Giving Thanks, hosted by John Birge, is celebrating its 25th year on public radio! This year’s show presents the best moments of a quarter century of great guests, including:
• Foodies: Stanley Tucci, Nigella Lawson, Jacques Pepin and Calvin Trillin.
• Writers: Anne Lamott, Adam Gopnik, Julia Sweeney, Anna Quindlen and Deepak Chopra.
• Poets: Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni and Ada Limon — plus classic poems read by Patrick Stewart, Bill Moyers and Studs Terkel.
• Musicians: Michael Tilson Thomas, John Rutter and Stephen Hough.
• In memoriam: John Updike, Wendy Wasserstein, Nora Ephron and Rabbi Harold Kushner.
Giving Thanks sounds the way Thanksgiving feels: inviting, warm and festive. There are no clichés about pilgrims and pumpkin pies. Instead, it’s a contemporary, thoughtful celebration of the spirit of the holiday.
For listeners up early in the kitchen, on the road to a family gathering or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music and truly memorable words.
• Anne Lamott, 2006
• Adam Gopnik, 2019
• Karl Jenkins: The Shepherd - Polyphony
• Julia Sweeney, 2013
• Johann Sebastian Bach: Aria from Goldberg Variations - Simone Dinerstein, piano
• Deepak Chopra, 2010
• Denny Zeitlin: Hymn - Denny Zeitlin, piano
• Anna Quindlen: A Short Guide to a Happy Life, 2007
• Roy Blount Jr. and Nora Ephron: Pumpkin Pie, 2011
• Jacques Pepin, 2016
• Nigella Lawson, 2010
• Francis Lam: The True Meaning of Turkey, 2017
• Thierry Rougier: Autumn - Xuefei Yang, guitar
• Christopher Kimball, 2015
• Stanley Tucci, 2021
• John Keats: To Autumn - read by Patrick Stewart
• Rita Dove, 2005
• Donald Hall: The Ox-Cart Man, 2004
• Jean Sibelius: The Harvesters - Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Leif Segerstam, conductor
• Nikki Giovanni, 2014
• Ted Kooser, 2005
• Ada Limón, 2022
• Joni Mitchell: Both Sides Now - Piano Demo
• Gary Snyder, 2006
• E. E. Cummings: “i thank You God for most this amazing day” - read by Bill Moyers, 1999
• Carl Sandburg: “Happiness” - read by Studs Terkel, 2000
• Rabbi Harold Kushner, 2008
• John Rutter: The Lord Is My Shepherd - Cambridge Singers; John Rutter, conductor
• Alice Sommer Herz, 2014
• John Updike: To a Skylark, 2002
• Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending - Julia Fischer, violin
• Wendy Wasserstein: Ah, That First Feast In Wild Manhattan, 2003
• Nora Ephron, 2011
• Sir Stephen Hough, 2011
• John Rutter, 2018
• Michael Tilson Thomas, 2020
• Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral): Shepherd’s Hymn of Thanksgiving - English Chamber Orchestra; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
• Traditional: Psalm of Life - Jacqueline Schwab, piano
• From Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums, Chartres Cathedral Story; Psalm 104 - read by Charles Laughton
• Traditional (arr. Stephen Paulus): We Gather Together - Dale Warland Singers
Guests and readings
Here are many of the luminaries who have been featured on Giving Thanks over the years. Listen to their comments individually for the first time.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Roy Blount Jr.
Antoine de St. Exupery: Flight to Arras
Anne Lamott (2002)
Anne Lamott (2006)
Anne Lamott (2013)
Abraham Lincoln: Thanksgiving Proclamation
Bill Moyers reads E. E. Cummings
Naomi Shihab Nye
Studs Terkel reads Carl Sandburg
Michael Tilson Thomas
Rabbi Harold Kushner
W. S. Merwin
Alice Sommer Herz
‘Giving Thanks’ archive
Here are the full two-hour versions of every Giving Thanks episode from the past 25 years.
2022 - Playlist
2021 - Playlist
2020 - Playlist
2019 - Playlist
2018 - Playlist
2017 - Playlist
2016 - Playlist
2015 - Playlist
2014 - Playlist
2013 - Playlist
2012 - Playlist
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