Earlier this month, we laid to rest a true Nashville giant. John Seigenthaler was many things, among them a journalist and First Amendment advocate, but as we wrote in a statement posted on Friday, July 11, to us he was a friend, a member of the NPT family and the longtime volunteer host — for 42 years — of A Word on Words. We will pay tribute to that legacy, and celebrate what would have been Seigenthaler’s 87th birthday, on Sunday, July 27 from 2-6 p.m. on NPT. We’ll be airing back-to-back classic episodes of the show, interspersed with reflections and stories from local authors and friends. Among the authors and episodes featured will be John Lewis (“Walking with the Wind”); Ann Patchett (“Patron Saint of Liars”); Alice Randall (“The Wind Done Gone”); J.T. Ellison (“All the Pretty Girls”); John M. Seigenthaler (“James K. Polk”); David Halberstam (“Firehouse”); Rodney Crowell (“Chinaberry Sidewalks”); and Fred Thompson (“Teaching the Pig to Dance”).
Among those offering reflections are Stephen Mansfield, Ellison, Jon Meacham, Charles McNair, Crowell, Marty Stuart, Adam Ross and Randall.
That morning’s regularly scheduled episode at 10:30 a.m. features Patchett in a new episode talking about her most recent collection of essays, “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.” All new episodes, taped in the months before Seigenthaler’s death, will air on subsequent Sunday mornings until September 28, after which older episodes will be rebroadcast, until further notice.
Thanks to everyone who has written or called the station to offer their condolences. We appreciate the kind words for John and his work, and will be compiling all of the notes to forward on to his family.