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We were sad today to learn that Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird (and, much more recently, Go Set A Watchman) had died at 89, so Barrie Hardymon of NPR's Weekend Edition sat down with me to talk about Lee's most famous book and how significant it feels in our respective orbits.

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Here's a music collaboration you might not expect.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS LAY DOWN BESIDE ME")

MAVIS STAPLES: (Singing) Jesus, lay down beside me. Lay down and rest your troubled mind.

Jack Garratt has been called the "sound of the year" for 2016.

That accolade came from the BBC. In the United Kingdom, he has already won several awards for his music. His debut album, Phase, comes out today in the United States.

Harper Lee Remembered

Feb 19, 2016

As we were finishing production on this week’s show, the bulletin crossed the wires announcing the death of Harper Lee at age 89. She was a giant of American literature and one of the most important chroniclers of the evolution of the American South in the mid-twentieth century.

Peering back across Harper Lee's life, it can seem impossible to distinguish the novelist from her masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee died at the age of 89 in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala., on Friday morning — yet it's clear that her legacy will live on much longer than that, through her characters and the readers who have embraced them for decades.

Of all of the arts, photography may be the discipline most accustomed to the nudge of technology, and photographer and artist Stephen Wilkes fully embraces the challenge. His latest project, "Day to Night," takes on the idea of showcasing, in one composite still image, the transformation of a place over the course of a day.

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For a while Race, a handsomely mounted drama about a pivotal moment in the life of track star Jesse Owens, bowls along as a crisp, if conventional, account of a black athlete who triumphs over poverty and racism to get the gold. An unprecedented four gold medals to be precise, at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. But that's getting ahead of ourselves. In Cleveland, there are angry, red-faced bigots to get in the way, and the statutory tough-love coach, serviceably rendered by Jason Sudeikis, to smooth the path to glory.

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Harper Lee, the author of the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, has died in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer was 89.

Monroeville city officials confirmed reports of Lee's death to Alabama Public Radio. Her publisher, HarperCollins, also confirmed the news to NPR.

Her famous novel about a young girl's experience of racial tensions in a small Southern town has sold tens of millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages.

PCHH regular Stephen Thompson had the week off from the show, so I was joined by Glen Weldon as well as our pals Chris Klimek and Bob Mondello to talk about the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar!. Chris engagingly reviewed it for NPR, and Bob has covered the Coens plenty of times, so we've got lots to discuss.

On the campaign trail, the chief anchor of the Spanish-language network Univision, Jorge Ramos, chases three quarries: voters, viewers and relevance.

A self-described dinosaur who insists on mastering new tricks, Ramos and his team now reach an audience of millions who are watching not on television, but via video streams on Facebook, captured by an iPhone clutched in a selfie stick.

"You're able to take into account your perspective because your perspective is the same, it doesn't change ... and the world does change."

That's what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told NPR's Morning Edition about his life in long-term confinement. "For example, let's say you're watching the boats in the river but you're sailing at the same time — it's hard to understand how much they're moving versus your moving."

On a visit to Argentina, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi decided he would honor that country's great poet Jorge Luis Borges.

On the surface, the setting for the new Broadway play The Humans couldn't be more ordinary: A young woman and her boyfriend have moved into a basement apartment in New York's Chinatown and invited her family for Thanksgiving dinner.

A Dive Into Jazz Slang (You Dig?)

Feb 18, 2016

"Shedding." "Chops." "Rataricious." Sometimes it seems like jazz cats have their own language. Of course, many times those words also end up in other people's mouths: Terms like "hipster," "crib" and "the man" all came from the jazz world more than 70 years ago. You dig?

Here, Jazz Night In America takes a brief look at where jazz slang came from, with lots of colorful language along the way.

In one of those funny quirks of the film business, it's been 20 years since the Sutherland boys have appeared in a movie together — and they've never done it as leads. With nearly 300 combined screen credits, you'd think they would have overlapped more than that without even realizing it. But maybe now elder statesman Donald, with that mane of white hair accumulated over decades of precisely calibrated stoic performances, and rugged Kiefer, who seems to growl even when he's happy, have some time on their hands since the endings of The Hunger Games and the 24 revival.

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