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Vital Voices

Vital Voices features interviews with a wide variety of people talking about the subjects they are most passionate about in life.

Latest Episodes
  • Our guest is Sandra A. Gutierrez, a cookbook author, cooking instructor, journalist, and historian. We talk about her most recent book, Latinísimo: Home Recipes from the Twenty-One Countries of Latin America. The book was published in both English and Spanish editions by Alfred A. Knopf in October of 2023. Sandra grew up in Guatemala and now lives in Cary, North Carolina.
  • This is part two of an interview with Doug Taylor, a veteran of the War in Vietnam. Here, Doug recounts more details of daily life during wartime. He also talks of his readjustment on returning home in November of 1970, the completion of his college degree, and the beginning of a long career as an employee of East Tennessee State University, where he still works today.
  • This program originally aired on Veterans Day weekend 2023. United States Army veteran Doug Taylor recounts the story of his service in Vietnam, beginning with the receipt of his draft notice the day after Christmas in 1968. Taylor is currently Associate Dean for Student Affairs at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine. He is an alumnus of ETSU, having finished his degree after his military service.
  • Kristen Combs, Director of Communications and Social Strategies for Visit Knoxville, discusses things to see and do in and around Tennessee’s third largest city, including some improvements being made at the Sunsphere. She is the author of the book 100 Things To Do in Knoxville Before You Die, published by Reedy Press. Visit Knoxville is the official Convention and Visitors Bureau for Knoxville and Knox County.
  • Veteran journalist Brad Lifford talks gardening and ghosts. A native of Hawkins County, Tennessee, Lifford has been a reporter for the Bristol Herald Courier and the Kingsport Times-News and was film editor for Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine. He has worked in higher education and corporate communications, and he is the co-founder of Howling Hills Publishing, a new indie publishing house headquartered in East Tennessee.
  • In this interview from our archives, Fred visits with the late Hanes Lancaster Jr., the founding general manager of WJHL-TV in Johnson City. The station signed on the air in October of 1953 and is now celebrating its 70th anniversary. Fred and Hanes talk about the early history of television and a major obstacle that WJHL had to overcome in order to get on the air.
  • Fred visits with Rebecca Henderson. She is the author of two books: Serving With Significance and Thoughts on Turning Sixty-Five. She also compiles the "Today In History" column for the Johnson City Press and the Kingsport Times News. She has created a new column called "Get Involved" that also runs in the Johnson City Press. Fred talks with Rebecca about the columns and the history of the region.
  • Fred Sauceman continues his visit with Dr. John Shelton Reed. Dr. John Shelton Reed has spent a lifetime studying about the South. Among his many awards, this year he was presented The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the governor of North Carolina. In addition to his twenty-three books, his writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the National Review, and the magazine Southern Cultures, which he founded.
  • Fred Sauceman visits with one of the most prolific commentators on life in the American South. Dr. Reed taught Sociology and Southern Studies courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for many years. He's the author of twenty-three books and has held visiting professorships at over a dozen universities, including Fulbright lectureships in Israel and India and a Pitt Professorship of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge in England. Dr. Reed is a native of Kingsport, Tennessee.