Joe Donahue

Vice President, News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

  In 1979, Liz Pryor was a seventeen-year-old girl from a good family in the wealthy Chicago suburbs. Halfway through her senior year of high school, she discovered she was pregnant—a fact her parents are determined to keep a secret from her friends, siblings, and community forever.

One snowy January day, after driving across three states, her mother dropped her off at what Liz thinks is a Catholic home for unwed mothers—but which is, in truth, a locked government-run facility for delinquent and impoverished pregnant teenage girls.

Liz Pryor has written her story in the new book, Look at You Now. Pryor has written a deeply moving story and she share with us this morning. Liz Pryor is an author, speaker, parenting columnist, and life advice expert. She currently serves as ABC’s Good Morning America on-air life advice guru. 

  The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend — behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.

In Powerhouse, James Andrew Miller draws on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public.

9/1/16 Panel

Sep 1, 2016

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao and Poughkeepsie Journal Executive Editor Stu Shinske.

  In 1961, a thief broke into the National Gallery in London and committed the most sensational art heist in British history. He stole the museum’s much prized painting, The Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya. Despite unprecedented international attention and an unflagging investigation, the case was not solved for four years, and even then, only because the culprit came forward voluntarily. 

Alan Hirch's book is The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!: The Incredible True Story of the Art Heist That Shocked a Nation.

  NPR's oddly informative weekly hour-long news quiz program, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! returns to Tanglewood in Lenox, MA on September 1.

The Peabody Award-winning series offers a fast-paced, irreverent look at the week's news, hosted by Peter Sagal along with judge and score-keeper Bill Kurtis. 

Bill Kurtis joins us. 

Parsons Dance
Krista Bonura

  Parsons Dance returns to PS21's Chatham Dance Festival with its stunning ensemble work and virtuosic technique.

Last summer PS21’s audiences saw Almah, Kate Skarpetowksa’s new work, in development during open rehearsals. This year they will now have an opportunity to see the completed work, which has an original score by Ljova and premiered at the Joyce Theater in January 2016.

It explores the connection of an eastern European childhood juxtaposed with the urban folklore of adolescence in NYC. Also on the program will be David Parsons Union and his stroboscopic masterwork Caught.

Artistic Director David Parsons founded Parsons Dance in 1985 and the company returns for its eleventh season performing at PS21 in Chatham for performances of September 2nd and 3rd. David Parsons joins us along with Judy Grunberg from PS 21.

  It is well known that the B-52s are The World's Greatest Party Band. And 35 years and over 20 million albums into their career, there can be no doubt as to why they remain one of rock music's most beloved and enduring bands.

The B-52's will join The Boston Pops at Tanglewood on Friday, September 2nd. Friend of the show, Kate Pierson, join us.

8/31/16 Panel

Aug 31, 2016

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, and Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

  Caleb Carr, bestselling author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, has created a contemporary psychological thriller haunted by the shadowy hands of established power.

Surrender, New York features an outcast pair - secretly called in to consult on a case where adolescent boys and girls are found murdered, their corpses left hanging in gruesome, ritualistic fashion.

  Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83 years old.

We spoke with Wilder around a decade ago about his memoir Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art. Today we share that interview in memoriam for the actor and comic genius. 

  Housed in a beautifully restored 1840s Greek-Revival schoolhouse at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. It offers a variety of free and low-cost community arts events, including concerts, readings, theater pieces, art exhibitions, and arts-related workshops and classes.

Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 11th annual Festival of Books takes place over Labor Day weekend, September 3 through 5.

The festival features a giant used book sale, two days of discussions with and readings by esteemed authors, and a children’s program. Featured authors this year include Christopher Breiseth, Elizabeth Brundage, Michelle Hoover, Courtney Maum, David Pietrusza, Ruth Reichl, Russell Shorto, Will Swift, Mark Wunderlich, and Steve Yarbrough.

Here to tell us more about the festival is Spencertown Academy Arts Center board member and co-chair of the festival, David Highfill.

  James Conrad from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

List:
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Nine Island by Jane Alison
Christodora by Tim Murphy
The History of the Hudson Valley from the Civil War to Modern Times by Vernon Benjamin
The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen
String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

Upcoming events:

Talking Walls: Casting out the Post Contact Stone-Wall Building Myth by Matt Bua - Saturday, September 3, 2016 - 2:00pm

Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep by Michael Schulman - Saturday, September 3, 2016 - 4:00pm

8/30/16 Panel

Aug 30, 2016

   The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain, and Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

  Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-seven novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film.

In her latest, Damaged, ten-year-old Patrick O'Brien is a natural target at school. Shy, dyslexic, and small for his age, he tries to hide his first-grade reading level from everyone: from his classmates, from the grandfather who cares for him, and from the teachers who are supposed to help him. But the real trouble begins when Patrick is accused of attacking a school aide. The aide promptly quits and sues the boy, his family, and the school district. Patrick's grandfather turns to the law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio for help and Mary DiNunzio is on the case. Soon Mary becomes Patrick's true champion and his only hope for security and justice.

  From the domestication of the bird nearly ten thousand years ago to its current status as our go-to meat, the history of this seemingly commonplace bird is anything but ordinary.

How did chicken achieve the culinary ubiquity it enjoys today? It’s hard to imagine, but there was a point in history, not terribly long ago, that individual people each consumed less than ten pounds of chicken per year. Today, those numbers are strikingly different: we consumer nearly twenty-five times as much chicken as our great-grandparents did.

Collectively, Americans devour 73.1 million pounds of chicken in a day, close to 8.6 billion birds per year. How did chicken rise from near-invisibility to being in seemingly "every pot," as per Herbert Hoover's famous promise?

Emelyn Rude explores this phenomenon in Tastes Like Chicken.

  On sabbatical from teaching literature to undergraduates, and wanting to educate a different kind of student, Mikita Brottman starts a book club with a group of convicts from the Jessup Correctional Institution in Maryland.

She assigns them ten dark, challenging classics—including Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Poe’s story “The Black Cat,” and Nabokov’s Lolita—books that don’t flinch from evoking the isolation of the human struggle, the pain of conflict, and the cost of transgression. Although Brottman is already familiar with these works, the convicts open them up in completely new ways. Their discussions may “only” be about literature, but for the prisoners, everything is at stake.

Gradually, the inmates open up about their lives and families, their disastrous choices, their guilt and loss. Brottman's book is The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men's Prison.

Caleb Carr, bestselling author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, has created a contemporary psychological thriller haunted by the shadowy hands of established power. His new novel is Surrender, New York.

Carr is an American novelist and military historian. He has worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs Quarterly, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and taught military history, including World Military History, the History of American Intelligence, and Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, at Bard College. We talk with him about his new novel on The Book Show this week and discuss current affairs with him in this interview.

8/29/16 Panel

Aug 29, 2016

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, and Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

  Mary Martin was one of the greatest stars of her day. Growing up in Texas, she was married early to Benjamin Hagman and gave birth to her first child, Larry Hagman. She was divorced even more quickly. Martin left little Larry with her parents and took off for Hollywood. She didn't make a dent in the movie industry and was lured to New York where she found herself auditioning for Cole Porter. Six years later, she became the Toast of Broadway when she starred in South Pacific. After that, she flew as Peter Pan, yodeled in The Sound of Music, took Hello, Dolly! on the road and shared a four-poster with Robert Preston in I Do! I Do!.

Her personal life was just as interesting and it's all covered in David Kaufman's book, Some Enchanted Evenings: The Glittering Life and Times of Mary Martin.

  In Raising Human Beings, internationally renowned child psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of Lost at School and The Explosive Child Ross W. Greene Ph.D. explains how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will talk about some of the issues that shape misperceptions of Muslims in the United States, and about the “Dialogues Across Divides” series about these issues taking place this fall throughout Western Massachusetts and supported by Mass Humanities.

We are joined today by Mehlaqa Samdani, executive director of Critical Connections, the nonprofit organizing the dialogues in partnership with the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. The first event will take place on September 15th in Longmeadow, MA, and will address different kinds and causes of violent extremism in the United States; the second event is on September 28th in Amherst, MA, and will tackle Islam and homosexuality.

  Parasites are tiny organisms can only live inside another animal, and they have many evolutionary motives for manipulating their host’s behavior. Far more often than appreciated, these puppeteers orchestrate the interplay between predator and prey.

We humans are hardly immune to the profound influence of parasites. Kathleen McAuliffe's book is This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society.

8/26/16 Panel

Aug 26, 2016

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, TU Columnist Chris Churchill, and author and activist Barbara Smith.

Fresh from a Tony Award-winning revival on Broadway, Dorset Theatre Festival presents playwright Lanie Robertson’s vivid look into the life and times of jazz great Billie Holiday, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in South Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers ─ including her signature tunes, “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, “God Bless the Child”, “Strange Fruit” and others ─ are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences, revealing a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.

Returning to Dorset Theatre Festival after her power-house performance in last season’s play, Intimate Apparel, actress and singer, Marinda Anderson plays Billie Holiday. Making his debut at the theatre musical director and actor, Kenney Green plays Jimmy, Lady Day’s piano player. 

The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects presents Follies, Function & Form: Imagining Olana’s Summer House. The design exhibition unites 21 visionary architects and landscape architects to address one of the great mysteries at Olana: the summer house.

In the 1886 “Plan of Olana,” a detailed blueprint of Frederic Church’s vision for his large-scale designed landscape, the plan’s details are largely accurate, yet it contains a structure labeled “Summer House” for which there is no documentary evidence.

The 21 designers have imagined Olana’s summer house and have each created one concept sketch of this structure and its environs, much in the way Frederic Church sketched to convey design and architectural ideas.

To tell us more – we welcome Mark Prezorski, Landscape Curator of the Olana Partnership. And we also meet architect Joan Krevlin who has been a partner at BKSK Architects since 1992 and Laurie Olin is a practicing landscape architect whose many award-winning projects include Bryant Park in New York, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Florence Foster Jenkins, War Dogs, Pete’s Dragon

Upcoming:

The Addams Family - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 8/25 Thu at 2 & 8 PM, through Sept. 4

A Night at the Movies, 1916 featuring Charlie Chaplin, an adventure serial, and Dorothy Gish as Gretchen the Greenhorn, live music by Avery Tunningley - Capitol Theater, Rome, 8/25 Thu at 7 PM (10 cents admission)

Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally - Palace Theatre, Albany 8/25 Thu

Troy Night Out (Theme: Troy History & Bicentennial) Music, art, comedy all around Troy - Downtown Troy, 8/26 Fri, 5 to 9 PM

Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Egg, Albany, 8/26 Fri at 8 PM

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/26 Fri

Dance Heginbotham . . . performing Waltz Ending (music of Scott Joplin), Diamond (music of Darius Milhaud), Twin (music of music of Aphex Twin), Rockefellers (music of Raymond Scott) - PS/21, Chatham, 8/26-27, Fri-Sat at 8 PM

St. Lawrence String Quartet (music of Haydn, Golijov, John Adams) - Tannery Pond Concerts, New Lebanon, 8/27 Saturday, 8 PM

Rubblebucket - MASS MoCA (Courtyard C or Hunter Center), North Adams, Mass., 8/27 Sat at 8 PM

New movies: Mechanic: Resurrection, Equity, Southside With You, Don’t Think Twice, Don’t Breathe, Hands of Stone

  Award winning stage and screen actress Mary-Louise Parker’s new book - Dear Mr. You – shows the singular arc of her life through letters composed to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today.

Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers.

8/25/16 Panel

Aug 25, 2016

 

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Ray Graf, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain, and Editor of The Daily Gazette Judy Patrick. 

  John Quincy Adams was the last of his kind—a Puritan from the age of the Founders who despised party and compromise, yet dedicated himself to politics and government. The son of John Adams, he was a brilliant ambassador and secretary of state, a frustrated president at a historic turning point in American politics, and a dedicated congressman who literally died in office—at the age of 80, in the House of Representatives, in the midst of an impassioned political debate.

In John Quincy Adams, scholar and journalist James Traub draws on Adams’ diary, letters, and writings to evoke a diplomat and president whose ideas remain with us today.

  In The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland, New York Times writer and columnist Dan Barry tells the harrowing yet uplifting story of the exploitation and abuse of a resilient group of men with intellectual disability, and the heroic efforts of those who helped them to find justice and reclaim their lives.

In the tiny Iowa farm town of Atalissa, dozens of men, all with intellectual disability and all from Texas, lived in an old schoolhouse. Before dawn each morning, they were bussed to a nearby processing plant, where they eviscerated turkeys in return for food, lodging, and $65 a month. They lived in near servitude for more than thirty years, enduring increasing neglect, exploitation, and physical and emotional abuse—until state social workers, local journalists, and one tenacious labor lawyer helped these men achieve freedom.

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