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Here's The Thing

Podcast Here's The Thing
Podcast Here's The Thing

Here's The Thing


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  • The Triumph of Merry Clayton
    (Recorded October 6, 2021) Even if you don’t know the name Merry Clayton, you know her voice. It’s the one belting on The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter and it is remarkable - you can actually hear Mick Jagger hooting and hollering in the background after Clayton sings the hook. Clayton started providing backing vocals for Bobby Darin as a teenager and went on to record with Ray Charles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Carole King, Neil Young, and the list goes on and on. Her story is featured in the 2013 documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, which celebrated the often-overlooked contributions of backup singers to popular songs and won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Following a near-fatal car accident, Clayton has returned to release her first solo album in more than 25 years, Beautiful Scars.  This episode introduces guest host Talia Schlanger, who will occasionally be featured on Here’s the Thing. Schlanger is a performer, musician, and broadcaster. She has interviewed hundreds of artists as the former host of the NPR-distributed program World Cafe and throughout her career at CBC.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
  • Marilu Henner Chooses Joy
    (Recorded September 2021) Actress Marilu Henner is known for a lot of things, from her groundbreaking role as Elaine Nardo on Taxi to her New York Times bestselling books on health and wellness to her amazing, nearly one-of-a-kind memory. But what shines through in every story, joke, and answer she gives Alec is her positivity and joy. Henner is someone who, at every turn, has chosen her happiness, and she’s eager to share her secrets for creating an optimistic outlook with everyone.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
  • Nicolas Niarchos Exposes the Cobalt Gold Rush
    (Recorded October 4, 2021) Journalist Nicolas Niarchos may be the grandson of a famous Greek shipping magnate, but he can be found covering challenging and dangerous subjects like conflicts, minerals, and migration in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is a reporter at large at The New Yorker and a contributor to TIME, The Guardian, The New York Times and The Nation. Niarchos speaks with Alec about his upbringing, his journalistic path and his reporting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which exposes exploitation in the cobalt mining industry - and the importance of this crucial element in our global supply chain.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
  • Tony Palmer Made the Original Behind the Music
    (Recorded in June 2021) Filmmaker Tony Palmer’s more than 100 documentaries have featured everyone from Cream to Stravinsky; Jimi Hendrix to Yehudi Menuhin; Leonard Cohen to Richard Wagner. He collaborated with Frank Zappa on the surreal cult-classic 200 Motels and with his friend, John Lennon on All You Need is Love, a multipart series on the early days of rock n roll. He’s made three films about British composer Benjamin Britten. Tony Palmer’s work has been recognized with over forty international awards; not bad, for someone who fell into filmmaking.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
  • Paavo Järvi Conducts Beautiful Music
    (Recorded June 2021) Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi is one of the most in-demand maestros in the world, and one of Alec’s favorite conductors. Järvi is currently the chief conductor of the NHK symphony orchestra in Tokyo and the Tonhalle Orchester-Zürich. Over his career, he’s led orchestras in Paris, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Malmö, and, for the decade between 2001 and 2011, here in the United States, as the musical director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He and his musical family are pillars of the thriving classical music scene in his home country of Estonia. Paavo Järvi talks to Alec about how slowing down in the pandemic offered Paavo time to think, his early love of music, what it was like to come to the United States from Soviet-era Estonia as a 17-year-old, and what he took away from a decade of conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  Learn more about your ad-choices at

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