This Is Nashville is a live one-hour daily show driven by community, for community. This flagship program of WPLN News will become your one-stop-shop for news in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, as we continue to show up each day.
Ask the Mayor & Photographer Jeff Fasano
50:47Mayor Freddie O'Connell will be in the studio and wants to hear from you! Call at the top of the show to join: 615-760-2000. Later, we'll hear from Jeff Fasano, who, at the age of 40, left his corporate life and pursued his passion of photography. We will talk about his life, how it's never too late to follow one's dreams, and about his book Americana Portrait Sessions that photos of everyone from Keb Mo, to Jewel. Guests: Mayor Freddie O'Connell Jeff Fasano This episode was produced by Khalil Ekulona.
What's TINA: The Tina Turner Musical got to do with love, power, and resilience?
50:39TINA: The Tina Turner Musical is playing at TPAC now through February 18th. The musical production, of which Turner was a producer, tells the story of her life. Tina Turner grew up in Nutbush, Tennessee, a rural community about 50 miles outside of Memphis. Her genre-breaking career spanned over 6 decades. When she passed in May of 2023, she left behind an impressive legacy of work. In this episode we talk to cast members from the musical depicting her story, and speak with an author who can tell us how this Tennessee country girl became an international superstar. Guests: Symphony King, actor who plays Young Anna-Mae Brianna Cameron, actor who plays Young Anna-Mae Aliyah Caldwell, actor and dancer who plays one of the Ikettes Deon Releford-Lee, actor who plays Ike Turner Francesca Royster, Professor of English at DePaul University in Chicago, author of Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions This episode was produced by Magnolia McKay.
Profile: Councilwoman Sandra Sepulveda
50:31Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda represents district 30 on the Nashville Metro Council. When she first ran for the position in 2019, she was the first Latina elected to the council and the youngest member ever, starting her term at 26. The daughter of two Mexican immigrants, she came to Nashville when she was 5 years old and cares deeply about the city and community she has grown up in and called home for over two decades. We’re talking with her today about her story, the responsibility she feels as representative of a majority Hispanic district, and her day-to-day reality — and hopes — as she serves on the Metro Council. Guests: Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda This show was produced by Katherine Ceicys and Liv Lombardi.
A new four-part series tells the story of Black gospel music
50:43To learn more about the series, Khalil sits down with two of the producers. And we speak to the legendary McCrary sisters, who are considered Nashville gospel royalty by many. We'll hear how Gospel expands on Gates' previous work The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, and learn about Nashville's role in gospel music's story. Guests: Shayla Harris, producer for Gospel Stacey L. Holman, producer for Gospel The McCrary Sisters, Regina, Alfreda, and Ann This episode was produced by Khalil Ekulona.
What’s at stake in the next Sumner County election?
50:18WPLN reporters Alexis Marshall and Blaise Gainey have been closely following local politics in Sumner County. The ultra-conservative Sumner County Constitutional Republicans have amassed incredible political power in a very short time, effectively taking over the county commission. The county's upcoming March 5 elections could significantly change the makeup of the school board. But how did we get here? And how that has shifted the political and educational landscape for those living in Sumner County? Our WPLN reporters share some of their recent work with us, and give us the lay of the land ahead of the elections. Guests: Blaise Gainey, WPLN political reporter Alexis Marshall, WPLN education reporter This episode was produced by Magnolia McKay.
‘Indecent’ at Nashville Repertory Theatre
50:47In 2015, Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre. It took a relatively familiar format to the audience — the play within a play. “God of Vengeance” was a play from the 1920s, written by Polish-Jewish author and playwright Sholem Asch. The story centered on a respectable Jewish family who lives above a brothel. When their young daughter falls in love with one of the sex workers downstairs, chaos ensues. A play like this wouldn’t be controversial in the 2020s, but with the rise of antisemitic violence in Poland, Europe and the world at the time, Sholem Asch’s contemporaries were concerned about what a play like this would say about the Jewish people. Exploring censorship, sex work, relationships, antisemitism, and more, “Indecent’s” telling of the production became a force to be reckoned with by the time it made it to Broadway in 2017. Seven years later, Nashville’s premiere regional theater, Nashville Rep is mounting the production. This episode was produced by Elizabeth Burton. Special thanks to Amos Glass and LaTonya Turner. Guests: Paula Vogel, playwright Micah-Shane Brewer, Artistic Director at Nashville Repertory Theatre Sarah Aili, actor
How to connect across the English-Spanish language barrier
50:41While you can easily hear many languages in Middle Tennessee, Spanish is the second-most spoken language here after English. For anyone who is not fully bilingual, communicating across a language barrier can be at times humorous, but more often than not frustrating, discouraging, if not high stakes when it comes to situations involving medical care, education or basic services. So how can we better connect? Today, we’re talking with the people behind companies and organizations that offer local Spanish and English language classes as well as resources available for English Learning students and families in the Metro Nashville Public Schools. Aunque puede que escuche muchos idiomas en el área central de Tennessee, el español es el 2° idioma más hablado después del inglés. Para todos aquellos que no son completamente bilingües, la comunicación que se da cuando existe una barrera en el lenguaje a veces puede ser graciosa, pero con más frecuencia es frustrante, desalentadora, y hasta puede llegar a representar un alto riesgo cuando se presentan situaciones que involucran el cuidado médico, educación o servicios básicos. Entonces, ¿como podemos conectarnos de mejor manera? Hoy estaremos hablando con algunos representantes de compañías y organizaciones que ofrecen clases de inglés y español, además de compartir recursos disponibles para estudiantes y familias que están aprendiendo inglés en las Escuelas Públicas de Metro. Guests: Beatriz Ordaz Ramírez, Voces de Nashville Becca Blank, Voces de Nashville Joleen Radnoti, Read to Succeed (Rutherford County, 615-738-7323) Maria Paula Zapata, Conexión Americás (615-270-9252) Vanessa Lazón, Metro Nashville Public Schools English Learners (615-259-4636) Manny Díaz de León, Metro Nashville Public Schools English Learners Today's episode was produced by Katherine Ceicys. El episodio de hoy fue producido por Katherine Ceicys.
ReAir: Nashville Power Couple Dr. & Rev. Sanders
50:42On February 1, 1981, the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church held its first Sunday service — or celebration, as they call it. The founders of the church are D. Billye Sanders and Rev. Edwin Sanders. Observing denominational and political division amongst the Christian community, they decided to found a church where all were welcome. Their guiding principle is the Bible verse John 3:16, which reads: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” D. Billye Sanders and Rev. Edwin Sanders see “whosoever” as a “mandate for inclusion,” which has inspired decades of activism. Their work has made a difference in the lives of Nashvillians and people across the state. In this episode, we’ll talk with this powerhouse couple about their lives, their mission and what calls them to serve others. This episode was produced by Magnolia McKay and Elizabeth Burton. Guests: Rev. Edwin Sanders D. Billye Sanders
Lunar New Year
50:33The year of the Dragon approaches. Wood Dragon to be exact. What will this New Year bring — and how are Chinese Nashvillians preparing to celebrate? This is a time of reflection of the previous year and anticipation for the good fortune that’s to come in the next one. All across Nashville and parts of Middle Tennessee groups are planning to welcome in the Year of the Dragon in style! Traditional dances, music, storytelling, food and fun will be taking place. And the best part? Anyone who wants to participate can. In this episode, we’ll discover how you can bring in the Lunar New Year as we talk with people planning the festivities you’re invited to. Guests: Jen-Jen Lin, Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville Director and Artistic Director Annibelle Chatman, CAAN dancer and activity coordinator Sherry Wang, CAAN board member Anne Oppenheimer, CAAN dancer and performer
What's the fuss with Fusus?
50:47Those eyes belong to a Metro Nashville police officer, who is viewing camera footage on a cloud service called Fusus. A business you frequent or a private residence in your neighborhood may have voluntarily agreed to share their camera footage with MNPD via this platform. In the event of an emergency or violent crime, MNPD can tap in and hopefully catch the perpetrator in action. This all sounds great. Who among us doesn't love less crime? The problem is that we don't actually know that the implementation of Fusus will lower crime in our city. MNPD is seeking a renewed contract to pilot this technology. Nashville's Metro Council will vote on Feb. 6 whether or not to approve this contract. Before that, we'll dive into what exactly this contract could mean for Nashville. This episode was produced by Elizabeth Burton. Special thanks to Councilmember Courtney Johnston, Cynthia Abrams, and Nicole Williams. Guests Councilmember Delishia Porterfield, Councilmember-at-large and Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee Reverend Davie Tucker, Executive Director of the Human Relations Commission Staff