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‘ROW’: A Musical Odyssey Of One Woman’s Solo Boat Trip Across The Atlantic

Toni Murden McClure, a middle aged white woman with brown and grey hair standing next to Dawn Landes, a white woman with brown hair. Both are smiling and holding a boat figurine
Courtesy: Dawn Landes
Tori Murden McClure, the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and singer-songwriter Dawn Landes

In 1998, Tori Murden McClure set off in a boat she made herself to become the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She did not make it. Eighty-five days into her journey, Hurricane Danielle capsized her boat more times than she could count. 

McClure returned to her home in Louisville, rebuilt her boat and tried again in 1999. This time, she achieved her goal and became the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. McClure’s story of determination and perseverance is the subject of the new musical “Row.” Louisville native and North Carolina-based singer-songwriter Dawn Landes wrote the music and lyrics for the musical. The music and the script, written by playwright Daniel Goldstein, are based on McClure’s memoir, “A Pearl in the Storm.” While the musical’s debut was interrupted by the coronavirus,Landes’ album “Row” was released Oct. 2.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Landes about the music that documents McClure’s adventure and the parallels between their lives that drew Landes to McClure’s story.

Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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