In Memory of Oliver Sacks

oliver sacksIn May we ran one of Studs’ interviews from 1985 with famed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks. His work with a rare form of sleeping sickness in the 1960’s became the basis for his book, and the movie Awakenings starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. Although the interview was supposed to center on his newest publication The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, in true Studs fashion the interview soon became a conversation about much, much more. In honor of the remarkable life of Oliver Sacks, who passed away today at the age of 82, we once again present this wonderful and enlightening conversation between two giants in their fields.

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Happy National Radio Day!

national-radio-day
What better way to celebrate National Radio Day than with an interview of Studs by American radio documentary maker and broadcaster Elsa Knight Thompson. Think about your favorite interviewers and consider this conversation between these two legendary radio personalities from 1970 on the nature of a great interview. Whether you plan to become an interviewer or just love a good one when you hear it, the tools used by these two giants of radio will have you looking for the hallmarks of a good story from now on.

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All You Need Is Love

It’s abundantly clear by now to anyone who listened to Studs’ original broadcasts that he championed social justice and equality for all. From his earliest broadcasts he gave a voice to people of all races, creeds and sexual orientation. Yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the rights of same-sex couples to marry reinforces what Studs said in a speech he gave in 2001. He believed that all people should be treated equally no matter who they are, or who they love.

From The Stonewall Inn where the fight for equality began to states like Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky where same-sex couples are finally free to get married and have their families legally recognized, Studs’ words about what family values are all about stands the test of time.

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Online Voting Is Open For The 2015 People’s ShortDoc Award!

2015 ShortDocs_tileThe Third Coast International Audio Festival’s 2015 People’s ShortDoc Award is coming to an end! Don’t wait to cast a ballot for your favorite STUDS RULES story from the 2015 ShortDocs Challenge, presented in partnership with the WFMT Studs Terkel Radio Archive.

We’ve selected eight finalists from a pool of over 150 submissions! Just one will be crowned with the People’s ShortDoc Award (PSDA). Listen below to all eight finalists before making your decision, then vote just once between June 2 – June 22, midnight CST. The ShortDoc that collects the most votes will be celebrated as our PSDA winner along with four other winners (chosen by Third Coast and WFMT staff) at thirdcoastfestival.org and on our radio program/podcast Re:sound.

Not sure which ShortDoc to vote for? (Can’t blame you, they’re all fantastic.) Here are a few things to consider:

– Compelling story choice
– Use of sound to help tell story
– Use of ShortDocs rules – contains the question “And what happened then?” and includes a “shout of silence” or a “cry of laughter”

Who Remembers My Father’s Voice? / Pablo Duarte (Mexico City, Mexico)
Who Took Mom to Prom? / Emer Horgan (Dublin, Ireland)
What Could Be So Bad About This? / John-Michael Forman (Chattanooga, TN)
What Makes a Good Marriage? / Olivia Humphreys (London, England)
What Was It About Marriage Anyway? / Austin Mitchell (Brooklyn, NY)
What Do You Look Forward To, Aai? / Neena Pathak (Minneapolis, MN)
Where Do I Find You Now? / Sara Curtis (San Francisco, CA)
Where Do I Even Start? / Aaron Leeder and Benjamin Riskin (Brooklyn, NY)

Once you’ve listen to all of them you can VOTE HERE. Remember you can only vote once so pick carefully.

After voting, why not listen to more of ShortDocs that were submitted this year?

Read more about the 2015 ShortDocs Challenge rules, the incentives, and the fine print here.

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Vote For Your Favorite In The ShortDocs Challenge: Studs Rules Contest

peoplesshortdocbutton2 (2)The Third Coast Audio Festival ShortDocs Challenge: Studs Rules is coming to an end next week and so is your chance to listen to all of the great short documentaries at the Third Coast Audio Festival 2015 ShortDocs library. While finalists have already been chosen you can still listen to the over 150 entries we received at Third Coast Festival.  And while these docs may be short on time, none of them are short on inspiration, tears, laughter and joy. Don’t have the time or patience to listen to all of the entries then join us next Wednesday, June 3rd to listen to and vote for the 2015 People’s Short Doc. Specifics are below but you’ll want to arrive early for the food trucks and drinks. Stay to listen to the finalists and vote for your favorite to receive an “I Voted!” sticker. We look forward to seeing you there!

WHAT: Third Coast Listening Room & People’s ShortDoc Voting
WHEN: Wednesday, June 3rd / Program starts at 7pm, arrive at 6pm for food trucks and drinks.
WHERE: The Co-Prosperity Sphere / 3219 S. Morgan St, Chicago (Bridgeport)
TIX: $10, you can buy them here. If available, we’ll also sell them at the door.
TLDR version:
Sonic delights, tasty food, cold beer, community.

The event is hosted in partnership with the Studs Terkel Radio Archive at WFMT, Lumpen Radio and Public Media Institute. See you there!

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In Praise of the late Jim Unrath: Studs’ Great Producer

jim-unrath_CROPPED-e1335893182170The Stud Terkel Archive and WFMT Radio lost one of the greats this weekend when Jim Unrath passed away of heart failure at his home in Stockton, California. Tony Macaluso, Archive Director here at The Studs Terkel Archive, wrote a short piece about Jim and his work with Studs, including a few great audio clips.

In recent years, I’ve had the immense pleasure of listening to many of the programs Jim Unrath produced with Studs Terkel. His work as an editor and co-creator is remarkable. It’s complex, witty, profound, full of surprises and charts its own path. His role in expanding the possibilities of radio as an artistic medium is tremendous.

And here’s a marvelous interview with Jim from Transom by Sydney Lewis:
About Born To Live with Jim Unrath

 

And perhaps my favorite, the program “Come in at the Door” based on the writings of Nelson Algren (in two parts):

Consider taking a moment to listen to some of Jim’s remarkable work.

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Simon Wiesenthal…A Man With A Mission

>When Studs interviewed Simon Wiesenthal in 1976, he had already gained a formidable reputation as a Nazi Hunter. After spending the majority of the war being moved from one forced labor camp to another, Wiesenthal ended up at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria new Linz. Severely ill from an amputated toe and a forced march from two other camps as the Soviets advanced through Poland and Austria, he was put on a death block. Fortunately for him, and the rest of the world he was able to survive from February until his liberation by American troops on May 5, 1945. Within weeks of his freedom, he had already begun putting together a list of Nazi names and working with allied troops to not only find and prosecute them, but also begin the reunification of as many displaced survivors as possible.

Today his work continues through the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. Although we’d like to think that all Nazi’s are gone we know this is untrue as a 93 year old SS sergeant is being prosecuted in Germany for accessory to murder for his role in the gas chamber deaths of 300,000 at Auschwitz.  While justice may be late in coming it may not have occurred at all if not for the efforts of survivors like Simon Wiesenthal.  With the Pope Francis’ recent recognition of the Palestinian state and Israels Prime Minister making waves in the United States it is interesting to hear what Simon and Studs had to say about these subjects back in 1976 when they were hot button issues, just as they are today.

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Crazy Salad And Other Ponderings From Nora Ephron

Writer Nora Ephron Portrait Session

Today we celebrate the birthday of Nora Ephron, distinguished journalist, author, columnist, screenwriter, playwright, producer, director, blogger and overall wit. Although she died in 2012 her legacy lives on in such films as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. She was nominated for Oscars and Tony’s and co-authored the Drama Desk Award winning play Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Those are the well-known facts about her, but early in her career she was a journalist and well-known feminist. Studs interviewed her in March, 1975 when her book Crazy Salad was published. A collection of essays about what women want, from her work as an essayist at Esquire magazine, it serves as a launching point for a discussion that ranges from feminism to feminine hygiene products, Dorothy Parker, women criticizing women, Israel and even the Loud Family documentary.

When these two giants of journalism and human observation get together nothing is off-limits. With stories both humorous and sad, Nora perfectly encapsulates the ambivalence of being a woman when it comes to navigating the world in 1975 and today.

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Happy Birthday To Studs

Studs TerkelIn celebration we would like to share a few charming and illuminating examples of how people have begun to use excerpts from the constantly evolving Studs Terkel Radio Archive in creative new ways over the past few months.

Seeing Studs’ work migrate to new formats has been a delight and it doesn’t get any better than the Third Coast Audio Festival’s ShortDocs Challenge which recently closed with an amazing 150+ original new 3 minute audio pieces inspired by Studs’ way of making radio. You can listen to the whole wild collection on their website.

Third Coast Festival: Short Docs Challenge

You’ll find an immense mix of pieces including inventive examples of re-use such as Studs interviewing a smart phone in the style of his great book Working.

For anyone in the Chicago area, on June 3, Third Coast will be hosting a Peoples’ ShortDoc Election Event during which they’ll play the 8 finalists.

Third Coast Festival: Happenings

Another fun new use of material from the archive was created by our friends at PopUp Archive (which is hosting and helping transcribe the audio in the archive) for their new podcast Popcast which features bits from Studs’ 1970 interview with Maurice Sendak. That interview provides a marvelous glimpse of the personality and working methods of the author of Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen.

Freud In The Night Kitchen

For an in-depth look at how Studs’ shaped his on-air persona and his approach to the art of conversation, this podcast from Radio DePaul (Derek Peters) celebrating his 103rd birthday is a treat.

Radio DePaul: Happy Birthday Studs

Another fantastic new use was The Organist, the podcast affiliated with McSweeney’s and The Believer. They ended their current season with a marvelous piece about Studs’ views on the role of “Happy Accidents” in art and in life. Hosted by writer and publisher J.C. Gabel it is a playful analysis of Studs’ working ways and offers some exciting insights into his thought processes.

The Organist: Happy Accidents

And for sheer joy and style, nothing beats the short animations created by Blank on Blank using snippets from the archive. The most recent uses clips from several of Studs’ talks with the great inventor/designer Buckminster Fuller called “The Geodisic Life” and sheds light on how we found his calling in life.

Blank On Blank: Buckminster Fuller

And that’s just a small sampling of what happening with Studs’ work as we celebrate this 103rd birthday!

 

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A Justification For Racism: Voices From Montgomery Alabama

Just this week, Chicago announced that it had paid over 5.5 million dollars in reparations to victims of police brutality since 2013 and San Francisco has just announced that at least one police officer is facing termination from last week’s texting scandal.  The march from Selma to Montgomery that took place 50 years ago were the beginning of the end of institutional racism in America. At least that was the hope and yet stories such as Chicago, San Francisco, Cleveland and Ferguson have become so routine that some people aren’t even surprised when it happens in their towns.  An entire movement #BlackLivesMatter has been born to address this issue and it has once again become a major talking point amongst Americans.

Back on March 25, 1965, Studs risks personal peril when he went to Montgomery, Alabama to speak with the citizens there to find out what they were thinking and feeling during this momentous occasion. From a 110 year old reverend, born in slavery to white citizens defending segregation with Biblical teachings, these interviews will inspire and shock you. No topic is too controversial for Studs as he discusses Governor George Wallace and Dr. Martin Luther King highlighting the disconnect between white and black America.  Fifty years later the question becomes; is racism over, and if not, what can be done to fix the problem once and for all.

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