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"TeleTalk" with Bob Marks (1973)

This radio talk show was recorded on November 26, 1973. 

Before Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, there was Bob Marks's radio talk show called "Teletalk". The show was aired over a single 50,000 watt FM station in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The rules were different then.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) imposed a "Fairness Doctrine" that stifled debate in the media. During Ronald Reagan's first presidential campaign, for example, if a Ronald Reagan movie were aired on television, two hours of "equal time" could be demanded by the Jimmy Carter presidential campaign. The law was repealed under Ronald Reagan. This allowed more liberal media such as MSNBC and more conservative media, such as Rush Limbaugh. The FCC also required radio stations to be a "service to the community" In the case of Bob Marks's talk show, this meant callers talked about whatever the caller wanted to talk about.

Bob was not only the show's host, he ran board. There is no one else in the studio to help. There is no call sceener. When someone calls, they are put on the air. There are also no breaks except 5 minutes every hour for ABC news. There are no station breaks, no taped commercials or promos. Just talk.

When someone calls, there must be a tape delay in case the caller swears or something. Today's delays are electronic. The tape delay on Teletalk was between two reel-to-reel tape recorders. Bob turn them on when someone called. The conversation is recorded on the left tape deck and played over the air on the right one. The decks are separated by about two feet. When someone calls, Bob turns on both tape decks and flips switches on the control board and turn the knobs to put the caller on the air. If Bob needs to censor a comment, he simply turns down the audio feed on the right tape deck and returned live.

Bob's job during the show also included watching the clock. He needed to switch to ABC news at 15 minutes after the hour, keep the station log, and do a station identification every half hour - plus or minus five minutes. (Station ID's are required by the FCC or the station can be fined.)

This Teletalk was recorded during the Nixon administration. In the program, you will hear reference to recently erased White House tapes and the question as to whether Nixon should be impeached. Also discussed are marijuana legalization, the best way to cut a turkey sandwich, shooting cows in the head, basic general relativity, the oil crisis, politics in the mideast, how to quit smoking, and whether rockets shot into space alter earth's weather.

Topics covered include:
• Energy storage.
• Richard Nixon requiring gas stations to close
• Using small cars for better mileage,
• The gap in Nixon's tape, caused by his secretary, Rosemary Woods
• Comparing Nixon to Hitler,
• Impeaching Richard Nixon,
• Should Gerald Ford me the next President when Nixon resigns or is impeached?
• Is America too pro-Israel?
• How would Harry Truman handle Watergate?
• How would Harry Truman handle Vietnam?
• Flying saucers,
• Do rocket launches change the weather?
• Has man's pollution changed the weather? (Answer: no),
• Deer Hunting,
• How to slaughter a cow,
• Visiting the new Disney World,
• Einstein's relativity and making energy from mass,
• Atomic bombs and their use, And more.

On April 22, 2012, Bob Marks offered his comments on this show - almost 39 years after it was recorded. His comments are at the end. 

We hope you enjoy this vintage piece of audio history