Southeast Public Radio to Broadcast Special Series Highlighting ‘American Icons’

Photo of Radio Microphone

Southeast Public Radio announces plans to air five special programs from the public radio program “Studio 360,” showcasing the creativity behind well-known icons in American history.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 9, 2007 — Southeast Public Radio announces plans to air five special programs from the public radio program “Studio 360,” showcasing the creativity, inventiveness and fascinating histories behind well-known icons in American history. The special will air Sunday mornings at 9 a.m., beginning on Aug. 12.

“American Icons” includes a diverse array of captivating guests, including writer Sarah Vowell, screenwriter Nora Ephron, legendary sculptor and painter Frank Stella, Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Edward Herrmann, novelist Salman Rushdie, performer Bobby McFerrin, playwright Tony Kushner, science fiction master Ray Bradbury and more.

The Great GatsbyAug. 12

“Studio 360” explores F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Novelist Jonathan Franzen tells host Kurt Andersen why he still reads it every year or two, and writer Patricia Hampl explains why its lightness is deceptive: this is the great American novel of our age. We’ll drive around the tiny suburbs where Gatsby was set, and we’ll hear from Andrew Lauren about his film “G,” which sets Gatsby among the hip-hop moguls. Readings come courtesy of Scott Shepherd, an actor who sometimes performs the entire book from memory.

Lincoln MemorialAug. 19

“Studio 360” visits our nation’s capital to explore how the Lincoln Memorial became an American icon. Sarah Vowell discusses the battle over Lincoln’s memory, which lasted for three generations. Dorothy Height, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, recalls witnessing Marion Anderson’s historic concert there in 1939 and hearing Martin Luther King Jr. declare “I have a dream” in 1963. And a former White House aide sets the record straight on Richard Nixon’s infamous 4 a.m. trip to the Lincoln Memorial, where he met with student protesters who were denouncing the Vietnam War.

Moby-DickAug. 26

“Studio 360” sets sail in search of the White Whale. Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” survived its battle with Captain Ahab only to surface in the works of contemporary filmmakers, painters, playwrights and musicians. Host Kurt Anderson explores the influence of this American icon, with the help of Ray Bradbury, Laurie Anderson, Tony Kushner and Frank Stella, among others.

 SupermanSept. 2

“Studio 360” leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Disguised as a mild-mannered reporter, Kurt Andersen explores the history of Superman accompanied by Jules Feiffer, Art Spiegelman, Bryan Singer, Michael Chabon and Margot Kidder. Is this strange visitor from the planet Krypton derivative of Jewish mythology? Is The American Way epitomized by someone who wields ultimate power for a moral good? What’s up with the blue tights? 

The Wizard of OzSept. 9

“Studio 360” follows the yellow brick road. You may think you know the story, but Kurt Andersen and guests will take you to places in the land of Oz that are more wonderful and weirder than you ever imagined. Meet the original man behind the curtain, L. Frank Baum, who had all the vision of Walt Disney, but none of the business sense. We’ll discover how Oz took over the Soviet Union. We’ll check in with filmmakers Neil LaBute and Nora Ephron, novelist Salman Rushdie, performer Bobby McFerrin and others from across the world who find magic, meaning and inspiration in Oz.

More about the series — including downloads of the show — and more icons can be found at the show’s Web site at http://www.studio360.org/americanicons.

As the area’s source for diverse musical programming and award winning NPR news, Southeast Public Radio strives to continuously excel in providing the highest quality public radio programming to Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. Nearly 1.9 million people within the listening area have the opportunity to tune in to KRCU 90.9 FM which is a 6,500 watt station located in Cape Girardeau and KSEF 88.9 FM, a 9,500 watt repeater station located in Farmington. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day from the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. More information is available at http://www.southeastpublicradio.org/.