It was a radical idea for a church communications agency in the 1960s, but the motivation was just as groundbreaking: getting whites and blacks to talk to each other — over the airwaves — during a period of incredible racial tension in the United States.
The vehicle for that dialogue was “Night Call,” one of the first national radio call-in shows.
The creators were part of the Television, Radio and Film Commission of the Methodist Church, also known as TRAFCO, which eventually would evolve into United Methodist Communications.
Although an earlier version of Night Call aired in 1966-67, the show caught fire when it launched again in June 1968, the tumultuous period after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
“It was launched to create dialogue and to let the steam off and to avoid violence,” remembered Price, the show’s executive producer. “It was a very volatile, scary time.”