Arts and Culture

What Exactly Does an Editor Do? The Role Has Changed Over Time

When Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman was published earlier this year, readers learned that this much anticipated “second book” by Lee was actually a first draft of what would later become the beloved To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee radically revised this early version of the book on the advice of her editor, Tay Hohoff. […]

Arc Stories: Holiday Edition

‘Tis The Season: Stories about the Holidays:  A Christmas gift that completely changed the trajectory of on man’s life; the first time a little-girl gets a glimpse of the adult world; and a confession 20 years in the making, as a boy searches his parents house for that Christmas gift he really wanted. Originally aired: […]

Christmas in Birmingham, 1920: The Dueling Santa Clauses of Loveman’s and Pizitz

During the Christmas season, Santa Claus is everywhere. And, if he’s not, a Santa suit can be had for a mere $40. But it didn’t used to be that way. This Christmas eve, Local pop culture historian Tim Hollis tells WBHM of a Birmingham Christmas past, when the city’s two largest department stores, Loveman's and Pizitz, fought for the title of Santa’s official Magic City headquarters. A word of caution for those of you listening with young children: this story touches on some Christmas secrets.

Found Sound: The Alabama Theatre’s Mighty Wurlitzer Memorializes Buster Norris

A "found sound" story of organ recordings from the Alabama's Theatre's Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

The Alabama Shakes and Public Radio’s #1 Songs Of 2015

Hidden inside our enormous year-end Songs We Love 2015 app — 401 songs across a dozen genres compiled by NPR Music and our public radio partners — is a playlist of 61 jewels, the ones we loved the best. We polled our entire team –including dozens of hosts from around the country — and these […]

Sociologists’ Book Urges End of Sex Division in Sports

Can you imagine a world with no gender divisions in sports? University of Alabama at Birmingham sociologist Adrienne Milner can. Not only that — she wants to help make it happen. Along with University of Miami professor Dr. Jomills Henry Braddock II, she’s written a new book called “Sex Segregation in Sports: Why Separate Is Not […]

Success More Than Jokes For Birmingham’s Roy Wood Jr. On Daily Show

For me, I think I have been very, very lucky to have a career up until this point where pretty much everything I have done, prepared me for what I am doing today on The Daily Show – from the acting, to the stand ups, even the prank phone calls. Roy Wood Jr.

Museum Exhibit Tells Spiritual Story of African Slaves in Haiti

A new exhibit opening at the Birmingham Museum of Art shows the marriage of African spirituality and Western traditions. The exhibit is called Haitian Flags and consists of ceremonial tapestries used by people of the Vodou faith. Vodou is still practiced on Haiti today. WBHM’s Esther Ciammachilli spoke to curator Emily Hanna at the museum to learn more.

Birmingham-Southern Professor Michael Flowers Named 2015 Professor of the Year

For more than three decades, Michael Flowers has been teaching acting at Birmingham-Southern College. Flowers was recently named 2015 Alabama Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation.

Alabama Running Back Derrick Henry Wins Heisman Trophy

The 6-foot-3, 242-pound tailback led the nation in rushing yards and rushing attempts, the Heisman Web site notes.

Birmingham LGBTQ Community Leader Honored by White House

Steven Romeo is founder of the Change Project here in Birmingham. It highlights the lives of LGBTQ people in Alabama and other areas of the South. Recently, Romeo received the White House “Champions of Change” recognition, given to just a handful of LGBT community leaders in the U.S. He stopped by to talk to WBHM […]

For Expats In Afghanistan, A Cranberry Dish To Relish Far From Home

In 2011, about 100 Americans living and working in Kabul gathered for a Thanksgiving feast a long way from family. But a dish familiar to many NPR listeners helped bring them a taste of home.

Arc Stories: November 2015 Edition

Stories about people trying to navigate through major dilemmas. A young man tires to discover a family secret; a girl comes to grips with the loss of her mom; and a woman finds herself completely exposed outside of a stranger’s house. (Originally aired November 19, 2015 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

The Eclectic Sounds of Birmingham’s Holly Waxwing

Montevallo native Garrett Crosby produces music under the name Holly Waxwing. The currently Birmingham-based electronic artist creates playful menageries of sound from disparate places and samples everything from top 40 and Mariah Carey to Episcopalian psychedelic folk. His EP Peach Winks was released earlier this year. WBHM's Em Wiginton spoke to him about how he creates his music. Holly Waxwing performs this Saturday at the Desert Island Supply Co. in Birmingham.

Controversial ISIS Coloring Book Reaches Vestavia Home

Really Big Coloring Books, which credits itself with starting the adult coloring book craze, has come out with a new and controversial one titled “ISIS: A Culture of Evil.” The company sent thousands unsolicited around the country, and one ended up in a Muslim household in Vestavia Hills. Henna Budhwani had just gotten home from work […]

Winston Groom — The Generals

George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and George Marshall have become almost mythical figures after fighting in the U.S. Army during World War II. They’re also the subjects of Alabama author Winston Groom’s new book called The Generals. Marshall served as chief of staff of the army. McArthur commanded troops in the South Pacific. Patton fought in North Africa and Europe. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke with Groom about the book.

Musician Chris Thile on Playing Birmingham, Replacing Garrison Keillor

Virtuoso mandolin player Chris Thile performs in Birmingham Monday at UAB's Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. He spoke with WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley about his varied musical career, why he loves performing in Birmingham and how he feels about his next job: replacing Garrison Keillor as the host of A Prairie Home Companion.

WBHM Partners with StoryCorps OutLoud

Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM is partnering with StoryCorps to broadcast selections from its StoryCorps OutLoud initiative recorded in Birmingham. StoryCorps OutLoud is a multi-year project dedicated to preserving the often unheard voices of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people. WBHM will share these stories on air and online Tuesdays and Fridays throughout November, 2015. […]

Jerri Hardesty: Changing Lives Through Poetry

Emotion often fuels poetry.  Sometimes though that emotion is so personal it’s like being let into a secret space.  That’s the way it is with poems we’ll hear from Jerri Hardesty. She’s president of the Alabama State Poetry Society.  She’s won more than 600 awards and titles for both written and spoken word poetry.  Hardesty […]

Arc Stories: October 2015 Edition

Three storytellers find themselves in frightening situations.  A camp ghost story that gets out of hand; a man forced to look death in the face; and trying to spy on religious fanatics (Originally aired October 22, 2015 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

Why I Support WBHM: Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington’s winning design is featured on the newest edition of WBHM’s pint glass for the Fall 2015 fund drive.  For a contribution of just $7.50/month or a one time contribution of $90.00, this pint glass is a wonderful reminder of your support of public radio for Birmingham and North Central Alabama,   Here’s two […]

A Trip To The Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention

Limestone County, Alabama has a long and storied old time fiddling tradition. This past weekend, about 15,000 fiddlers and old time music fans gathered for the 49th annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Athens. RV’s from around the country loaded with fiddles, guitars, and banjos filled the campus of Athens State University. The convention and competition bring together musicians of all ages.

Arc Stories: September 2015 Edition

Stories include a man trying to do the right things when society is telling him otherwise; one man’s conflict within his own making; a young girl impersonating someone of a different race and gender; and a father trying to keep up appearances in front of his daughter. (Originally aired September 24, 2015 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

Journalist Pamela Newkirk on the Astonishing Life of Ota Benga

The 1904 Saint Louis World's fair is best known to Birminghamians as the place where Vulcan debuted, before moving to his permanent home on Red Mountain. But it was also host to an exhibit displaying thousands of humans from around the world. Among them was a young Congolese man named Ota Benga. He was captured by former missionary Samuel Phillips Verne and brought to America for the exhibit. Benga's story is the subject of the new book Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by journalist Pamela Newkirk. She told WBHM’s Rachel Lindley about Ota Benga’s life, and the cultural mindset that led to his captivity.

Season Opener! Carlos Izcaray Leads the Alabama Symphony Orchestra

This weekend, newly appointed Music Director Carlos Izcaray conducts the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring both modern and romantic works. Izcaray (pronounced “eez-ca-RYE”) spoke with WBHM’s Michael Krall about the program, his management style, and about how audiences might approach a modern, contemporary work. The conversation began with Izcaray talking about why he moved his […]

After Almost 100 Years, Birmingham’s Olmsted Park Plan Sees New Life

With the success of Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, the city’s seen increased support for more public green spaces. As the city develops new parks and trails for Birmingham residents, leaders are taking lessons from the city’s history, including seeking advice from a park plan published almost a century ago.

A New Leader for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Tuesday Birmingham will mark the 52 anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing which killed 4 girls and helped galvanize support for passage of the Civil Rights Act. For staff at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, they’ll note this anniversary under new leadership. Andrea Taylor began as the new president and CEO of the institute last week.

Exhibit Showcasing Art By Veterans Opens Friday

Returning soldiers often suffer from the lingering psychological trauma of war. Studies show one way to help veterans cope is through making art. This Friday, the visual arts organization Space One Eleven debuts Reflections of Generosity, a veteran-focused art exhibition that expresses the complicated feelings of life after war.

Remembering Max Cooper: Broadway Producer and Fast Food Tycoon

Max Cooper, a Broadway producer and Alabama’s largest McDonald’s franchisee, died Sunday at his Birmingham home. He was just shy of 100-years-old. Max Cooper was many things; fast food tycoon, sports impresario, advertising guy, entrepreneur and someone with a lifelong desire to be in show business. Greg Bass spoke with Cooper for WBHM in December of 2010.

“To Me, It Was A Good Thing” Feizal Valli Remembers How Hurricane Katrina Brought Him To Birmingham

Feizal Valli worked as a bartender in New Orleans for over a decade. When he first moved to the city back in the 90s, New Orleans was known as the murder capital of the country. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Valli was living on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. He talked to WBHM's Ashley Cleek about his life before and after the storm.

Arc Stories: August 2015 Edition

Stories that will make you laugh, make you cry, and perhaps both at the same time  —  hear what it was like growing up in the Civil Rights era; a woman risks her own dignity to get a chance at love; a guy raging against his own social awkwardness, and becoming a father to three […]

Vulcans on Parade, Unveiled

If you drive by Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, you might notice two eight foot replicas of Vulcan, the city’s famous Roman god of fire and forge. They’re a part of a new civic art project called “Vulcans on Parade.” WBHM’s Gina Yu was at the unveiling yesterday morning.