Tuesday, April 17, 2018

State of the Union 1982

On Wednesday Jaunary 26, 1982 President Ronald Reagan addressed a joint session of Congress to deliver the constitutionally required report on the State of the Union. There had also been a venting of radioactive steam at the Ginna nuclear plant in Ontario. Later that evening, Marconi hopped on a cold Staten Island Ferry boat and began the long ferry and subway trip to 149th Place in Flushing, Queens. Stereo 9FM (NINE-FM) blasted its 50 watts of power, emanating from the military surplus "TRC" transmitter and the Channel Master 4408G yagi antenna aimed at Long Island, from 1 AM local time on the FM frequency of 91.9 MHz in full multiplex stereo. Marconi was at the controls, but whether he was really in control is up for debate.

Ed Armstrong had recently redone the studio and this was Marconi's first visit in some time. The squeaks and squawks in the background during the early part of the program document that it took a bit of time for him to relearn the studio and feel comfortable at the controls. That did not, however, prevent a spirited discussion of the many failings of Ronald Reagan's first year in office along with some great early 80's music, a visit from fellow pirate Stony Stevenson, and many good phone callers. Throughout the program you'll also hear the excellent loud audio provided by Patrick Kelly's ahead of its time "Nessie" compressor.

At about 90 minutes in there's a great discussion of the arts and creativity in the USA vs other countries that morphed into discussion of the merits and dangers of nuclear power. In many ways, 9FM of that era had become a more lively alternative to WBAI but remained largely true to its political roots in the American left. That was not an accident, thanks to Ed Armstrong and many fine guest programmers.

You can listen here.