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51 minutes | May 14, 2021
Obama BONUS: Redefining Masculinity
Former President Barack Obama recently spoke with Aarti Shahani, host of WBEZ's Art of Power podcast, about masculinity in the post-Donald Trump era. Obama said society has made progress in recognizing the most toxic elements of bad behavior by men. But now he wants to flip the focus. “What are the positive values that we're trying to instill in our boys?” he said. “Showing compassion is not weakness. Listening is as important as talking.” We're bringing you this exclusive interview with the former president as a bonus to the Making Obama podcast series. Hear the former president explain his experience balancing ambition with family obligations and how he wants to expand the definition of what it means to be a man. And if you like what you hear, subscribe to WBEZ's Art of Power podcast for more conversations with people who have changed the world.
35 minutes | Mar 6, 2020
Beyoncé BONUS: Fearlessly Herself
In the lead up to Beyoncé's solo album debut, Dangerously in Love, a lot was at stake. She was hoping to break out not only as a solo artist, but as a star on multiple levels — music, endorsements and film. Along the way she’d find love, but she’d also have to battle doubt, even within the record label.
36 minutes | Nov 27, 2019
Beyoncé 3: Destiny Begins
After Girls Tyme dissolves, Beyoncé and the other girls begin building their new group, Destiny’s Child. Finally, things start to click.
40 minutes | Nov 22, 2019
Beyoncé 2: Star Search
After failing to secure a record deal, Beyoncé and the members of Girls Tyme try another avenue to success: a TV talent competition. The girls are poised and ready for the national spotlight, but tensions in the group are rising behind the scenes.
51 minutes | Nov 15, 2019
Beyoncé 1: Girls Tyme
Before the Grammys, before the platinum records, before Destiny’s Child, there was just a shy girl growing up in Houston. We follow Beyoncé Knowles from the stages of local talent shows to her first crack at a record deal with the group Girls Tyme.
2 minutes | Nov 1, 2019
Trailer: Making Beyoncé
From the makers of Making Obama, WBEZ Chicago presents Making Beyoncé, a new three-part bio-podcast series that explores Beyoncé Knowles’ rise from local talent shows to global musical icon. Find episodes of Making Beyoncé right here beginning Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.
22 minutes | Apr 10, 2018
Obama BONUS: The Decision
Just two and a half years after his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Barack Obama announced he was running for president.
62 minutes | Mar 15, 2018
Obama 6: Yes We Can!
Barack Obama burst onto the national stage during his U.S. Senate run. Hear how ambition and luck propelled him to Washington. wbez.org/making
59 minutes | Mar 8, 2018
Obama 5: Up Or Out
Former president Barack Obama has only lost one election in his life. It was in 2000, and that defeat set him on the course for his eventual U.S. Senate run. Making Obama is a production of listener-supported WBEZ Chicago. Support WBEZ and the future of podcasts like this at https://wbez.org/making
60 minutes | Mar 1, 2018
Obama 4: Wait Your Turn
In 2000, Barack Obama ran for Congress against a Chicago political legend. It became a contest about race and identity.
60 minutes | Feb 22, 2018
Obama 3: You Don’t Say No To Barack
Former President Barack Obama won his first political seat in 1996. Hear what he had to learn, and the conflicts he faced, to get there. wbez.org/making
43 minutes | Feb 15, 2018
Obama 2: Chicago Politics Ain’t Beanbag
When Barack Obama first came to Chicago, a political transformation was happening in the city. Hear how that change inspired him.
49 minutes | Feb 8, 2018
Obama 1: The Man In The Background
Before he was the 44th President, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Hear how the city shaped his political ambitions.
4 minutes | Jan 19, 2018
Obama: Preview of Making Obama
Former President Barack Obama — along with friends, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Subscribe now and don’t miss the first episode on February 8.
41 minutes | Dec 30, 2016
Oprah BONUS: Making Donahue
In our final bonus installment, the Making Oprah production team revisits an extended interview with daytime talk show legend Phil Donahue. His pioneering show, Donahue, aired from 1967 to 1996 and laid the groundwork for Oprah’s program. It tackled heady, controversial issues - and landed frothy exclusives with A-list celebrities. Donahue also used his studio audience and callers in ways that were both innovative and intimate. Join host Jenn White, producer Colin McNulty, and executive producer Joel Meyer as they listen back to one of their favorite non-Oprah interview from the dozens of interviews conducted for Making Oprah.
22 minutes | Dec 23, 2016
Oprah BONUS: Oprah Gets Political
For more than 10 years after the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah deliberately avoided having politicians on her show, particularly during election seasons. In this bonus episode of Making Oprah, host Jenn White talks to Oprah about the role politics played - and didn’t play - in the history of the Oprah Winfrey show.
14 minutes | Dec 16, 2016
Oprah BONUS: Let's Talk About Oprah's Hair
If you look at any image from the Oprah Winfrey Show, you can pretty much figure out what decade it’s from by looking at Oprah’s hairstyle. In this short bonus episode, host Jenn White talks to Oprah’s longtime stylist Andre Walker about the high stakes of doing the hair of the most watched woman on television.
63 minutes | Nov 22, 2016
Oprah 3: YOU GET A CAR!
In the show’s final decade, Oprah and her team staged massive spectacles of increasing grandiosity, from the infamous car giveaway to a 21,000-person flash mob that shut down part of Chicago. “It had become increasingly more difficult to top what you’d done the year before,” Oprah told WBEZ’s Jenn White. “I mean, to the point where we literally sat in a room saying ‘What about outer space?’ ” That’s what we look at now: Oprah living her life at the top, pushing the boundaries of what could be done with the world’s most powerful talk show, and why it all had to end after 25 years.
61 minutes | Nov 17, 2016
Oprah 2: Skinheads And Scented Candles
In the second episode of Making Oprah, we explore how The Oprah Winfrey Show elevated itself out of the heap of trash TV and into a show that intentionally embraced spirituality and positivity. The early years of Oprah’s show often relied on sensational, tabloidy topics – cheating husbands, sexy clothes, and murderers. It was not yet the ‘Live Your Best Life’ Oprah we would come to know and love. “It was during those shows where I just thought, ‘What are we doing?’ ” Oprah tells WBEZ’s Jenn White. “This is a platform that is speaking to people, and what are we saying?” As the Oprah Winfrey Show reached maturity -- or at least, its college years -- the program conducted the on-air experiments that would allow this talk show to become something more than a talk show
58 minutes | Nov 10, 2016
Oprah 1: No Strategy, No Plan, No Formula
It was 30 years ago this fall that Oprah Winfrey first said “hellooooo” to a national audience. By the show’s finale in 2011, it was aired in 145 countries and watched by more than 40 million viewers a week in the U.S. alone. Today’s daytime hosts like Ellen and Dr. Oz? They now average only about a tenth of that. If Oprah mentioned a book title, it became a best-seller. She landed the interviews that no one else could get. Her message of spirituality and empowerment influenced millions. With an hourlong daytime TV show, Oprah built a powerful brand. She made billions. And, as CNN, USA Today, Forbes and Time Magazine all proclaimed, she became the most powerful woman in America. In the first of a three-part podcast series, Oprah and former producers talk with WBEZ's Jenn White about the early, scrappy days of the program. Phil Donahue reflects on Oprah's entry into the daytime talk landscape that he once dominated. Plus, the podcast revisits milestones from the 1980s, like the show's national debut, and some mixed feelings over the show's highest-rated episode ever.
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