Jakob Lewis

Producer: Neighbors

Creator of Neighbors, Jakob is a graduate of Jay Allison's Transom Story Workshop the best radio school on the planet. He has done work with the BBC, Marketplace, WPLN, Back Story, The Sound of Pursuit podcast, and been featured on HowSound with Rob Rosenthal. He is the founder of the audio collective The Heard, a collective of 6 podcasters from all over North America with sound-rich narrative driven shows.

Photo by Jakob Lewis, design by Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

Robert Person Sr. — Percy, as he’s known — has been shining shoes for 70 years. He started around age 10 and now, at 80, continues to work at Percy’s Shoe Shine Service in Nashville. He’s worn out, stressed out, but this veteran shoe shiner just can’t stop.

Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

Prepare to be embedded into a gaggle of neighborhood kids, playing at the peak of summer. Producer Erica Heilman from the always-delightful podcast Rumblestrip brings us the story of children holding on to the last gasps of youth.

Neighbors: The Fighter

Jul 4, 2017
Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

Wayne cherishes his independence. And having had ALS for 33 years, he has to fight for it everyday. But his disease is only one of the seemingly insurmountable challenges he’s faced.

Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

When Denice Hicks has to step unexpectedly into the role of King Lear, in some ways, she’s doing what she’s always done: living life like it’s her last day. What happens when you do that everyday over the course of a life?  

Eddie and Mary Helen live in Chattanooga, Tenn. — a city, like many in the country, that still feels the effects of segregation. They started examining their hometown through the lens of race and ended up throwing a party.

Dave Hayes is a “social media-rologist”. He has no meteorology degree, but posts dense and poetic weather updates on Facebook where he’s grown quite a following. Hear how one man uses his computer to bring Western Massachusetts together and protect them from the elements.


Bethany embalmed bodies for a living, but she couldn’t help but empathize with every corpse she worked on, seeing her job as one final gift — one that was taking its toll. It turns out, some professions require a certain detachment.

Hannah has a rare genetic disorder that causes her to stop breathing when she goes to sleep. She wears a ventilator at night. How does having to constantly monitor a basic human function change how Hannah and her family approach life? 

In 2011, Rinker Buck crossed the Oregon Trail — yes, that Oregon Trail — in a covered wagon pulled by a team of mules. He traveled with his brother Nick and a Jack Russell Terrier named Olive Oyl. The journey forced Rinker to confront his greatest fear.

The season 3 finale is a little different. It is a personal story of Jakob’s told by taking a musical journey all around Nashville. Together, you will experience an Irish session, an Indian jam in a Mexican restaurant, a Jewish musical Shabbat, Beer and Hymns, and sacred harp singing.

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