NEW ORLEANS-- "From New Orleans this is Music Inside Out, I'm Gwen Thompkins"
That unforgettable introduction takes us all on a weekly journey through melody and song, and the people who make those songs. The storyteller, Gwen Thompkins grew up in Pontchartrain Park, and honed her journalism chops at the Times-Picayune, then spent years in Washington and overseas with NPR.
The show aims to pull the curtain back on understanding music makers. Thompkins says, "What we wanted to do on Music Inside Out was to talk to a musician in depth, to give musicians a chance to explain where they come from, who they listen to when they were coming up, and how that's affected what they contribute now."
Producing this show requires a love for our music and it's a passion that Thompkins has always had. She told us the story of driving across the desert in Sudan and something magical happened that brought her right back home.
Thompkins said, "we turn on the radio and Louis Armstrong comes on..it was amazing and I kept saying 'that guy's from my hometown, he's from my hometown (laughs)."
No doubt the contributions of Armstrong have lived on, but Thompkins sees Music Inside Out as a means of insuring that the music and stories of many others live on as well.
"Katrina reminded me that it's so easy for everything that you are and know to be wiped off the face of the earth. In my family we lost all of our family photos, but those people existed. And so I've always been intrigued with this of creating an archive, on my own, of people in New Orleans, and Louisiana that have made terrific contributions to our cultural landscape," said Thompkins.