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It’s A Question Of Balance ® radio show balances the intellectual with the creative, exploring whether we have more in common than divides us through thought-provoking conversations – out and about with people on the street on different topics, and in the studio with inspiring guests from the arts. Balance is not a compromise. Balance is truth distilled from many places creating cohesive understanding.

Topic: Out And About – Conversations on the Street about Questions That Matter: Why Are We So Busy?

Why are We So Busy?

This Saturday February 28th 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Why Are We So Busy?’ It was thought by now we’d all have so much leisure provided by time-saving devices that we’d hardly know what to do with ourselves, but most of us can only dream of feeling like that. So what happened? Time seems more precious than ever. Why are we so busy? Is it our perception of time that has changed or do we really have more to do?

Arts Interview: A Tribute to Sam Andrew Begins at 53 Minutes

Left: Ruth Copland and Sam Andrew. Right: Big Brother and The Holding Company, photo by Linda McCartney

Left: Ruth Copland and Sam Andrew. Right: Big Brother and
The Holding Company. Photo by Linda McCartney

This week I am featuring a tribute to Sam Andrew of Big Brother and the Holding Company who sadly passed away in the arms of his wife, Elise, on Thursday, February 12th in San Francisco. Sam was a friend and previous guest on It’s A Question Of Balance and was a phenomenal human being. The first interview I did with Sam was backstage at the Monterey Pop Festival 45 year celebration. As a tribute to Sam I am featuring excerpts from these two interviews.

Photos by Lisa Law

Photo by Lisa Law

Big Brother and The Holding Company, was originally composed of Janis Joplin, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew, James Gurley and Dave Getz. As a singer, songwriter, composer, and guitarist and founding member of Big Brother and The Holding Company Sam Andrew had multiple hits and three platinum albums to his name. A prolific songwriter all his life, Sam wrote his first song when he was six and by the age of 15 had his own band and weekly TV show, an Okinawan version of American Bandstand. Of his early compositions, “Call on Me” and “Combination of the Two” have been two of Big Brother’s most enduring classic tracks and are still concert favorites today. Sam Andrew and Janis Joplin also recorded an album together as the Kozmic Blues Band called ‘I Got Dem Old Kozmic Blues Again Mama’. Sam and original band mate James Gurley produced some of the greatest psychedelic guitar solos of all time. In February of 1997, Guitar Player magazine listed the work of Sam and James on “Summertime” as one of the top ten Psychedelic solos in music history.

Keizo Yamazawa Collage

Photos by Keizo Yamazawa

When Big Brother stopped performing in 1972, Sam moved to New York where he studied harmony and counterpoint and also scored several films in the US and Canada as well as writing two string quartets and a symphony. Sam remained in the east for eight years before returning to San Francisco where he began playing clarinet and saxophone. He was also an artist of note.

Don Aters Collage

Photos by Don Aters

After Big Brother reunited in 1987, Sam provided a wonderful variety of fresh new songs to the band. A sensitive and thoughtful man, his personality is reflected in the lyrics of his beautiful ballads. When Big Brother was not not on the road, Sam pursued his solo project, The Sam Andrew Band. His last CD released in 2014 is Coast to Coast (On A Piece of Toast).

Sam will be sorely missed by fans, friends, and family but, despite the sadness, I know that all who knew him or were touched by his music will be glad that his presence graced their lives.

This week as a tribute to Sam It’s A Question of Balance is featuring excerpts from Ruth Copland’s two interviews with Sam Andrew.

For more information go to and to to purchase his last CD.

To give money to the Sam Andrew Medical and Memorial Fund to help Sam’s wife go to

“It’s A Question of Balance ® so rare among radio talk shows, lets its subjects breathe. With her discursive style and pleasingly eccentric range of curiosity, host Ruth Copland each week treats her listeners to two hours of Whole Brain Radio.
Hampton Sides – Internationally bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and historian

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