Josh: Growing Up With Tourrette’s


Have tape deck, will diary.  Josh Cutler, the subject of Joe Richman’s “Josh: Growing Up With Tourrette’s.”


Just over a year ago, I dissected “Dead Animal Man” by Ira Glass for the Saltcast. I think that episode got more responses than any other Saltcast. Since then, I’ve been meaning to dissect a piece in a similar way. It only took a year (!) but I’ve finally gotten around to it. This time, Joe Richman joins me and we sift through, scene by scene, a story he produced in 1996 called “Josh: Growing Up With Tourrette’s.”

Joe Richman has made some of the best documentaries on public radio. His work is stellar — sound rich, dramatic, personal.

Joe may be best known for his radio diaries, stories where an individual is given a tape deck to document their lives. In fact, that’s the name of Joe’s company — Radio Diaries. Much of his work is available to listen to at the Radio Diaries website. But, before you zing off to his website and get lost in all the stories, take a listen to this podcast. Joe gives us the back story on producing “Josh” and he offers great insight on radio storytelling.

This is a long Saltcast so get comfy. And, please post your thoughts and questions here at the blog.

Ciao for now.


PS – Joe says he was inspired to produce audio diaries by “Ghetto Life 101” by Dave Isay as well as “Life Stories: First Person Portraits” by Jay Allison. Click and listen.


  1. 7 Responses to “Josh: Growing Up With Tourrette’s”

  2. By Brent Miller on Nov 3, 2009

    I enjoyed hearing how this piece was put together, as so many of the other Salt Casts have been–instructive and enlightening.

    Thanks. –Brent

  3. By Anonymous on Nov 4, 2009

    Hi Brent,

    Thanks for the kudos. Much obliged!


  4. By Matthew Smith on Nov 15, 2009

    Do you have a podcast feed for all these pieces?

  5. By Anonymous on Nov 19, 2009

    Hi Matthew,

    Do you mean all of Joe’s pieces? If so, they are all at And, the teen diaries are specifically at

    If you are wondering if there is a podcast for all of the Saltcasts — yes. Just click the iTunes button in the column on the right. Or, if you don’t use iTunes, try using the RSS feed symbol that I suspect is in your URL Address bar.

    Hope that helps! Thanks for listening.


  6. By Jessie on Nov 27, 2009

    I’m so happy that I stumbled upon the Saltcast! It was great to hear this story broken down and I hope that you’ll do more things like this in the future. I’m very interested in getting into radio documentary and storytelling but can’t afford a semester at Salt so I’m trying to eat up as much of this kind of stuff as I can.

    Thanks again and I’ll stay tuned and spread the word.

  7. By Matthew Smith on Nov 28, 2009

    Don’t know how I missed that iTunes link. Thanks!

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Jan 21, 2010: More Ear Candy… «

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.