To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
Piano lessons. For many of us those two words evoke
only bad memories from our childhood. Piano lessons are shorthand
for the oppression of children by mean and tyrannical adults. And
no one captures this better than the champion of all kids, underdogs
and Whozits then Dr. Seuss. In this hour of To the Best of Our
Knowledge, we'll celebrate the 100th birthday of Dr. Seuss with
a look at his surreal film about piano lessons and children's power.
The film's called the 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.
A bit of Thelonius Monk kicks off our hour in celebration
of the piano. Then, singer and pianist Marcia Ball sits
at the piano at our studio, where she plays for and chats with
Anne Strainchamps. Ball talks about the various kinds of Blues
and how they differ from what she usually plays. Ball's new CD
is called "So Many Rivers." Also, Jim Fleming explains
what serialism is and we hear a bit of Arnold Schoenberg's music.
Philip Nel is the author of Dr. Seuss:
American Icon. He talks with Steve Paulson about "The
5,000 Fingers of Dr. T." It was the first Dr. Seuss film,
made in 1952. It's about an evil piano teacher's dastardly plan
to enslave 500 children to play his music. We hear clips, and
a song from Tom Waits. Also, Anne Strainchamps talks with novelist
Daniel Mason about The Piano Tuner. He wrote the novel
while in medical school and says he likes the idea of bringing
a piano into tune because it's like bringing order into chaos.
And we hear the Prelude in C Major from Bach's "Well Tempered
Jim Fleming talks with Classical pianist Christopher
O'Riley who's just released "True Love Waits" -
a CD of arrangements of songs by the alternative rock band Radiohead.
O'Riley, at the keyboard of his piano at home, tells Jim why he
loves the music of Radiohead and why he wanted to do a whole album
of their music.
Cassette copies are available
at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 04-03-14-B.
- Daniel Mason, The Piano Tuner
- Philip Nel, Dr. Seuss: American Icon
- THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T (1952). Directed by
Roy Rowland. Screenplay by Dr. Seuss and Allan Scott. Columbia
- Our opening music was BLUE MONK
by Thenonious Monk off of his solo piano CD called THELONIOUS
ALONE IN SAN FRANCISCO on Riverside Records.
- Arnold Schoenberg's Five Piano Pieces op. 23 ("Sher
Rasch" and the "Walzer") off of PIANO MUSIC played
by Maurizio Pollini on Polydor International.
- Tom Waits "I Don't Wonna Grow Up" off
of BONE MACHINE on Island Records.
- J.S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier (Prelude
in C Major) off of TH WELL-
TEMPERED CLAVIER, BOOK I played by Andras Schiff on Decca Record
- All the songs from Marcia Ball were recorded live
in our studios. Her new CD is called SO MANY RIVERS on Alligator
- All Christopher O'Riley music was recorded live
in his LA home. His new CD is called TRUE LOVE WAITS: CHRISTOPHER
O'RILEY PLAYS RADIOHEAD on Sony Music.
- The following Radiohead songs were played during
the Christopher O'Riley interview: "True Love Waits"
off of LIVE RECORDINGS on Capital Records. "Motion Picture
Soundtrack" off of KID A on Capital Records. "Spinning
Plates" off of AMNESIAC on Capital Records. "Exit Music
(for a film)" and "Karma Police" off of OK COMPUTER
on Capital Records. "Black Star" off of THE BENDS on
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