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Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
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May 20, 2018 10:38 am

CBS Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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May 20, 2018 10:38 am

Almanac: Gilda Radner; The Kanneh-Masons: The family that plays together; John McCain's final testament; Faith Salieon the great Laurel vs. Yanny debate; Tom Wolfe

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I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. A member of a royally talented family was on full display at yesterday's wedding, and we're not talking about Prince Harry. Lee Cowan has paid the clan a visit at home. Yesterday's royal wedding gave a world stage to a 19-year-old cellist whose moving performance struck a chord. Turns out he has six brothers and sisters who all excel at classical music just like him. Our house is by no means soundproofed, so you are practicing Beethoven with the sound of Shostakovich in another room and Paganini upstairs.

Like it is like a massive, well, what some are calling Britain's most talented family. Later, on Sunday Morning. And now a page from our Sunday morning almanac, May 20th, 1989. 29 years ago today, a sad day for the world of comedy. For that was the day Gilda Radner died of cancer. Hi, I'm Gilda Radner. A college dropout with a gift for comedy, she landed a spot in 1975 on the original cast of Saturday Night Live.

So I went outside to get some soup. There she created such memorable characters as erratic advice maven, Roseanne Rosannadanna. And wouldn't you know, there was a hair in it.

And clueless gadfly, Emily Latella. What's all this fuss I keep hearing about violins on television? It's terrible the way things, what, what? Miss Latella, that was violence on television, not violins, violence. Oh, well, that's different.

Yes. Never mind. Radner left Saturday Night Live in 1980. Oh, God, help me. To pursue a film career.

You can't be the man I'm about to marry. And in 1984, married fellow comic, Gene Wilder. Gilda Radner was just 42 when she died, but that's not the end of her story. She gave her name to Gilda's Club, a network of supportive gathering places for cancer patients, founded by Wilder and others, including Radner's cancer psychotherapist, Joanna Bull.

I don't think anyone really understands the loneliness of cancer like someone who has it, someone who's going through it. With our own Charles Osgood back in 1996, we got a look inside the New York City Gilda's Club, and we heard what Wilder told a fundraiser back then about the words he said Radner told him in a dream. I miss you all, and I'm proud of all of you for helping to create this great thing in my honor. And though Gene Wilder passed on in 2016, the clubs that honor Gilda Radner live on.

It's Sunday morning, and here again is Jane Pauley. A member of a royally talented family was on full display at yesterday's wedding, and we're not talking about Prince Harry. Lee Cowan has paid the clan a visit at home. In an otherwise ordinary Nottingham neighborhood in the UK, an open window reveals just how extraordinary the family who lives inside really is. Behind every door you'll find it. From the upstairs bedrooms to the downstairs living room. In the study, the family is a part of the family.

In the study, even in the bathroom. Seven brothers and sisters, pages 8 to 21, all creating a classical cacophony that may rattle the rafters, but not their proud parents. We don't really hear it, but if people come and visit they say oh my goodness it's really noisy, and we say is it? Stuart Mason and his wife, Kati Kenny, never intended to raise their own private chamber orchestra, but no one nearby seemed to mind. What do the neighbors think?

We've never had a complaint ever. Brian at one point was playing the violin, but it was summer, the window was open, there was a round of applause from the neighbors. And if you think they're good by themselves, you should hear what they're like together. Whether in their front hall or on national television. The Kennon Masons first came to fame after all but the youngest appeared on Britain's Got Talent back in 2015.

They made it all the way to the semi-finals. It's a pretty big deal for classical music. You could be probably the most talented family in the world. Royally talented it turns out. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle invited one of the Kani Masons, 19-year-old Sheku, to perform a cello solo at their wedding yesterday at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

It's not a bad gig. Sheku may have been singled out, but actually the whole family has the same talent for classical music woven into their genes. It started with the eldest, Isidor, who began taking music lessons at age six. When did you start realizing this was more than just, oh she's relatively good at the piano? Quite early on and then she got the highest marks in the country for her grade seven and grade eight piano exams and we thought okay she must be okay then.

Next came Isidor's equally talented brother, Brima. Brima was so good at the violin that I just gave up and I was like okay I'm just gonna be a pianist. I later then gave up the piano.

It all worked out. And then how did you start with the cello then? I didn't really like the violin at all and then I saw like an orchestral concert and got really excited by the sound of the cello. The folks at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London liked Sheku's sound on the cello too. So much so they gave him a scholarship.

They did the same for Brima and Isidor who received the coveted Elton John scholarship. The three of them often practice together as a trio and seem to know what each other is thinking almost before they say it. Very rarely does someone get offended when you say something because we know the intentions are always to get the best out of them.

Even if you're critical? Yeah because the intention is to get the best out of the group and we all understand that. They've set the bar pretty high for their younger siblings but they're catching up.

That's it. Jenaba, Emanata and Kanya are all studying at the Royal Junior Academy also on scholarship. You didn't feel like pressured that all my brothers and sisters are doing it.

I better do it too. It was always very much a choice like we had the option to do whatever we wanted but then just seeing all of our siblings also playing classical music it just seemed like something we wanted to do. Every Saturday they get up at 4 30 in the morning and along with their mom catch a train that takes them 130 miles into London. They make their way from the station to the academy on foot all with instruments in tow. We'll sleep on the train on the way there, sleep on the way back to get our energy for the day. How often do you practice?

On a school day two to three hours and then on the weekend we might do five six or seven hours. A lot is expected of them here but no more than the Kennymasons expect of themselves. The Kennymasons don't just happen. This is all from years and years of hours and hours of practice and for that I'm hugely respectful of what they've done.

Howard Ionescu is the junior academy's director. Do you think they're prodigies? Is that the right word?

I tend to steer away from that word. I think they're exceptionally gifted but they've wanted to take that gift and move forward with it. They are a tight-knit family that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's not to say though that a little sibling rivalry doesn't rear its head from time to time. Is there a little bit of competition between all of you? Yeah friendly competition because there are so many of us who want to like show yourself in the family exactly but I think I think the competition is good because it constantly keeps us working constantly practicing.

Still the success of one they say is a success for all. When earlier this year five of them were asked to play at the BAFTAs, Britain's version of the Oscars, they shared the red carpet with the likes of Bryan Cranston, Orlando Bloom and Jennifer Lawrence. A fan even asked for Shaku's autograph. Ever since winning the distinguished BBC Young Musician competition at age 16, Shaku has become a bit of a celebrity.

He became the first black winner in the competition's history by captivating the judges with his feeling and emotion that seems to transport him somewhere else. Into the bubble as we call it. The bubble? Yeah you see this a lot with truly gifted people. The trick with him is that he goes into his bubble but we don't get cut off. You always feel part of his performance.

And what is that that makes you feel a part of it? Or that's the gift right? That's the gift. This past February Shaku released his first album, Inspiration, which not surprisingly topped the UK classical charts. But it also made it into the top 20 on the pop charts with music from Bob Marley. How do you do Bob Marley on the cello though?

Um it's not something that's often done. This was Shaku's own arrangement of No Woman, No Cry. The video immediately went viral. He's tapped into something for people who aren't necessarily engaged in classical music. He's brought a whole new audience. Absolutely, absolutely.

And that's that is incredibly exciting. Which may be why he was invited to play at yesterday's Royal Wedding seen by millions around the world. But none of this has gone to his head?

No. He's completely unruffled actually. Really?

Well it can't. He's got so many brothers and sisters who would would stand for that anyway. In fact, he's trying to help the youngest Kena Mason of all, eight-year-old Mariatu, surpass even him. So Shaku said that he thinks you're going to be better than he is someday. Hopefully, yeah. Yeah, I probably will be. You think? Yeah.

Oh come. Well, just takes practice because you don't just be amazing. It takes lots of practice. It's likely no one is going to out-practice a Kena Mason. Every minute they toil is driven by a love of classical music surpassed only by their desire to perform it.

Music, after all, is meant to be shared. And in that, the Kena Masons are as unselfish as they come. Senator John McCain is telling his story in a new memoir, The Restless Wave. Co-author Mark Salter is a long-time McCain friend and collaborator, and he's talking to our Chip Reid. John McCain returned to the Senate last July for a crucial vote on a Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

And he was nearly moved to tears by his reception. Just one week earlier, the Arizona senator had been diagnosed with brain cancer after undergoing emergency surgery to remove a blood clot. Moments after that standing ovation, McCain, always the maverick, chastised colleagues in both parties with some of his renowned straight talk. We've been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win with the American people.

We keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle. And that speech resonated. It really did.

Part of it, obviously, was because he had just received this very tough diagnosis and he looked like he had just had brain surgery. Mark Salter has been writing speeches for John McCain for 30 years. That speech spoke of his love for the place and what it was capable of doing and how you should want to work together to make progress on our country's problems. We're getting nothing done, my friends.

We're getting nothing done. The story of that dramatic night is just one of many in McCain's new memoir, The Restless Wave, published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS. Covering the last 10 years, the book details his historic presidential campaign against Barack Obama, as well as his disagreements with President Obama and President Donald Trump about America's place in the world. Co-written by Salter, it's their seventh collaboration. What does The Restless Wave mean? Well, it comes from the Navy hymn. He's a very restless man, as anyone who knows him or has covered him knows, and only God could slow him down.

And that's what we thought that was an appropriate title. I don't know how much longer I'll be here. John McCain from the audiobook of The Restless Wave. Maybe I'll have another five years. Maybe with the advances on ecology, they'll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life.

Maybe I'll be gone before you hear this. Do you think this became a different book as a result of the diagnosis? Yes, it did. Much, much different. How so? I don't really want to say it's a last testament because he's fighting hard on sticking around for a while. But he did want to tell Americans how much this country meant to him before he was gone and how much he thinks this country means to the world. The book incorporates key themes from some of McCain's recent speeches, including one in Philadelphia last October that many saw as a direct swipe at President Trump. To fear the world we have organized and led the three quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership, and our duty to remain the last best hope of Earth for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history. He didn't want to turn this into a personal attack on Donald Trump, and I don't think it really is. But it does take strong exception with some of the president's views, because they are in great contrast to his own.

If John McCain could sit down and try to change Donald Trump's mind on one issue, what would it be? On the importance of American leadership in the world. The world order that's existed for 75 years is worth maintaining.

It has made us powerful and wealthy, and it has freed people from tyranny and poverty more so than any other time in history. We have to fight. We have to fight against propaganda and crackpot conspiracy theories. We have to fight isolationism, protectionism, and nativism. We have to defeat those who would worsen our divisions.

We have to remind our sons and daughters that we became the most powerful nation on Earth by tearing down walls, not building them. McCain also criticizes the way in which many Americans have walled themselves off from those who disagree with them, writing about his friendships with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Ted Kennedy. He always seemed to have as many good friends on the Democratic side as on the Republican side.

He does. And that's really one of the main messages he wanted this book to convey to the American people. Don't assume that if someone votes differently than you that they don't deserve your respect or your friendship.

In fact, one of the book's most headline-grabbing revelations has to do with a close friend from across the aisle. He says that he regrets not having chosen Joe Lieberman as his running mate. He does not say, though, as has been interpreted, that he regrets choosing Sarah Palin.

That was my follow-up question. How can he regret not choosing Joe Lieberman but not regret... Because he was persuaded not to pick Joe Lieberman. It leaked out that we were considering it and the advice of his staff, among them me, saying, you can't do it. He regrets listening to us, I think. But after he made the decision, he never regretted it. And in the book, he defends her. And he's never uttered a word in private or public of criticism of her.

Are you ready to make America great again? Does he sometimes worry that there might have been a direct line from Sarah Palin to Donald Trump? I've never heard him express that.

Last month, McCain underwent another surgery, this one to treat an infection. While his type of cancer is often terminal, the 81-year-old war hero is still fighting and says he doesn't feel cheated, he feels blessed. A fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed. And I wouldn't mind another scrap or two for a good cause before I'm a memory.

Who knows, maybe I'll get another round, and maybe I won't. So be it. I've lived in this wondrous land for most of eight decades, and I've had enough good fights and good company in her service to satisfy even my restless nature. Who am I to complain, my friends?

I'm the luckiest man on earth. To paraphrase the old Marx Brothers joke, who are you going to believe? Faith Salie or your own ears? Listen to this. What do you hear? This past week, our country has been riven by the Yanny-Laurel-Aurel War.

Families torn apart, friends, neighbors, strangers mocking each other, questioning the very nature of reality. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has weighed in. It's Laurel, but I could deflect and divert to Yanny if you need me to. When I first heard this ear-tricking, mind-bending meme, I heard Yanny. Yanny. I heard Yanny, and I was right. Yanny.

And then I played it again just a few hours later for my family. Yanny. And I heard Laurel. Yanny.

Clear as day. Yanny. Everyone around me looked at me like I was crazy and told me it was Yanny. Yanny. This made me both disturbed and self-righteous.

Yanny. How could these people I once loved and trusted reject my truth? How could half of America be so wrong? Well, we're all correct, according to science. Both words are being said on different frequencies, and various folks hear it differently.

Yanny. I can't help thinking maybe there's a lesson here in today's fractious political climate. Maybe when someone is 100% sure she's right, it doesn't mean someone else is 100% wrong.

Maybe someone who hears, thinks, or feels something that we don't isn't crazy or stupid or unsound. Maybe we'll hear something new if we listen again. Yanny. One man's Yanny is another woman's Laurel. At the same time.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. Maybe America just got a little more intelligent. I hear coffeffy. So you know what? It hasn't just been a good week for this guy. Yanny. It's been good for all of us.

How refreshing that for a few magical days, our country came together to wholeheartedly disagree with passion and humor. Yanny. Laurel.

Yanny. We take a moment now to remember Tom Wolfe, the journalist and novelist in the standout white suit who died this past Monday at a New York City hospital. I've covered so many things where I didn't fit in. From hippies to astronauts, from Park Avenue soirees to Wall Street shenanigans, Tom Wolfe somehow always found a way in and managed to bring his readers in too. Born in 1930 in Richmond, Virginia, the young Tom Wolfe was tempted to pursue a baseball career.

But when that fell through, settled for a Ph.D. from Yale instead. He went into journalism, wearing scuba gear for one story for the Springfield Union in Massachusetts. Next came the Washington Post, followed in 1962 by the New York Herald Tribune. Now long gone, it was celebrated at the time as the writer's paper. From that perch, he honed a vivid personal style that flouted traditional rules of reportage and typography, a style that came to be known as the new journalism. He wrote nonfiction books informed by extensive reporting, coining such catchphrases as Radical Chic, Me Decade, and The Right Stuff.

Along the way, he zeroed in on one quality in particular, as he told Harry Smith in a Sunday morning visit back in 2006. In your vision of our American life, is it really just about status? It's not just about status.

It's mainly about status. Beginning in 1987, he pursued questions of wealth and status in best-selling novels, including The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Fall, novels that tried to capture a broad sweep of contemporary life. And let's not forget the suits, the bespoke three-piece white suits with all the trimmings that became his personal trademark. I started wearing them by accident. They had just arrived in New York. I'd always wanted to come here to work on a newspaper. I finally got a job. So anyway, I bought this, I bought a white suit for the summer. All of a sudden, in 1965, I had a book coming out.

The book was the candy-colored tangerine flake Streamlined Baby, which attracted notice and reviews and interviewers. And to my amazement, I read the article, and then essentially it said, what a colorful man. He wears white suits. I realized I had a substitute for personality. Personality substitute or not, the white suit was just as much a part of him as his sharp powers of perception and his inimitable powers of expression. To borrow that book title of his, he truly was a man in full.

Tom Wolfe was 88. I'm Jane Pauley. Thank you for listening, and please join us again next Sunday morning. Maybe you do too, from the newest interior design trend, Barbie Corps, to the right and wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and we're not able to do in daytime television, so watch out. Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts. It's your good news on the go.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-26 15:16:34 / 2023-01-26 15:27:38 / 11

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