Studs TerkelStuds TerkelStuds TerkelStuds Terkel
WFMT Best of Studs Terkel

The Best of Studs Terkel

Fridays at 11:05 pm

For 45 years (1952-1997), WFMT was home to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel. Operating from a tiny room overstuffed with papers, books, and an antique typewriter, Studs’s  career – and everything cultural – unfolded before our eyes. Over the years, the guests on his daily radio show ranged from ordinary Chicagoans to international figures: political leaders, writers, performers, social activists, and labor organizers. Covering wide-ranging topics, Studs was remarkable in his depth of knowledge, and in his ability to get others to open up and talk. Most of all, he modeled a quality that became his job title at WFMT: Free Spirit.

The Library of Congress’s Recorded Sound Division is currently digitizing more than 5,000 of Studs Terkel’s original WFMT radio shows and interviews. This effort has enriched our weekly rebroadcasts of those historical programs, and has been instrumental in the creation of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive website,

Program Schedule

September 4, 2015

THIS TRAIN 2 (8/27/1963)


September 11, 2015

No Best of Studs Terkel

September 18, 2015

OLIVER SACKS (3/15/1995)

Neurologist and author Oliver W. Sacks was Studs Terkel’s guest on WFMT on many occasions. In this interview from 1995 they discuss Dr. Sacks’s then-recent book, "An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales."

September 25, 2015

BIG BILL BROONZY (7/22/1953)

Tonight on the BEST OF STUDS TERKEL we have one of the very earliest of the Studs Terkel Program broadcasts in our archives. Studs' guest was the legendary American bluesman, William Lee Conley Broonzy – better known as Big Bill. And so let's tune our radios back to July 22, 1953, and to this musical conversation between Studs and Big Bill Broonzy.

October 2, 2015

JOSEF KRIPS (c. 11/1964)

In November 1964, conductor Josef Krips spoke with Studs Terkel about his life in music, and about Mozart.