Rag Radio

Rag Radio is a syndicated weekly radio show that features hour-long in-depth interviews and discussion about issues of progressive politics, culture, and history. Our guests include newsmakers, artists, leading thinkers, and public figures.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, a cooperatively-run all-volunteer community radio station in Austin, Texas. The show is hosted and produced by Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer; Tracey Schulz is engineer and co-producer. All Rag Radio shows are posted as podcasts at the Rag Radio Internet Archive. Rag Radio can be contacted at RagRadio@koop.org.

Leading Peace Activists Medea Benjamin & Col. Ann Wright: ‘Trump (Gasp!) Takes on the World’

Leading Peace Activists Medea Benjamin & Col. Ann Wright: ‘Trump (Gasp!) Takes on the World’

Two of the country’s most prominent peace and justice activists — Medea Benjamin and Col. Ann Wright — are Thorne Dreyer‘s guests on Rag Radio in a very important discussion about Donald Trump and U.S. foreign policy. They also talk more generally about the Trump presidency and the growing resistance to it. Medea Benjamin is […]

Mexico’s Peña Nieto: Corruption, Social Inequality & Broken Promises

Mexico’s Peña Nieto: Corruption, Social Inequality & Broken Promises

Thorne Dreyer’s guest on Rag Radio is author and historian Philip L. Russell who writes about Mexico for The Rag Blog. He has written a three-part series about the presidency of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, a reign which, Philip says, “has been marked by corruption, social inequality, and broken promises.” The latest installment was […]

Leading Civil Rights Activist Speaks Truth to Power

Leading Civil Rights Activist Speaks Truth to Power

RAG RADIO: Paul Spike, author of ‘Photographs of My Father’ speaks about the vicious murder of his father; a leading civil rights activist.

Celebrating Rag Radio and how Austin became weird

Celebrating Rag Radio and how Austin became weird

Thorne Dreyer, Alice Embree, and Richard Croxdale, editors of the highly-acclaimed new book, Celebrating The Rag: Austin’s Iconic Underground Newspaper, speak and lead a public discussion about the book, the underground press of the Sixties, and the era’s political radicalism and revolutionary new culture. Celebrating The Rag tells the story of The Rag, the legendary […]

Searching for Extraterrestrial Life with Astronomers Dr. Neal Evans and Dr. Cecilia Colomé

Searching for Extraterrestrial Life with Astronomers Dr. Neal Evans and Dr. Cecilia Colomé

We search for extraterrestrial life with preeminent American astronomer Dr. Neal J. Evans, UT-Austin professor emeritus. Joining in the discussion is Austin astronomer Dr. Cecilia Colomé. Evans, who has served as a mentor to younger generations of astronomers, is a recognized pioneer in the study of how stars form in our galaxy — and how […]

Radio Journalist Pedro Gatos on Castro and Cuban Revolution

Radio Journalist Pedro Gatos on Castro and Cuban Revolution

Thorne Dreyer‘s guest on Rag Radio is radio journalist and Cuba expert Pedro Gatos. We discuss Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution in a serious attempt to separate fact from fiction. We address the significance of the Cuban Revolution to Latin America and the disenfranchised around the world, the history and impact of U.S.-Cuban relations […]

The History of Rock & Roll

The History of Rock & Roll

Ed Ward, the rock-and-roll historian on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the recently published (by Flatiron Books) The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1, 1920-1963, which he discusses with Thorne Dreyer on this episode of Rag Radio. Ward, who was involved with South by Southwest from its founding, has […]

Iconic Texas Artist Bob ‘Daddy-O’ Wade & Cultural Historian Jason Mellard

Iconic Texas Artist Bob ‘Daddy-O’ Wade & Cultural Historian Jason Mellard

Thorne Dreyer‘s guests on Rag Radio are iconic Texas artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade and cultural historian Jason Mellard. Bob Wade, a native of Austin, is best known for his monumental Texas and Southwestern-themed sculptures like the 40-foot iguana on the roof of the Lone Star Café in New York and the Guinness World Record-setting Giant […]

The Resisitible Rise of Donald J. Trump with Jonathan Tilove & Glenn W. Smith

The Resisitible Rise of Donald J. Trump with Jonathan Tilove & Glenn W. Smith

Thorne Dreyer’s guests for this postmortem analysis of the 2016 presidential election and the ascendance of Donald J. Trump are Austin American-Statesman chief political writer Jonathan Tilove, and Glenn W. Smith, Democratic consultant and Rag Radio political analyst. We discuss the unprecedented rise of Trump and Trumpism, and how progressives can respond to the — […]

Rabbi Arthur Waskow & Carl Davidson on the Life & Legacy of Tom Hayden

Rabbi Arthur Waskow & Carl Davidson on the Life & Legacy of Tom Hayden

Thorne Dreyer’s guests are Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Carl Davidson who discuss the life and legacy of the late Tom Hayden. These two men who knew Tom well and worked with him over the years — and have written tributes to him on The Rag Blog — share their memories of Tom and their perspectives […]

Historians Doug Rossinow & Julia L. Mickenberg on Austin, The Rag & the New Left

Historians Doug Rossinow & Julia L. Mickenberg on Austin, The Rag & the New Left

Thorne Dreyer’s Rag Radio interview with historian and author Doug Rossinow, joined by UT-Austin American Studies Assoc. Prof. Julia L. Mickenberg, was the keynote event of the highly successful 50th Anniversary Rag Reunion and Public Celebration, which took place Oct. 13-16, 2016, at several Austin venues. Doug Rossinow is the author of The Politics of […]

Famed Armadillo Artist Jim Franklin & Writer Alice Embree: Remembering ‘The Rag’ as It Turns 50!

Famed Armadillo Artist Jim Franklin & Writer Alice Embree: Remembering ‘The Rag’ as It Turns 50!

Our guests, famed armadillo artist Jim Franklin, and writer and longtime peace and justice activist Alice Embree are both veterans of Austin’s historic ’60s-’70s underground newspaper, The Rag — the paper that made Austin weird — as is Rag Radio host Thorne Dreyer, who was the paper’s original “funnel” (non-authoritarian editor!). The Rag — which […]

Geronimo Son & Steve Russell on Native American Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Geronimo Son & Steve Russell on Native American Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Geronimo Son, a Dakota Indian, recently spent a week and a half at the Sacred Stone Camp near the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota with thousands of other Natives and non-Natives protecting water and sacred lands from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Judge Steve Russell, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is a […]

Harry Hurt III, Donald Trump’s ‘Most Hated Biographer’

Harry Hurt III, Donald Trump’s ‘Most Hated Biographer’

Thorne Dreyer’s guest is Harry Hurt III, our old friend and colleague from Houston who, according to Tim Mak at the The Daily Beast, is Donald Trump’s “most hated biographer.” Harry is the author of Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump, originally published by W.W. Norton in 1993. On the show, Hurt […]

Jim Hightower, Populist Firebrand and Board Member of Bernie Sanders’ ‘Our Revolution’

Jim Hightower, Populist Firebrand and Board Member of Bernie Sanders’ ‘Our Revolution’

Rag Radio with Jim Hightower, who was twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

Legal Scholar Julius Getman: Why Labor Law Is Failing American Workers

Legal Scholar Julius Getman: Why Labor Law Is Failing American Workers

Thorne Dreyer is back with guest Julius G. Getman, a labor law scholar and an emeritus professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin.

Oral Historian Alan Wieder on the Great Leftist Author & Broadcaster Studs Terkel

Oral Historian Alan Wieder on the Great Leftist Author & Broadcaster Studs Terkel

Thorne Dreyer’s guest is oral historian Alan Wieder whose new book is about the great leftist historian, author, actor, and radio and television host Studs Terkel, who was especially known for his remarkable interviewing skills. Alan Wieder’s Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, but Mostly Conversation is the first comprehensive book about Terkel. Drawing from over 100 […]

Acclaimed Austin-Based Jazz Singer and Songwriter Sarah Sharp

Acclaimed Austin-Based Jazz Singer and Songwriter Sarah Sharp

Multiple Austin Music Award-winning jazz singer and songwriter Sarah Sharp joins us in conversation and live performance, accompanied by guitarist Russell Scanlon. When Sarah was featured on NPR’s Song Travels with Michael Feinstein, Feinstein predicted that her original songs were destined to become “part of the Great American Songbook.” According to Bill Oakey, writing in […]

Larry Bogad on Tactical Performance, Creative Resistance, Radical Ridicule, and Guerrilla Activism

Larry Bogad on Tactical Performance, Creative Resistance, Radical Ridicule, and Guerrilla Activism

Larry Bogad, Thorne Dreyer’s guest on Rag Radio, is committed to “speaking mirth to power.” He has been called “the love child of Lenny Bruce and Saul Alinsky,” and, according to Truthout, his “artful activism blends the strategies of civil disobedience with heaping doses of Harpo Marx.” UC-Davis professor L.M. Bogad, who was co-founder of […]

Classicist and Social Commentator Thomas Palaima on ‘Good Shepherds: A Forgotten Concept’

Classicist and Social Commentator Thomas Palaima on ‘Good Shepherds: A Forgotten Concept’

Thorne Dreyer’s guest is Thomas Palaima, a classics professor at the University of Texas at Austin who since 1999 has written regular commentary for the Austin American-Statesman where he primarily taps lessons from the classics and the classical era to comment on contemporary topics. On the show we address “Good Shepherds: A Forgotten Concept”; Tom […]

Historian of Anti-Confederate South, Victoria Bynum, Author of ‘The Free State of Jones’

Historian of Anti-Confederate South, Victoria Bynum, Author of ‘The Free State  of Jones’

Thorne Dreyer’s guest, historian Victoria Bynum, is the author of The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War, which has been adapted into a major motion picture, starring Matthew McConaughey, to be released June 24, 2016.

Military Aviation Historian and Vietnam Vet Thomas Cleaver: The True Story of ‘Catch-22’

Military Aviation Historian and Vietnam Vet Thomas Cleaver: The True Story of ‘Catch-22’

Vietnam vet and aviation historian Thomas McKelvey Cleaver is the author of the best-selling military history, The Bridgebusters: The True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing, published by Regnery History, which we discuss on the show.

Mystical Artist and Storyteller Luis Guerra on ‘Repopulating the Huichol Deer’

Mystical Artist and Storyteller Luis Guerra on ‘Repopulating the Huichol Deer’

Rag Radio sits down with Luis Guerra to talk about his art and his experiences with the Huichol Indians.

Radical Comics Publisher Paul Buhle on Irish Martyr James Connolly & the Easter Rising

Radical Comics Publisher Paul Buhle on Irish Martyr James Connolly & the Easter Rising

Thorne Dreyer’s guest is historian Paul Buhle, a leading figure on the American Left since the 1960s, who now produces radical comics. Buhle is the editor of A Full Life: James Connolly the Irish Rebel, subtitled, “A graphic remembrance 100 years after his cruel murder during the Easter Rising.” Paul also wrote an afterward to […]

Legendary Peace Activist Tom Hayden and Wife, Actress and Author Barbara Williams

Legendary Peace Activist Tom Hayden and Wife, Actress and Author Barbara Williams

Peace activist and former New Left leader Tom Hayden, and his wife, the actress, musician, and author Barbara Williams, are Thorne Dreyer’s guests on Rag Radio.

Our Classic Interview with Bernie Sanders Plus Blues Singer Leeann Atherton Live

Our Classic Interview with Bernie Sanders Plus Blues Singer Leeann Atherton Live

We feature Thorne Dreyer’s classic 2015 interview with Bernie Sanders, and iconic Austin singer-songwriter Leeann Atherton joins us in studio for conversation and performance.

Kent State Survivor Thomas Grace on Infamous 1970 National Guard Killings

Kent State Survivor Thomas Grace on Infamous 1970 National Guard Killings

More than 45 years ago, on May 4, 1970, college sophomore and anti-war activist Thomas Grace was shot by National Guardsmen when they opened fire on unarmed students on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, killing four and injuring nine. The Ohio killings were immortalized by Neil Young with his protest anthem, […]

Are We Cooked?’ Raj Patel & Tom Philpott on Food and Climate Change

Are We Cooked?’ Raj Patel & Tom Philpott on Food and Climate Change

Thorne Dreyer’s guests are Raj Patel and Tom Philpott and the topic is “Are We Cooked?: Ways of Thinking About Food and Climate.” Raj Patel is an award-winning writer, activist, and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, and a Senior […]

The Future of Higher Education: Julia Mickenberg, Rich Reddick & Kate Catterall

The Future of Higher Education: Julia Mickenberg, Rich Reddick & Kate Catterall

Our guests today — Julia Mickenberg, Rich Reddick, and Kate Catterall — teach a unique grant-funded experimental collaborative course at the University of Texas at Austin called “The History and Future of Higher Education.” In this lively and important exchange, they join Thorne Dreyer and Alice Embree in a discussion of the special nature of […]

Living on the Hyphen: The Asian-American Experience

Living on the Hyphen: The Asian-American Experience

Actress and director Leng Wong, dancer/choreographer Anuradha Naimpally, musician Toshio Mana, and the Austin Chronicle’s cindy soo discuss their production of Living on the Hyphen, a multi-cultural, contemporary collaboration of Austin-based artists of Asian descent — and they also discuss the larger issues involved with living the Asian-American experience. Living on the Hyphen, a co-production […]

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