November 22, 2009: The Pie Ladies of Chatham (Doc) - Canada's Polar Pop Princess, Elisapie Isaac - Memoir: A History with Ben Yagoda

Hour 1: The Pie Ladies of Chatham - Documentary - They've been called "the pie ladies". They were the best of friends. A group of four. Then on one crisp November evening, after attending their church's annual roast beef supper, their lives were lost in a tragic accident. 

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Hour 2: Canada's Polar Pop Princess, Elisapie Isaac - Her music has been described as "Polar Pop" and "Arctic Cool", but Elisapie Issac describes her music as, "the music that I always wanted to make without knowing that I could."

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Hour 3: Memoir: A History with Ben Yagoda - Before there was blogging, before there was "reality television" and before there was Facebook - people had other ways of telling strangers the stories of their own lives. St. Augustine wrote his famous Confessions back in the fifth century. And sixteen hundred years later - and even in the Age of Twitter - the autobiography may be more popular than ever.

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Elsewhere on the show - This week's show also included Episode #18 of our series, Twenty Pieces of Music that Changed the World; Frank Fault's report on, "Men who give gifts and the women who buy the gifts men give"; as well as some great music for you to enjoy.

Music

Song: Zarzuela
Artist: Don Ross
Album: Don Ross

The Pie Ladies of Chatham - Documentary

They've been called the pie ladies. They were the best of friends. A group of four.

They played cards together, shopped together, baked together for Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Chatham, Ontario. Each of them had been married there and they still attended faithfully each Sunday, where they sat, together, in Pew 19.
And so it was, exactly two years ago, Jean Ripley, Marion Dawson, Verna Neaves and Bernice Phillips, all widows, all in their eighties, all matriarchs of their families, attended one of their favourite events together: Holy Trinity's annual roast beef supper.

Good food. Lots of laughs and then, on that crisp November evening, they all got into Marion's car and headed toward home along Kyle Drive. They almost made it.

Wladyslaw Bilski was also driving on Kyle that night. Only he was going more than 25 km over the speed limit. In the wrong direction. With more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

At 6:45 pm, on November 24, 2007, his minivan crashed head-on into the car carrying the four women. They didn't stand a chance.

Wladyslaw Bilski was tried for his crime. He was found guilty of impaired driving causing death. His sentence was handed down this fall: four years.

Sunday Edition producer Alisa Siegel spent some time in the community this fall. And this morning, we have her documentary report on The Pie Ladies of Chatham

Music

Song: Spiegel Im Spiegel
Artist: Arvo Part
Album:
Fantasie

The Pie Ladies of Chatham - Discussion

The four women were just four of the approximately fourteen hundred Canadians who died in alcohol related traffic accidents that year. It is estimated that the deadly combination of cars and booze kill three people every day in this country.

Over the past few years , governments both federal and provincial have tried almost everything to drive that number down. Criminal sanctions have increased. RIDE programs have been implemented. Public awareness campaigns--particularly campaigns aimed at kids--are everywhere. Ignition interlock systems prevent convicted drunk drivers from starting their car if they've been drinking. The list goes on.But the problem of drunk driving persists.

Joseph Neuberger is a criminal lawyer in Toronto . He acts for people who have been charged with impaired driving.

And Anne Leonard is executive director of Arrive Alive Drive Sober a group that aims to eradicate impaired driving in Ontario.

Music

Song: From the Bush
Artist: Felix Lajko
Album: A Bokorbol


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Music

Song: Spirit Reel
Artist: Jim Hiscott
Album: Spirit Reel
 

Canada's Polar Pop Princess, Elisapie Isaac

My next guest's music has been described as "Polar Pop" and "Arctic Cool."
But she herself describes it as "the music that I always wanted to make without knowing that I could."

Singer songwriter Elisapie Isaac grew up in Salluit, in Nunavik, northern Quebec singing religious hymns and listening to Abba, Fleetwood Mac and Bob Dylan.
She sings in English, French and Inuktitut, translating lyrics from one language to another when she thinks it's right.

If her name sounds familiar - it's because she is perhaps best known as one half of the Quebec duo Taima, which burst onto the Quebec and Canadian music scenes in 2005.

Taima's debut self-titled CD picked up numerous awards, including a Juno for best aboriginal CD of the year. Now, however, Isaac is striking out on her own. Her new CD, There Will Be Stars dropped in September.

Music

Song: Nawaatara
Artist: Elisapie Isaac
Album: There Will Be Stars

Music

Song: Out of Desperation
Artist: Elisapie Isaac
Album: There Will Be Stars


Music

Song: Wish Song
Artist: Elisapie Isaac
Album: There Will Be Stars


Memoir: A History with Ben Yagoda

Before there was blogging, before there was "reality television" and before there was Facebook - people had other ways of telling strangers the stories of their own lives. St. Augustine wrote his famous Confessions back in the fifth century. And sixteen hundred years later - and even in the Age of Twitter - the autobiography may be more popular than ever.

In the first chapter of his new book Memoir: A History, University of Delaware Professor Ben Yagoda rhymes off some of the baffling book titles that have populated bestseller lists in recent times. The litany includes close to a dozen autobiographies by or about dogs, separate father-and-son accounts of the son's drug addiction, countless ghost-written celebrity autobiographies and even more so-called "misery memoirs" with titles like "Sickened" "Damaged" "Ugly" and even "Beyond Ugly."

But up until now, few writers have examined the autobiography itself.
Ben Yagoda has written a biography of Will Rogers and co-written the autobiography of Dr. Ruth Westheimer. His latest book Memoir: A History was released this week by Penguin in Canada and this morning, he joins us from a studio in Philadelphia.

Music

Song: Thanks for the Memory
Artist: Ralph Rainger
Album: A Jazz Romance, Vol 2


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Music

Song: Zima
Artist: Al Di Miola
Album: Winter Nights


Men Who Give Gifts and the Women Who Buy the Gifts Men Give

It's the thought that counts or so we've been told... but next time someone gives you a present... and it is the present season after all, here's something that you might want to consider-- just whose "thoughtfulness" went into finding the gift you're gushing over. Of course you would assume it's the person whose name is on the card... but not so fast.

We at The Sunday Edition have uncovered a truth that people-- women to be exact-- have been silent about for far too long. We sent Frank Faulk out to rip the wrapping off a widespread practice of undercover trade, exploited labour and deception.

Here is his report -- Men who give gifts and the women who buy the gifts men give.

Music

Song: Homemade Wine
Artist: Scrunter
Album: A Decade of Scrunter - De Parang Now

20 Pieces of Music That Changed the World - Episode #18

This week, Robert Harris discusses La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem, with Michael Enright.

Click here to hear previous episodes...


Music

Song: Marseillaise
Artist: Max Schneckenburger
Album: Casablanca (Soundtrack)


Music

Song: Marseillaise
Artist: Claude-Joseph Rouget De Lisle
Album: Emma Calve: Complete Unknown Issued Recordings

Music

Song: D'Lisle R
Artist: Echoes of France
Album: Rough Guide to Gypsy Swing

Music

Song: Sitiera
Artist: Rafael Lopez
Album: Bele Bele en la Habana


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