A voice that
changed radio.

Over the course of his 45 years on WFMT radio,
Studs Terkel discussed every aspect of 20th-century life with
movers, shakers, artists, celebrities, and working folks.

From civil rights to labor to jazz, his work spanned an impressive array of topics and figures. These
enchanting, historically-significant interviews — which have been largely inaccessible to the public —
will soon come to life in a new website hosting the comprehensive Studs Terkel Radio Archive.


years on WFMT radio


hours of interviews


unique voices & stories

WFMT Radio Network, along with the Studs Terkel Center
for Oral History of the Chicago History Museum and many other
committed partners, are working toward turning this site into the first-ever,
comprehensive online Studs Terkel Radio Archive.

This Archive will feature interviews from Studs’
hour-long daily radio show which ran from 1952 to 1997 on WFMT in Chicago, during which he conducted over 5,000 interviews. The subjects of his interviews span almost 5 decades of prominent figures such
as jazz, blues, folk, classical and world musicians; novelists; scientists; historians; visual artists; actors; political theorists and activists; poets; dancers; film-makers; sociologists and anthropologists; architects and urban planners; civil rights leaders; philosophers; folklorists and, of course, many fascinating, non-famous working people.

This temporary website provides access to several hundred interviews in an existing online collection.
Over the course of the coming years, this website will transform into a robust and completely public archive, featuring thousands of additional programs.

Join our mailing list and we’ll let you know when the new site launches. Or, keep up to date by visiting our blog.

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST Visit the existing online collection  

Sample the Show

For over forty-six years, Studs Terkel explored a variety of themes, from architecture to rock music,
from poetry to the intricacies of the labor movement. Now you can explore these themes by
listening to our temporary archive. Here are a few of our favorites.

What’s in the Archive


  • African American History / Civil Rights
  • Architecture / Design / Urban Planning
  • Blues / Gospel
  • British Culture
  • Chicago
  • Childhood & Youth
  • China
  • Cinema
  • Classical / Experimental Music
  • Cold War
  • Comedy
  • Dance
  • Environment / Ecology / Biology
  • Feminism
  • Folk / Rock / World Music
  • German Culture
  • Great Depression
  • History
  • Gay Culture & Rights
  • Italy
  • Jazz
  • Gay Culture & Rights
  • Latino Culture & History
  • Literature
  • Medicine & Psychology
  • Poetry
  • Politics & Political Organizing
  • Psychology
  • Russia
  • Science / Science Fiction
  • Song
  • South Africa
  • Sports
  • Theater
  • Theology / Mythology
  • Vietnam War
  • Visual Arts
  • Working / Labor
  • World War II


  • Nelson Algren
  • Woody Allen
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Saul Alinsky
  • Laurie Anderson
  • Diane Arbus
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Margaret Atwood
  • James Baldwin
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Anthony Burgess
  • John Cage
  • Joseph Campbell
  • Marc Chagall
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • Aaron Copland
  • Jacques Cousteau
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Bob Dylan
  • Federico Fellini
  • Lawrence Felinghetti
  • Buckminster Fuller
  • Ralph Ellison
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Martha Graham
  • Gunter Grass
  • Lorraine Hansberry
  • Seamus Heaney
  • Earl Hines
  • Abbie Hoffman
  • Eugene Ionesco
  • Mahalia Jackson
  • Janice Joplin
  • Buster Keaton
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Ursula LeGuin
  • Doris Lessing
  • Arthur Miller
  • Toni Morrison
  • Paul Robeson
  • Salman Rushie
  • Bertrand Russell
  • Carl Sagan
  • Oliver Sacks
  • Edward Said
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Pete Seeger
  • Maurice Sendak
  • Ravi Shankar
  • Sam Shepard
  • Shel Silverstein
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • Susan Sontag
  • Wole Soyinka
  • Art Spiegelman
  • W. Eugene Smith
  • Jacques Tati
  • Hunter S. Thompson
  • Francois Truffaut
  • Robert Twombley
  • Gore Vidal
  • Kurt Vonnegut
  • Tennessee Williams
  • Brian Wilson
  • Frank Zappa

& Many More

Are you looking for the previous version of this site? It has been archived here:
Studs Terkel: Conversations with America