Studs Terkel, author, radio show host, actor and activist died on Friday at his home in Chicago at the age of 96. Terkel is perhaps best known for the amazing oral histories that he did with working class people. He published these in books such as his well known Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (1970) and Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974). He has said in interviews that he first got the feeling for what he would later do and received his first bit of education at Bug House Square, a famous free speech zone in Chicago. Terkel got his start in the world of media during the New Deal, working on various public works projects of the WPA. From that time he worked on radio soap operas, in stage plays, as a sportscaster and a disc jockey. In 1944 he started a radio program on WENR in Chicago called ” The Wax Museum” that allowed him to express his own personality and play recordings he liked from folk music, opera, jazz, or blues. Perhaps Studs invented “free form radio” back in 1944?
Studs hosted a radio show on WFMT in Chicago from 1952-1997. On today’s show I air an interview he did in 1963 with Bob Dylan. He was truly a great interviewer!
You can hear more audio from his radio program and learn more about Studs Terkel at his website http://www.studsterkel.org
He was interviewed a number of times on Democracy Now