Arts and Culture

Arc Stories: August 2016 Edition

This month on Arc Stories, we have four stories where our storytellers can’t quite comprehend what’s happening to them.

Noah Galloway: Living with No Excuses

Noah Galloway discusses the story behind his new book, Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an America Soldier, with our Greg Bass.

Pilot Project Aims to Make Trails More Accessible

A pilot project at Oak Mountain State Park aims to make trails in Alabama more accessible.

Southern Living Celebrates 50 Years

Southern Living, one of the South’s most iconic magazines, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Birmingham-based institution has an enduring relationship with readers and a unique history, but at the same time, it’s evolving to appeal to a younger, urban readership.

An Alabama Museum You Can Enjoy From The Driver’s Seat

Artist Butch Anthony has created a drive-thru museum in Seale, Ala. On display is a collection of odd items, decorated and displayed inside shipping containers that vehicles drive between.

Iron Giant Percussion Takes Drumming to New Heights

Four guys plus a table full of random stuff that makes noise equals Iron Giant Percussion. The Birmingham natives take drumming to new heights, pounding out rhythms on everything from bongos to porcelain floor tiles.

Lyrical Skill, Lofty Aspirations: The Monastery

Their inspirations include modern rappers but also go all the way back to A Tribe Called Quest, Jimi Hendrix, and actual monks. They’re The Monastery, a duo making their mark on Alabama’s growing rap scene with intricate lyrics they hope will entertain and enlighten.

Arc Stories: July 2016 Edition

Four stories where the storyteller learns something new about themselves and others. A man attempts to find reconciliation with a childhood friend he betrayed 30 years before; a husband discovers something about his wife after she endures a major medical procedure; a young woman without any training moves to Africa to become a teacher; and what happens to a […]

Renee Montagne To Step Down As Host Of ‘Morning Edition’

After a dozen years of arriving at work every weekday at midnight, Montagne says she's ready to try something new. She will become a special correspondent on Morning Edition.

What Makes Birmingham a “Food Town?”

People in Birmingham love their city’s food so much they write songs about it.  We found Ja-Neen Gandy hanging out with her kids at Railroad Park eager to share her ode to Gus’ Hot Dogs. Musical tributes are just one way residents of the Magic City express their appreciation for Birmingham’s food culture. Others write […]

Arc Stories: June 2016 Edition

Stories where plans put into motion take some unexpected turns. One young woman’s attempt to have a little fun at some protester’s expense, a boy who is taken on the ride of his life, and a family forced to deal with the loss of nearly all of their possessions. (Originally aired June 30, 2016 at 2 […]

How to make someone’s day…

School custodian Curtis Radford…

Birmingham Remembers Victims of Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Hundreds gathered in downtown Birmingham yesterday evening to remember victims of Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people. A diverse group of faith leaders led those assembled in Linn Park in prayer.

The Junction: Stories From Ensley, Alabama – An Integration Pioneer

In 1965, Carolyn Houston Crumbley Major became the first African-American graduate of Ensley High School. Producer Mary Quintas spoke with Carolyn's son, Rafaael Crumbley, and sister, Janice Houston Nixon, about Carolyn's contributions as an integration pioneer - and what her legacy means today.

Drones Lead UAB Archaeologist To New Discovery In Petra, Jordan

NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with UAB archaeologist Sarah Parcak about her team’s discovery of the monument in Petra, Jordan — an archaeological park among the richest and most visited in the world. She found the structure using satellite imagery, Google Earth and drones. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: In the third “Indiana Jones” movie, the climax takes […]

“Before long I could say three sentences or four…”

Les Levoy, of Birmingham, on overcoming stuttering…

Sounds of the Mighty Wurlitzer…

Organist, Gary Jones, of Birmingham…

Songs We Love: Alabama’s Own John Paul White, ‘The Martyr’

In this age of peer-policed hyperproductivity, the practice of pausing and thinking is fetishized but rarely truly supported. Reflection has become yet another goal achieved through an app: something to show off on our socials within an anxiously curated stream of fresh plans, ideas and accomplishments. This is true for musicians just as it is […]

Ira Glass on Birmingham Performance, Upcoming TAL Project on Syrian Refugees

Ira Glass has one of the most recognizable voices in all of public radio. He’s hosted the wildly popular program This American Life for more than 20 years, and influenced a generation of young audio storytellers. Glass brings his unorthodox stage show “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host," to Birmingham this weekend. As the title suggests, it features Glass, two dancers from Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and storytelling. WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley talked with Glass to find out more.

Slavery Scars A Trans-Atlantic Family Tree In ‘Homegoing’

Yaa Gyasi's debut novel follows the family lines of two separated half-sisters in 18th-century Ghana: One is married off to an Englishman, while the other is sent to America and sold into slavery.

“Resilience” is Theme to Documentary, Music about Syrian Refugee Camp

Birmingham native, Dunya Habash, spent two weeks in a Syrian refuge camp in 2014. She was filming for her recently released documentary, Za’atari: Jordan’s Newest City about a settlement created following the Syrian civil war. A recent honors graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Habash tells WBHM’s Esther Ciammachilli about this experience and how her own music helped tell the story.

Arc Stories: May 2016 Edition

Birmingham’s own true stories. A man’s encounter with perhaps the world’s worst burglar; a woman overlooks some early warning signs in the pursuit of love; and student recalls a beloved teacher who’s influence  doesn’t take root until years later. (Originally aired May 26, 2016 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

Listen to Says You! Recorded Live in Birmingham!

Listen Friday at 6:30 p.m to Says You! live from Birmingham! Featuring Birmingham’s own Reed Lochamy, these two performances were recorded Saturday, May 7, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center in the Jemison Concert Hall before a sell-out crowd. The first Birmingham show airs Friday, May 20 from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 22 from 1-2 p.m. […]

Birmingham Central Library Elevators, Escalators Broken

The sign on the broken escalator says use the elevator. The sign on the broken elevator says take the stairs. This is what visitors and staff of the downtown library are currently dealing with.

for the beauty of: Birmingham

Charity Ponter is a photographer specializing in capturing artists in their creative spaces. But it wasn’t always that way. It took a while before she found the creative outlet that worked best for her. She spoke with WBHM’s Michael Krall about her recent book for the beauty of: Birmingham, and about her very specific career choice […]

Chief Justice Roy Moore Blaming Drag Queen for his Recent Troubles

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore faces removal from office for the second time in this career, a rumored plea deal involving House Speaker Mike Hubbard lights up social media and we talk about the “Alabamafication” of America. It’s the latest from Kyle Whitmire, political columnist for The Birmingham News and

Lane Cake Named Official State Dessert by Alabama Lawmakers

Alabama has an official state bird, nut, fruit and even crustacean. The state might soon have an official state cake— a lane cake. The House of Representatives voted Thursday night to name lane cake as the official state cake. The bill now goes to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for his signature. The effort to name lane cake the state dessert made some traction last year, but ultimately fell flat. To celebrate the cake's move towards official state-dessertdom, today we revisit this story by WBHM 2015 Summer intern Stephanie Beckett.

“I Want My South Back”

"I want my South back." That's the rallying cry from Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald. In a recent column he lays out a Southern identity that he admits may be a fictional memory, but one he'd like see more of. He also reflects on the fifth anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak that killed more than 250 people in Alabama.

“The Faith of Christopher Hitchens”

Christopher Hitchens and Larry Taunton seem unlikely candidates to be friends. Hitchens was a writer and avowed atheist who died of esophageal cancer in 2011. Taunton is the founder of the Birmingham-based Fixed Point Foundation. It’s an evangelical Christian organization that has sponsored debates with prominent atheists. It’s through this work the two met and became friends. Larry Taunton is out with a book called “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist”

Commentary: Not Easy to Find “Home” with Birmingham’s Redlining History

In the 1930’s, the Federal Housing Authority practiced "redlining," denying services to people in certain areas based on racial or ethnic makeup. This mostly discriminated against black, inner city neighborhoods. In Alabama, Birmingham was no exception. The echoes of redlining can still be heard today, especially when young black families start house shopping. In this commentary, young adult author and WBHM staffer Randi Revill shares her thoughts on searching for home among Birmingham’s silent but ongoing racial division. Revill's first novel, "Into White," comes out this Fall.

A Tour of Alabama Folk School at Camp McDowell

Alabama has a rich folk history, full of songs, stories and primitive arts and crafts. For years, the Alabama Folk School has brought them to life through a year-round teaching program at Camp McDowell, the camp and conference center for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. The Alabama Folk School recently appointed a new director, and Camp McDowell itself has seen some major changes and renovations in the past year.

AG Strange: New EPA Rule Would Hurt Alabama’s Racing Economy

Alabama is joining eight other states petitioning the federal government to drop a proposal banning the modification of street vehicles into off-road race cars. Attorney General Luther Strange announced he is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to drop a proposed change to the Clean Air Act. The new rule would forbid the modification of […]