On the Radio

Week of July 19, 2015

74 Is The New 24

July 19, 2015

Who says you have to be young to be a pop star? According to Giorgio Moroder, the godfather of disco, "74 is the new 24." Or so says a song on his new album, Deja Vu. But the proclamation may not be that far off. This hour, we talk to two other septuagenarian musicians in addition to Moroder who are still productively making music: the 74-year-old political folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, and the 78-year-old minimalist composer Philip Glass. It turns out that playing music late in life also has some neurological benefits. We also talk to Francine Toder, a psychologist who says that learning and playing music benefits the brain.

  1. Giorgio Moroder—The 75-year-old Father of Disco—is Back

    Giorgio Moroder is 75 years old, DJing in front of huge crowds, and experiencing a level of success that he hasn't seen since the 1970s—when he produced some of the first, biggest, and best songs of the disco era. 

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  2. Buffy Sainte-Marie on Her New Album, "Power in the Blood"

    74 year-old Cree musician Buffy Sainte-Marie has done a lot since she was 24. She got her Ph.D. She got politically active in the American Indian Movement and the anti-GMO movement. She raised a family. She was even on Sesame Street for five seasons—and was the first woman to breast feed on American television.

    But most of us know Buffy Sainte-Marie as an iconic 60s folk singer with such hits as "Universal Soldier" and "It's My Way." And now, some 50 years after her debut album, Buffy has a new one. It’s called “Power in the Blood.” This new CD proves that this Oscar, Juno, and Golden Globe award-winning woman's career is not over yet.

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  3. The Benefits of Playing Music in Your Vintage Years

    Thinking about taking piano lessons at 69? Or violin at 73? Maybe guitar after you retire? Well, even if you're not thinking about those things, maybe you should be. According to Francine Toder, author of “The Vintage Years,” learning a musical instrument is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body as you get older.

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  4. Old Masters and Young Geniuses

    David Galenson teaches Economics at the University of Chicago, and he's the author of a book called "Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity." His theory is that most artists are either old masters like Cezanne or young geniuses like Picasso.

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  5. Philip Glass on his Memoir "Words Without Music"

    The music of avant-garde composer Philip Glass is distinct and memorable. His span reaches across opera and symphonies to film scores and popular music. One cannot exaggerate the influence this world-renowned composer has had on modern classic music. And now, at 78, Philip Glass has given us one more work to ponder: his memoir, called “Words Without Music.”

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Power of Play (Updated)

July 19, 2015

Remember those carefree summer days you had as a kid, playing tag or pickup softball in the park? Sure, it may just seem like fun and games, but it may also have been invaluable training. A new generation of researchers is discovering that play is how the young brain prepares for adult life. This hour — as if you needed a reason — a reminder to get out and have some fun.

  1. Learning Through Play

    Developmental psychologist Peter Gray says play helps children make sense of the world, and teaches them the social and emotional skills they'll need as a adults. He's the author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Studsents for Life.

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  2. A Perfect Playground

    Let's say you want to design a perfect playground for kids. What would it look like? We turned to some experts to find out — they're 3rd graders from Madison's Marquette Elementary School.

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  3. The Strangest Playground In the World

    In a small town in northern Wales you'll find a playground where it's normal for kids to play with rusty tools or build fires. It's called the Land, and it's an example of an adventure playground — where kids are free to take risks. The Land's manager, Claire Griffiths, gives us an insider's view of an adventure playground.

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  4. An Animated Life

    Shortly before he was three, Ron Suskind's son was diagnosed with a rare form of autism that left him withdrawn and silent. Years later, the family used Disney films to draw him out. Ron Suskind writes about it in his book, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism.

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  5. Video Games In The Classroom

    According to one estimate, the average young person spends about 8 hours a week playing video games. While many parents are worried about all that screen time, there's an emerging body of research that suggests some social and psychological benefits to gaming. And now there's a new generation of educators who want to bring video games into the classroom, not only to make it more fun, but also more effective. Journalist Greg Toppo writes about their efforts in "The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter."

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