Back to School

back to school

Time to sharpen those #2 pencils. With classes back in session, it’s time for Jim and Greg to present some more of their favorite Back-To-School songs. Plus, we remember the late, great neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks.

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Dr. Oliver Sacks

As critics, Jim and Greg have always suspected that music affects the brain, but they needed an expert to confirm their hypothesis. This week, we're re-broadcasting their interview with the late Dr. Oliver Sacks, author of the book Awakenings, which later went on to become a film starring Robin Williams. His 2007 book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain is a collection of anecdotes illustrating the powerful effects music can have on the brain. Sacks relays his clinical experiences working with a range of patients including individuals who struggle to connect with music's melody, Parkinsonian patients who depend on music's rhythm, and Alzheimer’s patients who find comfort in music's emotion. These people use music as a lifeline and a way to connect to the world-something rock fans certainly understand.

Back-To-School Part 2

Hope you all brought an apple for the teacher – it's that time of year when classes are back in session. As a followup to their 2008 list of favorite Back-To-School songs, Jim and Greg are rematriculating to share a fresh batch of tunes.


  • Jerry Lee Lewis, "High School Confidential"
  • The Runaways, "School Days"
  • Paul Simon, "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"
  • Dolly Parton, "Coat of Many Colors"


  • Larry Williams, "Bad Boy"
  • The Donnas, "New Kid in School"
  • Belle and Sebastian, "Expectations"
  • Jeannie C. Riley, "Harper Valley P.T.A."

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!