Studs Terkel is a legendary Chicago broadcaster and a pioneering oral historian. His books – Working, The Good War, Division Street: America, and so many others – are collections of his interviews with everyday people. Ordinary folks who speak about their lives in extraordinary ways.

Studs would have turned 100 years old on May 16, 2012. In his honor, I produced a two-hour special celebrating his life and work with WBEZ Audio Engineer Mary Gaffney, who used to engineer Studs’ radio program on WFMT back in the late 1970s. Our two-hour special first appeared on WBEZ as a special episode of the Afternoon Shift, hosted by Steve Edwards along with Rick Kogan and Alex Kotlowitz and directed by Jason Marck.

Mary Gaffney and I created several audio montages around important periods in Studs’ life and invited guests on to talk about his legacy. I come on to talk in the second hour of the show, discussing Studs Terkel’s impact on my career.

Part 1:
  • Introduction (0:00)
  • Early Life (8:13)
  • Great Depression (18:55)
  • Civil Rights (35:35)

Part 2:
  • Books (0:00)
  • War and Hiroshima (6:00)
  • Alex Kotlowitz reads (19:29)
  • Rick Kogan reads (24:17)
  • Wen Huang interview (29:24)
  • Bill Healy interview (35:33)
  • "The Feeling Tone" (38:57)
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