Best of Studs Terkel

Fridays at 11:00 pm
Studs Terkel

Enjoy these rebroadcasts of the late great oral historian Studs Terkel’s longstanding interview program on WFMT.

For 45 years (1952-1997), WFMT was home to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel, who operated 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.

In his 45 years on WFMT radio, Studs Terkel talked to the 20th century’s most interesting people. Browse our growing archive of more than 1,200 programs in the Studs Terkel Radio Archive.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Part 2 (01/30/1970)

October 29, 2021

In January 1970 Studs Terkel welcomed the lyrical and powerful German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau for a two-hour conversation.   Tonight, part 2.

Earl “Fatha” Hines (09/08/1976)

November 5, 2021

One of the true giants of Jazz was pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines (1903-1983). Hines and John McDonough were Studs Terkel’s guests on WFMT in 1976.

Armistice Day Through the Words of Dalton Trumbo (11/11/1971)

November 11, 2021

In addition to being a prolific author and interviewer, Studs Terkel was a voracious reader and accomplished actor. From time to time on his long-running WFMT radio program, Studs read excerpts from his favorite literature. On November 11, 1971, that meant passages from Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo’s powerful account of the impact of World War I.  

Odetta (12/18/1974)

November 19, 2021

One of the great voices of the twentieth century was that of American singer and civil rights activists, Odetta. She was a favorite on WFMT, and appeared frequently as Studs Terkel’s guest.

Vine Deloria, Jr. (01/20/1975)

November 26, 2021

Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933-2005) was a lawyer and theologian, known to many as the leading American Indian intellectual of the 20th century. He was Studs Terkel’s guest on WFMT in 1975.