Terkel comments and presents a musical performance by Wynton Marsalis
Studs interviews Wolfgang Rubsam who is performing at the St. Clements Catholic Church in Chicago. They discuss the sounds of the harpsichord, piano, and organ. Rubsam explains how the organ builder and the acoustics in a church affects the sound of the organ. Rubsam talks a little about various teachers he has had and the things he learned from each. The musical numbers are removed from this edited version of the original recording.
Changing up the conversation, Win Stracke talks about artists he's admired like Bill Broonzy and Jim Post. According to Stracke, although Broonzy was a blues musician, he liked humor found in songs. Stracke said he really liked Jim Post, who singled out people who were the best at what they did. As a result, Post asked Stracke to record an album of hymns with him.
Songs, music and lyrics are among the topics of Win Stracke's interview. Stracke believed folk songs had a morality all their own. He also explained that songs have a way of recapturing the feeling(s) of an event that the printed work can not convey.
Studs interviews blues singers Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, and Willie Mae Big Mama Thornton about the blues. They discuss the blues festival in Chicago for which they are all in town for and name other musicians who will be performing. Sunnyland Slim talks about being on the road and the hard times. Thornton describes the blues as music made from life experiences.
Studs interviews Willie Dixon and Koko Taylor about the blues. They discuss their song "Insane Asylum" and their work together. Dixon uses his song "Little Red Rooster" to help explain how the blues are created from life experiences. Taylor reflects on singers like Willie Dixon, Memphis Minnie, and others who influenced her desire to sing the blues. Taylor also discusses European audiences and blues influence there. The musical numbers are removed from this edited version of the original recording.
Interviewing William Ferris, contemporary composer and conductor, and John Vorrasi, lead tenor, as they discuss the beginning and successes of their group called the William Ferris Chorale.
American jazz cornet player Wild Bill Davison known for his wild ways, discusses his career in jazz music and life in Chicago. Davison rubbed elbows with all the Chicago bigwigs from Al Capone to jazz legends such as Fats Waller.
Studs Terkel interview with Wanda Wilkomirska about her life as a violinist. They discuss her childhood and her musical family. Wilkomirska talks about the people and music that influenced her, and she describes the differences in audiences between large cities and smaller ones. She expresses her deep love for music and her need to play her music with emotion. Music performances are cut from this particular recording with Wanda Wilkomirska. Studs quotes Ray Erickson, critic from the New York Times and discusses other critiques of her work.
Ursula Oppens and Studs discuss contemporary avant-garde piano. Oppens performs pieces from contemporary composers.
At the time of the interview, Gobbi was playing Simon Boccanegra in Chicago.
Interviewing the cast of the musical revue "Suburbs of Heaven," songwriter Thom Bishop, singers Marty Peifer and Megon McDonough. Songs include "Mr. Arthur's Place," "Why Not Talk to Me?" "The Telephone Song," "Just Because You Didn't See Me," "Suburbs of Heaven," "Times I Tried to Love You," "Amateur Night/New Year's Eve," and "Somebody Feels the Water."
The Emerson String Quartet's members Eugene Drucker (violin), Lawrence Dutton (viola), David Finckel (violoncello), and Philip Setzer (violin) discuss their past work, scheduled performances, and musical techniques.
Tervalan Porche discusses creole music, language and culture in which she is an exponent as a singer. The interview starts abruptly which we can deduce that the first part of the introduction was not recorded. This recording has copyrighted material removed.