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Clive Davis; Why Things Catch On; the Novel Frances and Bernard; Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Legendary music producer Clive Davis talks about working with some of music’s biggest names over the last five decades, including Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Kelly Clarkson.  Marketing professor Jonah Berger helps us understand why some products and ideas catch on while others don’t. Carlene Bauer talks about her latest novel, Frances and Bernard. Plus, one woman’s experience growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its high-profile protests and extreme beliefs.

Clive Davis on 5 Decades in Music

Clive Davis talks about shaping the last 50 years of popular music. He has discovered, signed, or worked with Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Simon and Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Dionne Warwick, Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. The Soundtrack of My Life tells his story—of becoming an orphan in high school and getting through college and law school on scholarships, to being falsely accused of embezzlement and starting up his own record company, J Records. 

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Why Things Catch On

Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger explains why people talk about certain products and ideas more than others, what makes online content go viral, ad what makes some stories and rumors catch on. In Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and explains how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children.  

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Frances and Bernard, a Novel By Carlene Bauer

Carlene Bauer talks about her new novel, Frances and Bernard, Inspired by the lives of Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell. In the summer of 1957, Frances and Bernard meet at an artists’ colony. He writes her a letter, and soon they are immersed in the kind of fast, deep friendship that can take over—and change the course of—our lives. 

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Life Inside the Westboro Baptist Church

Lauren Drain talks about her experience in the Westboro Baptist Church, the organization notorious for holding offensive signs, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards. Drain’s book Banished: A Memoir, written with Lisa Pulitzer, is an account of joining as a child and being raised on the church's compound. When she began to challenge some of the church's tenets, she was cast out and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved.

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