St. Louis on the Air

Noon-1 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. (repeat) Monday-Friday
  • Local Host Don Marsh

St. Louis on the Air creates a unique space where guests and listeners can share ideas and opinions with respect and honesty. Whether exploring issues and challenges confronting our region, discussing the latest innovations in science and technology, taking a closer look at our history or talking with authors, artists and musicians, St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region.

St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer, and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

Subscribe to our e-newsletterThe Talk Studio, to receive previews of upcoming guests, highlights from the most-talked about shows, and questions from our producers.

The show is sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

American Wrestlers, photographed in August 2016 by Jess Luther.
Jess Luther | I Went To A Show

When St. Louis Public Radio Business Operations Specialist Jess Luther founded the live, local music blog I Went to a Show in 2010, she had three goals: get St. Louis fans to come to local shows, have them buy tickets and buy merchandise.

She wanted to help foster a community of live music lovers in a city she knows and loves.

Sophie Malik, Roberta Gutwein and Anna Crosslin joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the sixth annual Jewish and Muslim Christmas Day of Community Service.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Each year for the past six years, people of Jewish and Muslim faiths have joined together on Christmas for a day of community service

Last year, more than 500 people, including Christians and Buddhists, volunteered on the day. This year, more than 800 people are expected to volunteer.

In the past, the effort has focused on forging ties between the two communities in the aid of a variety of different services and non-profits in the St. Louis area. 

It's that time of year: St. Louis on the Air plays your favorite Christmas poems, read by our staff.
Tim Parkinson | Flickr

As you dash about checking off the last of Christmas lists, begin to set the trimmings of a holiday feast, or finish up that last day of work before the holiday, spend some time with the annual St. Louis on the Air Christmas special, which aired on Dec. 23.

We’re celebrating the holiday with two favorite holiday poems, one old and one more recent:

First, a St. Louis Public Radio staff recording of “A Visit from St. Nicholas

Bill Freivogel, Mike Wolff and Mark Smith joined Legal Roundtable in December.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday, St. Louis on the Air’s monthly legal roundtable returned, this time to address pressing issues of the law while also looking back at the big legal news of 2016 and looking forward to 2017.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Whether you’ve lived here your whole life or just moved to St. Louis, you’ve probably noticed the, erm, particularities of the way St. Louisans speak. From the “ar” pronunciation that creeps into words like “forty” (fahr-ty) and “wash” (warsh) to the Nelly-esque “here” (hurr) to area-specific vocabulary like “hoosier” or “catty corner,” there is something different going on here.

From left, Nick Blue, Gerard Craft and Chris Kelling at Sardella, one of Sauce Magazine's 'best new restaurants' of 2016.
Greg Rannells | Sauce Magazine

In the Sauce Magazine office, there is a meticulously edited running spreadsheet. On it are the names, dates, and addresses for each of the over 100 restaurants that opened in St. Louis in 2016.

Betsey Bruce is retiring after a 46 year career in journalism, reporting at several outlets in St. Louis.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Newscaster Betsey Bruce is believed to be the first woman in St. Louis assigned to daily hard news reporting on television. She’s been a professional journalist for 46 years. Last Friday, she began her retirement.

“I haven’t slept in yet,” Bruce told St. Louis on the Air host and former colleague Don Marsh. “I’ve been warned I should not make any real commitments for the first six months.”

Although she ended her career at KTVI (Channel 2), she started her career at KMOV (Channel 4) in 1970. In 2008, she was elected to the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

Dennis Sparger and  Melissa Payton of the Bach Society.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Bach Society of St. Louis will celebrate with its annual Christmas Candlelight Concert on Thursday night at Powell Hall.

Ahead of the concert, Music Director A. Dennis Sparger and Executive Director Melissa Payton joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the organization and the concert.

Sophia Rose Kinninger, Petra Swidler and Fran Hamilton.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, a nationwide non-profit based in St. Louis, encourages schoolchildren to collect and retell the stories of family members through the written word. Twelve years old, the organization recently released its 11th volume of those stories and is now accepting stories for its 12th volume.

"Home For Christmas" by The 442s and Peter Martin
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

In just more than four years, The 442s have become known for their unique sound that blends elements of classical, jazz and folk music, as well as other genres.

Monsanto
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we went "Behind the Headlines” to discuss the top stories of the week with those who can bring a little more in-depth knowledge to them. On this week’s program, we discussed:

The Monsanto-Bayer deal with Tim Greaney, J.D. Chester A. Meyers Professor of Law; Co-Director, Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University. Greaney used to work in the anti-trust division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

John McDaniel and Lennie Watts

Although musicians John McDaniel and Lennie Watts both grew up in St. Louis at about the same time, they didn’t meet until Watts made a brief guest appearance on the Rose O’Donnell Show when McDaniel was her bandleader. They have stayed in touch off and on over the years as each has pursued a career in New York City, but have been closer the last couple of years working together at the O’Neal Theatre Center’s Cabaret Performance Conference. While there, they started thinking about a project they could do together.

Moyan Brenn | Flickr

Need something to entertain you during the long, cold winter? Still looking for gifts for your family and friends?  Why not go for a well-chosen book by a local author?

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from two local booksellers about their favorite local and national titles both for gifts and for reading time over the holidays.

Holland Saltsman is the owner of The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves. Alex Weir is the manager of Subterranean Books in the Delmar Loop.

Courtesy National Lutheran Choir

This weekend, the Minneapolis-based National Lutheran Choir will return to St. Louis for its annual Christmas concert at the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, the choir’s Artistic Director David Cherwein joined contributor Steve Potter to discuss the performances and how the group works to preserve sacred choral music in the United States:

David Cunningham is a professor of sociology at Washington University. His research centers on hate groups.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In the past few weeks you’ve heard a lot of reports about hate crimes, white supremacy and the ‘alt-right.’ What does it all mean? And, importantly, do hate groups exist here, in St. Louis, and how are they active?

Lucy Englander and Rose Hanley joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss the Little Bit Foundation.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis area non-profit The Little Bit Foundation has aided schoolchildren in need for the past 15 years by providing one-on-one support in schools to identify specific needs from underwear and eyeglasses to meals and mental health.

The organization was founded by Rose Hanley, Little Bit’s executive director, with a simple coat drive for an area school. Now, the non-profit serves 25 schools and 7,000 children in the St. Louis area.

In November, Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky announced she would be leaving IPR for a position with WTTW-TV’s “Chicago Tonight” program in early January.

Vinicky has been a correspondent on St. Louis on the Air on many occasions and a correspondent on local newscasts. On Thursday, she joined the program to discuss what she's learned over her tenure with Illinois Public Radio and look back on the state of Illinois politics.

Valerie Battle Kienzel’s new book, “What’s with St. Louis?” tackles some of St. Louis' strangest traditions.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

There are myriad oddities about St. Louis that if you’ve lived here long enough, you’ll learn to nod and make commentary about in polite conversation. Toasted ravioli.

Washington University psychiatrist Dr. Anne Glowinski discussed the rising prevalence of teen depression on "St. Louis on the Air."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A recent study published in the medical journal “Pediatrics,” has found that depression is on the rise among teenagers, particularly in girls. It also found that the percentage of young people with a major depressive episode who are seen by a primary care provider for those occurrences has not increased concurrently.

Nancy Fowler and Jenny Simeone joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh about stories they reported on this week for St. Louis Public Radio.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we took you behind the headlines to discuss the week’s top stories as reported by St. Louis Public Radio. This week, we peered deeper into how people in LGBT and immigrant communities are dealing with the results of the 2016 election.

Joining the program were St. Louis Public Radio’s Arts and Culture Reporter Nancy Fowler and Diversity Fellow Jenny Simeone.

Here are two background stories that would be helpful to read:

A promotional image from Metro Theater's production of "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane."
Metro Theater

St. Louis children’s theater company, Metro Theater, is bringing “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” to life on the stage this month at the Missouri History Museum. The play follows the journey of a toy lost from its owner and is based on the book written by Kate Di Camillo, Newberry Award-winning author of “Because of Winn Dixie” and “The Tale of Despereaux.”

A photo of the prisoner of war camp at Weingarten, MO.
Courtesy David Fiedler

Sunday, Dec. 11, marks 75 years since the United States declared war on Germany and Italy. That was four days after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, which killed 2,403 Americans, and three days after the U.S. declared war on the Empire of Japan in retaliation.

The United States had officially entered World War II. With that entry, few realize that the nation would open its borders to house prisoners of war from the Axis powers for the remainder of the war.

From 1942 to 1945, more than 400,000 Axis prisoners were shipped to the United States and detained in camps across the nation. Missouri figured into this equation, housing some 15,000 prisoners of war from Germany and Italy inside state lines.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says St. Clair County's proposal for the NGA's relocation to Scott Air Force Base is better than those for three Missouri sites.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are honored to welcome U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to the program.

The Illinois Democrat serves as the Senate minority whip, making him the second most powerful member of his party next to the minority leader. He recently won another term in office in the 2014 election cycle.

Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Johnson reads the list of names inscribed in the USS Arizona Memorial.
Chief Journalist David Rush | U.S. Navy

Walter Schoenke was 9 years old when he survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Schoenke was not an active military member at that time, though he would go on to serve in the Air Force during the Korean War, but his father was. His father, Raymond, had moved to Hawaii to help construct the Schofield Barracks at Pearl Harbor, one of the targets of the attacks and Walter was born on the islands.

A view of the Trestle above I-70, just north of downtown St. Louis.
Paul Sableman | Flickr

Josie McDonald is “always looking for new walkable and bikeable destinations in the city.” She says she fell in love with St. Louis because of its road and bike path bike-ability.

But something’s been weighing on her mind for a while: a seeming bike path she just can’t bike. It goes by the name of “The Trestle” and you may have seen it as you drive on Interstate 70 north out of downtown St. Louis.

So, she asked Curious Louis to solve the mystery for her — so we have.

Jarl Mohn has been NPR's CEO since 2014.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, St. Louis Public Radio had a special visitor: Jarl Mohn, the CEO of NPR. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh had a few moments to talk with him about the future of public radio, his thoughts on covering the Trump administration and the state of media literacy.

Mohn joined NPR as CEO on July 1, 2014. Prior to that, Mohn founded E! Entertainment Television and held senior leadership positions at MTV, VH1 and CNET.

Below, we’ve summarized some of the most interesting points from the conversation:

On the Trump administration…

Katie Herbert Meyer and Stephen Legomsky discussed the efforts of Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project in St. Louis on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Since Nov. 9 and the results of the presidential election, the phones have been “ringing off the hook” at St. Louis’ Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project. MICA is a local nonprofit that provides immigration law services at a reduced cost for documented and undocumented immigrants who cannot afford to pay the thousands of dollars it would take to retain an attorney in asylum, work authorization and other kinds of immigration cases.

Joe Buck doesn’t like NPR. You might not be able to tell this fact from the number of interviews he’s had on the network about his first memoir “Lucky Bastard,” but there it is. St. Louisan and national sportscaster Joe Buck has distaste for public radio. Just not for the reason you think.

Rachel Lippmann, Mike Wolff, Bill Freivogel and Jason Rosenbaum joined St. Louis on the Air's "Behind the Headlines" segment on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the past and the future on “Behind the Headlines.”

Earlier this week, Missouri Supreme Court Justice Richard Teitelman died at age 69. He was considered a leading liberal voice in the Missouri legal community. We heard from two of his colleagues, SLU Law School Dean Mike Wolff and SIUC Journalism Professor Bill Freivogel, in reflection of his life and service.

Kea Wilson recently published her first novel, "We Eat Our Own," with Scribner.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“Canny, funny and impressively detailed.” That’s what the New York Times had to say about Kea Wilson’s first novel “We Eat Our Own,” published earlier this year with Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

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