To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
Steve Kissing seemed like a perfect child. He was
an "A" student. He excelled as an athlete. He was even
an altar boy. But Steve had a secret, a secret so dark he couldn't
tell anyone. Steve was possessed by the devil. In this hour of
To the Best of Our Knowledge, meeting the devil. From a boy
possessed to selling your soul at the Crossroads, and a few places
in between. Also, back some 700 years to the hell we know so well,
it's Dante's "Inferno."
Blanche Barton is the former High Priestess
of the Church of Satan. She tells Steve Paulson that Satanists
are outsiders who do not worship Satan. She says their philosophy,
articulated by Anton LaVey in the Satanic Bible, contains a smile
and a wink. Also, operatic bass Samuel Ramey has a new
CD called "A Date with the Devil." He tells Anne Strainchamps
about his various devil roles and why he likes singing them. Ramey
says he's a nice guy off stage, but we hear lots of examples of
him being mean and evil while in character.
Steve Kissing was sure he was possessed by
the devil. He kept it secret for years. The truth emerged when
he had a seizure and woke up in an ambulance: he had epilepsy.
Kissing tells Anne Strainchamps what it felt like and why he hid
his problem from his parents. Kissing is the author of "Running
from the Devil: A Memoir of a Boy Possessed." Also, Michael
Palma is the translator of the new Norton edition of Dante's
"Inferno." He reads passages from it and talks with
Jim Fleming about this literary classic.
Adam Gussow is the author of "Seems
Like Murder Here: Southern Violence and the Blues Tradition."
He talks with Steve Paulson about the Blues legend of going to
the crossroads to sell your soul to the devil in exchange for
expertise playing the Blues. And we hear lots of musical examples.
Cassette copies are available
at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 03-07-20-A.
- Dante Alighieri, Translated by Michael
Palma, Inferno (Norton)
- Blanche Barton, The Church of Satan: A History
of the World's Most Notorious Religion (Hells Kitchen Productions)
- Adam Gussow, Seems Like Murder Here: Southern
Violence and the Blues Tradition (Chicago)
- Steve Kissing, Running From the Devil: A
Memoir of a Boy Possessed (Crossroad Books)
- Anton Szandor LaVey,
The Satanic Bible (Avon Books)
- Robert Johnson: "Cross
Road Blues" and "Me and the Devil Blues"
All off of CBS Records Box Set "Robert Johnson: The Complete
- Tommy Johnson: "Big Road Blues" and "Bye-Bye
All off of the Document Records Box Set "Tommy Johnson (1928-1929)
Complete Works in Chronological Order."
- Chris Thomas King. "Mississippi KKKrossroads"
off of his Dirty South Hip Hop Blues CD on 21st Century Blues
- Samuel Ramey:
from Bioto's Mefistofele: "Ecco il mondo"
from Gounod's Faust: "Vous qui faites l'endormie"
from Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust: "Devant la maison"
from Stavinsky's The Rake's progress: "I burn, I freeze"
All of of his CD "A Date with the Devil" on Naxos.
- The Louvin Brothers. "Satan is Real."
- Franz Liszt. "Mephisto Waltz" on Naxos.
- "Kyrie, Fons Bonitatis" by the
Schola Gregoriana Pragensis off of
their CD "Bohemorum Sancti" on Supraphon Records.
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