Jim Curtis

Contributor, The Morton Report

Covering Books

Jim Curtis
Jim Curtis was a professor of Russian for a long time at the University of Missouri, but eventually realized that he was interested in so many different things that he didn't want to limit himself to one country. So he's now an independent art educator and writer. Jim has been reading books and listening to rock and roll since the fifties. He's the author of "Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954-1984," as well as a forthcoming book on Dylan.



Articles From Jim Curtis
Monday Nov 25, 2013 00:00 AM ET
Recorded over two nights at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, this stunning concert will air on PBS on November 29 and will be released to CD and DVD on November 25.
Friday Jul 19, 2013 20:00 PM ET
Paul Levinson is as close as we have in America today to the ideal of a Renaissance man, a prolific scholar with impeccable academic credentials who is not only in touch with the popular culture of today, but also creates a good deal of it.
Wednesday May 15, 2013 00:00 AM ET
Director Robert Trachtenberg talks with The Morton Report about the upcoming PBS American Masters profile, "Mel Brooks: Make a Noise," airing on May 20.
Wednesday Apr 17, 2013 55:00 PM ET
In the past her breathy alto and impeccable piano phrasing combined to give sensitive renderings of selections from the Great American Songbook; her numerous albums propelled her to superstar status. But she turned her back on all that.
Sunday Mar 24, 2013 35:00 PM ET
What can you say about The Doors? They were intense and self-indulgent, provocative and lyrical. These oppositions only begin to describe their candle, which burned at both ends and in the middle, too.
Friday Nov 16, 2012 40:00 AM ET
The producer of the lauded PBS series "American Masters" discusses what it was like working with David Geffen for the upcoming episode, which will air on November 20.
Thursday Sep 6, 2012 00:00 PM ET
The Johnny Cash on display here is not the secular one portrayed in "Walk the Line." This collection represents the the southern Johnny Cash, the man of faith.
Wednesday Sep 5, 2012 40:00 PM ET
Although no one thought about it like this at the time, the Carousel Ballroom and the Fillmore Auditorium were in effect sanctuaries where people could and did take refuge from the endemic craziness that was America in 1968.
Thursday Aug 16, 2012 20:00 PM ET
Sorkin has found "The Newsroom" by doing what the great dramatists have always done. He takes topical themes and gives them depth by showing the human element in them.
Wednesday Aug 8, 2012 50:00 PM ET
When Larry Bond was working as an intelligence analyst, an insurance agent living in rural Maryland said that he was writing a novel about submarines, and wanted to ask him some questions. The insurance agent was Tom Clancy, and the novel was "The Hunt for Red October." And the rest is history.
Monday Aug 6, 2012 45:00 PM ET
MIck contains within himself, within his persona as a performer, oppositions that he does not wish to resolve. We can't resolve them, either, so the line from "Sympathy for the Devil" that goes "what's puzzling you is just the nature of my game" is both ironic and accurate.
Wednesday Jul 25, 2012 40:00 PM ET
While we publicly deplore the criminal acts that gun culture and sports culture facilitate, and so do sincerely, in the long run we are willing to tolerate those acts as long as gun culture and sports culture satisfy some of our deepest societal needs.
Wednesday Jun 27, 2012 25:00 PM ET
It’s an indication of Sorkin’s stature in popular culture today that he’s the only writer whose trademarks such as witty banter and walk-and-talk are so well-known that Tina Fey could parody them on 30 Rock.
Tuesday Jun 19, 2012 35:00 AM ET
Interview with author Beth McMullen on her new novel Spy Mom.
Wednesday May 23, 2012 40:00 PM ET
Despite our American fixation on originality, once in a blue moon it happens that two major artists are creatively joined at the hip. An older artist creates a body of work so rich and provocative that a younger artist comes along and uses it in a new way.
Monday May 21, 2012 00:00 PM ET
After reaching the height of popularity in the Harry Potter films, Emma Watson has only about 20 lines in this movie. Why?
Thursday Apr 19, 2012 00:00 PM ET
Lee Child's hero Jack Reacher enjoys exceptional freedom to fight for justice because he operates in imaginary landscapes.
Tuesday Apr 3, 2012 35:00 PM ET
There’s a reason why this movie did such good business on its opening weekend, and will continue to bring in big bucks for Disney.
Monday Mar 12, 2012 10:00 PM ET
Sarah Palin feels betrayed when she realizes that life in small-town America didn't prepare her for life in the global village.
Saturday Jan 21, 2012 20:00 AM ET
If Sinatra’s genius was broad enough to include both the lonely introvert of “Angel Eyes” as well as the boisterous party-goer of “Chicago,” who is “the concert Sinatra”?
Saturday Dec 10, 2011 45:00 PM ET
Coco Chanel did more than make little black dresses — although she did that too.
Tuesday Nov 15, 2011 15:00 PM ET
A Q&A with Beth McMullen, author of "Original Sin," a delightful book about a stay-at-home mom whose exciting past keeps intruding into her mundane present.
Monday Nov 14, 2011 20:00 PM ET
The co-founder and president of overstockArt talks about art and opportunity on Bravo's reality competition to find the next great artist.
Sunday Nov 13, 2011 00:00 AM ET
Since the 1980s, Susan lacy has been the prime mover behind the "American Masters" series, responsible for two of most notable episodes in the history of this distinguished treasure trove of American culture,
Tuesday Oct 25, 2011 00:00 PM ET
How come there aren’t any British rock divas—great stars with careers that have lasted over decades?
Thursday Oct 13, 2011 10:00 PM ET
Elizabeth Berg's warmth and generosity come across in her terrific book for wannabe writers, "Escaping into the Open."
Friday Oct 7, 2011 10:00 AM ET
The new "Hawaii Five-O" has better production values, a better cast, and better writing than the original.
Thursday Oct 6, 2011 30:00 PM ET
The differences between Henry Ford and Steve Jobs were the differences between prewar America and postwar America.
Thursday Oct 6, 2011 15:00 PM ET
Owen Wilson is miscast as Woody Allen's alter ego in Midnight in Paris.
Tuesday Aug 30, 2011 30:00 PM ET
Michael Brandman is a major Hollywood hyphenate—a writer/director/producer—with a long list of credits going back to the seventies. In 2005, he produced and wrote the script for Stone Cold, the first TV movie based on a novel about Jesse...
Friday Aug 19, 2011 00:00 PM ET
George Thorogood and the Destroyers are best known for the 1982 hit “Bad to the Bone,” but they have toured and recorded constantly throughout their long career. They have played with blues legends Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and...
Wednesday Aug 17, 2011 30:00 PM ET
Debra Duneier is an entrepreneur who has gone through several careers, like so many people today. Unlike a lot of people, she’s grown and prospered from the experience. Based in New York, she applies the principle of the Chinese...
Friday Aug 12, 2011 55:00 PM ET
When a detective novel lingers in the mind as this book does, you know that you’re in the hands of a master.
Wednesday Aug 10, 2011 25:00 PM ET
Alan Furst, whom the New York Times rightly called “America’s preeminent spy novelist,” once commented at a public reading that he writes books “where everybody knows the ending.” He is drawn to the dark places in Eastern Europe between...
Tuesday Aug 9, 2011 10:00 PM ET
Donna Leon could paraphrase Raymond Chandler and say of Guido Brunetti, the hero of her wonderful series of detective novels set in Venice, “Down these mean canals must glide a man of honor.” In fact, the canals of Venice are...
Monday Aug 8, 2011 00:00 PM ET
What is it about women writers and Italy? Although John Ruskin and Henry James loved Italy and wrote about it evocatively, nowadays women have taken up where they left off. The interesting thing is the difference between nonfiction and fiction....
Sunday Aug 7, 2011 20:00 PM ET
The point here is that for both Sinatra and Streisand acting the song is as important as singing the song. They turn each song into a three- or four-minute mini-drama.
Thursday Aug 4, 2011 30:00 PM ET
Writer Toni Bernhard shares her thoughts on living a productive and satisfying life in the face of a debilitating chronic illness.
Monday Aug 1, 2011 45:00 PM ET
Mickey Spillane’s I, the Jury, his famous hard-boiled detective novel featuring Mike Hammer, enjoyed instant success in 1947, and Spillane realized that he was onto something.  He wrote so many popular action-packed novels that by 1980 he was responsible for...
Thursday Jul 28, 2011 40:00 PM ET
L.A. is the perfect setting for mysteries. Since there’s no there in LA, people can hide out anywhere.  After all, Raymond Chandler set The Big Sleep in LA, and detective stories don’t get any better than that. Still, Raymond...
Wednesday Jul 27, 2011 35:00 PM ET
Who would think to look for insights into our troubled times in a spy thriller? And in a historical spy thriller? And in a historical spy thriller that features a Nazi soldier as a detective?  Well, it’s Philip Kerr’s Field...
Monday Jul 25, 2011 40:00 PM ET
Imagine a writer who is like Oscar Wilde without the frivolousness, like Franz Kafka without the grimness, and like Vladimir Nabokov without the snobbishness—and you have Viktor Pelevin, Russia’s most important living writer.More than anything, it’s the dizzying diversity of...
Saturday Jul 23, 2011 55:00 AM ET
Lots of kids idolize their dads - at least when they’re young. But what are kids to do when they idolize their dads, and then as they grow up, they gradually realize that everybody else does, too? That’s the problem...
Wednesday Jul 20, 2011 40:00 AM ET
Sure, you know that the Harry Potter franchise is the most profitable movie franchise in history. You know that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II set a four-day record by taking in an astonishing $187.2 M. Do...
Saturday Jul 16, 2011 05:00 PM ET
As Jack Nicholson said in quite a different context, it’s Chinatown.
Thursday Jul 14, 2011 15:00 PM ET
You could say that it started with Hank Williams. The patron saint of country music was writing his own songs, singing them and accompanying himself on the guitar at a time when Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and other pop stars...
Sunday Jul 10, 2011 20:00 AM ET
Critics, fans of detective stories, and just ordinary folks have a lot of trouble talking about the relationships between artists.
Saturday Jul 9, 2011 40:00 AM ET
It was a road trip that had catastrophe written all over it. Keith Richards begins his autobiography Life with a story about how he, Ronnie Woods, and two members of the Rolling Stones entourage decided to drive from Memphis to...
Wednesday Jul 6, 2011 35:00 PM ET
Although not every great movie franchise has a literary source, most of them do. But there’s a very indicative difference between British movie franchises and American movie franchises. The Brits have the greatest, richest uninterrupted literary tradition in the...
Tuesday Jul 5, 2011 05:00 PM ET
Although Stephen Hunter has written a variety of novels, he is best known for his franchise hero, a Marine sniper from Blue Eye, Arkansas, Bob Lee Swagger.

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