[Studs Terkel at WFMT 1974] – [Studs Terkel with Dave Marsh 1989, parts 1 and 2]

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Layoffs of two different Studs Terkel tapes.

0:00 Studs Terkel interviewed by Judy Hoffman at WFMT in 1974. Raw footage from “It’s A Living.” While discussing the Civil Rights era, Terkel calls himself a “premature integrationist.” He also talks about his early championing of Woody Guthrie and how it led him to work at WFMT, the only station he had ever heard playing Guthrie’s music.

4:30 Raw footage from 11/16/89 of Studs Terkel with music critic Dave Marsh on WFMT, who is promoting his new book “The Heart Of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made.” Much of this book deals with the issue of race in America and how it plays out on popular music. The first single discussed is Elvis Presley’s song “Mystery Train.” Marsh connects the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling with the emergence of blues-influenced rock ‘n roll and changing cultural attitudes towards race. Marsh then indicates that he wants to talk about continuity in popular culture and plays the song “The Wind” by the Doo Wop group Nolan Strong and The Diablos. Marsh thinks this music is interesting because the group sings in falsetto and appears very feminine and vulnerable. Terkel turns the conversation to Madonna, who also appears on Marsh’s list of the greatest singles ever made. Marsh made a decision to champion Madonna because he feels she draws out the hidden pain in America’s past. He also points out that she has an interesting place in the tradition of white musicians performing music that derives from traditionally black musical forms. The next song is called “Mean Old World” by Little Walter, a blues musician. They then transition to the British Invasion and play “The House Of The Rising Sun” by Eric Burden & The Animals. After more discussion about the Civil Rights era, they play “Midnight Train To Georgia” by Gladys Knight. They then talk about instances of people taking traditional forms of music and changing something essential about it, like using a gospel sound but without the religious subject matter. They play the Faye Adams song “Shake A Hand” and then the tape abruptly ends after a few brief unrelated clips.

 

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