Gwen Thompkins

Host of Music Inside Out

Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran and host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, where she brings to bear the knowledge and experience she amassed as senior editor of Weekend Edition, an East Africa correspondent, the holder of Nieman and Watson Fellowships, and as a longtime student of music from around the world.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
9:59 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Caleb Elliott & New Releases

Singer-songwriter Caleb Elliott

At their best, pop songs conjure exactly what it’s like to be young. The stories are often simple. But they’re not so easy to write. Because the best pop songs take on the same themes as a great epic poem or a Wagnerian opera. Pop is about the loss of innocence.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
7:55 am
Sat October 26, 2013

John Boutté: An Irrepressible Voice

John Boutté is hard to intimidate. He may be the only guy who has ever told Stevie Wonder that his singing was flat. Boutté's observation, during a chance encounter with Wonder, changed his life for good. What's more, it made our lives better.

For more than 20 years, Boutté has built a career writing and performing his own songs, as well as re-interpreting the signature work of others. This week, Boutté tells Music Inside Out how he got so good at finding lyrics to suit his voice, his tenderness, his outrage and his legendary sass.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
11:42 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Some Of The Best On Music Inside Out

Shannon Powell, Marcia Ball, Alex McMurray, Dr. Michael White and Jon Cleary

Our good friends at WWNO are in the midst of a fund drive — that niggling but necessary part of the way that public radio in which listeners like you help pay for the programs you love.

Take it from us: the easiest way to listen during a fund drive is with a clear conscience. So give our friends a call and cough up the coin. Then sit back and listen with the smug satisfaction that you’re a member. As they say in the biz: operators are standing-by. 800-286-7002  

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
8:51 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Lights! Camera! Music!

Without music, most movie would be downright drab. No one would be singing in the rain. The guys in "Chariots of Fire" would be running INEXPLICABLY IN SLOW MOTION. And in "Casablanca," Sam would have nothing to play... much less play again.

This week, we're talking about movie music with three great guests: NPR film critic Bob Mondello, jazz great Terence Blanchard, and director Benh Zeitlin, whose "Beasts of the Southern Wild" earned him awards the world over.

So, as they say, save us the aisle seat and we'll share our popcorn.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:28 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Wild Kingdom: Animal Music From Louisiana

A dog and its man at Laurence Square
Credit Gregg Goldman

If this week's show doesn't bring out the animal in you, consult a doctor. You may be a vegetable... or a mineral... or a big block of cheese.

This is the time of year when pet lovers take their animals to church, when Lions and Tigers and Cardinals and Falcons take to the field, and when we turn to Louisiana songs about animals.

We've got birds, bees, a monkey, a horse, and even a cheetah. Yes, there are cheetahs in Louisiana. But the potholes slow them down.

So mark your territory and pick up our scent. Click LISTEN and enjoy.

PLAYLIST

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:00 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Music Inside Out: Food Songs

Credit Jamallac / Flickr

Food may be the most popular subject on the planet. In fact, scientists have long said that men and women think about food more often than almost anything else: more often than global warming or world peace, more than super heroes, more often, even, than sex.

We can't beat those odds, so this week on Music Inside Out we make a grocery list and dedicate the show to Louisiana songs about food.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
6:58 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Strong Man Holler: The Legendary Taj Mahal

The legendary Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal has guts. What else would explain the song title, "You Ain't No Streetwalker Mama, Honey, But I Do Like the Way You Strut Your Stuff?"

In the history of the blues, there's never been anyone as bold, funny, carnal and canny.

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Music
10:56 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Pfister Sisters Bring Fun To Old Jazz Standard

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we are moving into fall, so we are leaving you today with one final summer song. For the last several weeks, Gwen Thompkins has been bringing us wonderful musical nuggets from guests on her program, Music Inside Out. That's heard on WWNO in New Orleans. They're current artists who're bringing back old classics. Today, Gwen joins us for a listen to the Pfister Sisters.

GWEN THOMPKINS, BYLINE: The Pfister Sisters are a girl group that's been around for 30 years, so I don't know if it really is fair to call them a girl group.

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Music
10:58 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Summer Songs: Professor Longhair's Daughter

Tell Me More's 'Summer Songs' series samples new versions of old classics. This week, Gwen Thompkins, host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, shares a daughter's rendition of her father's song: Henry Roeland 'Professor Longhair' Byrd's Cry to Me.

Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Tom McDermott's Piano

Credit Gregg Goldman / Music Inside Out

Listen to Gwen and Tom McDermott

The day we visited Tom McDermott’s home, the sound of James Booker’s “Classified” greeted us. It was a sweet gesture: walking into a man’s home to the sound of your radio show’s theme music.

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