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
1:09 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Laughing It Up With Don Vappie

Don Vappie.

This is an unofficial test from the staff of Music Inside Out. Remember, this is ONLY a test:

Question: Who's funnier? 

A. Bruce Springsteen
B. Bob Dylan
C. Laurel and Hardy
D. Don Vappie
E. I hate tests.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
10:52 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

The Best of Music Inside Out

Don't miss the Music Inside Out grand slam this week. We've played some of the best stories, songs and lessons from the season, featuring all the musicians we could squeeze into two hours. Review with us, if you will, our musical guests and hip shakin' moments.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

The Irrepressible John Boutté

Wendi Berman
  • The irrepressible John Boutté, on Music Inside Out.

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
1:00 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Givonna Joseph and OperaCréole

OperaCréole: Wilfred Delphin, pianist; Valerie Jones Francis, soprano; Tyrone Chambers, tenor; Crystal Morris, soprano; Givonna Joseph, mezzo soprano; Brandon Richardson, baritone; Aria Mason, mezzo soprano. Not pictured: Ivan Griffin, bass.
Illinois State University

This month, OperaCréole will hold a concert in honor of Scott Joplin and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, two composers of African descent, whose operatic works were never fully realized. The group will perform selections from Joplin's much-debated "Treemonisha" (Is it, or is it not grand opera?) and Coleridge -Taylor's "Thelma," which was lost for nearly 100 years before a graduate student discovered it reportedly in the archives of the British Library.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Reggie Scanlan — Bass Lion

Reggie Scanlan
Fantail Media Flickr

There's a reason why lions prefer the company of other lions. Just ask Reggie Scanlan. As a bass player, Scanlan worked with James Booker and Professor Longhair before starting a 33-year run with the Radiators. He's now in a band of all-stars called the New Orleans Suspects.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Susan Cowsill: What Is Happy?

Susan Cowsill
Dennis Gardner

Like most girls her age, Susan Cowsill watched The Partridge Family every week on television. But unlike most girls her age, she was related to the Partridges, albeit in a Hollywood kind of way. The show was modeled after Cowsill and other members of her singing family.

In the 1960s and early '70s, The Cowsills were regulars on television, appearing with Ed Sullivan, Johnny Cash and on their own programs. They also had a string of top ten hits, including "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," and "Hair."

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
3:53 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Sonny Landreth's Extraordinary Sound

Sonny Landreth
Brian C. Miller Richard

If you've never seen Sonny Landreth's hands glide over the fret of his slide guitar, you should. It's like watching someone touch the finest of silk.

If you've never heard Sonny Landreth play the blues, or classical music or flat out rock 'n roll, you should. His sound is extraordinary.

Landreth's fans include John Hiatt, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and Johnny Winter — with whom he toured earlier this year.

Not bad for a self-described "stepson" of Louisiana, born in Mississippi and raised on big helpings of Cajun and Zydeco music.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Jeremy Davenport: A Man & His Horn

  • Jeremy Davenport — A Man & His Horn

When jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport got off the road to take a lengthy engagement at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans, he said no one seemed more surprised than his former boss — Harry Connick Jr. Davenport had traveled the world in Connick's band, which was and remains, hot stuff.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:06 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

We're With You Louisiana

We'll be back next week with an hour with Jeremy Davenport. Stay safe, everyone!  

Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:01 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Irma Thomas: The Influences

  • Irma Thomas, on Music Inside Out.

Irma Thomas returns to Music Inside Out for a whole new, fresh, hot buttered and yummy conversation. The Queen of New Orleans Soul pays her respects to some of her musical influences and talks about the bottom line of a Grammy Award. Turns out, there's a reason why they call it show business.

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