The State of Things
Summary: Stories from WUNC's The State of Things with Frank Stasio.
Growing up in the small town of Snow Hill, N.C., Marlanna Evans, a.k.a Rapsody, wasn't exposed to much hip-hop music. She would listen to the songs her older cousins played in the car, but she didn't develop a love for rap until college. While attending North Carolina State University, Evans helped a hip-hop culture grow on campus with a student music group that would meet in a dormitory lounge to rap battle. She eventually started making her own rhymes and met producer and Jamla Records founder
Dewey Phillips made history in the 1950s as one of the first white radio disc jockeys to play music by black artists. He was opinionated, eclectic, and gained notoriety for being the first DJ to play Elvis Presley’s music on the radio. Decades after his death, his life and career inspired the Tony Award-winning musical "Memphis." The production tells the story of Huey, a character loosely based on Dewey, and his quest to help a club singer named Felicia make her big break. The production opens
After listening to Yarn's Americana music, one might assume the band hails from the South, but the group actually got its start in Brooklyn, NY. Yet it has stayed true to Southern aesthetics heard in the music of country icons like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. Even though half of the quartet now lives in Raleigh, the band continues to tour the country and record albums. Yarn's latest album is called "This Is The Year." Host Frank Stasio talks with Blake Christiana and Rick Bugel about the
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger Roy Cooper outlined their economic visions today to a room full of business leaders in Pinehurst.
The Olympics are heralded as an international event rooted in intense competition, national pride and athletic successes. But the Olympic Games can often reveal complex race issues and overzealous displays of nationalism. During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, athletes of color like U.S. swimmer Simone Manuel and U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas have been in the spotlight. Manuel became the first black woman to win an individual medal in swimming, while Douglas was criticized after she did
For years, the Pentagon has partnered with conservation groups to protect hundreds of endangered and threatened species on military bases across the country. The partnership started at Fort Bragg in North Carolina in the early 1990s after a rare woodpecker was found and halted training on parts of the base. Since then, the military and conservationists have worked together to manage the bases' rich ecosystems. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC military reporter Jay Price about the partnership's
The stories of princesses like Cinderella, Belle, and Little Mermaid have been told and re-told for more than a century. But for local director and playwright Nancy Rich, the standard princess narratives leave much to be desired. Rich co-directed the Raleigh Little Theatre production of "Cinderella" for years, and Rich has always left the process wondering, "But what does Cinderella really think?" The idea, coupled with her love of TED Talks and The Vagina Monologues, inspired the theater
Like any good historian, Charles Dew was trained to conduct his research in a scientific fashion, setting aside any personal perspectives in his scholarship. But after more than 50 years of teaching Southern history, he finally turned inward. His new book describes his experiences growing up on the white side of the color line in the Jim Crow South. Host Frank Stasio talks with Dew, American History professor at Williams College, about his new memoir, "The Making of a Racist: A Southerner
Some of the state’s environmental watchdogs are quitting their jobs, saying it is impossible to achieve their objectives under Governor McCrory’s administration and the Republican-led legislature. In a recent editorial, Susan Ladd, columnist with the Greensboro News and Record, asserts that lawmakers have taken many actions to hinder environmental protection. Host Frank Stasio talks with Ladd about the most recent resignation- epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies- and what it signifies about
Sylvia Gray was an entrepreneur of ephemera. Decades after she and her husband opened a surplus store in downtown Greensboro, she turned the business into a three-story thrift shop that she filled by taking twice-daily trips to the local Salvation Army. In 2003, her grandson George Scheer decided to turn the store into an experimental arts space and seasonal museum, now known as Elsewhere. For more than a decade Elsewhere has provided a space for artists to repurpose old things into new creative
Musician Andy Eversole has always wanted to travel the world and make music, and last year an unfortunate incident gave him the push he needed to make a long-time dream a reality. After his banjo was stolen on a trip to San Francisco, many of his friends came together to raise money to buy him a new instrument. This act of kindness inspired him to use his music to bring other communities of people together and gave him the idea for a new project: Banjo Earth. Eversole hopes to travel around the
Growing up, Doriane Lambelet Coleman did not see herself as an athlete, but she always had a talent for running. She moved back and forth between her home country of Switzerland and the United States as a kid, and she never found a stable community until she started running track in high school. She became a track star for the 800 meter race after becoming the U.S. National Collegiate Indoor Champion in 1982 and the Swiss National Champion in 1982 and 1983. But Coleman eventually decided to hang
A federal court declared North Carolina's drawing of election lines unconstitutional. The three-judge panel said the districts must be redrawn because they are racially gerrymandered. The court will allow the election in November to proceed under the old maps. Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the decision, its consequences and other political news.
Durham and baseball are intimately connected in the minds of many Americans because of the movie "Bull Durham." But the relationship between the city of Durham and the sport dates back to more than a century before the film. In the late 1800's, Durham's American Tobacco Company played an important role in the creation of the baseball card. Tobacco companies were the first industry to use baseball cards in their advertisements, and the most famous baseball card in history advertised the American
For Gigi Dover & the Big Love, Americana isn't limited to American styles of music. The group hails from Charlotte and composes Southern folk using worldly instruments like the sitar and rebab. Through its latest album, "Travelin' Thru," the band continues to strengthen the grassroots music scene in Charlotte. Host Frank Stasio talks with Gigi Dover about the band's evolution and musical palette. Gigi Dover performs live in the studio on vocals with Eric Lovell on guitar and vocals and John