A Fable for Radio

(The Muncie Star – Page T-15)


One of the true pleasures of public radio is that it features special programming and takes risks that are cost-prohibitive on television or commercial radio.

Even steadfast public radio programs get into the act.

Saint Paul Sunday Morning will present an unusual and whimsical collaborative work entitled, Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear. The special program can be heard on WBST-FM 92.1 at 10 a.m. today.

Little Tricker recalls novelist Ken Kesey’s childhood and the Ozark fable his Grandma Smith used to tell him. Kesey narrates the fable with a musical accompaniment scored by composer Arthur Maddox, who grew up in the Ozarks.

Saint Paul Sunday Morning host Bill McGlaughlin conducts the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for this special performance, with Maddox at the piano. The score brings the animal characters to life, and follows them in their adventures. It promises to be America’s own Peter and the Wolf.

Ken Kesey is perhaps best known for his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was made into an Oscar-winning film. Kesey – a onetime wrestling champion – won a scholarship to Stanford, where he studied fiction. His 1986 publication, Demon Box, spans a 20-year period of his writing, bringing together semi-biographical articles and fiction. This work inclused the story Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear.

Saint Paul Sunday Morning, the most widely broadcast classical music performance program in the country, features an inviting blend of talented guests, excellent performances and lively conversation.

Art With a Message

At 5:30 p.m. tonight, Horizons continues its look at minorities in America. Producer Elizabeth Perez-Luna presents “Latino Performing Artists: Art for Troubled Times.”

The documentary reveals how these artists are using traditional and non-traditional theatre, dance, music, multimedia elements and other expressions to create connections among art, society and politics.

“This is the first time in which we have Chicanos, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans and Latin Americans talking about the similarities and differences in their approaches to art as rituals for troubled times and as a means to reflect their reality within a multicultural context.” Perez-Luna said.

The documentary was taped at a recent gathering at the Yellwo Spring Institute for Art and Society in Pennsylvania of Latino artists from the United States and Latin America to perform, exchange ideas and collaborate on new works.

A Final Tribute

The late Walter Davis Jr.’s last recording session is featured on this week’s Marion McPartland’s Piano Jazz at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Davis, who  played with Charlie Parker, Max Roach and Dizzy Gillespie, joins McPartland to one of Davis’s main influences with their duet, Blue Monk.

On this special program, the great be-bop stylist also displays his unique sound with his own tune, Backgammon.