"I realized what a mess I made out of my life, and I got out of there and stayed out of there. Never did go back," Merle Haggard says of his time in prison. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist
Merle Haggard Reflects On His Outlaw Country Past
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129458523/129550757" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Life in Prison Merle Haggard
Buy

Buy Featured Music

Song
Life in Prison
Album
I'm a Lonesome Fugitive/Branded Man
Artist
Merle Haggard

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

I Threw Away the Rose Merle Haggard
Buy

Buy Featured Music

Song
I Threw Away the Rose
Album
Branded Man
Artist
Merle Haggard

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Today I Started Loving You Again Merle Haggard
If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will) George Jones
Buy

Buy Featured Music

Song
If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)
Album
Essential George Jones
Artist
George Jones

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

George Jones was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2008. He has also won several Grammy Awards. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Listen Back To Fresh Air's 1996 Interview With George Jones
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129479939/129551070" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will) George Jones
Buy

Buy Featured Music

Song
If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)
Album
Essential George Jones
Artist
George Jones

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Wigwam Bob Dylan
Buy

Buy Featured Music

Song
Wigwam
Album
The Royal Tenenbaums
Artist
Bob Dylan

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Bobby Braddock wrote his first song at age 8 for a piano recital. He's gone on to amass a remarkable collection of chart-topping country hits. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist
Bobby Braddock: Spelling Success With Country Songs
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129550239/129551501" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Golden Ring George Jones & Tammy Wynette
Buy

Buy Featured Music

Song
Golden Ring
Album
18 Greatest
Artist
George Jones & Tammy Wynette

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Monday

View show

Exene Cervenka and John Doe perform in Hollywood in September 2004. "The first person I ever saw jump into the audience was me," Cervenka tells Fresh Air. Amanda Edwards/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Music Interviews

A Personal History Of L.A. Punk: 'It Was A Free-For-All For Outcasts'

John Doe, Exene Cervenka and Dave Alvin of X join Fresh Air to discuss punk's early days. "Anybody could belong to punk that wanted to be there," Cervenka says. "[It] didn't matter how old you were."

A Personal History Of L.A. Punk: 'It Was A Free-For-All For Outcasts'
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/476449645/476498252" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
View show

Saturday

View show

Questlove's previous books include Mo' Meta Blues and Soul Train. He also teaches a class about classic albums at New York University. Ben Watts/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Ben Watts/Courtesy of the artist

Interviews

Fresh Air Weekend: Questlove; 'Elvis & Nixon'; Tom Hanks

The Roots' drummer Questlove discusses the artistry involved in creating a great meal. Critic David Edelstein reviews Elvis & Nixon. Tom Hanks discusses his new movie, A Hologram for the King.

Fresh Air Weekend: Questlove; 'Elvis & Nixon'; Tom Hanks
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/476099719/476291120" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
View show

Friday

View show

Books

'New Yorker' Cartoonist And TV Producer Writes 'Honest Portrait' Of His Parents

Bruce Eric Kaplan's illustrated memoir I Was A Child describes his life in New Jersey in the '60s and '70s. He says the book is a way of keeping his parents alive. Originally broadcast April 2, 2015.

'New Yorker' Cartoonist And TV Producer Writes 'Honest Portrait' Of His Parents
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/476097690/476180559" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Music Reviews

Musicians Pay Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson On 'God Don't Never Change'

A range of musicians, including Tom Waits and Sinéad O'Connor, cover gospel-blues performer Johnson on a new tribute album. Critic Milo Miles says the record's tracks are striking and inventive.

Musicians Pay Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson On 'God Don't Never Change'
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/476097794/476180570" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Books

Remembering Harry Wu, 'Troublemaker' For The Chinese Communist Party

Wu, who survived 19 years in Chinese labor camps, died Tuesday. Born in China, Wu had lived in the United States since 1985 and was an active proponent of human rights. Originally broadcast in 1994.

Remembering Harry Wu, 'Troublemaker' For The Chinese Communist Party
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/476153483/476180617" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Movie Reviews

A White House Meeting Brings Together 2 Lost Souls In 'Elvis & Nixon'

A new film imagines what happened when Elvis Presley met President Nixon on Dec. 21, 1970. Film critic David Edelstein says Elvis & Nixon "shows the crazy-making insulation of celebrity."

A White House Meeting Brings Together 2 Lost Souls In 'Elvis & Nixon'
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/476099285/476181009" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
View show