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November 21, 2017

Best of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive

Studs Terkel was undoubtedly one of the great radio interviewers of the 20th century. Listen to 100s of interviews conducted by the multifaceted Studs Terkel who hosted "The Studs Terkel Program" on Chicago's fine arts radio station WFMT from 1952 to 1997. The audio galleries on Studs Terkel Radio Archive website and now on SoundCloud feature many of his radio show interviews covering the arts, literature, poetry, civil rights, philosophy, politics, film, and sports from the past century. There are also interviews with everyday people who experienced the major 20th century events of the Great Depression, World War II, Labor movements, and the Civil Rights movement in the 20th century. And then there are the interviews with some of the leading voices and minds of the 20th century.

At the beginning of 2016 the Studs Terkel Radio Archive launched a Kickstarter and earned over $80,000 along with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Their Kickstarter pledge: "Over two years, we aim to make an additional 1000 of Studs Terkel's programs freely available for listening, exploring, and remixing."

Since then they've added 100s of Studs Terkel audio programs to the archives on SoundCloud and onto their new Studs Terkel Radio Archive website which is re-launching in 2018. The content is great and the sound quality of the archive is truly amazing:

Studs Terkel Radio Archive on SoundCloud

We scrolled down the entire archive on SoundCloud and picked out some of the best interviews which we're linking to directly on SoundCloud. We've organized them by year:

Dorothy Parker in 1959

Sidney Poitier talks about the film "The Defiant Ones" in 1959

Lorraine Hansberry talks about her play "A Raisin in the Sun" in 1959

Buster Keaton in 1960

Mortimer J. Adler in 1960

Simone de Beauvoir in 1960

Dizzy Gillespie in 1961

Shel Silverstein in 1961

Tennessee Williams in 1961

Ravi Shankar in 1961

Aaron Copland in 1961

Eartha Kitt in 1962

Rita Moreno in 1962

Saul Alinsky on Rules for Radicals in 1962

Federico Fellini in 1962

James Baldwin in 1962

Isaac Bashevis Singer in 1964

Newton Minow on the FCC in 1964

Dr. Martin Luther King in 1964

Tom Wolfe talk about his book "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby" in 1965

John Hope Franklin in 1966

Hunter S. Thompson talks about his book "Hell's Angels" in 1967

Gore Vidal talks about his book "Myra Breckinridge" in 1968

Doris Lessing in 1969

Frank Zappa in 1970

Arthur Miller and John O'Brien in 1970

Janis Joplin in 1970

Doris Kearns Goodwin on Lyndon Johnson in 1970

Ralph Ellison in 1970

Thich Nhat Hanh in 1971

Cesar Chavez in 1973

Rosa Parks and Myles Horton in 1973

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward discussing the book "All the President's Men" in 1974

Toni Morrison talks about "Sula" in 1974

Muhammad Ali in 1975

Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau in 1976

David McCullough on Theodore Roosevelt in 1981

Laurie Anderson in 1981

Pete Seeger in 1982

Gloria Steinem in 1982

Carl Sagan discusses his book "Contact" in 1985

Lily Tomlin in 1988

Barbara Kopple discusses the documentary "American Dream" in 1992

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan discuss the book "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" in 1992

Oliver Sacks talks about "An Anthropologist on Mars" in 1995

Roger Ebert on "Roger Ebert's Book of Film" in 1996

Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass in 1999

We'll add more top programs to this list from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive as they become available!

To learn more about the life and times of Studs Terkel check out this great interview from 2004 with Terkel:

Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times: Conversation with Studs Terkel

In this hour long streaming video interview, Conversations with History host Harry Kreisler interviews Studs later in his life. It is a fascinating and funny interview which covers much of Terkel's life and his philosophy on life in America. He also openly expresses his opinions about the media and the politicians today. Although in his 90s at the time, Terkel lucidly reminisces about his life and the lessons he has learned from it. This video is available to stream through YouTube.