Gwen Thompkins

Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran and host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, where she brings to bear the knowledge and experience she amassed as senior editor of Weekend Edition, an East Africa correspondent, the holder of Nieman and Watson Fellowships, and as a longtime student of music from around the world.

7:28am

Sun February 3, 2013
The Record

A Small-Time Wordsmith Hits It Big In Nashville

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:21 pm

Once a poet and an English teacher, Jim McCormick has become a powerhouse Nashville songwriter.
Scott Saltzman Courtesy of the artist

In March, country music star Jason Aldean is playing Madison Square Garden. Tickets sold out in 10 minutes. Fans want to hear his latest No. 1 song, "Take a Little Ride."

Read more

2:13am

Thu July 5, 2012
Dead Stop

Beyond The Music In St. Louis Cemetery No. 2

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 9:25 pm

Ernie K-Doe poses outside his Mother-In-Law Lounge during Jazz Fest in New Orleans in 2001. He died a few months later and was buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.
Pat Jolly AP

There's so much water in, around and underneath New Orleans, that the dead spend eternity in tombs above ground.

Most of the tombs now have a similar design: On top, there's space for a wooden coffin or two, and at the bottom lies a potpourri of decanted family remains. Sooner or later, whoever is up high must vacate and settle lower, making room for the newly dead. That's how families stay together — in a desiccated jumble of grandpas, grandmas, siblings and cousins.

Read more