Our program with the recently passed-on Studs Terkel is being rebroadcast this week. If this show doesn’t make you cry, there is just plain something wrong with you. Of course the man is the patron saint of every good thing in radio broadcasting, so we have a special love and a license for sentimentality when it comes to Studs. I actually had him autograph a baseball for me once.
In any case, at one compelling moment in this week’s show which I won’t describe here, we play a piece of the great aria from Tosca, “Vissi D’Arte,” and hearing it sent me hungrily off to YouTube to find a complete version. This one, performed by Leontyne Price in the 1960s, gave me some real joy today, and made me miss the intellect of a man who could wander so easily from Mahalia Jackson to Bertrand Russel to Puccini.