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in memoriam

  • David Crosby has died at the age of 81. Crosby was a legendary singer-songwriter and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, inducted as a member of both the iconic folk-rock band The Byrds — with whom he first rose to stardom — and the iconic Woodstock era-defining group Crosby, Stills & Nash.
  • Angela Lansbury died this week at the age of 96. We had the honor of speaking with her for this program in 2002.
  • David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89. McCullough died Sunday at his Massachusetts home. He had been in failing health and died less than two months after his beloved wife, Rosalee.McCullough dedicated himself to sharing his own passion for history with the general public. He saw himself as an everyman, blessed with lifelong curiosity, and the chance to take on the subjects he cared about most. His fascination with architecture and construction inspired his early works on the Panama Canal and the Brooklyn Bridge. While his admiration for leaders whom he believed were good men, drew him to John Adams and Harry Truman in the 70s and 80s. He indulged his affection for Paris with the 2011 release of "The Greater Journey" and for aviation with the bestseller on The Wright brothers that came out in 2015. David McCullough was a frequent guest on this program, as well as The Book Show. I spoke with him in 2017 about a project he worked on examining the American spirit through speeches he'd written and delivered throughout his illustrious career.
  • Australian pop star and actor Olivia Newton John died yesterday; she was 73. Best known for her iconic performance opposite John Travolta as Sandy in the 1978 movie musical “Grease,” she was already a popular easy-listening singer with several hit songs when she was cast it the film. In 1981, her poppy dance hit "Physical," became her biggest hit and spent 10 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. After learning she had breast cancer in 1992, Newton-John became an advocate for research into the disease. We spoke with her in 2011 when a northeast tour brought her to The Palace Theatre in Albany, New York.
  • Berkshire-based film director and technical effects genius Doug Trumbull died on February 7 at the age of 79. Sarah LaDuke spoke with him in 2011 when The Berkshire International Film Festival chose him as their honoree.
  • Legendary director, actor and screenwriter Peter Bogdanovich has died at age 82. He shot to fame with “The Last Picture Show” in 1971, earning an Academy Award nomination in his early 30s. Other films included “Paper Moon,” “Mask,” “Saint Jack” and a long-running project to finish Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind” in 2019. A tabloid fixture throughout his life, Bogdanovich was introduced to a new generation with a recurring role on “The Sopranos.” He spoke with WAMC in 2011 when he was attending a screening of his film "Daisy Miller" at The Linda.
  • Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader and Nevada’s longest-serving member of Congress, has died at his home in Henderson, Nevada at age 82 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. A former boxer-turned-lawyer, the Democrat was widely acknowledged as one of toughest dealmakers in Congress. The Democrat spoke with WAMC in May 2008 to promote his book, “The Good Fight.” We air that interview today in memoriam.
  • Anne Rice, the novelist whose lush, best-selling gothic tales, including "Interview With a Vampire," reinvented the blood-drinking immortals as tragic antiheroes has died. She was 80. Rice died late Saturday due to complications from a stroke. Rice's 1976 novel "Interview With the Vampire" was later adapted, with a script by Rice, into the 1994 movie directed by Neil Jordan and starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. It's also set to be adapted again in an upcoming TV series on AMC and AMC+ set to premiere next year. Anne Rice was a frequent guest on our programs. In memoriam, we’ll share portions of two interviews this morning. The first was recorded in 2012 when the first of Rice’s “The Wolf Gift Chronicles” novels was released and the second in 2013 in a live event with Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs.
  • American Theatre icon and innovator, Stephen Sondheim, has died at the age of 91. The composer and lyricist had a creative hand in shows like "West Side Story," "Gypsy," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum," "Company," "Follies," "A Little Night Music," "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "Sunday in the Park with George," "Into the Woods," and "Assassins." This interview was recorded in 2011.
  • Our friend and longtime contributor Shawn Stone died of cancer, recently diagnosed, on October 20, 2021. Joe Donahue shares this tribute.