Rich Fisher

General Manager & host of StudioTulsa

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government.  Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.  

In addition, Rich is an active musician. He’s currently the principal trombonist of the Signature Symphony at TCC, leads the Starlight Jazz Orchestra, and is a free-lance musician whose work ranges from the pit of touring Broadway musicals, to the salsa band, Grupo Salsabor.

Ways to Connect

Our guest is Matt McCarthy, MD, a bestselling author, assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell, and staff physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he also serves on the Ethics Committee. He joins ST Medical Monday to discuss his new book, "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic." As was noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews: "A riveting insider's look at the race to find a cure for antibiotic-resistant infections, one of the most pressing challenges in modern medicine....

"Babe Ruth's Final Farewell" -- Nathaniel Fein, New York Herald Tribune, June 13, 1948, New York, N.Y.; Nathaniel Fein/New York Herald Tribune/Nat Fein Estate.

On this edition of ST, we learn about "Pulitzer Prize Photographs," a moving and far-ranging show on view through July 14th at Tulsa's Gilcrease Museum (and on loan from the Newseum in Washington, DC). Per the Gilcrease wesbite, this exhibtion "brings history to life with the most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled, with images of every prize-winning entry dating back to 1942, when the award was first presented.

StudioTulsa today offers another edition of the popular Museum Confidential podcast, which is co-created twice a month by our own Scott Gregory with Jeff Martin of Philbrook Museum of Art. Recently, Scott and Jeff trekked down to the Big Easy to offer a "live & onstage" presentation of Museum Confidential as part of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) annual meeting. Their guest was Don Wildman, host of the long-running Travel Channel show, "Mysteries at the Museum."

Our guest is James F. Hollifield, a Professor of Political Science and Academic Director of the Tower Center at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas; he's also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He recently gave an address at the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations (TCFR) titled "Back to the Future: Trump's Migration Policies and the New Nativism." Dr.

(Note: This interview originally aired last fall.) Our guest is Linda Kay Klein, whose detailed and engrossing new memoir looks at the devastating effects that evangelical Christianity's purity culture has had on a generation of young women in America. Back in the 1990s, the widespread white evangelical Christian culture created a "purity movement" of sorts -- purity rings, purity pledges, purity balls, etc. Girls were seen by this movement as potential sexual "stumbling blocks" for boys and men, and any expression of a girl's sexuality could be judged as a corruption of her character.

(Note: This interview originally aired in March.) If you follow the world of sports and fitness, you might know that "recovery" has become quite the buzzword. On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we're exploring the hype as well as the science behind various recovery products -- such as power bars, energy shakes, foam rollers, electrical muscle stimulators, etc. Our guest is the noted science writer Christie Aschwanden, whose new book is "Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery."

AP Photo

As widespread clean-up and repairs begin to take shape in Northeastern Oklahoma, after the recent flood event -- the second "500-year flood" to occur in our community in 32 years, by the way -- many of us are wondering what needs to be done, in both the short and long term, to fix the levee system. Our guests are Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith and District 12 Levee Commissioner Todd  Kilpatrick, both of whom worked closely during the recent crisis with the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Guard, and an array of federal, state, and local officials.

(Note: This interview first aired last November.) Our guest is David Grann, a staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine. He's the bestselling author of "The Lost City of Z," "Killers of the Flower Moon," "The Old Man and the Gun," and other books. Grann joins us to discuss his newest work of nonfiction, "The White Darkness," which profiles one Henry Worsley, a family man and decorated British special forces officer who also happened to be obsessed with Ernest Shackleton, the 19th-century polar explorer.

Our guests are the father and son team of John and Denver Nicks, who join us to duscuss their newly published, co-written book, "Conviction: The Murder Trial That Powered Thurgood Marshall's Fight for Civil Rights." This book tells the true and shocking but little-remembered story of a triple murder that happened in 1939 near Hugo, Oklahoma. An African-American farm-hand named W.D. Lyons was wrongly accused of this crime, and his lawyer was one Thurgood Marshall, who was then a young counsel with the NAACP's newly created Legal Defense and Education Fund.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about two newly-opened photography shows, both on view in Tulsa at the Philbrook Downtown space through November 10th of this year. One exhibit documents a forgotten people; the other, a forgotten landscape.

On this edition of Medical Monday, as the Oklahoma Legislature has just recently completed its annual session, we offer a detailed review of whether and how our state's lawmakers have addressed various medical and healh-related issues. Our guest is Carly Putnam with the non-profit, non-partisan Oklahoma Policy Institute, where she serves as Policy Director and Health Care Policy Analyst.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Brad James, the veteran Tulsa-based singer-songwriter (and ace guitarist) who emerged from the fertile Stillwater, Oklahoma, music scene of the 1980s and '90s. A mighty fine new album, "At Fellowship Hall," has just been released by the Brad James Band. Please note that there will be an Album Release Party for this new recording tomorrow night, Saturday the 1st, at Soul City in Tulsa (on 11th Street). The event begins at 9pm, and other well-regarded local musicians are on the bill as well.

StudioTulsa today offers another installment in the ongoing Museum Confidential podcast series, which is a popular collaboration between Public Radio Tulsa and Philbrook Museum of Art. This particular podcast -- taped before a "live" audience back in January -- explores what it actually means to be a curator with Philbrook Museum of Art Chief Curator Catherine Whitney and Gilcrease Museum Senior Curator Laura Fry. Also featuring special cameos by comedian Pete Holmes, "exit" signs, and the National Mustard Museum....

(Note: This show first aired back in February.) On this installment of ST, a discussion of the history of race relations in America -- and of a landmark Supreme Court decision that profoundly shaped this history. Steve Luxenberg is our guest; he is a longtime senior editor at The Washington Post, and his new book is "Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation." As Louis Menand of The New Yorker Magazine has noted: "Luxenberg has chosen a fresh way to tell the story of Plessy....

The Tulsa-based John Hope Franklin Center will soon present its tenth-annual Reconciliation in America National Symposium, and the theme for this year's event is "Civic Engagement and Reconciliation: The Survival of Democracy." The symposium will happen from May 29th through the 31st, and the keynote speaker will be Kenneth B. Morris -- the great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great-grandson of Booker T.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we revisit an interview that first aired in April of last year with Dr. Daniela Lamas, author of "You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death, and In Between." Per Publishers Weekly: "In this ruminative account of treating patients, Lamas, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, analyzes how the critically ill manage life during and after treatment.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to our discussion with the bestselling historian Nathaniel Philbrick about his book, "In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at  Yorktown." We spoke with him last year, when the book first came out; it's now appearing in a paperback edition. As was noted by The Wall Street Journal: "[Philbrick], an accomplished popular historian...excels when writing about sailors and the ocean. He vividly renders the interplay of skill and chaos in naval combat by massive fleets, as well as the fury of hurricanes....

Our guest on ST is Jon Steinman, the producer and host of an internationally syndicated radio show and podcast called Deconstructing Dinner. A Canadian resident of Nelson, BC, he joins us to discuss his new book, "Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants." By closely studying -- and also drawing engaging stories from -- many different American and Canadian food co-ops, this book makes a case for the eventual (and radical?) transformation of the grocery store in the 21st century.

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Michael Chaiken, curator of the Tulsa-based Bob Dylan Archive (and of the forthcoming, in 2021, Bob Dylan Center). He tells us about an art exhibit that he recently assembled which is now on view at the Gilcrease Museum: "Bob Dylan: Face Value and Beyond" is on display through September 15th.

Nathan Englander is our guest; he's the bestselling author of "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges," "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, and "Dinner at the Center of the Earth," among other books. He joins us to discuss his new novel, "Kaddish.com." Per a critic writing for The New York Times, this book is "sublime.... [It] reads like a modern-day Hasidic tale in which religious characters are bedeviled by the challenges of upholding God's word in an all too human world.... Kafka and Roth's influences are felt in Englander's work....

(Note: This interview originally aired last year.) What's it like to be an "ER doc" in America today? And how has that job changed in recent decades? Paul Seward is our guest. Now retired, he was a physician for nearly fifty years, and he spent most of those years working in emergency rooms. His memoir is titled "Patient Care: Death and Life in the Emergency Room." As was noted of this volume by Booklist: "Seward's engrossing and approachable memoir plunges readers into the unpredictable life of an emergency-room physician....

Has the long-standing, bi-partisan, and rather rarified U.S. foreign policy establishment effectively failed our country? Yes, according to our guest today: Stephen M. Walt is a Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He previously taught at Princeton and the University of Chicago, and he's now a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine. Walt's latest book is "The Hell of Good Intentions: America's Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S.

Our guest is the Oklahoma-based author, attorney, and legal scholar Walter Echo-Hawk.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about Tulsa Little Jam, a popular podcast, concert series, and far-reaching digital media platform that aims to spotlight our community's most talented musicians and singer-songwriters. Tulsa Little Jam will present its Season Two Opening Concert this coming Friday night, the 17th, at Guthrie Green (beginning at 5:30pm). A number of different local bands will be presented -- and filmed -- in live performance, and the concert will be part of the 2019 Mayfest weekend.

The highly acclaimed novelist Rachel Kushner is our guest; she joins us to discuss her latest novel, "The Mars Room," which is now out in paperback. As was noted of this book (which was Time Magazine's #1 Fiction Title of the Year as well as a New York Times Notable Book of 2018) in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "Two-time National Book Award finalist Kushner delivers a heartbreaking and unforgettable novel set in a California women's prison.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Bob Hudson, a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics with the OU School of Community Medicine in Tulsa. He's practiced general pediatrics for the past 30 years -- and has spent the past 16 years as a behavioral pediatrician, helping parents whose children exhibit behavioral or learning problems. Dr.

The acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Daniel Okrent is our guest; he tells us about his new book, "The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America." This book looks back to the 1920s is reveal a dark and forgotten chapter of American history -- a troubling era with serious implications for the present day.

This weekend, from May 9th through the 12th, Tulsa Ballet will present a season-closing Signature Series program titled "From Ballet to Broadway." It's a line-up of three works that, each and all, deeply blend classical ballet with Broadway-style dance and movement.

Our guest is Keith Elder, who has recently been named the new executive director of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. Elder, who will assume his new job in August, comes to the TSO from the Aspen Music Festival and School, which is widely seen as one of America's top classical music festivals. A tuba player by training, Elder was the general manager and vice president in Aspen; he's also worked with the Eastman School of Music and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Our guest is the British scholar Thomas Lockley, an Associate Professor at Nihon University College of Law in Tokyo, where he teaches courses related to the international and multicultural history of Japan and East Asia. He's also the co-author of a new biography titled "African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan," which he tells about. The book offers the remarkable life of history's first foreign-born samurai...and his astonishing journey from Northeast Africa to the heights of Japanese society.

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