American Icons: Moby-Dick

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In this Peabody Award-winning show, Kurt Andersen sets sail in search of the great white whale.

Moby-Dick

Herman Melville's white whale survived his battle with Captain Ahab only to surface in the works of contemporary filmmakers, painters, playwrights and musicians. Kurt Andersen explores the influence of this American Icon with the help of Ray Bradbury, Tony Kushner, Laurie Anderson and Frank Stella. Actor Edward Herrmann is our voice of Ishmael and Mark Price narrates David Ives's short play Moby-Dude.

This episode is included in the Studio 360 American Icons #smartbinge podcast playlist at wnyc.org/smartbinge

Music Playlist

  1. There She Blows

    Artist: P. Sainton
    Album: Sainton: Moby Dick
    Label: Marco Polo/ Naxos
  2. One White Whale

    Artist: Laurie Anderson
    Album: Life on a String
    Label: Nonesuch
  3. Yamekraw

    Artist: James P. Johnson
  4. Penetration

    Artist: The Ventures
    Album: Ventures Play the Greatest Surfing Hits of All Time
    Label: Varese Fontana
  5. Ahab's Introduction

    Artist: P. Sainton
    Album: Sainton: Moby Dick
    Label: Marco Polo/ Naxos
  6. Sunday Morning

    Artist: English Symphony Orchestra
    Album: Britten: Four Sea Interludes; Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus Records
  7. When Johnny Comes Marching Home

    Artist: The Old Bethpage Brass Band
    Album: The Civil War - Original Soundtrack Recording (Ken Burns)
    Label: Nonesuch
  8. Pieces and Parts

    Artist: Laurie Anderson
    Album: Life on a String
    Label: Nonesuch
  9. Songs and Stories from Moby-Dick

    Artist: Laurie Anderson
    Album: Life on a String
    Label: Live performance from KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic"
  10. Moby-Dick

    Artist: Led Zeppelin
    Album: Led Zeppelin II
    Label: Atlantic/Wea
  11. Search Continues

    Artist: P. Sainton
    Album: Sainton: Moby Dick
    Label: Marco Polo/ Naxos
  12. Waiting

    Artist: P. Sainton
    Album: Sainton: Moby Dick
    Label: Marco Polo/ Naxos
  13. On The Lookout

    Artist: P. Sainton
    Album: Sainton: Moby Dick
    Label: Marco Polo/ Naxos
  14. Moonlight

    Artist: English Symphony Orchestra
    Album: Britten: Four Sea Interludes; Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus Records