DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
WATCH ONLINE: 'Studs' Place'
November 11, 2008  | By Diane Werts
 

Studs Terkel wasn't just a prolific author, grassroots historian and radio personality. The Chicago institution, who died Oct. 31 at age 96, also did some groundbreaking TV work in the medium's infancy.

Now available to view online, Studs' Place was his freewheeling "dramatic equivalent of jazz," as described in this web salute to Terkel's contributions to the laid-back "Chicago school of television."

studs place terkel tv.jpgBack in 1949-51, Terkel invited folks to sit around talkin' in this improvisational slice-of-life about the denizens of a Chicago diner. "Imagine Studs' Place as Cheerswithout alcohol, without a laugh track and without a script" is the way Rich Samuels' loving appreciation describes it.


"Terkel, arms waving, words exploding in bursts, leaning close to his talking companions, didn't merely conduct interviews," the Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan wrote of Studs' Place in Terkel's obituary. "He engaged in conversations. He was interested in what he was talking about and who he was talking to."

The series was a precursor to the two careers for which the former radio actor would become best known. In 1952, Terkel began hosting shows on Chicago's WFMT arts radio station, where he could be heard on-air weekdays for 45 years. And in 1967, when he was 55, Terkel became a bestselling author with Division Street: America, collecting the tales of ordinary American workers. (He'd previously written 1957's Giants of Jazz.) He went on to pen Hard Times, Working, The Good War and other oral histories. (You can watch a CSPAN Book TV interview here, conducted last year in Terkel's Chicago home.)

Terkel humbly reflected and recorded a century in the life of everyday Americans, in their own voices. Who will be our next Studs Terkel?

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
UQRLX
Type in the verification word shown on the image.