Click on the link here for Audio Player – KNX-AM – Michael Jackson Show – Hour 2 – January 4, 1967 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
The writing was on the wall as far back as the early 1960s; Talk Radio was a wildly popular genre in the medium of Radio and was destined to be everywhere. It was cheap to produce, it got people involved and it generally created controversy which, as we all know, is good for ratings.
Talk Radio had it’s fair share of shriekers and hysterics, even early on. Joe Pyne, probably one of the more notorious figures in Los Angeles Talk Radio was famously known for hanging up on callers and hurling insults and he was hugely popular. But the callers were what made Talk Radio an instant success. The anonymity of calling a show and ranting to your hears content was appealing to many people – and the shows did nothing to stop it. The madder people got, the better it was.
Michael Jackson (or as he’s referred to now as the “other” Michael Jackson), took the higher road – booking guests for an informal chat and prompting callers to join in with questions. The only criteria being, the guests had to be controversial and/or noteworthy, usually having to do with something currently going on in society. And throughout Jackson’s very long career, he had a plethora of controversial and noteworthy guests.
This episode, from his nightly program during a short stint at KNX in Los Angeles from 1965-1967, features the second of a two-hour interview/call-in with author Ayn Rand. For all the deification Rand has gone through in recent years, her interviews are remarkably thin-skinned. When a caller questions her regarding a statement she wrote about Dr. Albert Schweitzer being “a power-hungry autocrat”. The caller, who was associated with Dr. Schweitzer asks her to back up her claim. To which Rand comes from left-field and asks why Dr. Schweitzer didn’t stop Hitler, completely ignoring the question, and further dodging it when pressed. Harbinger of things to come.
Talk Radio in the 60s.
Here is that one-hour slice featuring Michael Jackson with guest Ayn Rand from KNX-AM on January 4, 1967.