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.

Alfred Brendel (4/28/1994)

May 31, 2019

The New Yorker dubbed pianist Alfred Brendel “The philosopher king of European pianists.”  A vital presence on the most prominent international stages for over half a century, Alfred Brendel was Studs Terkel’s guest in 1963.

Blind John Davis (9/20/1977)

June 7, 2019

With the Chicago Blues Festival taking place this weekend, the Best of Studs Terkel looks back to 1977 and the musical hour Studs spent with Blind John Davis.

This is Our Story: Songs About Cowboys (4/7/1959)

June 14, 2019

Throughout 1959, Studs Terkel presented a series on WFMT he called “This is Our Story.”  In this rebroadcast, Studs takes us back to the old west and the lives of cowboys as told through words and music.

Arditti Quartet (3/7/1988)

June 28, 2019

Studs Terkel often welcomed musical guests to WFMT’s studios. On a Spring day in 1988, the English contemporary classical ensemble, the Arditti Quartet, spoke with Studs about their career as champions of new music.

Mel Brooks (12/10/1970)

June 28, 2019

Mel Brooks, one of the nimblest of wits, was Studs Terkel’s guest in 1970 shortly after the release of his film, The Twelve Chairs. The iconic American filmmaker, comedian, actor, writer, and composer was born on June 28, 1926.