Any Questions #492: "Ken Burns Subjects" | WAMC

Any Questions #492: "Ken Burns Subjects"

Apr 9, 2021

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about another public media titan.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase SORRY ABOUT THAT. Rearrange the letters to spell a six-letter profession, a five-letter word for something that person might create, and a three-letter word for a computer key they might press while creating that thing. What are the words?

On-air questions: Well Mike, this week, PBS has been airing a much-anticipated new documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick focused on Ernest Hemingway, which the New York Times lauded as a “Big Two-Hearted Reconsideration.” In honor of Burns’ new film, I thought we would look back on some of his earlier much-imitated works. I’ll name some details about each, you name the subject of each film.

1. Featuring Roger Angell, Keith Olbermann and George Will from the media perspective, and Buck O’Neil, Marvin Miller and Bill “Spaceman” Lee from the inside, this project was followed up by a new chapter 16 years later calling The Tenth Inning.
2. With images of Unity Temple, the Johnson Wax Building and Taliesin, this 1998 project also features Maya Lin, Philip Johnson and Robert A.M. Stern.
3. Featuring Patricia Clarkson as the voice of Margaret Suckley — who born in Rhinebeck, New York in 1891 and was in Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12, 1945 — this seven-part series is one of many Burns projects to include analysis from presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
4. Partially funded by the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, this project’s soundtrack includes songs such as “Echoes of Harlem,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” and “Sugar Foot Stomp.”
5. Not featuring the voice of Hal Holbrook, which Ken Burns film subject was born in Florida. Missouri in 1835 and died in Connecticut in 1910 — both years when Halley’s Comet was visible from earth?  

Extra credit
1. Burns’ first project for PBS, what film from 1981 is narrated by the author David McCullough, who wrote a landmark 1972 book on the same subject?
2. Focusing on a tension between going as “mainstream as possible and the periodic reflexes to bring it back to its roots,” what Burns project features archival audio and photos from WSM radio in Nashville?

This week's challenge
Write down the nine-letter name of a 2013 award-winning documentary. Remove one pen stroke and you can spell the name of an award-winning network sitcom. What are the words?

On-air questions

1. Baseball (ironically, the series debuted in September 1994, one month into the strike that wound up canceling the 1994 World Series)  
2. Frank Lloyd Wright (Burns notes that Wright had seven children from three marriages over his 92 years)
3. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (featuring Meryl Streep as Eleanor Roosevelt and Paul Giamatti as Teddy Roosevelt)
4. Jazz (from 2001, the 10-epsiode series was co-produced by Wynton Marsalis)
5. Mark Twain (Twain, born Samuel Clemens, is buried in Elmira, N.Y.)  

Extra credit
1. The Brooklyn Bridge
2. Country Music