Letters: PBS Remixes Its Classic Characters

Audie Cornish and Melissa Block read emails from listeners about PBS remixes of Bob Ross, Julia Child and Mister Rogers.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish.

And time now for your letters. Today, comments about a modern showcasing for lost talents. Last week, we heard about an effort by PBS to stay hip by auto-tuning the likes of Fred Rogers, Julia Child and Bob Ross. Imagine Mr. Rogers' sage wisdom sounding something like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GARDEN OF YOUR MIND")

FRED ROGERS: (Singing) Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? In the garden of your mind.

JOHN BOSWELL: Even now, you know, 20 years later, I still listen to what he has to say, and it's really touching.

BLOCK: That's 26-year-old musician John Boswell. He got the enviable job of creating video remixes of some PBS classics, which have gone viral on YouTube. And Steve Flower(ph) of Springfield, Missouri, enjoyed the tributes. He writes this: Each video brought both laughter and tears of nostalgia, remembering these three wonderful people. In a world that has gone all too angry and bitter, we needed those of Fred, Julia and Bob back in our psyches. Thanks to you and John Boswell for the beautiful reminder to grow ideas in the garden of my mind.

CORNISH: Mark Terry of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was less impressed. Wow, he wrote, that certainly was a waste of time. He goes on: Those songs sounded terrible. And really, who cares? Just because something is somewhat popular does not make it interesting or newsworthy.

BLOCK: But there were still lots of Mr. Rogers love out there. Cristy Chandler(ph) of Trinidad, California, tells us he is her hero. And she writes this: Hearing the snippet got me a little choked up as to most Mr. Rogers' moments. As a child, his words gave me a gift of belief in my importance and potential as a person that I have carried with me to this day.

CORNISH: Thanks for all your comments. Send them our way at npr.org. Just click on Contact Us.

BLOCK: And this week, we also want you to write us with some questions. We want to hear your concerns about West Nile virus. Across the country, there's an outbreak of West Nile that the CDC is calling the largest in U.S. history. Over 1,000 cases have been diagnosed; 40 people have died.

CORNISH: Later this week, we'll answer some of your questions on the air about the virus and the current outbreak. So send them to us at npr.org, and please put West Nile virus in the subject line.

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