The Big Listen ended production in May 2018. While this site is no longer updated, all the content remains available for archive purposes.
LeVar Burton has always loved reading aloud. It began when he was in elementary school. His teacher, Mrs. Twig, would often leave the classroom for a cup of tea and when she did, she told little LeVar to read to his classmates until she returned. Little did Burton know that decades later he’d have built a career on reading to people.
From 1983 until 2006, Burton starred in PBS’s “Reading Rainbow” (but you don’t have to take my word for it LOL). Over 21 seasons, Burton brought the magic of reading to kids. It’s a job he took very seriously.
“There are few things that feel to a person like they are more cherished or taken care of,” Burton told us. “I mean there’s being fed, right, and there’s eating. And then there’s someone reading to you.”
Recently, Burton has entered the podcast fray with a new show, LeVar Burton Reads. In it, he reads aloud short stories and provides some context for the stories as well as notes on why he chose them. Of course it’s a natural fit and Burton’s soothing yet spirited voice calls to mind all the times you were read to as a child.
When he’s not reading, Burton does listen to the occasional podcast. Right now he’s binging on Ear Hustle from Radiotopia.
Tell Me More Shows To Check Out!
- The Nod — Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings (formerly of For Colored Nerds) describe themselves as blackness’ biggest fans. So it makes sense that their latest podcast would be an exploration of the many dimensions of black culture. From reality television and black erotica writers, to du-rags and street gangs, The Nod tries to uncover stories about being black in America that haven’t been told yet.
- 30 For 30 Podcast — In 2009, ESPN commissioned a series of documentary films commemorating its 30th anniversary. Recently, the network launched the audio version of the successful franchise. The podcast, hosted by Jody Avirgan, covers all kinds of narrative sports stories, including the tale of decathletes Dan & Dave, the first all-women’s trek to the North Pole and the guys behind those Yankees Suck t-shirts.
- Very attractive listener recommendations: Philosophize This and The Projection Booth
- While this isn’t a podcast, we also recommend you check out the soon-to-be-released feature film, “Women Who Kill” from writer and director Ingrid Jungermann. It’s about a pair of true crime podcasters who happen to be ex-girlfriends. It’s a rom-com wrapped in a light thriller, and a clever send-up of podcasters, Brooklynites, lesbians, food co-op members and other self-satisfied groups.
Do you have a podcast recommendation you’d like to share with us? We want to hear it! Give us a jingle on the Pod Line at 202-885-POD1 and leave a message. Then we’ll put you on the radio and grandma will never stop talking about it at the senior center.
Thanks for reading, pals! ‘Til next time…keep listening, America.
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