In summer of 1897, a group of New York kids found a headless torso floating in the East River. At first, the police thought it was a prank being played by medical students, who were known to leave cadaver fingers and limbs lying around just for laughs. But the next day, the lower torso and hips of that beheaded half-corpse washed up along the Harlem River, and it became clear that the wounds were the work of a malicious amateur.
Who cracked the case? Who scrambled facts, myth and suspicion through that boiling New York summer?
Nik Wallenda hopes to test his high-wire skills above Niagara Falls. In April, he walked above the Quarter at Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
Nik Wallenda — of the famed Flying Wallendas circus and stunt performers — hopes to walk over Niagara Falls on a tightrope. But first, he needs the help of the New York government. Right now, it's illegal to walk across the landmark on a high-wire.
This week, the state legislature passed a bill to lift the restriction; it isn't known whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo will sign it. Many, including the mayor of Niagara Falls, say the high-wire act would give the town's lagging economy a much-needed boost.
Wallenda says the feat "has been a dream of mine forever. It's in my blood."
Carmen Cuesta's new album is titled Mi Bossa Nova.
In 1964, "The Girl From Ipanema" put bossa nova on the charts in the U.S. The song was composed by the godfather of the bossa nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and features the languid, lush, lovely saxophone stylings of Stan Getz. The hit was one of many collaborations between Jobim and Getz that would bring the intoxicating sounds of the bossa nova across borders — and into the life of a young Spanish singer named Carmen Cuesta.
Singer James Torme, son of the legendary entertainer Mel Torme, just released his new album, Love for Sale. The record covers classic jazz and pop songs from artists such as Michael Jackson and Cole Porter. Torme tells Weekend Edition Sunday guest host Susan Stamberg that he wanted to put a new spin on some old classics.
Big Bill Broonzy's shape-shifting musical identity is documented in the book I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy.
Big Bill Broonzy was one of America's most popular blues musicians — a father figure to many blues legends and an acknowledged influence on rockers such as Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend. Yet Broonzy's life has remained something of a mystery until now. A new biography called I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy traces the musician's path from the rural South to the South Side of Chicago. Author Bob Riesman's decade of research has yielded some surprising results.