Meet New Host Debbie Elliott

Debbie Elliott begins her new role as this program's host next weekend. She gives Jacki Lyden a sneak preview of some of the stories she has planned for next weekend's show.

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JACKI LYDEN, host:

Next weekend this program begins a new era with a new host, Debbie Elliott. Debbie has been NPR's Southeast correspondent for the past 10 years, covering tobacco suits, hurricanes, murder trials and political campaigns with equal parts tenacity and humanity. Two weeks ago Debbie Elliott moved her base of operations from the Alabama coast to Washington, DC, where she joins me now with a preview of next weekend's debut.

Welcome, Debbie.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT (NPR News): Thanks, Jacki.

LYDEN: Of course, you'll be reporting on the latest news of the week; that's what we do here. You'll be reporting from around the world. But you've also come with some features packed in your back pocket.

ELLIOTT: I have. First off, we'll be getting hungry with John T. Edge. He has a new book out on hamburgers and french fries. He writes about iconic American foods. And this guy is great. He is so passionate about food, you could almost call him a food preacher.

Mr. JOHN T. EDGE (Food Writer): One of the things that's beautiful about the hamburger is, you know, if you asked where to find the best slab of foie gras in America, there may be 20 contenders. If you asked where to find the best hamburger in America, there are hundreds of contenders and hundreds of people who wish to tell the story, hold their hamburger high and say, `This is mine. This is my place, these are my people, this is my burger.'

LYDEN: Mmm, it makes me hungry. And what else?

ELLIOTT: Well, I also have a story from Noah Adams. Noah noticed the number three showing up on, like, bumpers of cars, in the back windows of people's cars, and he wondered what that was all about. And he found out it's Dale Earnhardt's number, the NASCAR driver. And there's been a growing mysticism about this ever since Dale Earnhardt was killed in a car crash, and he's going to explain what's going on with that for us.

LYDEN: Sounds like an all-American show for a Labor Day weekend. Tell us about this interesting musician that you've got on.

ELLIOTT: Shamika Copeland. This woman is in her 20s; you would think she was in her 40s or her 50s. She has a lot of attitude. She's a great blues singer. Some are heralding her as the future of the blues.

Ms. SHAMIKA COPELAND (Singer): I grew up in Harlem in the middle of the hip-hop era, but I would go home and listen to my records, my Etta James records or my Johnnie Taylor records and my Koko Taylor records. I used to get in trouble because I would go to school and me and my friends--we'd be singing, (Singing) `I'm a woman. I can make love to a crocodile,' you know, stuff like that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LYDEN: Sounds great.

ELLIOTT: She is great. And, you know, she's very different from a lot of her peers, and that's what makes her special.

LYDEN: Well, I'm certainly looking forward to it. The new host of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED on the weekends: Debbie Elliott. I'll be listening, thanks. And, really, it's going to be so great.

ELLIOTT: Thank you, Jacki.

LYDEN: That's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

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