Top Stories

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

In Wichita, New Class Helps Preserve Cherokee Language

The 50 or so students gathered at the Mid-America All-Indian Center this past Saturday made up what was probably the largest class Josh Webster has seen in this almost 20 years of teaching. “The one I thought was huge before this one was 11,” he says. The students are here for what is the first of 10 free Cherokee language classes now being offered at the center. Webster is one of just a handful of certified Cherokee language instructors in the country — and at 35, he’s among the youngest.

Read More

The amazing thing about the tragic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for me, is not that it happened. It’s not the gargantuan size of the spill itself. And it’s not that the three corporations involved are each blaming the other. What’s unbelievable about this disaster is the fact that the drilling industry had no plan for what to do in the event that such a spill took place. They seem to be scrambling and improvising in a way that reminds me of a three-year-old who shattered Mom’s favorite flower vase all over the kitchen floor while trying to get to the cookie jar.

There’s a local businessman who’s running for Representative Todd Tiahrt’s congressional seat.  This guy is apparently just nuts about me. He really really really wants to be my pal. I know this because he’s tried three times to “friend” me on Facebook. Each time I turn him down and it never hurts his feelings. He just comes back again with another request. He’s positively smitten with me, I can only surmise.

Spring is such a generous season. Without our having to lift a finger, nature showers us with spectacular abundance every April. It didn’t require a public vote on which trees would bud first. There was no legislation passed stipulating that by a certain date all tulips would burst open. The enthusiastic birdsong outside our kitchen windows every morning now does not have to be critiqued by a panel of celebrity judges.

My ego can beat up your ego. My team can beat your team. My political party can beat your political party. My country can beat your country. My planet can beat your planet. My galaxy can…well, we’re not quiet that far yet, but the time will come.

Bragging rights. We humans love ‘em. Gotta be the best, the biggest, the baddest. In a conversation with a friend recently I found myself saying this about the recent basketball season: “Thank goodness for the Emporia State women’s team! National Division II champs!”

What’s wrong with this picture: Here I am living in Wichita, Kansas, and I have to buy frozen White Castle cheeseburgers at the grocery. That’s right. Frozen. They come 6 to a box. Shipped in from God-knows-where. To Wichita.

Wichita is the home of White Castles. They were invented by Walter Anderson and Billy Ingram right here in 1921. They swept throughout the Midwest in the next decades. They continue to thrive all over the place. But are there any in Wichita? No, there are not.

I don’t know about you but I’m seeing signs of spring everywhere these days! The tiniest hint of green on my lawn; birdsong in the mornings; two whole weeks without snow and that surest indicator of Spring in Kansas – state legislators giving more tax breaks to businesses while our schools agonize over deep budget cuts.

You see, our legislators argue that they may be creating new jobs for our state by giving businesses these tax breaks. You know, to sort of offset the jobs lost due to school budget cuts.

Crowson Toon 2-25

Feb 25, 2010


Commentary & Podcasts

Justin Cary

Cooking With Fire: Bread Pudding

Bread pudding, a modern-day comfort food, has interesting roots. In the 11th and 12th century, bread pudding was not as common a dish as it is today. Instead, it was found in the kitchens of the lower classes in Europe.

Read More

NPR's Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2018's Great Reads

The Book Concierge is back! Explore more than 300 standout titles picked by NPR staff and critics. Open the app now! Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Read More

KMUW Music

Saturday, December 15

Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash is the 1981 debut album from The Replacements. The Minneapolis, Minnesota quartet had already garnered a reputation for breathtaking live shows while blending pop sensibilities with punk aggression. The record features several staples from the band’s career, including the observation on romance across class lines (“Customer”), teen angst (“Shiftless When Idle,” “I Hate Music”) and the outfit’s urban roots (“Raised in the City”). We’ll hear selections from that recording as well as music from former Replacement Tommy Stinson’s 2011 solo release, One Man Mutiny.

Monday, December 17

We celebrate the birthday of R.E.M’s Mike Mills with selections from his work with that group as well as appearances with The Baseball Project, Warren Zevon and Smashing Pumpkins. We’ll also mark the birthday of Bob Stinson, guitarist for the The Replacements, born on this day in 1959 and passing in 1995.

Tuesday, December 18

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards turns 75 on this day. We’ll mark the occasion with songs from his work with that band as well as some of his notable guest appearances as well as solo recordings such as Talk Is Cheap.

Wednesday, December 19

Released in 1997, Time Out Of Mind was hailed by many as Bob Dylan’s return to form. Collaborating with producer Daniel Lanois, Dylan recorded a number of darkly atmospheric songs including “Standing In The Doorway,” “Not Dark Yet” and “Cold Iron Bounds.” We’ll hear selections from this release as well as music from Paul McCartney’s Kisses on the Bottom, a collection of jazz and pop standards.  

Thursday, December 20

We celebrate the birthday of bassist Mike Watt with music from his work with Firehose and the Minutemen as well as from across his solo career. Plus more birthday music from Billy Bragg and Mike Keneally.

Friday, December 21

We mark the birthday of Frank Zappa with selections from some of his favorite performers, including Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and more.

Saturday, December 22

Musician Richey Edwards was born on this day in 1967. He gained notoriety as a member of the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers in the 1990s. His playing prompted one colleague to comment that Edwards “couldn’t play guitar in the way that a blind man can’t see.” He disappeared in February 1995 just as he was to leave for a promotional tour of the United States and declared “presumed dead” in 2008. We’ll hear selections from his work with Manic Street Preachers and hear selections from his contemporaries in bands such as Pulp and Blur.

Monday, December 24

 Listen to holiday music from Sufjan Stevens, Lyle Lovett, U2 and more.

Tuesday, December 25

We have more holiday music, this time from Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon and Adrian Belew.

Wednesday, December 26

Released in 2005, Paul McCartney’s Chaos and Creation In The Backyard marked his first release in roughly 20 years that did not carry a production credit from him. Instead, he turned to longtime Radiohead and Beck collaborator Nigel Godrich. Much of the album features McCartney on all instruments and is considered one of his best recordings in the 2000s. Listen for music from that release as well as selections from Bob Dylan’s 1992 release, Good as I Been To You.

Thursday, December 27

 Listen for music from Paul McCartney’s 2013 album, NEW as well as selections from Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline.

Friday, December 28

We hear some covers of classic Paul McCartney compositions as well as some of the former Beatles’ most notable appearances with other artists.

Saturday, December 29

Released in 1980, McCartney II wasn’t only Paul McCartney’s second solo effort, it was also his first solo record in a decade, issued roughly one year before the end of his band Wings. We’ll hear music from this recording as well as selections from Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy.

Monday, December 31

We mark the birthday of Replacements co-founder Paul Westerberg, born 1959 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We’ll hear his work with that band, from his solo output and covers of several of his best-known songs. Plus music from Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan.

Album Cover Art

Sunday, December 16

Hear a new holiday release by neo-soul and R&B artist, Sy Smith. The project is called Christmas in Syberspace, which Smith says is something to get you into the holiday spirit– but with a Syber-twist to it. We'll also hear traditional classics including “Oh Holy Night” from gospel singer and pianist Smokie Norful. Plus hear the latest edition of the new segment, That’s My Song.  

Monday 12.10.18

Tonight’s Night Train showcases classic and contemporary alto saxophone players – including Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, Cannonball Adderley, Phil Woods, Kenny Garrett, Richie Cole and Steve Slagle. And as the show continues its salute to jazz singers for Joe Williams centennial birthday, there’s music from Abbey Lincoln and Ernestine Anderson.

Tuesday 12.11.18

Night Train marks the 80th birthday of legendary pianist McCoy Tyner in a special show devoted to his music. We’ll hear Tyner as a leader, in a duo recording with vibes master Bobby Hutcherson, as a sideman with Joe Henderson, and as part of the classic John Coltrane Quartet. Plus covers of his compositions from new albums by Aaron Goldberg and the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra. Then in hour two, a special featuring Tyner with saxophonist Azar Lawrence, a long-time member of Tyner’s band. We’ll hear them separately and together, including from their famous appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Wednesday 12.12.18

It’s the centennial birthday of December featured artist Joe Williams today and Night Train features music from across his career – from early hits with the Basie band to later work with George Shearing and Grammy-nominated music with his own group. We’ll also hear music from pianist Norman Simmons and guitarist Henry Johnson, both members of Wiliams’ band, and music from several other artists born on this date – singer and songwriter Bob Dorough, pianist John Hicks, saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., accordionist Richard Galliano, and drummers Tony Williams and Michael Carvin. And there’s new tribute albums from Richie Cole (for Cannonball Adderley) and Lindsey Blair (for Wes Montgomery) among the featured new releases tonight.

Thursday 12.13.18

Night Train joins in with Global Village and Strange Currency to celebrate Violin Day, with music spanning swinging Hot Club of France inspired sounds to jazz fusion. Among the artists featured are Jean-Luc Ponty, Zbigniew Seifert, Stephane Grappelli, Didier Lockwood, the Hot Club of San Francisco and also Regina Carter – both as a special guest on a new album from Cuban piano master Chucho Valdes and in a special Newport Jazz Festival performance in hour two of the show.


Thursday, December 13, is World Violin Day. Global Village, Strange Currency and Night Train are teaming up to mark the occassion with 5 hours of music, 7 p.m. to midnight.


Monday, December 10

It’s Human Rights Day – marking the anniversary of the U.N. adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Global Village marks the occasion with music from around the world in celebration and support of human rights. Highlights include music from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, the Listen to the Banned compilation, Femi Kuti, and Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals (who was also born on this date).

More information about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be found here:

Tuesday, December 11

Today is Independence Day in Burkina Faso and Global Village marks the occasion with a show devoted to music from that West African nation. Highlights include music from one of the country’s most revered musicians, Amadou Balake; pioneering electronic group Burkina Electric; the internationally acclaimed group Farafina; traditional artists Gabin Dabire and Le Freres Coulibaly; and the Bambara Mystic Soul compilation that highlighted the rich and diverse music of ‘70s Burkina Faso.

Wednesday, December 12

Global Village marks Jamhuri or Republic Day, celebrating the independence of Kenya, with a program devoted to Kenyan music from a variety of artists, including benga pioneer and star D.O. Misiani, the Kenyan-American group Extra Golden, the guitar and bottle band Abana Ba Nasery, and the first internationally released studio album from a popular group of Congolese musicians who made their career in Kenya, Orchestre Les Mangelepa.

Thursday, December 13

It’s World Violin Day and Global Village celebrates with music from a number of violinists from around the world. We’ll hear the violin and cello quartet, the Fretless, who just was named Instrumental Group of the Year in the Canadian Folk Music Awards, another Canadian group – the Sultans of String, Mathias Duplessy and the 3 Violins of the World (from China, India and Mongolia), a Paolo Conte song from the Hot Club of San Francisco’s new 30th anniversary compilation, the famed Cuban charanga band – Orquesta Aragon, violinist Regina Carter from her Africa-inspired project, Reverse Thread and more.

(Strange Currency and Night Train also celebration Violin Day tonight.)

Friday, December 14

Global Village highlights global pianists this time – including 2019 NEA Jazz Master and South African great Abdullah Ibrahim, Cuba’s Chucho Valdes and Cuban-born, Canadian-based artist Hilario Duran, new tango player Pablo Ziegler, December featured artist Professor Longhair, and Crescent City pianist Henry Butler, who will be the featured artist in December’s Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival monthly concert series show later this month.

My Fellow Kansans: The latest episode

My Fellow Kansans: 'Kansas Common Sense'

Well, fellow Kansans, it’s over. Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly, running as the “fix-it” candidate on the premise that Kansas had gone off the rails, beat “full-throttle conservative” Kris Kobach in the race for governor. Her win signaled Kansans’ desire to, if not reverse the state’s turn to the right, at least turn down the political rhetoric and focus on the basics.

Read More


The 6888th: Black Military Women Honored With Monument

A monument was unveiled last Friday at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth to honor the only black Women's Army Corps unit to deploy overseas during World War II.

Read More