CNN Profile: Studs Terkel

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Two versions of CNN's profile of Stud's Terkel from September 1997.

00:16 Chicago Edit CNN Countdown.

00:20 Voice over asking “Why is he waiting for the bus? Because it’s real life.” As the narrator speaks, the newscast shows clips of Studs talking to people on the street, including a young black couple and a middle aged white man.

00:48 “The word oral history, oral journalism, is associated with me and I like that. It’s true, because it’s the sound of the voice I’m trying to capture, it’s listening, listening. The ear is terribly important,” says Studs.

1:04 Shots of Studs signing his new book My American Century and clips from Studs’ early TV show, “Studs’ Place.” A voiceover gives Studs’ background while explaining that he will be donating his thousands of recorded interviews–of both famous and ordinary people–and other tapes to the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago History Museum). “He started as a star and worked his way down to real person. … He decided to stop playing them and start listening to them.”

1:17 Shots from “Studs’ Place.”

1:36 Still photographs and audio clips from Studs’ hundreds of interviews. “Ordinary people, so-called, had things they wanted to say all of their lives, so in a sense this is something of a treasury,” says Studs, while standing in the shelves of his many audiotapes.

2:06 Clip of Studs interviewing the Golden Prague Chamber Orchestra on his radio program from WFMT Chicago, which he has done for over 45 years.

2:26 Clip of woman speaking (not named) about Studs who has, according to her, “the curiosity of a child.”

2:49 Clips of Studs talking during an outdoor interview, with voice over between clips explaining that Studs doesn’t drive a car, doesn’t like the suburbs, technology, or limousines.

3:27 “It is the voice he gives to the common man that is hard to forget.” Clips of Studs at his desk working.

3:35 Clips of Studs outside for an interview.

3:49 Still of Studs with typewriter and pile of books behind him.

3:52 Clip of the “Studs’ Place” closing with Studs speaking directly into the camera, “It gives us great pleasure to announce we came to you from Chicago.”

4:03 Voice over, “Jeff [Lock] CNN in Chicago.”

The tape also contains another version which does not include the woman’s interview in the middle.



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