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.

Debby Lennon and Donna Weinsting in "Grey Gardens - The Musical."
Dunsai Dai

It is said that when “Little” Edith Bouvier Beale first saw a cut of “Grey Gardens,” the 1976 documentary by Albert and David Maysles about her life with her mother in a derelict mansion in East Hampton, NY, she said “Well, I like it, but I wish there was more singing and dancing.”

The composer of “Grey Gardens -The Musical,” Scott Frankel, said he took that as a posthumous blessing to transform the documentary about Jackie Kennedy’s most eccentric relatives into a musical.

Join St. Louis Public Radio on July 6 for a live broadcast debate between Missouri GOP gubernatorial candidates.
Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio.

On July 6, St. Louis Public Radio hosted Missouri's GOP gubernatorial contenders ahead of the August primary so you could hear their stances during a debate. Scroll down to listen to the audio, watch a video of the debate or read our reporters' analysis of the night.

City Seeds director Syndey Boyle with former St. Patrick Center client Deborah at the farm in June.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

Just a few blocks north of Union Station in downtown St. Louis, a 2.5-acre farm sits hidden in plain sight next to the on-ramp for I-64. Despite its size and relatively busy location, few people are aware of its existence.

It isn’t the only farm in the area that no one knows about.

Melissa Parks sings the role of Katisha in Union Avenue Opera's season opening production of "The Mikado."
Union Avenue Opera

The curtain rises on Union Avenue Opera’s 22nd Festival Season on July 8 with a new adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic, “The Mikado.” 

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, contributor Steve Potter was joined by mezzo soprano Melissa Parks who sings the role of Katisha in “The Mikado.” Also joining the program were Eric Gibson, who directs the production, and Scott Schoonover, Union Avenue Opera’s artistic director and conductor, to discuss the production and preview the two other productions in the 2016 season.

LWYang | Flickr | http://bit.ly/29LQomS

Summer is in full swing and whether you’re looking for a book to read poolside, at the park, or just staying indoors to get away from the heat, we’ve got you covered.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three local book experts about what they’re recommending as the top summer reads. We also heard from listeners who shared their favorite summer reads so far. 

Five suggestions from Kris Kleindienst, co-owner, Left Bank Books:

Eric Greitens, John Brunner, Catherine Hanaway and Peter Kinder are campaigning to become Missouri's GOP gubernatorial candidate.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On July 6, St. Louis Public Radio will host a live debate with the Missouri candidates running to become the GOP candidate-of-choice in the August 2 primary for governor.

Sauce Magazine's Catherine Klene and Kristin Schultz joined Don Marsh in studio Friday.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of July.

Catherine Klene, the magazine’s managing editor, and Kristin Schultz, the magazine’s staff writer, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

On their list of openings?

Vista Ramen, 2609 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO

Fair St. Louis is happening in Forest Park this weekend.
Fair St. Louis Foundation

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed some of the top news stories.

Topics included the Illinois budget negotiations as well as this weekend’s Fair Saint Louis in Forest Park.

We were joined by:

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in April 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Monday, July 8, 1776. It’s a “warm sunshine morning” in Philadelphia and the revolutionary Col. John Nixon, the city’s sheriff and distant relative of present-day Missouri Gov. Jeremiah Nixon, stands upon a platform in front of the Pennsylvania State House — now Independence Hall. 

In today's digital world, the rules of socially-acceptable behavior are changing. Or are they?
Jhaymesisviphotography | Flickr | http://bit.ly/293KxaL

Is this you?

It’s Friday night and you look on Facebook, seeing several event invitations that you’ve responded “interested” to. When the time comes, you decide you’re just not that interested in going to anyone’s party anyway and instead opt to spend the evening on the couch watching Netflix. Meanwhile, your friend who invited you on Facebook is desperately waiting for someone to show up to their taco happy hour and only a few people arrive who responded they’d be interested in coming.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Original story published June 23, updated June 30 with audio from "St. Louis on the Air."

Just in time for summer, the Missouri History Museum is taking a road trip down Route 66 with a colorful exhibit on the Mother Road that opens Saturday.

The focus is St. Louis’ place along the famous roadway that opened America’s West to cross-country motoring in 1926.  The ribbon of pavement stretched 2,400 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles, touching eight states along the way. 

The Rev. Michael Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral and Magdalene St. Louis board president during Magdalene House opening ceremonies May 30, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with Rev. Michael Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis. Kinman will be leaving St. Louis to serve Episcopal congregants in Pasadena, California this fall.

Don Marsh spoke with Tom Gasko, the proprietor of the cacuum cleaner museum and factory outlet in St. James, Missouri in response to a Curious Louis question Wednesday.
Usodesita | Flickr | http://bit.ly/29pXhu1

Those of you who have grown up in St. Louis might remember the name and personality of Stan Kann, the 22-year resident organist at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. You may also remember him for his vast collection of vacuum cleaners, which made him the most frequent non-celebrity guest on Johnny Carsons’ Tonight Show with over 77 appearances.

William Freivogel, Elizabeth Sepper and Susan Appleton joined Don Marsh in studio Tuesday.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a panel of local legal experts in a conversation about the month’s most pressing news about the law.

Guests:

  • William Freivogel, J.D., Professor, School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
  • Susan Appleton, J.D., Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law, Washington University
  • Elizabeth Sepper, J.D., Professor of Law, Washington University

Topics Addressed:

Mitch Huett is a local folk artist who owns a gallery/shop on Cherokee Street.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Saint Louis Art Museum has an exhibit on display now through mid-September called, “Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum.” Defined as “art of the everyday,” folk art can take shape in a variety of ways and it often reflects a sense of place.

Mitch Huett, the owner of Cherokee Street's Panorama Folk Art and Antiques, joined host Don Marsh in studio Monday to discuss the genre of folk art and its relationship to St. Louis.

What is folk art?

A workshop at Firecracker Press with the Institute of Art and Olfaction.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation

What’s in a scent? On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the role scent plays in our lives, memories and stories. We also discussed what the future of smells could be — scented text messages, anyone?

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week.

This week, we discussed the very public disagreement between area leaders over MetroLink expansion, some Missouri Republicans participating in a national ‘Dump Trump’ campaign and the role social media is playing in current election and politics coverage.

We were joined by:

NPR's ombudsman, Elizabeth Jensen.
James Wrona

In January 2015, Elizabeth Jensen was appointed to a three-year term at NPR as the organization’s ombudsman. What does that mean? Otherwise known as the public editor, Jensen is the public’s representative to NPR, answering thousands of listener queries and criticisms.

Jensen stopped by St Louis on the Air Thursday while she’s in St. Louis to attend the national conference of the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. She talked with host Don Marsh about challenges she faces in working to develop a closer relationship with news consumers.

Paul Sableman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/28QjQfu

Ever wondered about that Optimist International building on Lindell across from the Basilica?

If you have, you’re not alone. Although many St. Louisans may be unfamiliar with the non-profit organization, Optimist International has over 2,500 clubs in 35 different countries. Its mission is serving youth, and its headquarters are located here in St. Louis.

What happens when farmers become friends with the animals they need to prepare for food?
Nina | Flickr | http://bit.ly/28NrntC

For many of us, our food arrives on a plate well-dressed and prepared for consumption. We rarely pause to think about what that plate of food was before we used it as nourishment. But for some local foodies and farmers, becoming friends with their food before they eat it is commonplace.

Joe Biden speaking at the August 23, 2008 vice presidential announcement in Springfield, Illinois, while presidential nominee Barack Obama listens.
Daniel Schwen | Wikimedia Commons

It seems like a silly time to ask the question “do vice presidents matter?” when every half hour there’s chatter on news networks about who Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will choose as their running mates. But, yet, the vice presidency wasn’t always considered as significant as it is now.

St. Louis Fire, illustration in a German book from 1857.
Henry Lewis | Wikimedia Commons

Fires, floods, tornadoes, oh my! St. Louis has been witness to many kinds of disaster over the years and on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we talked about the most disastrous ones … and where you can find remnants of their existence still today.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

A 100-acre site in north St. Louis will be home to the sophisticated, high-tech National Geospatial Agency facility in few years.

At the moment, archeologists are trying to find out how people on the site once lived.

"The whole idea is to understand what people’s lives were in past and get a better feel for that," said Joe Harl, principal investigator for Archeological Research Center of St. Louis.

Jesse Francis has worked his whole career to preserve historic French vertical log homes.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis area’s storied French past is well known — but do you know much about historic French architecture in the region? On Monday, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the hallmarks of traditional French architecture, the vertical log home, with Jesse Francis, the cultural site manager for the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Forest Park turns 140 years old this year.
henskechristine | Flickr

St. Louisans have plenty to be proud of when it comes to Forest Park. In the summer, the park is bustling with musicals, plays, cool museums and many other recreational activities. Recently, the park was voted the best urban park in the United States by USA Today. It also made it onto a list of the nation’s best city parks, curated by Thrillist.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by Dr. Peter Raven, the former, longtime president of Missouri Botanical Garden, to discuss environmental issues. Raven recently celebrated his 80th birthday.

Even in his retirement, Raven is staying busy with his work on the board of the National Geographic Society and writing his biography. He is still deeply immersed in the challenges facing the planet today.

Jimmy Hawkins, center, stands at the Transgender Memorial Garden as marchers continue to arrive.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them. This week, we turned our discussion to the tragedy in Orlando and how the St. Louis community has responded to the mass shooting at a popular gay nightclub there that killed 49 people.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

It takes a special kind of inquisitive mind to step out of the body’s current state and examine what it would look like from an entirely different perspective. Horace Miner did it in 1956 with his radical paper “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema,” and author Chuck Klosterman has done it again with his new book “But What If We’re Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past.”

Quail Ridge Horseshoe Club

Joe Faron, the vice president of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation, says the museum he helped create is one of the best kept secrets in the United States. The secret is so well-kept that people living right around the corner from the facility in Wentzville, often come up to him astounded that it’s been in their neighborhood for coming up on nine years.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The use of the term “Ferguson Effect,” first came into play in November of 2014, when city police Chief Sam Dotson said that police officers had reduced arrests following Michael Brown’s death and “the criminal element is feeling more empowered by the environment.” He used these ideas as reasoning for why the homicide rate in St. Louis was going up.

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