DINER AS MUSE
To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
It doesn't get much more American than a waitress
in a diner taking your order. In this hour of To the Best of
Our Knowledge, the diner. For some, like painter Edward Hopper,
the diner is a muse. For others it's just a greasy spoon. But have
we romanticized the endless cups of coffee and the sassy waitress?
Witzel is the author
of "The American Diner." He talks with Jim Fleming
about the way Hollywood makes use of the diner, and we hear
scenes from several movies set in diners, including "Pulp
Fiction," "Diner," "Alice Doesn't Live
Here Anymore" and "The Blob."
Hurley's book is "Diners,
Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks: Chasing the American
Dream in Postwar Consumer Culture." Hurley talks with
Jim Fleming about the history of the diner. He says they
were working class restaurants that developed their own
outlaw chic while still appealing to the middle class. Also,
Jason Pfaff wants to eat in every single Denny's. He's
made it to a few hundred so far. He describes his quest
for Anne Strainchamps, and reads an excerpt from his website
dedicated to The
Strand is the former
Poet-Laureate of the United States, and the author of "Hopper."
He talks with Steve Paulson about Edward's Hopper's classic
painting, "Nighthawks." And, Greg
Kot, rock critic for the Chicago Tribune and
a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, tells Steve Paulson
about Tom Waits' album "Nighthawks at the Diner."
And we hear lots of music.
Cassette copies are available
at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 02-05-26-B.
- Andrew Hurley, Diners, Bowling Alleys
and Trailer Parks: Chasing the American Dream in Postwar Consumer
Culture (Basic Books)
- Mark Strand, Hopper (Knopf)
- Michael Witzel, The American Diner
- John Coltrane. I'm Old Fashioned. Blue Train. Blue
- Force of Evil. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Bottom of the World (end title). MGM 1948.
- Jennie Avila and Amy Torchhia. Live at Goodgreydaniels.
Diner with a Past. JenAmy Music.
- Wolly Pleasant. House of the Holy Moly. Denny's
at 4 a.m., unknown record label.
- Jimmy Smith. The Sermon. The Sermon. Blue Note.
- Miles Davis. Kind of Blue. So What. Columbia Records.
- Tom Waits. Nighthawks at the Diner. Eggs
and Sausage. Asylum Records.
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