NPR : Fresh Air

Filed Under:

Fresh Air At 25: A Live Musical Tribute

Play associated audio

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the day Fresh Air became a daily national NPR program. Before that, the show was broadcast only on WHYY in Philadelphia. How long ago was May 11, 1987? On Fresh Air's first edition, TV critic David Bianculli reviewed the finale of the TV series Hill Street Blues.

A 25th anniversary is a pretty big event in the life of a show. To celebrate, it seemed appropriate to do something that reflected our 25 years on the air, so we decided to select some of Fresh Air's great live musical performances from our archive. Among the performers on Friday's show: Peggy King, Susannah McCorkle, Loudon Wainwright III, Charlie Haden, Shirley Horn, Arthur Alexander, Richard Thompson, Dave Frishberg, Rebecca Kilgore, Nick Lowe, John Doe and Catherine Russell.

So many other great musicians have performed on our show over the past 25 years. (You can find many of their performances online here.) We feel very fortunate — not many shows get to celebrate a 25th anniversary — because we've been given the greatest anniversary gift a show can ask for: you. Whether you've been listening for 25 years or just a few days, you have given us the privilege of marking this anniversary and continuing to produce Fresh Air. On behalf of all of us who have worked on the show over the past 25 years, our current crew and our alumni, thank you. A lot.

Fresh Air's executive producer is Danny Miller. The people who work so hard to find our guests, edit our interviews and keep us on the air include Amy Salit, Phyllis Myers, Roberta Shorrock, Sam Briger, Ann Marie Baldonado, Lauren Krenzel, John Myers, John Sheehan (who edited and mixed this anniversary show), Heidi Saman, Teresa Madden, Melody Kramer, Dorothy Ferebee and Audrey Bentham.


Some of the singing you hear on Fresh Air isn't from concerts; it's just guests breaking out into song. The medley on today's show features:

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


'Tis The Season For Coming Attractions: What To Watch For At The Multiplex

NPR film critic Bob Mondello offers a selective preview of the likely blockbusters and Oscar contenders that Hollywood has in store for the end of the year.

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash; many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.