streettalk (2008-04)

Hubert Smith, Host of The Hubert Smith Radio Show on AM-850 

Street Talk

What does your talk radio program focus on?

I label my show as a local show about local politics that plays old-school music. Localâ meaning things that are in Knox County and East Tennessee, because thatâ’s where my broadcast audience is. Itâ’s 90 percent political. Occasionally, I will interview a book author if theyâ’re local, and occasionally I will have a national guest if I want to maybe discuss some national issues.

Are there any Jerry Springer-type moments among your guests or callers?

I donâ’t do pop culture. Thatâ’s not something my advertisers would pay for, nor would I wish to have on the show. Of the things on my importance meter, it hardly registers. Iâ’m not making any moral decisions; itâ’s just not the type of program I choose to do. Often callers are combative and I welcome them because they challenge me. As long as it doesnâ’t violate the FCCs seven forbidden words, you are welcome to say it on my show.

What do you think of the current state of Knox County government?

If we donâ’t have a big turnout this election, and not just a turnout to show up at the polls, but to turn people out of office, it may be the last opportunity we have in Knox County for a good government. We have had the benefit of a court decision that has required an unwilling government to recognize term limits even after it was voted on 13 years ago.

So you are for term limits?

Not personally. I believe your vote is your term limits, but I do believe in the rule of law, and I support the term limits because thatâ’s what people voted for in â‘94. I had the benefit of covering the trial in October from gavel to gavel, and I believe there are some people currently in elected offices that should not be there.

How do you blend the music into your Sunday afternoon talk radio program.

I love to engage people in conversation, enlighten them with information, and entertain them with my music. I play music with an R&B flavor from the â‘60s through the â‘80s when music was real. I find no music today that would beat Marvin Gaye, and heâ’s been dead since 1984. I would put his music up against anybodyâ’s. Itâ’s not just talk and commercials. Often I will give biographies of the music I play. In a lot of ways Iâ’m trying to educate young people on what music is. â" Greg Wilkerson


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