Arts and Culture

What Alabamians Think About The Free Range Parenting Debate

In a scene from the film adaptation from of Harper Lee’s "To Kill a Mocking Bird," Scout, Jim and Dill walk unaccompanied through town. Adults they pass just smile and nod. Now take into account these kids are ten, six and seven-years-old. Back then, that didn’t seem out of the ordinary. But recently, there’s been a rise in the number of parents getting in trouble with authorities for letting their kids walk or play alone outside. Nick Patterson is the editor of the weekly newspaper WELD, and he wrote about free range parenting in this week’s edition. Patterson tells WBHM’s Rachel Lindley about this new—and old—parental philosophy.

Do Birmingham and Alabama’s Rankings On Listicles Matter?

You probably see a new one each time you go online. A "listicle" -- that's the name for the article-list hybrid shared so often on social media. The methodology of listicles can vary dramatically depending on who's making the list. As Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper WELD, tells WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley, these rankings can change the way people see the place they live.

What Stands in a Storm

Monday marks the fourth anniversary of a massive tornado outbreak where 62 tornados raked across Alabama in a single day. More than 250 people died from those storms on April 27, 2011. Writer Kim Cross chronicles that time through several personal stories in her book What Stands in a Storm. It grew out of an article she wrote for Southern Living magazine. She spoke with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager.

NPR’s Cokie Roberts’ New Book, “Capitol Dames,” On The Women Of Civil War Washington

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Much has been written about the men behind the military and political forces on both sides of the conflict. But what about the women’s stories? In her new book, Capitol Dames, Cokie Roberts tells the stories of how American women saw and influenced the war, from the sidelines of battle and the sidelines of political power. Roberts will speak and read from her book Tuesday, April 21 at the Doubletree Hotel in Birmingham. The event is presented by the Alabama Booksmith, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit WBHM.

Antiques Roadshow from Birmingham!

Part history lesson, part story, and part suspense, public television's Antiques Roadshow comes to you from Birmingham!

Arc Stories: March 2015 Edition

A man gets a chance to show a former girlfriend what she missed out on; a girl gets an audience for one of her first intimate moments; and a young woman meets some random strangers and gets into a fight.


Interview: Wye Oak

Thursday night, the band Wye Oak, Brooklyn composer William Brittelle, and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra collaborate on innovative orchestral re-imaginings of Wye Oak songs. WBHM's Michael Krall spoke with band member Andy Stack about the concert and the band's sound...

Interview: Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock on Star Trek has died at the age of 83. In 2009, WBHM's Michael Krall interviewed Nimoy who came to Birmingham to give a lecture about his photography. While there were plenty regarding his photography, along way Nimoy took time to talk about his role as Mr. Spock.

Arc Stories: February 2015 Edition

Stories About Change: One man’s encounter with a celebrity has him in way over his head; and a camp counselor encounters not the good kid or the bad kid, but the worst kid.

Running Birmingham Track Club’s 1200 Mile Challenge

Approximately 5,000 runners hit the streets of Birmingham this weekend for the annual Mercedes-Benz Marathon. WBHM contributor Javacia Harris Bowser recently started running with one club that's training for the race. But this group -- The Birmingham Track Club -- sets an even more ambitious goal for its members: Run 1200 miles in one year.

Alabama Symphony Orchestra Appoints New Conductor

Carlos Izcaray performs his first concert as music director designate during two Masterworks concerts this weekend. He spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall...

Says You! Host and Creator Richard Sher Dies

The creator, executive producer and host of the long-running wordplay program Says You! died February 9th after a battle with cancer.

Shaping History with a Camera

In March, Selma will mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. That's the day police beat demonstrators attempting to march to Montgomery in support of voting rights. Saturday an exhibit opens in Selma of some of the most iconic images of that day. They're from the late photographer Spider Martin.

New Play Tells Nelson Mandela’s Story Through Video, Dance and Poetry

Nelson Mandela, former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary, was the inspiration for a new play co-written by Birmingham poet Sharrif Simmons. Red Mountain Theater Company's production of "Mandela" premiers tonight. Simmons sat down with WBHM to discuss what Mandela means today, and how he worked to contemporize Mandela's story -- including using a video screen at the heart of the production.

Birmingham Museum Of Art To Feature Paintings By Dutch Masters

The Birmingham Museum of Art opens a new exhibit Saturday that features works of well-known Dutch and Flemish masters. The exhibition called "Small Treasures" includes paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and their contemporaries. These artists are often known for large canvases, but these paintings are small.

Movie Stirs Memories in Selma

The Golden Globe Awards are Sunday and one film that could pick up a few statues is Selma . The film depicts the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery marches which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. This weekend, Paramount Pictures began free screenings in the movie's namesake town in Alabama.

ASFA Musician on NPR’s From the Top

Andrew Downs, a double bass player attending the Alabama School of Fine Arts, recently appeared on the NPR program From The Top. Downs, age 17, spoke with WBHM's Program Director Michael Krall about his appearance on the program and about the double bass itself.

I Don’t Like Christmas and That’s OK

While Christmas can be "the most wonderful time of the year" for some, our guest blogger, Javacia Harris Bowser, thinks the season's social and financial pressures are a bit out of control. She writes about that in her monthly blog post for WBHM, along with the holiday that really brightens her winter: New Year's!

A Moonshine Renaissance

Mention moonshine and you might think of an illegal backwoods still in the mountains of the South, carefully hidden to evade the authorities. In recent years though, legal distilleries have been popping up in sort of a moonshine renaissance.

Rick Bragg on Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. Nicknamed The Killer because of his wild energetic piano playing, Lewis soared to fame in the 1950's only to be brought down by scandal when he married his 13-year old cousin. Lewis then turned to country music where he churned out a string of hits in the 60's and 70's. Author Rick Bragg spent two summers listening to Lewis recollect the triumphs and tragedies of his six decade career and the result is the book Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story. Bragg tells Greg Bass about Lewis' first encounter with a piano in Ferriday, Louisiana...

Birmingham Fashion Truck: Making The Magic City Rethink Fashion

Food trucks have become ubiquitous in many cities. Entrepreneurs have taken the same concept of retail on wheels and applied them to apparel. That trend has now come to Birmingham. WBHM's intern Morgan Smith has more.

Artwalk: Public Forum

Artist Steve Lambert likes to say his medium is "trouble." That's a creative way of saying he's less interested in pretty pictures than in artwork that challenges the audience. Or in the case of his latest, work that forces them to examine their own views. The New York-based artist is currently an artist in residence at Birmingham's Space One Eleven gallery. This weekend he brings his work called "Public Forum" to Birmingham’s Artwalk.

The Story of Sloss Quarters

A part of Birmingham's past is coming alive again. From the 1880's to the mid 1900's, Sloss Furnaces was an economic driver for the Magic City. It put Birmingham on the map as the place in the south for iron production. But those furnaces and boilers left over today don't tell the stories of the people who worked and lived there. That's about to change.

Holly Williams: Following the Family Tradition

She's the granddaughter of country music legend Hank Williams. Her dad, Hank junior, has sold millions of records. But Holly Williams isn't living in anyone's shadow. She's got her own sound and is making a name for herself. Greg Bass has this profile...

EarFlims: To Sleep To Dream

You know how people often say the book is better than the movie because you can create your own pictures? The same thing is true for audio. A new show with its American debut Tuesday at UAB's Alys Stephens Center puts that notion to the test. "To Sleep to Dream" is a production of the United Kingdom-based EarFilms. It's like a feature-length movie told only with sound.

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music

The Shoals area of Alabama is known for a long list of popular musicians who recorded there in the 1960s and 1970s. Artists including Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan cut tracks in this otherwise sleepy corner of the state. But a part of the region's musical success is thanks to four men nicknamed the Swampers. They're the subject of the new book "Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music" by Birmingham music writer Carla Jean Whitley

WBHM Wins Eight Alabama AP Awards

WBHM 90.3 FM/WSGN 91.5 FM has won a total of eight 2014 Alabama Associated Press awards and received three honorable mentions. The awards were given for work broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013 and were presented at a luncheon July 19 in Birmingham. Listen to all the award-winning stories here.

Birmingham Gospel Singers Bring Old Spirituals to a New Generation

The Lee Family Singers have been singing gospel music in and around Birmingham for more than 40 years. Now six of their offspring have formed a new group, The Second Generation of the Lee Family Singers. Both groups are committed to introducing younger people to music that was created hundreds of years ago, music born out of suffering and hope -- the spirituals. For WBHM, Darlene Robinson Millender went to see the Lee Family Singers in action.

Interview: Nick Patterson, Author of “Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices from the Civil Rights Movement”

When we talk about the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, some big names spring to mind -- Martin Luther King Jr., the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. But thousands of everyday people also participated in the 1963 Birmingham campaign, often risking their safety -- and even their lives. Author Nick Patterson tells their stories in his new book 'Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices from the Civil Rights Movement.' Nick Patterson sat down with WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley to talk about why he wanted to write about Birmingham's lesser-known foot soldiers.

WBHM Reporters Discuss Their Favorite Stories From the Past Year

WBHM's news team is hard at work each day, bringing you in-depth radio stories you won't hear anywhere else. In this program, we showcase some of the best work from WBHM over the past year, and each reporter gives a behind-the-scenes look into their reporting process.

Bethany Borg’s Nordik Fire: Electric Violin Rock Fusion

For years award winning violinist Bethany Borg has played and toured with numerous groups. Now, she's ready to take center stage showcasing all that the fiddle can do. She talks about her struggles, triumphs, and new electric violin solo project, Nordik Fire, with WBHM's Sarah Delia.

Finding Home Again in Birmingham

Sometimes life can take you to surprising places, and sometimes the place you never thought you'd settle in becomes an unexpected home. For our guest blogger Javacia Harris Bowser, Birmingham was where she grew up, but wasn't necessary where she wanted to put permanent roots. She explores her loving yet complicated relationship with the Magic City in her monthly post for WBHM.