American Culture

(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) "Bobby BlueJacket: The Tribe, The Joint, The Tulsa Underworld" is a well-researched book exploring little-known aspects of American crime, Native American identity, and smalltown politics in the 20th century. It's also an engrossing biography of a real and remarkable person: Bobby BlueJacket, born in 1930, who grew up in Tulsa amid teenage rumbles, mean streets, dangerous pool halls, and Midwest safecracker crews -- and who actually went from being a career thief to a prison journalist to a Eastern Shawnee Indian activist.

Our two guests on ST are the architects who will design the forthcoming Bob Dylan Center, which will be the "public face" of the Tulsa-based Bob Dylan Archives -- and which is slated to open in 2021 at the corner of MLK Blvd. and Archer Street. After a far-reaching, international competition, architect Tom Kundig (of the well-regarded, Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig) was chosen by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to design this exciting new public venue. Along with Mr.

Our guest on ST is Kendra Taira Field, an assistant professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University.

On this edition of ST, we speak once again with Michael Chaiken, the curator of the Tulsa-based Bob Dylan Archive, which is currently located at the University of Tulsa's Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum, and which houses some 6,000 items related to Dylan's life and career in music -- nearly six decades of writings, recordings, memorabilia, film, and more. This facility is meant for researchers and scholars; it is not open to the public.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Small Catcher, 1973–78. Oil on canvas. Collection of Gil Waldman and Christy Vezolles. © 2018 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Courtesy of the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Craig Smith.

We learn about a striking show on view at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa; "T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America" will run through October 7th of this year. It is, per the Gilcrease website, "the first major traveling exhibition of Cannon's work since 1990 and explores the dynamic creative range and legacy of an artist whose life was cut short at age 31.

The long-awaited Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (or OKPOP) is our topic on today's StudioTulsa. The design of the downtown Tulsa building that will house this museum has jus been announced. The structure will be on Main Street, across the street from the Cain's Ballroom, with construction to begin in the fall of this year.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we talk about the ongoing effort to make Route 66 a part of the U.S. National Park Serivce's National Historic Trail System. If this were to happen, Route 66 would become the 20th such trail in America, joining The Lewis and Clark Trail, The Oregon Trail, and others. This designation could mean a serious economic boost to our state, as Oklahoma has more Route 66 mileage than any other state through which the highway runs. We have two guests today.

Photo by Valery Lyman

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview that first aired in May with the photographer and filmmaker Valery Lyman, who has a striking show on view at Living Arts in downtown Tulsa called "Breaking Ground." This show -- which actually closes today, the 12th -- aims to travel, per the Living Arts website, "through the American psyche and landscape....

(Please note: This interview originally aired back in February.) Lots of mythology surrounding the Old West, of course, and lots of rich history, too. On this program, we explore both. Our guest is Tom Clavin, the popular historian whose latest book is "Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West." As was noted of this book by the Houston Press: "Thorough, compelling, and entertaining.... Clavin sprinkles in fascinating tidbits about life and culture in the Old West....

(Note: This interview originally aired back in April.) Our guest is Marc Perrusquia, a journalist with the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, where he's worked for the past three decades. Perrusquia has a new book out, a very compelling work of history called "A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement." As was noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews: "The story of an African-American photographer who spent 18 years feeding information to the FBI....

Looking for a great book or three to relax with this summer? Of course you are. We've got lots of surefire suggestions on that score from Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer here on StudioTulsa. A widely beloved literary critic, editor, author, and now-retired librarian -- and a former resident of Tulsa -- Nancy shares with us new and recent works of fiction, mystery, history, and more. Here, in order, are the books that she chats with us about:

1) "1947: Where Now Begins" by Elisabeth Asbrink

2) "Mozart's Starling" by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Our guest is Allen Gannett, the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a software analytics firm whose clients have included Microsoft, Marriott, Home Depot, Aetna, and Honda.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about Physicians for a National Health Program (or PNHP). This collective, per its website, is "a nonprofit research and education organization of 20,000 physicians, medical students, and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance." Our guest is Dr. Ed Weisbart, who heads the Missouri Chapter of PNHP.

(Note: This interview originally aired in January.) For a number of different -- and often unsettling -- reasons, issues of race and racism have by now come into focus in American life in a pervasive manner that we, as a society, have not seen in decades. Or maybe, actually, we as a nation have never been as racially aware, or as racially alert, as we are at this moment. Thus we're discussing an important textbook in this regard; "Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice" first appeared back in the 1990s, and it has just been published in a new (fourth) edition.

(Note: This interview originally aired in December.) Our guest is the author and journalist Ted Genoways, who is a contributing editor at Mother Jones, The New Republic, and Pacific Standard. A fourth-generation Nebraskan, Genoways has a book out that profiles a subject near and dear to his heart. "This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm" documents the lives and labors behind a small family farm located in York County, Nebraska.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in February.) The author and journalist Mark Whitaker is our guest on StudioTulsa. A former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, and a previous Washington bureau chief for NBC News, Whitaker has a new book out, which he tells us about.

Our guest is Danielle Allen, the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, who joins us to discuss her new book. That well-regarded book, "Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.," is an unflinching memoir of Allen's late cousin as well as a detailed and accessible critique of America's criminal justice system. Per Jennifer Senior in The New York Times: "A compassionate retelling of an abjectly tragic story.... Among the most valuable contributions Allen makes is forcing us to ask: To what end are we locking up our children?

Our guest is the the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Lawrence Wright, who joins us to discuss his new book. "God Save Texas" is a collection of stereotype-busting essays exploring the history, culture, and politics of Lone Star State. As was noted of this book by Jennifer Szalai of The New York Times: "Vivid.... Omnivorous.... Affectionate and genial.... [Wright] captures the full range of Texas in all its shame and glory.... An illuminating primer for outsiders who may not live there but have a surfeit of opinions about those who do....

LOUIS LAMONE, PHOTOGRAPHER; BILL SCOVILL AND NORMAN ROCKWELL, CA 1962; INKJET PRINT, NORMAN ROCKWELL COLLECTION, ©1962 NORMAN ROCKWELL FAMILY AGENCY.

On this encore edition of StudioTulsa, we revisit an interview from back in February regarding "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera." This show -- now on view at Gilcrease, but closing on June 10th -- is the first-ever exhibition to explore in depth the famous illustrator's richly detailed study photographs, images that he used, quite carefully, as reference points for his iconic paintings. Our guest is Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, the deputy director and chief curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Katie Watson, an award-winning professor who has taught bioethics, medical humanities, and constitutional law for several years at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She joins us to discuss her smart, well-balanced, and accessible new book, "Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Ordinary Abortion." Per The Chicago Tribune, it "is a thoughtful and engaging consideration of one of this country's most controversial words: abortion." And further, from Louise P.

Photo by Valery Lyman

Our guest is the photographer and filmmaker Valery Lyman, who now has a striking show on view at Living Arts in downtown Tulsa called "Breaking Ground." This show, per the Living Arts website, aims to travel "through the American psyche and landscape. Documentary artist Valery Lyman has been photographing and recording audio in the Bakken region of North Dakota over the course of five years, documenting the rise of the oil industry there and the substantial migration that went along with it.

Our guest on ST is the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg, who's known for his books "All Over but the Shoutin'" and "Ava's Man." His new book, which he tells us about, is "The Best Cook in the World." In this work, Bragg sets out to preserve his heritage as well as his family history by telling the stories that framed his mother's cooking, her upbringing, her education, her child-rearing, and so forth -- from her own childhood into old age. As Bragg tell us, in the American South just like everywhere else, good food always has a good story behind it.

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, a discussion about fighting opioid addiction at the individual, societal, and legal levels. Our guest is the successful OKC-based trial lawyer, Reggie Whitten. He'll be a co-lead counsel for the State of Oklahoma in an upcoming lawsuit against four different Big Pharma firms; that trial is set to begin in May of next year. Whitten's stake in the lawsuit is also quite personal; in 2002, he lost his son, Brandon, to a car accident triggered by Brandon's addiction to prescription drugs.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the first-ever Tulsa Lit.Fest, an impressive array of free-to-the-public events that will happen here in our community from tomorrow (the 19th) through Sunday (the 22nd).

(Please note: This show first aired back in December.) Artificial "machine" intelligence is, of course, a part of our lives now -- we have cruise control in our cars, automatic checkout services at the supermarket, and (most importantly?) those smartphones in our pockets. But what will life be like when artificial "sentient" intelligence becomes the norm? And when will that happen?

Our guest is the Tulsa-based author Joe Johnston, who's originally from Missouri, and who's written many books over the years on various topics. He joins us to talk about his newest publication, a folksy, far-ranging, and conversational history of Southern cooking -- from sun tea and fruitcake and vegetables to "the Colonel's chicken" and BBQ and beyond.

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, which is part of the National Park Service, will soon host a three-day symposium here in Tulsa regarding the preservation of roadside architecture and attractions. It happens April 10th through the 12th, and it will include 20+ invited as well as solicited papers, an evening neon-sign tour, and a half-day field session exploring local roadside attractions and issues related to their preservation.

The Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa will now be known as AHHA Tulsa. As per the AHHA website: "The organization's Board of Directors voted recently to change the name to something modern that encompasses the organization's mission to cultivate creativity in Tulsa, while also honoring its decades-long history.

On today's edition of StudioTulsa, we are listening to another installment in the Museum Confidential podcast series, which is co-created by Jeff Martin (with Philbrook Museum of Art) and Scott Gregory (with Public Radio Tulsa). In this episode, writer and Philbrook staffer Mark Brown speaks about his in-depth profile of Eugene Kingman (1909-1975) -- the first-ever Director of Philbrook, who was also a versatile painter and cartographer -- which appeared in that museum's newsletter in 2016.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with the Austin-based, Montana-raised filmmaker Alex Smith, who's currently visiting TU in order to screen and answer questions about his feature film, "Walking Out." (The film will be shown tonight, the 13th, at the Lorton Performance Center; the screening is free to the public.) Smith and his twin brother Andrew work together on various film and TV projects, and "Walking Out" is their most recent movie.

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