[Television Academy interview with Studs Terkel, part 2]

This is a continuation of a raw interview with Studs Terkel.

00:03Copy video clip URL Terkel talks about a talk show called “Night Cap,” which he hosted with Bud Trillon. He talks about the various guests that he had on the program, and how exciting it was, noting that it was dropped and replaced by Dr. Ruth.  He speaks also about PBS and how it’s accused of being liberal.

2:30Copy video clip URL Studs talks about the narration that he’s done for Ken Burns’ documentary films “Baseball” and “Jazz.”  He notes that he doesn’t watch much television, except baseball, sports, and occasionally the news.

03:15Copy video clip URL Terkel notes there’s a “hot one” that he’s narrated called “Fear and Favor in the Pressroom” about the skewed media, and recommends that “you gotta get your hands on that one, if you can.”

04:50Copy video clip URL Interviewer asks Studs for his opinion of television, to which he responds, “The medium is fantastic. The use of which it’s put is something else.” He goes on to speak of the idea of having a soapbox on TV, like Bughouse Square, and how there should be an hour on each television network where all opinions were openly shared. He speaks of the corporate takeover of media, and the critics who call PBS “liberal television,” which he says is ridiculous, especially because of the numerous viewpoints expressed by differing commentators on PBS. He speaks of the need to “unstack the deck.”

07:07Copy video clip URL Terkel talks about how exciting the beginning of television was, especially because it was live. He claims that he is not interested in doing any more taped interviews because they do not use any of the good material. 

08:12Copy video clip URL Herman asks how he’d like to be remembered. He says that his epitaph should read, “Curiosity did not kill this cat.” He sums up his life’s work by saying that he wanted to convey what it is like to live a certain life in a particular time and place. 

09:35Copy video clip URL Terkel talks about the role of community and how that does not diminish the individual, but enhances the individual and is necessary because of the deck being stacked against the individual.

10:20Copy video clip URL Interviewer thanks Terkel for his time and they talk off the record about how the interview went.

10:50Copy video clip URL Terkel says he wants to tell one more story about Mahalia Jackson.

11:10Copy video clip URL Herman asks him to comment on Sterling “Red” Quinlan first. Terkel talks about Red Quinlan who was a Chicago maverick and benefactor who put Studs on many television programs.

12:15Copy video clip URL Studs tells the story of how he discovered Mahalia Jackson’s music in a record store and how she credits him with bringing her music to a white audience. He tells about a live performance with her on CBS and how he was being pressured to sign a “loyalty oath” by a CBS executive. He refused to sign, and then Mahalia Jackson backed him up by threatening to leave the program if they didn’t back off. They dropped it altogether after that. Studs says that the moral is that she had more guts and more American in her than anyone else by saying “no.” He says it’s not about “cowardliness or cravenness” but “it’s about having a little spunk of some sort of spine.”

15:50Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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