Jim Johnson

KGOU Program Manager / Host of The Weekend Blues

Jim is a journalism/mass communications graduate from the University of Oklahoma. While still a student, he became the host of what is now The Weekend Blues. He currently serves as KGOU’s Program Director where he supervises all aspects of KGOU’s on-air programming output. 

Jim serves as Program Chair for Jazz in June, Norman’s annual Jazz and Blues festival. He also enjoys singing and playing in a Blues/Rock band (guitar) in various venues around the metro.

Ways to Connect

Intelligence Squared U.S. "Lifespans Are Long Enough"
Intelligence Squared U.S.

What if we didn’t have to grow old and die? The average American can expect to live for 78.8 years, an improvement over the days before clean water and vaccines, but it's still not long enough for most of us. So researchers around the world have been working on arresting the process of aging through biotechnology.

Author of Fire In Beulah, Rilla Askew

One of the country’s worst acts of violence against a minority community happened in Oklahoma. The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot led to the destruction of Greenwood, a wealthy all-black area due north of downtown known as “Black Wall Street.”

For years, history books glossed over accounts of the event. In 1996, state lawmakers commissioned an official historical account of what happened. Seven years earlier, award-winning novelist Rilla Askew began researching the Tulsa Race Riot for a book after realizing she had never heard of the historic event.

Jose Antonio Vargas with Race Matters host Merleyn Bell and World Literature Today's R.C. Davis.

Swaths of Syrians have been displaced by the country’s five-year civil war. Even though only a tiny fraction of the estimated 4 million refugees fleeing the conflict have ended up in the United States, it’s added a new dimension to conversations about border security, terrorism, and undocumented immigrants’ effect on the U.S. economy.

University of Oklahoma Assistant Professor and political scientist Mackenzie Israel-Trummel

Just weeks before voters caucus in Iowa and head to the polls in New Hampshire, who will become the two major parties’ standard-bearers and win the nominations is still anyone’s guess. But race and ethnic identity will likely play a much larger role on the Republican side of the aisle – the field is more crowded, there are several minority candidates, and immigration has become a key campaign issue along both the U.S.

University of Oklahoma Native American Studies Associate Professor Heather Shotton
National Indian Education Association

Blowback against the long-standing use of Native American mascots highlights issues of identity and cultural appropriation. Supporters of using Native American symbols, names, and images for sports teams and schools say it honors tribal culture, but many Native Americans say it shows disrespect stemming from a lack of understanding toward indigenous peoples.

KGOU staff

The civil rights movement of the 1960s brought forward concerns about voting rights, segregation, and proportional representation.  While the focus of similar racial protest has most recently shifted to aggressive policing and apparent inequities within the criminal justice system, University of Oklahoma educator and author George Henderson considers the current Black Lives Matter movement an extension of what he witnessed during the 1960s - with similar aims of ensuring  justice for African-Americans.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service forecasts a variety of dangerous weather conditions across Oklahoma into Monday.

Intelligence Squared U.S.

Today, a national debate rages about the functioning of our criminal justice system. Is it fair? Does it serve the ends of justice and public safety? Does it apply equally to all? Prosecutors, endowed with both autonomy and immunity, hold immense power within this system. They control secret grand jury proceedings, who will be prosecuted, and the specifics of charges.

(Left-to-right) Benjamin Von Gutzeit, Mateusz Smoczynski, Mark Summer, & David Balakrishnan of the Turtle Island Quartet
Bill Reitzel /

The traditional string quartet has staying power. Austrian composer Joseph Haydn legitimized the combination of viola, cello and two violins during the mid-1700s, and it’s still one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in music. It’s an old format, but one that’s becoming more flexible.

“The Turtle Island Quartet was expressly formed to get us string players off the page, so to speak,” says David Balakrishnan. “That’s the easy way to say (it).”

Ken Rudin's "Election 2016: One Year Out"
Ken Rudin/PRX

Join Political Junkie Ken Rudin as he offers a broad examination of the 2016 presidential election in an hour-long "Political Junkie" special. 

Intelligence Squared U.S. - "Are China and the U.S. long-term enemies?"
Intelligence Squared U.S.

Is China’s ascendancy a threat to the U.S.?  China’s rise as an economic and military power, coupled with its aggression in the South China Sea, have led some to call for a major rebalance of U.S. policy and strategy. Can China be trusted to act as a responsible global stakeholder? And will they be a long-term ally, or adversary? Intelligence Squared U.S. host and moderator John Donvan guides this debate over U.S. relations with China.  

IQ2 U.S. / Intelligence Squared U.S.

High-profile cases have recently put campus sexual assault in the spotlight. One question that has repeatedly come up: why are these cases being handled by campuses at all? Title IX requires that every school receiving federal aid must take concrete steps to deal with hostile environments and sexual assault. This leaves colleges and universities with the task of figuring out what policies and procedures to enforce.

State Of The Re: Union

In the last episode of State of the Re:Union, the team brings you a collection of our favorite stories from the road. Host Al Letson reflects on six years of SOTRU and says goodbye to the show.


·         Medical Migrants (from The Sorting of America episode)

·         Superman! (from the Comics episode)

·         Dear Appalachia Letter (from the Appalachia episode)

·         The Crossing: Chayo (from the Tucson episode)

·         Honest-to-Goodness True Alabama Juke Joint

·         Reflection

Steve Inskeep
NPR / National Public Radio

Few Americans remember that Iran launched its nuclear program in the 1950s with the direct backing of its then ally, the United States. That American support would turn to sanctions and threats of war over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The bitter rivals opened secret negotiations two years ago and are now party to a high-risk deal.  Supporters and critics agree it’s a pivotal moment – but for better or worse?

America Abroad / America Abroad

The Iran Nuclear Deal will have a major impact on America's national security and the future stability of the Middle East, and it will help define President Obama's legacy.