Best of Studs Terkel

Fridays at 11:00 pm
Studs Terkel

Archival gems from historian Studs Terkel’s longstanding WFMT interview program

For 45 years (1952-1997), WFMT was home to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel. 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. Studs was remarkable in his depth of knowledge and in his ability to get others to share in spirited and insightful discussion.

Learn more about the Studs Terkel Radio Archive by visiting its website.

Aaron Copland (03/10/1961)

October 6, 2023, 11:00 pm

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1900, Aaron Copland devoted his creative life to creating and fostering distinctive American music. Studs Terkel spoke with the eminent twentieth-century composer in the WFMT studios in 1961.  

George Nakashima (10/10/1977)

October 13, 2023, 11:00 pm

Born in Spokane, Washington, George Nakashima (1905-1990) was a master craftsman and M.I.T.-trained architect who created some of the most iconically beautiful and organic wood furniture of the twentieth century.  He also survived an internment camp in Idaho where Japanese Americans were forced to live during World War II. Nakashima spoke with Studs Terkel in 1977.

Corky Siegel (08/06/1976)

October 20, 2023, 11:00 pm

In honor of Corky Siegel’s 80th birthday and the 60 years he’s devoted to the harmonic convergence of blues and classical music, here is his 1976 conversation with Studs Terkel. The ebullient harmonica virtuoso and composer was born in Chicago on October 24, 1943, and we wish him many happy returns of the day.  

André Watts (01/22/1986)

October 27, 2023, 11:00 pm

André Watts (1946-2023), the pioneering piano virtuoso and one of the first Black superstars in classical music, was Studs Terkel’s guest on WFMT in 1986.  Watts died in July 2023, and we remember him with this archive broadcast.