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the Wall Street Journal. The paper reported that Teachout died on Thursday at a friend's home in Smithtown, N.Y. He was 65 years old.

A genial, cosmopolitan writer with a learned but accessible style, Teachout was born and raised near Missouri's bootheel, in the southeast part of the state. He remembered growing up as the musical-theater-loving son of a hardware salesman in his 1991 memoir, City Limits: Memories of a Small-Town Boy.

Sailing off to the East Coast to begin his liberal arts education, Teachout soon found undergraduate life at St. John's College in Annapolis, Md., too stressful and himself, in his own words, too immature. He returned "to do the rest of my growing up under the watchful gaze of comforting, certain, all-knowing midwestern eyes," he wrote. He graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., in 1970, and scraped together a living as a bank teller in Kansas City, gigging as a jazz bassist and beginning to write jazz reviews.

Once Teachout finally made it to Manhattan, he enjoyed the status of both an insider and an outsider. He was both an editor at Harper's magazine and the founder of a salon for New York conservatives called Vile Body. And he steadily begin accruing bylines in the New York Daily News, Commentary and The Washington Post and NPR, and writing acclaimed biographies of H.L. Mencken, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and George Balanchine.

Nate Chinen, who writes about jazz for NPR, says he was dazzled by Teachout's breadth. "So many critics are specialists, and that's where they get their authority," he told NPR. "[Teachout] was able to write with authority, insight and perceptiveness about so many art styles, forms and disciplines. And he did so with a real clarity of opinion."

"There was nobody around who also covered jazz, rock, pop, classical music, dance, ballet, film, books and any other medium that came along the way Terry did," Washington Post music critic Tim Page added in an email to NPR. "His tastes tended conservative but he could often be convinced and nobody was more cheerful about changing his mind. Above all, he was the sort of friend with whom you could have an argument that remained always within the bounds of love."

Teachout's more conservative opinions were not always popular among his fellow arts critics. "But he brought a real palpable genuine enthusiasm," Chinen recalls with affection. "And when you did disagree with Terry Teachout, he welcomed the exchange, the dialogue. Especially in our social media age, disagreement feels like combat, but Terry kept alive the spirit of critical discourse in an old Algonquin Round Table way. He really thrived on an exchange of ideas."

In his blog, About Last Night, on the website, and on his lively Twitter feed, Teachout kept that exchange going. Not only did Teachout write about literature, opera, politics and his unexpected fandom of Steely Dan and avant-garde composer John Cage, he chronicled his pain over the 2020 death of his wife Hilary, and his shouting joy in a new relationship. Arts Twitter erupted in mourning upon news of his death.

He was "unafraid of being human in public," Chinen said. "That's why so many people are responding to his loss."

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Be on KRCB 104.9...answer this month's "Talk to Me" question: With fire season upon us, are you having second thoughts about Sonoma County?
You can do a recording right from your computer or smartphone, but please use an external microphone (ear buds are good enough). Don't worry, you can try as many times you like until you get a "good take." We won’t hear any of the bad ones. After you finish, the page will give you a chance to listen and decide if you like it. Once you get a good one, you'll be asked for your name and email address. Then hit "Send.” (Click "reset" if you would rather try again.)
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Listen to the Sonoma County Birdwatch!

fullerThroughout the week, we play short segments about what birds are out in Sonoma County and what they sound like, from Harry Fuller. Here's what we've aired so far. Harry spent his working career as a TV and Internet newsman in the Bay Area.  He’s been leading bird trips and writing about birds for thirty years.  He has written three natural history books: Freeway Birding, I-5 San Francisco to Seattle; San Francisco’s Natural History, Sand Dunes to Streetcars; Great Gray Owl in California, Oregon & Washington. He blogs regularly about birds:  And he frequently leads birding trips on the Pacific Coast. Check him out at

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We've got a new thing: text KRCB to (707) 606-0911. Or just add your cell number below. We'll text you back when we have something special on the radio--so you can listen live or with a link to listen later. No spam! Not more than once a week or so. Try KRCB-Me.

8ff1 Asset 6 p 500Our podcast "Living Downstream" has been named by the Global Center for Climate Justice as one of "Five Climate Justice Podcasts You Need to Follow." Wow:

Listen to some recent episodes! Generations in Houston's Fifth Ward Contend with Contamination, Cancer Clusters will break your heart, and perhaps solidify your resolve to make change. The Sea Next Door is told in true partnership with the community living near California's Salton Sea, an environmental powder keg, where the state has no idea how to avoid a coming health disaster.

Get them here, or wherever you get your podcasts.



Postcards from Sonoma County...
        ... What people are talking about, direct from the locals.
Each week, our correspondents from all over Sonoma County check in with a weekly "postcard" of what people are talking about in their area. Not always "news," but still worthy of a mention. It's our way to give voice to communities that may not make it into the standard news cycle.
We play these in a random rotation throughout the week. Generally, each postcard airs from Sunday morning at midnight thru Saturday at 11:59:59 pm.
We archive all our postcards here. Have a listen!

 Week of Sunday, January 9th, 2022:
Greetings from Healdsburg
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
Greetings from Petaluma
Greetings from Rohnert Park
Greetings from Sebastopol
Greetings from Windsor

Week of Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
Greetings from Petaluma
Greetings from Rohnert Park
Greetings from Windsor

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