the state


-of american heroes (r.i.p. studs terkel) by jgrimsrud
Friday, 31 October 2008, 18:12
Filed under: -of bios, -of jgrimsrud

we just heard the news…  one of the greatest american storytellers died today at the age of 96.

i’m sure there are many ways to revisit his work; i enjoyed his appearances on democracy now!, far ranging conversations w/ a man of startling memory and humor.

one of my favorite bits was his account of mahalia jackson standing up for his radio career:

Terkel was blacklisted for his views, and lost his show, “Stud’s Place.” Then legendary African-American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson insisted that he be hired as the host of her show. CBS demanded Terkel sign a loyalty oath. When he refused, they threatened to fire him. She told them, “Look, if you fire Studs, find another Mahalia Jackson.” CBS backed off. Studs recalled: “Do you know what happened? Nothing. You have to face them down.”

terkel’s “i tape, therefore i am” mantra highlights the shallow vulgarity of “reality” tv culture & affirms the value of real life.  it’s a great story, and i hope to hear many people retelling studs’ over the next weeks.

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[…] this, from studs terkel’s the good war, quotes from interviews 40 years after: “We were in a tribal sort of situation […]

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