters: Supernova Sleuth; Gerry Rafferty Listeners weigh in on our interview with 10-year-old Kathryn Aurora Gray, the youngest person ever to discover a Supernova; and our remembrance of singer and songwriter Gerry Rafferty, who died this week at age 63. NPR's Michele Norris and Robert Siegel read from listeners' e-mails.
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Letters: Supernova Sleuth; Gerry Rafferty

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Letters: Supernova Sleuth; Gerry Rafferty

Letters: Supernova Sleuth; Gerry Rafferty

Letters: Supernova Sleuth; Gerry Rafferty

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/132685273/132685249" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Listeners weigh in on our interview with 10-year-old Kathryn Aurora Gray, the youngest person ever to discover a Supernova; and our remembrance of singer and songwriter Gerry Rafferty, who died this week at age 63. NPR's Michele Norris and Robert Siegel read from listeners' e-mails.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris, and it's time now for your letters.

Yesterday, we talked with 10-year-old Kathryn Aurora Gray, the youngest person ever to discover a supernova. The exploding star was 240 million light years away.

Ms. KATHRYN AURORA GRAY: It's just so far away you'd never be able to see it with only your eyes. You can probably barely see it with a telescope, too.

NORRIS: She found it by comparing old pictures of the night sky with new ones taken on New Year's Eve. Well, Kathryn Gray's youthful enthusiasm touched the star gazer in many of you.

What a delight, writes Ken Sembock(ph) of Ellicott City, Maryland. Hearing the wonder and matter-of-factness in Miss Gray's voice as she described the discovery of her supernova drained away the day's cares and brought a smile to my face. Keep looking at the stars, Miss Gray, you never know what you might find.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. GERRY RAFFERTY (Singer): (Singing) (Unintelligible).

NORRIS: And on to another star, singer and songwriter Gerry Rafferty died this week at age 63, and we remembered his career yesterday.

(Soundbite of music)

NORRIS: John Hathaway of Phoenix wrote, when the saxophone solo of "Baker Street" came grinding out of the radio, I was immediately uplifted and started singing along. When it became apparent it was Gerry Rafferty's obituary, I was saddened but continued to sing.

And the earlier hit by Rafferty band, Stealer's Wheel, prompted questions from a few of you.

(Soundbite of song, "Stuck In the Middle With You")

Mr. RAFFERTY: (Singing) Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. Here I am stuck in the middle with you. Yes, I'm stuck in the middle with you, and I'm wondering what it is I should do.

NORRIS: It became clear that many people weren't quite sure who actually wrote that song. John Hathaway(ph) said, what surprised me was realizing I'd long-held a misconception. I always thought Stealer's Wheel was one of Paul McCartney's incarnations and it was McCartney singing the lead on "Stuck in the Middle With You." Thanks for setting me straight and for remembering Mr. Rafferty.

Another listener wrote in with another more common misperception, that the song "Stuck in the Middle With You" was written by Bob Dylan. And I guess I can see why. Gerry Rafferty actually co-wrote "Stuck in the Middle as a parody of Bob Dylan.

Rolling Stone Magazine once wrote that the song struck pay dirt to Rafferty's utter disbelief. It was written as, quote, little more than a joke." But a lot of people thought that really was Bob Dylan singing.

(Soundbite of song, "Stuck in the Middle With You")

NORRIS: Well, we're glad to set the record straight, and frankly, we're glad we got to hear a little bit more of Stealer's Wheel. Keep your letters rolling in. Please write to us by visiting npr.org. Click on Contact Us.

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