This tape is a two-hour compilation video that includes clips and segments of Studs Terkel, including Artbeat with Von Freeman (5/19/97), The Awful Truth (9/24/99), The Dollmaker with Jane Fonda, Studs Terkel and Mike Wallace (4/17/00).
00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with static.
00:05Copy video clip URL Two commercials play before ArtBeat Chicago begins.
01:42Copy video clip URL ArtBeat Chicago. The first segment highlights some of the new art that is making its way into the Chicago Art Institute. The museum has just built a new gallery to hold a newly acquired bundle of contemporary art. Jeremy Strick, curator of Twentieth Century painting and sculpture at the Art Institute, describes the work that the museum has done in the past couple of months to prepare for the new gallery.
07:49Copy video clip URL Fade into a segment featuring Studs Terkel, jazz saxophonist Von Freeman, and Traffic Series Curator, Kahil El’Zabar. Terkel is captured on stage sitting opposite of Freeman, performing a spoken word / jazz improvisational piece. The two are performing through the use of the art form known as “traffic.” Terkel talks about the concept of “call and response” within jazz and blues music. El’Zabar defines “traffic” as an interdisciplinary art series that focuses in on the integration of different art forms within performance art. El’Zabar goes into the history of interdisciplinary work and what “traffic” represents philosophically. Terkel and Freeman go on to talk about their interest in performing together and a little bit about their own roots.
12:27Copy video clip URL Fade into a segment on Dance Detour, Chicago’s first integrated dance company, featuring dancers who are wheelchair bound. The company is currently putting together a show that would incorporate dancers from the Joffrey Ballet into their production. The company’s founder, Alana Smith, talks about the history of Dance Detour and explains how both her company and the Joffrey Ballet will be integrating their specific styles of dance together. Other dancers from both companies talk about their experiences with the current project. After the segment ends, a few advertisements are run for various art shows and theater performances around the city.
18:03Copy video clip URL Fade into a segment about the renovation of Orchestra Hall in Chicago. Henry Fogel, Chicago Symphony Orchestra President, talks about the renovation. Larry Kirkegaard, an acoustician assigned to the project, talks about the presumptive sound structure in the renovated hall. Other Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians and construction workers talk about the project as well.
23:23Copy video clip URL Fade into a piece on Asian Heritage Month in Chicago, celebrated at the many Chicago Public Libraries around the city during the month of May.
29:17Copy video clip URL Quick cut to the intro segment of The Awful Truth and its host Michael Moore. Some of the subject matter included on the show includes a piece on the negative effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a satire on unions, and a piece on the Chrysler Daimler merger of that year.
44:05Copy video clip URL Moore points out that Terkel is in the audience that night. There is a quick shot of Terkel and his wife, Ida, in the audience as they watch the show.
56:21Copy video clip URL Cut to Terkel’s short scene in the movie “The Dollmaker,” starring Jane Fonda. Notice that there are no shots of Terkel driving while the dialogue between his character and the taxi passengers is taking place. This is because Terkel never learned how to drive. The footage only lasts for a couple of minutes and cuts to the ending credits rather quickly.
01:01:56Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of Terkel and Mike Wallace, longtime reporter on the CBS show “60 Minutes.” The two are hosting a lecture entitled, “The Art of the Journalistic Interview.” The host of the lecture, Jo Ann Allen, host of the WNYC show “All Things Considered,” is giving a short introduction for Terkel. She talks about his work in radio, television, and the literary world. She hands the stage over to both Wallace and Terkel. Wallace first begins to talk about his approach to the journalistic interview.
01:05:17Copy video clip URL Wallace begins to discuss his methods in interviewing. He emphasizes the need to do extensive research on your interview subjects. “First of all you do research. You read the book. You read what other people have said about the individual: the object of your scrutiny.” At a very moderate pace, Wallace takes the audience through his own personal interview process. “If I have done a sufficient amount of reading, listening, watching, chances are going to happen upon questions that will win the confidence of the individual I’m interviewing.” He also talks about his early interviewing days on channel five. He attains the audience’s attention through not only his stories, but in the way his words flow: his timing, his inflection, the timbre of his voice–gravelly and gruff, yet clear, articulate, and authoritative. Wallace speaks of his interview with Ayatollah Khomeini during the Iran Hostage Crisis in great detail. He carefully recounts his thoughts going into the interview, the preparation for the interview, and his experience with Khomeini himself. At one point, Wallace puts his hands over his face and says, “I remember so well.” He takes the audience through each facet of the story in a very unhurried manner. The viewer can definitely see the excitement in Wallace’s eyes.
01:18:08Copy video clip URL Terkel comments on the importance of research as well. He also compares his own interviewing style to Wallace’s style. Terkel explains to the audience that Wallace has to take a very adversarial type of stance when interviewing many of the more controversial figures. This in turn enables him to get at more truth. On the other hand, Terkel states that his interviewing style is more suited for the regular average Joe, because that is who he is interviewing most of the time. Terkel explains why he has an interest in such subjects. He also describes how his technological ineptitude benefits him in the interviewing process because it puts his subjects at ease and makes them feel more comfortable. He then offers his admiration for Wallace and his style of interviewing. Terkel eventually begins to talk about the way he got the nickname “Studs” and an amusing story about how it once got him in trouble. He goes on to tell the audience about the benefit of the accidental and improvisational when it comes to interviewing. He recounts a couple of stories about a few different interviews. Terkel then asks Wallace to talk about some of his most memorable interviews.
01:26:35Copy video clip URL Wallace begins to talk about his interview with Vladimir Horowitz, a distinguished twentieth century pianist. He also shares a story about an interview with a corrupt accountant. After the stories, Wallace jokes with Terkel about being a “wuss,” and displays his joy for sharing the stage with Terkel. Wallace then asks Terkel to talk about his show, “Studs’ Place.”
01:32:17Copy video clip URL Terkel talks about his time on “Studs’ Place” and his early days in Chicago television. He then talks about both the best and worst interviews he has every had. Terkel’s story about his worst interview is quite amusing. He states that his best interview was with C. P. Ellis, former grand cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan in Durham, NC. He recounts Ellis’ story with a great deal of vigor and compassion, pouring out each phrase as if he treasured every word Ellis bestowed upon him. Terkel definitely knows how to tell a story.
01:41:22Copy video clip URL Wallace asks Terkel whether he had ever gotten to talk to political and religious figure, Louis Farrakhan. Terkel explains that he has never gotten to talk with Farrakhan because of a scheduling conflict. He tells a story about a time when his wife was in the hospital when he had supposed to interview Farrakhan. Ironically enough, the nurse in charge of her care was Farrakhan’s daughter. Wallace eventually begins to tell a story about an interview he had with Fred Friendly, former President of CBS. He then goes on to talk about his interviews with Farrakhan and Malcolm X.
01:48:34Copy video clip URL Terkel and Wallace begin to take questions from the audience. Wallace is asked about the duration of the interview with Ayatollah Khomeni. He states the the interview lasted for close to an hour and a half. He also talks about how he had been granted permission by Khomeini to see the hostages during the crisis.
01:51:18Copy video clip URL A woman asks Wallace and Terkel about blacklisting in the 1950s and how it affected them at the time. Terkel is first to talk about his experiences with the blacklisting. He states that if it weren’t for the blacklisting, he probably wouldn’t have got into the kind of work that he has been doing for nearly fifty years.
01:57:29Copy video clip URL The rest of the footage is of two other audience members asking questions about blacklisting and about the notion that journalists may or may not have to take sides on certain issues.
02:02:00Copy video clip URL Wallace is asked about his Navy experience and how it has affected him. His answer gets cut off by the end of the video.
02:03:13Copy video clip URL The tape gets a little rough.
02:03:47Copy video clip URL Tape ends.