A gallon of gas cost about $1.10, a postage stamp cost 22 cents and Ronald Reagan was President. The compact disc gained popularity and production of New Coke began (and ended). Microsoft released Windows 1.0 and the first .com domain name was registered. The wreck of the RMS Titanic was discovered and the FDA approved the first screening test for AIDS. An energy company called Enron got its start while an organization calling itself the “Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation” was founded. Various artists recorded “We Are The World” to raise money for famine relief in Africa and Michael Jackson bought all of the Beatles songs. Movies like Back to the Future, Out of Africa, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and The Color Purple played in theatres (where you could get a ticket for about $3.55) while bands like Duran Duran, Dire Straits and Phil Collins saturated the airwaves.
The year was 1985, and on April 1 at Pasadena City College, Larry Mantle sat behind a KPCC microphone for the inaugural broadcast of AirTalk.
AirTalk listeners joined us on Wednesday April 1, to celebrate with Larry Mantle 30 years to the day of hosting the region’s longest continuously running daily talk radio program (No April Fooling) with a special 2-hour live broadcast from our Crawford Family Forum. True to form, Larry and special guests addressed the issues of the day as well as compared Southern California then and now with a conversation on what’s to come. There were even a few surprises!
Our listeners and staff reveled in this chance to congratulate Larry and team on 30 years of outstanding public affairs programming in true AirTalk fashion.
Larry Mantle, host of AirTalk
Fernando Guerra, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University
Joe Hicks, vice president of the Los Angeles-based political think tank Community Advocates, Inc; former Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission, 1997 to 2001, and former Executive Director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference)
Patt Morrison, LA Times columnist and KPCC contributor
Chris Thornberg, principal at the LA-based Beacon Economics, an independent research and consulting firm
Zev Yaroslavsky, former LA County Supervisor
Do you have questions you'd like to ask Larry about his time on the air? Let us know!
This event was part of the AirTalk 30th anniversary tour.