Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturday, 7a.m. - 9 a.m.

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor. 

On Saturdays, host Scott Simon's award-winning commentaries sum up an idea or event related to the week's news.  There are fresh reports from a cross-section of NPR correspondents on topics from religion to health to food to politics. Simon's interviews with key artists, authors, performers and personalities are always memorable.

Learn more about the program on their website.

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Author Interviews
5:19 am
Sat May 12, 2012

'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 8:25 am

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:54 pm

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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Author Interviews
9:26 am
Sun May 6, 2012

The 'Marvelous' Rise Of King Henry's Adviser

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 2:57 pm

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. His roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. The monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is his chief adviser.

Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and worldwide acclaim. It is also the latest in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.

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NPR Story
11:52 am
Sat May 5, 2012

French Election Marks A Fork In The Road

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The French presidential runoff is tomorrow. President Nicolas Sarkozy and his opponent Socialist candidate Francois Hollande represent two different visions for their country.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report.

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NPR Story
6:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

The Race Is On: Obama Heads To Battleground States

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama tried to best the face on yesterday's jobs report. He told students at a Virginia high school that private employers have added more than four million jobs over the last two years, but he acknowledge recovery is not happening fast enough.

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Remembrances
6:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Adam Yauch Gave Distinct Sound To Genre-Bending Band

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A famous trio has lost a member. Whether you knew him as Adam Yauch, Nathanial Hornblower or MCA, he brought a distinct sound to a genre-bending band.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

BEASTIE BOYS: (Singing) ...if what you get is what you see, c'mon...

SIMON: MCA was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, a band that helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now, before they rapped, the Beastie Boys were just punks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME FOR LIVIN' ")

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Art & Design
6:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

I Shall 'Scream' At Such A Price Tag

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

One of four versions Edvard Munch made of his masterpiece, The Scream, one of the most recognizable works of art in the world, was auctioned at Sotheby's this week for a record-setting price: $119 million.

NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Testimony In John Edwards' Trial Gets Personal

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The federal corruption trial of John Edwards continued this week in Greensboro, North Carolina. Government witnesses painted an ugly portrait of the former senator and presidential candidate. But the prosecution may have been less successful in making the case that he deliberately violated campaign finance law. North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii was in the courtroom.

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NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Your Letters: A Tale Of Injustice

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: The name that kept popping up in our email box this week was Michael Morton. He was the subject of a report last Saturday by NPR's Wade Goodwyn, who told the story of how Mr. Morton was convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife, Christine, near Austin, Texas. He was innocent, but served almost 25 years in prison.

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NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

'Bring Up The Bodies': Taking Down Anne Boleyn

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 12:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry the VIII's marriage; second marriage, in fact. Anne Boleyn hasn't given him a son. Now, he finds the sharp remarks she makes that used to charm sometimes come at his expense. His roving eye begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. But in Henry's time, a monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is the king's chief advisor.

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From Our Listeners
7:03 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Your Letters: Veterans And Record Nostalgia

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for Your Letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Many of you were moved by our story about the Soldier Ride, a four-day cycling event organized by the Wounded Warriors Project. Iraq War veteran Sergeant Michael Owens spoke about why he rides.

SERGEANT MICHAEL SULLIVAN: I think it's really important for warriors and veterans like myself to be able to know that we can still do the same things we did before, or new things that we never tried before.

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NPR Story
6:50 am
Sat April 28, 2012

The Woes Washington Baseball Fans

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:50 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Hollywood's Garry Marshall Shares His 'Happy Days'

Host Scott Simon talks to actor, director, writer and producer Garry Marshall about his new memoir My Happy Days In Hollywood and his long and successful career.

NPR Story
6:50 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Political Tensions Mount Between Sudans

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Movies
5:13 am
Sat April 28, 2012

A Creative Collaboration With A 'Darling Companion'

Beth (Diane Keaton) and her daughter (Elisabeth Moss) rescue an injured dog from the side of the highway. Beth's husband (Kevin Kline) later loses the beloved pet, an event co-writer Meg Kasdan says is inspired by a real-life incident.
Wilson Webb Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Lawrence Kasdan became famous for writing the blockbusters The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he went on to a successful directing career with high-profile films like Body Heat, The Big Chill and Grand Canyon.

His latest film, and his first in nine years, is Darling Companion, which Kasdan wrote with his wife, Meg. The film was her idea.

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Movie Interviews
5:04 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Michelle Yeoh: Portraying An Icon In 'The Lady'

Michelle Yeoh plays pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady. Yeoh says it was important that the film portrayed Suu Kyi's struggles realistically, including how her 15-year house arrest kept her from her husband and sons.
Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters at a recent film premiere that she'd told Aung San Suu Kyi that she was moving from being an icon to being a politician.

The film Clinton saw is The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh as the pro-democracy activist who spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar (also known as Burma), and who won the Nobel Peace Prize before being freed in 2010.

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Author Interviews
5:04 am
Sat April 28, 2012

'The Art Of The Sale': Life's A Pitch

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Salesmen are rarely heroic figures in American culture. They're often shown as slick, unscrupulous charlatans like Ricky Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. And then there are sad, defeated characters like Willy Loman in Death Of A Salesman, who shortly before taking his life says, "After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive."

Yet sales drive the economy. The cleverest invention or product will disappear — creating no income, no employment — unless someone can sell it.

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The Picture Show
5:03 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Taking Photo Exhibits To The Streets

Pedestrians in Philadelphia cross a street in view of a billboard with a photo by Zoe Strauss. Only a dozen years after first picking up a camera to chronicle her beloved hometown's overlooked people and places, Strauss was honored with a solo show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:50 am

Zoe Strauss is not really a photographer. She sees herself primarily as an installation artist. About 12 years ago, someone gave her a camera for her birthday, and she used it for a project called Under I-95.

She would take photos in her South Philadelphia neighborhood and display them there, too — on concrete columns supporting an interstate overpass. She wanted her images to be outside, in an urban setting, at home.

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Monkey See
12:59 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Garry Marshall On His 'Happy Days'

Director Garry Marshall and sister, actress-director Penny Marshall, seen here in 2004 when she received her star on the Walk Of Fame.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Director Garry Marshall has worked on so much popular comedy in his career — television like Happy Days and The Odd Couple, movies like Pretty Woman and Beaches — that something he's done has probably made you laugh. And now he's written a memoir called, fittingly, My Happy Days In Hollywood: A Memoir.

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Simon Says
9:19 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Prostitution's Real Casualties Aren't Secret Service

Six U.S. Secret Service agents have lost their jobs so far after a prostitution scandal that took place at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, just before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas conference earlier this month.
Manuel Pedraza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 9:46 am

I've been curious about a question I haven't heard in the stories about U.S. Secret Service agents misbehaving before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Why were world leaders meeting in a place with legalized prostitution?

There might have been a time — after I saw Toulouse-Lautrec's poignant paintings of life in Paris brothels, or Billy Wilder's clever Irma la Douce — when I thought of prostitution as a harmless enterprise between consenting adults.

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NPR Story
6:41 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Nazi Past Has French Town Wary Of Far-Right Politics

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 9:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Voters go to the polls tomorrow in France to cast ballots in the first round of their presidential election. President Nicolas Sarkozy still trails his socialist opponent Francois Hollande. Mr. Sarkozy has tried to close that gap by appealing to voters on the right. Much of the French campaign this time around focused on right-wing issues like crime, security and immigration.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley visited a town in France that is still haunted by ghosts of its far-right past, to see what people think about that.

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NPR Story
6:41 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Sports: Who's Starting Baseball Season Well

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 12:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Let me hang up the phone now. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Baseball's fast starts - some teams founder early and the anniversary of the Big Green Monster. Errrrr. Howard Bryant joins us, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine; joins us from New England Public Radio in Amherst, Massachusetts. Howard, thanks for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Hey, Scott. How are you?

SIMON: Fine, thanks.

BRYANT: So, who's off to a good start and who hasn't had a good time at all?

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NPR Story
6:41 am
Sat April 21, 2012

A Clarification: No First-Class Flying Here

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 9:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A small clarification now: A few weeks ago on this program, Tom Goldman told us that he was about to catch a flight to Denver to cover the NCAA Women's Basketball championships. I joked: By the way, United Airlines, if you're listening, please upgrade Mr. Goldman - our compliments.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I'm already first-class.

SIMON: In all ways, my friend.

GOLDMAN: Oops, did I say that?

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Theater
5:25 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Blair Underwood On Stanley, Stella And 'Streetcar'

Stanley (Blair Underwood) and his sister-in-law, Blanche DuBois (Nicole Ari Parker), spar while Stanley's wife, Stella (Daphne Rubin-Vega), sits outside.
Ken Howard

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 9:46 am

There's a lot of juicy material for an actor in Tennessee Williams' landmark drama A Streetcar Named Desire. Sex, booze, class, betrayal — all set in the seething French Quarter of 1940s New Orleans.

A new Broadway revival has added another set of layers to the play: The multiracial production stars Blair Underwood in one of the most iconic roles in American theater — Stanley Kowalski.

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Author Interviews
5:25 am
Sat April 21, 2012

'Steinbeck In Vietnam': A Great Writer's Last Reports

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 9:46 am

The last piece of published writing from one of America's greatest writers was a series of letters he sent back from the front lines of war at the age of 64.

John Steinbeck's reports shocked readers and family so much that they've never been reprinted — until now.

Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 for a life's work writing about those who had been roughed up by history — most notably his Depression-era novels, Of Mice And Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Four years later, Steinbeck left for Vietnam to cover the war firsthand.

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NPR Story
10:15 am
Sat April 14, 2012

A Political Tempest In A Tweetpot

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Spring Playoffs In Sports

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS THEME MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: Its spring and its playoffs, the march to the Stanley Cup is under way in hockey. NBA teams are still jostling for spots in their post-season.

Joining us to sort it all out is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman.

Hey, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

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NPR Story
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'The Lifeboat': Who Gets Saved In Titanic Times?

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, a piece of fiction inspired by the Titanic's fateful voyage. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary of the famous shipwreck, a cluster of books have been released looking back on the voyage. But the book that caught the eye of NPR's Lynn Neary is invented. It's the story of a fictional shipwreck that occurred two years after the Titanic. It's called "Lifeboat." Here's her report.

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NPR Story
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Romney Talks Freedom At NRA Conference

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. After a long, turbulent primary season, Mitt Romney is now fully in general election mode. With Rick Santorum out of the race, Romney is trying to clarify the differences between himself and President Obama. He's also trying to nail down his support from the Republican base. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from St. Louis on Romney's speech yesterday, to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association.

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The Record
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Indian Record Label Hits The Road To Save Traditional Music

Sakar Khan with his kamancha in his home in Hamira, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. He's passed his favorite kamancha — the one he got from his father — to his son, Darra. But this one plays just fine, if he's the guy playing it.
Michael Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 3:24 pm

The number of major record labels is down to three. But that's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to promoting music that's out of the mainstream. A label called Amarrass Records, founded in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is dedicated to exposing and preserving indigenous folk music before it disappears.

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