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Destination: Freedom - The Rhyme of the Ancient Dodger

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 4:26 pm

Studs Terkel passed away Friday October 31st at the age of ninety-six; he was in turn a radio actor, television personality, disc jockey, talk-show host, and chronicler of the human condition. He was an unabashed and self-described “old lefty,” vehement in his opinion of the current administration, and complained the country suffered from, “National Alzheimer’s Disease,” never teaching students enough history to keep them from making the same mistakes over and over. He was the author of eighteen books, the last published this month, and appropriately titled, “P.S.”

The program you are about to hear is an episode of Destination: Freedom from November 21, 1948. The radio series, broadcast on Chicago’s NBC affiliate, WMAQ from 1948 to 1950, was the work of a remarkable black writer, Richard Durham. Destination: Freedom showcased prominent characters and events in black history, while later examining contemporary political issues, never shying away from an honest and sometimes brutal look at race relations. John Dunning writes about the series in his book “On the Air,” “There were no buffoons or toadies in Durhams’ plays; there were heroes and villains, girlfriends and lovers, mothers, fathers, brutes.” This episode, “The Rhyme of the Ancient Dodger,” is the story of Jackie Robinson, and features Studs Terkel as Sammy, the Ancient Dodger of the title, narrating the story with a Runyonesque delivery and exquisite prose.

Studs said his epitaph should be, “Curiosity did not kill this cat,” and it didn’t; it kept him strong and vibrant for ninety-six years. Take it easy, Studs…but take it!

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Destination: Freedom - The Rhyme of the Ancient Dodger [31:51m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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3 Responses to “Destination: Freedom - The Rhyme of the Ancient Dodger” »


  1. DavidDetroit Says:

    Hey Charlie,
    The first time I had ever heard of Studs Terkel was when my brother Jeff handed me a paperback he had just finished. It was Terkel’s “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do”. Having just graduated from high school (and thinking about my future career), I was awed how Studs documented how people worked and what they thought about their jobs. Really, I was awed that someone would care about people doing what I otherwise had thought was mundane labor. Every high school senior would do well to read “Working”. Some years later I discovered the “Focus” show on WJR radio in Detroit in which J.P McCarthy interviewed a variety of people especially national performing artists booked in Detroit local business and political figures. J.P.’s show was like Studs’ “Working” in that both gentlemen showed more than just a curiosity in their interviewees lives. The nearest to the two in warmth and empathy is Bob Edwards in my opinion. Anyway, I look forward to listening to “Destination Freedom”. Best Regards.


  3. Nostalgic Rumblings » Happy Birthday; Studs Terkel talks to Bob Edwards Says:

    […] Listen to Studs starring in an episode of the radio drama Destination: Freedom. (hosted by Concentration and 20/20’s Hugh Downs!)  […]


  5. R.I.P. Studs Terkel…and King of the Hill – Thrilling Days of Yesteryear Says:

    […]’visibility’, ‘hidden’, ‘important’); } Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleLike this:LikeLoading… […]

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