Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped vegetables and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.


Eubie Blake On Piano Jazz

Oct 19, 2012
Originally published on August 20, 2014 3:37 pm

Piano Jazz digs deep into the archives with a session featuring James Herbert "Eubie" Blake. He was the last of the known living original ragtime pianists when he appeared on the program in 1980 with host Marian McPartland. Here, the 93-year-old Blake recalls working in vaudeville, performing at the height of the Jim Crow era, writing "Charleston Rag" and even watching a performance by the great Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Blake kicks off this session with a bouncing solo tune, "Betty Washboard Rag." Blake's chord voicings show the importance of improvisation in jazz from its very beginning.

"I play it the way I want my music to sound, not the way they say," Blake says. "Like 50 cents. You can get 50 pennies — it looks better — but it ain't but 50 cents just the same."

Not That Marian, The Other Marian

The session continues with Blake's "Marian's Waltz," written for his wife, who shares a first name with McPartland. Blake glides across the keyboard at a lilting tempo, jumping in between easy and assertive moods with a few bars of fiery stride. For 50 years, the tune's namesake, Marian Blake, handled Eubie's business matters and made sure he rehearsed three hours a day.

Blake performs a tender vocal on his "You're Lucky to Me." The sentimental, old-fashioned lyric, sung by its author, is at once beautiful and haunting. He continues with a few bars of "Charleston Rag," also a Blake original.

"That was before I could write music," he says. "In 1899, I composed it."

He then performs "Dream Rag," commenting to McPartland and calling out the changes as they happen.

"You know what key's been worrying me? E major," Blake says, as he launches into "For the Last Time Call Me Sweetheart" by Al Johns.

"Oh, I love it," McPartland says.

For Blake, however, the lovely tune conjures grim memories of the Jim Crow era:

"Johns played that song for a singer, a white girl," Blake says. "Would you believe they wouldn't let him come out on stage to play? He's backstage and she's out there on stage singing."

Seeing Sergei Rachmaninoff

On a separate, happier occasion, Blake remembers seeing Rachmaninoff perform "The Star Spangled Banner" at Carnegie Hall. He describes Rachmaninoff's legendary hands interpret the tune through octaves across the keyboard, a reminder that Blake and other early jazz players held classical music in high regard.

Blake and McPartland get together for two duets: "Kiss Me Again" and "St. Louis Blues." McPartland then performs a solo tribute to Blake with her elegant rendition of "I'm Just Wild about Harry." The tune was written by Blake and Noble Sissle for their 1921 musical Shuffle Along, which became the first hit musical on Broadway written by and about African-Americans. Blake asks of McPartland's playing, "Why didn't I think of it that way?"

Blake and McPartland then perform a final rousing duet, "Gypsy Sweetheart," to close this week's session.

Originally recorded Dec. 15, 1979. Originally broadcast in 1980.

Set List

  • "Betty Washboard Rag" (R. Kreve)
  • "Marian's Waltz" (J.H. Blake)
  • "You're Lucky to Me" (J.H. Blake, A. Razaf)
  • "Charleston Rag" (J.H. Blake)
  • "Dream Rag" (J.H. Blake)
  • "For the Last Time Call Me Sweetheart" (A. Johns)
  • "The Star Spangled Banner"
  • "Falling in Love With Someone" (V. Herbert, R. Young)
  • "Kiss Me Again" (V. Herbert, H. Blossom)
  • "St. Louis Blues" (W.C. Handy)
  • "I'm Just Wild About Harry" (E. Blake, N. Sissle)
  • "Gypsy Sweetheart" (V. Herbert, H. Smith)
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