Reporter George Anastasia has been covering the Philadelphia mob scene for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 15 years. Hell discuss the recent trial of reputed mob boss Joseph 'Skinny Joey' Merlino and his associates, which just wrapped up last week. The jury acquitted Merlino and his associates of the serious charges of murder, attempted murder, and drug trafficking, but convicted them of racketeering. During the 15 week trial, 90 witnesses took the stand and 943 evidentiary exhibits were introduced.
Producer, composer and arranger Thom Bell was one of the prime originators of the Sound of Philadelphia, creating hits with the Delfonics such as "La La La Means I Love You" and "Didn't I Blow Your Mind." Bell was born in Jamaica and moved to Philadelphia at age 5. He planned to become a classical conductor, but in his early 20s, he was signed by Cameo Records to create a Philadelphia version of Motown.
Cradle to Grave brings at-rish youth into a Philadelphia hospital to get them to think about the consequences of getting shot. "You only have to die one time," the director tells them, "but the people that you leave behind die a little bit each and every day for the rest of their lives."
Ed Ward takes a look at Philadelphia's long and complex history of black pop music. Specifically, he looks at small labels like Arctic, where several famous artists got their start -- and which has just released a set of CDs covering all 60 of its single releases.
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Martha Woodall details her ongoing investigation into Philadelphia's charter school system, where 19 of the 74 charter schools operating in the city are under investigation for fraud, financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest.
The Vidocq Society is a Philadelphia-based group of criminologists and forensic experts; they gather together once a month to solve cold cases. Writer Michael Capuzzo explains what it was like to shadow the crime-fighters in The Murder Room.
Twenty-two years after its debut on ABC, the iconic TV drama about yuppie family life is back — in DVD form. Critic David Bianculli reviews the first season of thirtysomething, and reflects on what made the show both infuriating and fascinating.
Producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff helped pioneer the sound of Philadelphia soul. Their renowned record label, Philadelphia International, produced the hits "Love Train," "Backstabbers" and "The Love I Lost."
As the race for the Democratic nomination heats up in Pennsylvania, campaigns are spinning the local press at a pivotal moment. Philadelphia Daily News senior writer and occasional Fresh Air guest host Dave Davies discusses the political battleground in his state.
Frank Burd and Ed Klein are Philadelphia public school teachers who were attacked on the job. Both Burd, a math teacher, and Klein, a music teacher, talk about the difficulties of teaching in inner city schools.
The New York Times called Peter Boyle "one of the most successful character actors of his time." He died Tuesday at the age of 71. Boyle had roles in many films, including Young Frankenstein and Monster's Ball, and played the father on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. His breakthrough role was the 1970 film Joe, in which he plays a factory worker on a rampage against hippies and the counterculture. This interview originally aired on May 25, 1995.
Trauma care professionals C. William Schwab and Therese Richmond work at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia. After years of treating patients in the emergency room, Schwab and Richmond have co-founded the Firearm Injury Center at Penn in an effort to systematically reduce the epidemic of gunshot wounds in the United States.
Rock historian Ed Ward tells us about Philadelphia's Cameo and Parkway record labels. From the late 1950s to the late-'60s, their hits included "The Twist," "South Street" and "Bristol Stomp." ABKCO Records has just released a Cameo-Parkway four-CD retrospective.
The 'Philadelphia Inquirer' is running a 21-day endorsement of Sen. John Kerry, outlining 21 reasons why voters should elect him president. Editorial page editor Chris Satullo and commentary page editor John Timpane talk about the endorsement. On the paper's op-ed page, they've invited guest commentators to write about the reasons why voters should elect Bush instead.
Lisa Scottoline's Killer Smile was inspired by a secret in her family's past: Her immigrant-Italian grandparents were listed as "enemy aliens" during World War II, and the FBI raided their house. But her grandparents did nothing wrong and were never accused of anything.