Jesse Nighswonger

Jesse Nighswonger works with On Second Thought and Political Rewind as an engineer and audio editor. 

 

He has a degree in audio production from The Art Institute of Atlanta and a background in freelance sound design and composing. He's worked with clients such as the Atlanta Falcons, Adobe, and Bounce TV. Outside of work, Jesse enjoys making music, biking, and watching beautiful, sad movies.

Abrams Press

On Tuesday, July 30, 1996, Richard Jewell was praised as a hero on NBC’s Today Show. The security guard hired for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta spotted a suspicious knapsack at Centennial Olympic Park, where tens of thousands of visitors gathered.

Two people died and 111 were injured when the bomb inside the knapsack exploded. Jewell’s vigilance and the evacuation that followed likely saved hundreds of lives. But less than 12 hours after chatting with Katie Couric, Jewell was being questioned by the FBI as the primary suspect in that bombing.


Skiff Mountain Films

There are more than two million people incarcerated in the United States. Over two-thirds of them lack a high school diploma, and less than 13% have attended college.

But where nearly half of all formerly incarcerated people return to prison within three years, the students working towards associates and bachelor’s degrees through the Bard Prison Initiative, or BPI, have a recidivism rate of just 4%.


Emily Frobos

Sub Pop Records in Seattle has churned out a number of hit-makers. There's The Shins, Sonic Youth, Sound Garden and more. (Who could forget Nirvana?)

And the record label keeps the acts coming. One of the newest additions to their roster: Atlanta locals, Omni.


Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

"There is no exquisite beauty...without some strangeness in the proportion."

That's a line from Edgar Allan Poe, the king of the dark and eerie, the strange and surreal. It could also describe the appeal of an exhibition currently on view at the High Museum of Art, called "Strange Light: The Photography of Clarence John Laughlin."


Rachael Joyce

Revisionist History podcast host Malcolm Gladwell's books have opened up new ways to consider human behavior — introducing concepts like "stickiness," the "10,000 hour rule" and The Tipping Point

His newest New York Times best-seller asks why we are so bad at understanding people we don't know. It's called Talking To Strangers. 


There are some stories that bear repeating over and over. One of those stories is Harriet Tubman’s. A new movie about the heroic abolitionist, known as the “Moses of her people”, is coming out Nov. 1.

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Kurds are evacuating their traditional homeland in Northeast Syria during a five-day brokered pause in hostility. This pause in military action is set to end today, Oct. 22.

The situation is complicated, violent and unfolding on the other side of the world, but Americans are following the events closely.


Rachael Joyce

The Rachel Maddow Show is the biggest draw on MSNBC’s primetime line-up. The show tilts against Fox News’ Sean Hannity in the high stakes battle for cable news viewers. Both hosts have large and obsessive audiences, and both have seen double digit jumps in ratings since congress launched an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

That story was roiling when Rachel Maddow made her way onto the stage, at an event sponsored by A Cappella Books last Sunday, Oct. 13. On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott interviewed Maddow at the Fox Theatre. Today’s episode is part of the interview from Sunday.


Morehouse Film Festival/Be Funky Collage Maker

The Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival aims to spark to conversation using "artivism" — the combination of art and activism. 

Filmmakers Korstiaan Vandiver and Devin “Egypt” Robinson spoke to On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about the impacts of art and activism in the film industry.  


Sara Hanna

Chef Pano Karatassos has emerged victorious. He valiantly represented Georgia on the Food Network show Beat Bobby Flay, clenching the win with his signature lamb pie.

JAE C. HONG / ASSOCIATED PRESS

"The Beverly Hillbillies" introduced audiences to the Clampett family in the 1960s and helped popularize the stereotype of the "Dumb Southerner." The myth persists today, wrapped up with ideas about tolerance, race and intelligence.

Marie T. Cochran, director of the Affrilachia Artist Project, joined On Second Thought to dig into this idea and her experiences growing up in Appalachia. Chuck Reece, host of The Bitter Southerner Podcast, also joined the conversation.


Alexia Webster

While headlines fill with international tensions, a group of artists from around the world aim to garner some cultural diplomacy through the power of music.

OneBeat brings 25 emerging musicians together to collaborate on writing, producing and performing original music, in the hopes of using the universal language of music to encourage cultural exchange.


GPB

Boudleaux and Felice Bryant had a deep impact in Nashville, with notable hits like "Bye Bye Love" and “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” Their music has been recorded by artists like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and Simon & Garfunkel.

The hit-making couple is the subject of a new exhibit at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn.


Erika Davidson / AP

The world mourns a Georgia-born music giant today. Jessye Norman, the renowned opera star, passed on Sept. 30, 2019 at the age of 74.

Norman was born in Augusta in 1945 and grew up in the segregated South. In her memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing!, she remembers listening to opera on the radio as a child.


Ben Mathewson

Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist David Sánchez hails from Puerto Rico, but, these days, he calls Atlanta home. Schooled in jazz by the legends, Sánchez is now schooling others as an artist-in-residence at Georgia State University. Tune in for a sample of his new record, Carib a project about exploring the music of the African Diaspora, beginning in the Caribbean.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Two legendary rock musicians and an innovative classical violinist join On Second Thought to talk about how they are mashing up their respective disciplines. Along with original compositions, these musicians use songs from Georgia’s most beloved musicians and bands and adapt them for an orchestra.


MAX RITTER

Kishi Bashi made a name for himself with the shiny, fantastical indie pop of his first three albums. (The singer and multi-instrumentalist also made a pseudonym for himself: his stage name is a mashup of his first initial – K, for Kaoru – and last name, Ishibashi.) 

Ishibashi's newest record Omoiyari takes a more sober turn. From Japanese, "omoiyari" roughly translates as compassion or kindness shown toward others, which stirred in the Athens-based musician after President Trump's administration placed a travel ban on people from specific, predominantly Muslim countries.


Mandy Wilson

In honor of the Ken Burns series Country Music, Bill Nigut is taking over the On Second Thought Sunday time slot with a special edition of Two Way Street. This episode features his conversation with the legendary Brenda Lee, an artist featured in sections of the documentary. 


wikimedia.org

Before Outkast, Goodie Mobb and T.I. burst out of Georgia, there was Blind Willie McTell and James Brown.  Before Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson and Jason Aldean stepped onto the country music scene, Brenda Lee and Chet Atkins were changing the sound of country music altogether.

What unifies those musical giants? Georgia. On Second Thought embarked on an audio tour of the dense and diverse musical roots of Georgia, from Ma Rainey and the Skillet Lickers to Emmett Miller and Otis Redding.


Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

Laurel Snyder has made a career of picture books and middle-grade novels that don't shy away from the facts of life. Her newest novel, My Jasper June, follows Jasper and Leah as they embark on a summer of urban adventures and navigate the messy path between childhood fantasy and grown-up realities.


University of Georgia Press

While the origin stories of the barbecue capital of world may vary, Jim Auchmutey has found one thing we can agree on: Barbecue has a Southern accent. 


Neka King and Sarah Emerson

29Rooms has been called a fun house for adults and an Instagram paradise. This immersive art festival has popped up in L.A. and New York, this month 29Rooms is stopping in Atlanta on a five-city tour.

The interactive experience created by the Refinery29 website is as advertised — a collection of 29 distinct rooms with work from artists all over the country. Like the Museum of Ice Cream and Museum of Pizza posted on Instagram, it will be a selfie paradise.


GPB News

Now we add some more songs to our essential Georgia playlist from Avery Gipson. We ask artists to pick two songs written or performed by another Georgian that best represent the state.

At 18 years old, Avery Gipson is already an award-winning singer-songwriter. Her first single, “Look What You’ve Done,” came out earlier this year.


Adult Swim

"Squidbillies" is Atlanta-based Adult Swim’s third longest-running animated series. It’s based on the show creators’ experiences here in Georgia – and features a cast of anthropomorphic redneck squids. The 12th season of "Squidbillies" premieres Sunday on Adult Swim. Hear from the co-creators Dave Willis and Jim Fortier who recently joined us on On Second Thought


Courtesy of Yacht Rock Revue

What started as a tribute to the greats, has taken on a life all of its own.

Yacht Rock Revue harnesses the nostalgic soft rock vibes of the ‘70s and ‘80s, taking the term “tribute band” to a whole new level. Whether on the road, or at their own venue Venkman’s in Atlanta, Yacht Rock Revue take their audiences on a voyage to sounds of the past.

Singer Nick Niespodziani joined On Second Thought to add a couple of songs to the Georgia Playlist, our tribute to songs written and performed by Georgians.

Niespodziani chose “Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck and Washed Out’s “Eyes Be Closed.”


Virginia Prescott / GPB

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott has been a judge at three of the semi-annual singer-songwriter shoot-outs at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur.  (Full disclosure: her partner hosts the weekly open mic contests there.)

At the 48th bi-annual shoot-out, then 10-year-old Ansley Oakley stepped up to the mic – all of 4-foot-8 and wearing a vintage maxi dress – and started to sing.  The resulting performance was so jaw-dropping that Virginia invited her to sing at Grocery on Home, an occasional, bring-your-own-everything listening room that she and her partner run out of the old grocery store where they live in Grant Park.   


Depending on who’s talking, Freaknik was a notorious public safety hazard or an annual lovefest that solidified Atlanta’s status as America’s “Black Mecca.”

Documentary filmmaker Chris Frierson joined On Second Thought to discuss the event's rise and fall, which is further detailed in his new podcast series, Freaknik: A Discourse on a Paradise Lost.


Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B. Morton

President Trump said he would pause tariff escalations with China after meeting with that country’s president, Xi Jinping, at the G20 Summit.

One Georgia industry tracking the ongoing talks is shipping. The Trump administration had threatened a 25% tariff on ship-to-shore cranes that come from China. The Georgia Ports Authority is ordering six new ones at a total cost of $70 million. Its executive director and Georgia’s U.S. senators are asking the White House to rethink taxing them. That's because the cranes are just one piece of a $2.5 billion expansion at the ports that's smashing trade and revenue records.


Album Cover Photo By Art Rosenbaum

"Corridos" are a traditional form of storytelling through song, which became widely popular during the Mexican Revolution. They often tell stories of history, oppression, the common human experience and cultural heroes. These songs chronicle life (and sometimes death) in an easily shared and consumed format.

A new album by Athens-based musician and activist Beto Cacao carries on the tradition of this musical form. It's called Undocorridos: Songs of the Stories and Struggles of the Undocumented in the USA


Credit: Casey Doran

Rose Hotel is not a hotel at all. It's a band. But that doesn't mean that their tunes won't make you dream, with their lo-fi, bedroom indie-pop sound. It's the music project of Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Jordan Reynolds. 

Rose Hotel's debut LP, called I Will Only Come When It's A Yes, is out today. There is an album release concert Friday at 529 in East Atlanta Village. First, Reynolds joined On Second Thought to add to our Georgia Playlist of songs written or performed by a Georgian. She selected "SpottieOttieDopaliscious" by Outkast and "Keep the Change" by Mattiel.


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