The World According to Studs Terkel - Part One
Who didn't Studs Terkel interview during his tenure as America's leading radio host and oral historian? And where didn't he visit, in reality or in his imagination.
For 45 years, Studs hosted a radio show on Chicago's WFMT, interviewing all the key figures in cultural life in the latter half of the 20th Century. His passion for music, theatre and literature was matched only by his engagement with politics and the social upheavals of the era, particularly civil rights. Black-listed for his association with Martin Luther King, he was an early champion of artists such as Mahalia Jackson, Maya Angelou and a young Bob Dylan and of ‘under-dogs’ and outsiders, ranging from Muhammad Ali to Woody Allen to Simone De Beauvoir.
But Studs Terkel was more than a celebrated chronicler of American life – in books of oral history about music, the world of work, race relations and the American Dream. As is revealed through extracts from his archive and from interviews recorded by Alan Hall in the years before his death in 2008, Studs came to embody the liberal conscience of America, extolling a worldview that feels strikingly relevant in the era of President Trump.
Part one focusses on Studs’ interest in social action and political commitment including Martin Luther King, Bertrand Russell and Simone De Beauvoir.
Image: Studs Terkel, Credit: Falling Tree Productions