Martine McDonald


Martine McDonald

As Education Director at the New York International Children’s Film Festival, and Founder of Practice Wonder, Martine McDonald is “dedicated to co-creating and developing diverse children’s media with mindfulness and representation of LGBTQ+ and families of color on screen.” In this episode, Martine, an early “Mister Rogers & Me” booster, goes deep into her journey as an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and a human being on Earth.

An “Essential” Conversation, Part II


An “Essential” Conversation, Part II

In the second part of our two-part conversation, music journalist, Brian Ives, and I discuss my new collection of “greatest hits,” “Essential Benjamin Wagner (2001-2021),” including stories behind set staples “Summer’s Gone,” “Crash Site,” and “Dear Elizabeth,” as well as their potential legacy.

An “Essential” Conversation, Part I


An “Essential” Conversation, Part I

When it came to helping me put context on two decades of music for my new release, “Essential Benjamin Wagner (2001-2021),” my friend, Brian Ives, was the only choice. Brian is a rock journalism lifer with three decades at MTV, VH1, Loudwire, Sirius XM and Radio.com. He currently runs digital content operations for Beasley Radio’s 40+ stations, and hosts the podcast, “How You Play Your Hand.”

Karen Baum Gordon


Karen Baum Gordon

In her new book, “The Last Letter,” author Karen Baum Gordon explores the events that shaped the lives of her father and his parents — two Holocaust victims that he tried in vain to save in the early years of World War II. In this painstakingly researched, heartbreaking and inspiring page-turner, Karen reminds us that we often need to move towards our pain in order to understand it, and then let go of it in order to move on.

Dear Elizabeth


Dear Elizabeth

How one Hell’s Kitchen public school custodian helped me understand the weight of sadness, and turn it into one of my most beloved songs.

Everything Is Unsettled


Everything Is Unsettled

This week, a nor’easter blows through the Brandywine Valley, downing limbs, shattering crockery, and prompting a reckoning.

Three Little Birds


Three Little Birds

Trench Town rock via Waterloo, Iowa. Or, Why I Covered Bob Marley.

Shaking The Nonsense Out


Shaking The Nonsense Out

In the sermon of Abbigail and my wedding ceremony (fourteen years ago today), our officiant, Fred Rogers’ ally, Bo Lozoff, tempered our idealized, golden-hour, white-chiffon fantasies with reasoned, practical, even difficult wisdom.

Restoration


Restoration

This week, a story about everyday heroism, Wissahickon Schist and The Wisdom of Fred.

We’re All Gonna Die


We’re All Gonna Die

What do you do when your real life exceeds your wildest imagination? Don’t keep it to yourself.

Into Your Arms


Into Your Arms

Through tsunamis, draught, insurgencies, pandemics, heartbreak, worry and regret, one deep, simple and essential truth provides sanctuary.

Into The South


Into The South

From Nashville to Memphis and Muscle Shoals, join “Friends & Neighbors” host Benjamin Wagner as he travels deep into the south to walk the floor at The Ryman Auditorium, meet Elvis’ ghost, and record with The World Famous Swampers.

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