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.

Frank Galati (03/05/1987)

March 31, 2023, 11:00 pm

Tonight, the Best of Studs Terkel remembers the beloved writer, director, educator, and all-around creative force who died in January, aged 79.

Dennis Brutus (09/26/1991)

April 7, 2023, 11:00 pm

Dennis Brutus (1924-2009) was an eminent South African poet whose anti-Apartheid activism led to a life in exile. He was Studs Terkel’s guest many times on WFMT. In this conversation from 1991, he shares his story and some of his poetry.

Richard Stoltzman (02/08/1994)

April 14, 2023, 11:00 pm

Grammy Award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman is known as a captivating recitalist, chamber musician, and jazz performer. Also  a prolific recording artist,  Richard Stoltzman was Studs Terkel’s guest on WFMT in 1994.

Amjad Ali Khan (c. 1980)

April 21, 2023, 11:00 pm

In 1980, Studs Terkel spent a most interesting and musical hour with Amjad Ali Khan. For more than 50 years, Khan has been a highly esteemed master of the sarod, the stringed instrument essential to Hindustani and Indian classical music.

Josef Krips (c. 11/1964)

April 28, 2023, 11:00 pm

The Austrian conductor and violinist Josef Krips visited with Studs Terkel in November 1964. During their conversation, Krips shared stories about his life in music, his reverence of Mozart, and his unwavering conviction that “art is an essential part of a human life.”