Making

Making

WBEZ's critically-acclaimed bio-podcast series explores how an icon is made.... Show More

Episodes

March 6, 2020 32 min

In the lead up to Beyoncé's solo album debut, Dangerously in Love, a lot was at stake. She was hoping to break out not only as a solo artist, but as a star on multiple levels — music, endorsements and film. Along the way she’d find love, but she’d also have to battle doubt, even within the record label.

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November 27, 2019 33 min

After Girls Tyme dissolves, Beyoncé and the other girls begin building their new group, Destiny’s Child. Finally, things start to click.

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November 22, 2019 37 min

After failing to secure a record deal, Beyoncé and the members of Girls Tyme try another avenue to success: a TV talent competition. The girls are poised and ready for the national spotlight, but tensions in the group are rising behind the scenes.

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November 15, 2019 47 min

Before the Grammys, before the platinum records, before Destiny’s Child, there was just a shy girl growing up in Houston. We follow Beyoncé Knowles from the stages of local talent shows to her first crack at a record deal with the group Girls Tyme.

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November 1, 2019 1 min

From the makers of Making Obama, WBEZ Chicago presents Making Beyoncé, a new three-part bio-podcast series that explores Beyoncé Knowles’ rise from local talent shows to global musical icon. 

Find episodes of Making Beyoncé right here beginning Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.

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April 10, 2018 21 min

Just two and a half years after his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Barack Obama announced he was running for president.


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March 15, 2018 58 min

Barack Obama burst onto the national stage during his U.S. Senate run. Hear how ambition and luck propelled him to Washington.

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March 8, 2018 55 min

Former president Barack Obama has only lost one election in his life. It was in 2000, and that defeat set him on the course for his eventual U.S. Senate run. Making Obama is a production of listener-supported WBEZ Chicago. Support WBEZ and the future of podcasts like this at https://wbez.org/making


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March 1, 2018 56 min

In 2000, Barack Obama ran for Congress against a Chicago political legend. It became a contest about race and identity.

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February 21, 2018 56 min

Former President Barack Obama won his first political seat in 1996. Hear what he had to learn, and the conflicts he faced, to get there. 

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February 15, 2018 42 min

When Barack Obama first came to Chicago, a political transformation was happening in the city. Hear how that change inspired him.



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February 8, 2018 45 min

Before he was the 44th President, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Hear how the city shaped his political ambitions.

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January 19, 2018 3 min

Former President Barack Obama — along with friends, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Subscribe now and don’t miss the first episode on February 8.

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December 30, 2016 40 min

In our final bonus installment, the Making Oprah production team revisits an extended interview with daytime talk show legend Phil Donahue. His pioneering show, Donahue, aired from 1967 to 1996 and laid the groundwork for Oprah’s program. It tackled heady, controversial issues - and landed frothy exclusives with A-list celebrities. Donahue also used his studio audience and callers in ways that were both innovative and intimate. 

Joi...

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December 23, 2016 21 min

For more than 10 years after the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah deliberately avoided having politicians on her show, particularly during election seasons. In this bonus episode of Making Oprah, host Jenn White talks to Oprah about the role politics played - and didn’t play - in the history of the Oprah Winfrey show.

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December 15, 2016 13 min

If you look at any image from the Oprah Winfrey Show, you can pretty much figure out what decade it’s from by looking at Oprah’s hairstyle. 

In this short bonus episode, host Jenn White talks to Oprah’s longtime stylist Andre Walker about the high stakes of doing the hair of the most watched woman on television.

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November 22, 2016 62 min

In the show’s final decade, Oprah and her team staged massive spectacles of increasing grandiosity, from the infamous car giveaway to a 21,000-person flash mob that shut down part of Chicago. 

“It had become increasingly more difficult to top what you’d done the year before,” Oprah told WBEZ’s Jenn White. “I mean, to the point where we literally sat in a room saying ‘What about outer space?’ ” 

That’s what we look at now: Oprah livin...

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November 17, 2016 60 min

In the second episode of Making Oprah, we explore how The Oprah Winfrey Show elevated itself out of the heap of trash TV and into a show that intentionally embraced spirituality and positivity. 

The early years of Oprah’s show often relied on sensational, tabloidy topics – cheating husbands, sexy clothes, and murderers. It was not yet the ‘Live Your Best Life’ Oprah we would come to know and love. 

 “It was during those shows where I...

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November 10, 2016 57 min

It was 30 years ago this fall that Oprah Winfrey first said “hellooooo” to a national audience. By the show’s finale in 2011, it was aired in 145 countries and watched by more than 40 million viewers a week in the U.S. alone. Today’s daytime hosts like Ellen and Dr. Oz? They now average only about a tenth of that.

If Oprah mentioned a book title, it became a best-seller. She landed the interviews that no one else could get. Her mes...

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November 3, 2016 4 min

Making Oprah: The Inside Story of a TV Revolution is a public radio podcast -- about a daytime talk show. This fall marks 30 years since the national debut of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Be the first to hear a sneak peek of WBEZ’s three-part series featuring interviews with Winfrey, her onetime ratings rival Phil Donahue, former producers and staffers, and TV executives.

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