One of the nation's great stations and a big part of Twin Cities and Minnesota radio history. This site has some photos and recordings. More will be added, so check back.
This Site Primarily Contains a Collection of Airchecks of Numerous Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Radio Stations, Some Recorded Off The Air by Rick Burnett and Many Others Recorded or Provided by Other Contributors to This Site (see footnote at bottom). The Contribution of Recordings and Materials are Greatly Appreciated and Have Made this Site a Bookmark for Those Interested in Radio From this Era. Explore the many recordings on this site by using the menu at the left side of the screen. Should you have material to contribute, Please Email: Rick1031(at)HotMail.com Note: Substitute @ for the "(at)" when typing email address
WCCO - Al Malmberg Over Night Show with Guest Rick Burnett - September 21st, 2007
It was a fun time for me. I think Al also enjoyed himself and he held me over for a 2nd hour. We talked old Twin Cities radio and Al allowed me to play an assortment of airchecks from other stations from the 50's, 60's and 70's. There was a rare Scott Burton clip on WDGY (I have not found any others from collectors), a clip with a good sample of Charlie Bush's news style with Chuck Knapp loosing it at the end, Rob Sherwood's last farewell on KDWB, and more.
The recordings to the right have the commercials edited out so they are less than one hour each.
Rick Burnett, creator of Twin Cities Radio Airchecks, at the mic during his interveiw with Al Malamberg on WCCO on September 21st, 2007
WCCO Radio - Overnight Laughter Clips
Laughter is contagious. I heard the Marcus tape while I was Al's guest at WCCO and had a good laugh. After the show, a listener sent me an email telling me I should get a copy of Maggie's turkey cooking instructions. Al sent it to me with some comments:
"Here are the two cuts we talked about. Background on Maggie's call: A listener asked for my advice on how to cook a turkey. I told him to pre-heat the oven at 325 and cook the bird for 30 minutes. He said "thanks!" and hung up. That brought a barrage of calls from people telling this guy how to really cook a bird. Then Maggie called. You'll hear that I fell for her story hook, line and sinkr.
The other cut is Marcus Laughing.
WCCO & Al Malmberg can be heard on 830 AM and arround the world through its web page: http://www.wccoradio.com/ Undated recording courtesy of Al Malmberg, WCCO overnight personality - Week nights 1 AM to 5 AM Central Time. (10-7-07)
WCCO - Franklin Hobbs "Hobbs House" Last Show Recorded overnight March 13/14th, 1981
Back when "Clear Channel" meant an unobstructed nationwide radio signal, and sometime before Al Malmberg, there was Franklin Hobbs. Kenneth Broshofske, a Ham radio hobbyist, contacted me to tell me he had this recording. Naturally, I asked him to share it with us and he sent it right away. As Kenny mentions in his comments below, this form of overnight radio is now non-existent and a thing of the past. Although Franklin did not play the Top 40 music I liked and was on past my bedtime, he had fans nationwide. Franklin Hobbs was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in October, 2007.
At the beginning of the PART 2 segment, you can hear the song "the Party's Over" and a low volume comment by Hobbs on how true it is. Also, about 4 minutes into the tape you will hear a farewell statement. At about 26 minutes into the recording you will hear Hobbs and Joe McFarlin talk about Hobbs departure, with Hobbs making a remark about a program director that told him to talk less and would not allow him to have guest on the show.
Kenny writes: "From the mid 1950's until well into the 1980's, several of America's biggest 50,000 watt AM radio stations broadcast some great overnight music programs. In Chicago, Sid McCoy and Yvonne Daniels played jazz on WCFL well into 1965, including for several months after the station switched to a Top 40 format. WGN had "The All Night Showcase" with the legendary Franklyn MacCormack. In St. Louis, KMOX had "Musing and Music" with Tony Orin. WJR in Detroit had "Night Flight" with Jay Roberts. American Airlines "Music Til Dawn" aired on several radio stations, including WCBS in New York, WBBM in Chicago, and WLW in Cincinnati. For Country-Western Music fans, WHO in Des Moines Iowa, WWVA in Wheeling West Virginia, and WBAP in Dallas Texas all had long running overnight programs of their own, not syndicates. Finally, of course, there were the Top 40 stations like WABC in New York and WLS in Chicago. It was an unforgettable era of American radio.
When you remember all those great overnight music programs, you have to include "Hobbs House", hosted by Franklin Hobbs on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis. For 22 years, Hobbs graced the American airwaves with a laid back style and music befitting those overnight hours.
With the single exception of "Sid and Yvonne" on WCFL, "Hobbs House" was my favorite overnight music show, but Hobbs show far outlasted "Sid and Yvonne" and most of the others as well. When I was stationed on either coast during my service days back in the late 60's and early 70's, I would tune in to Hobbs at night whenever I could, especially whenever I'd be on the road, and I'd feel much closer to home. Even when I was home, on nights when I had trouble sleeping, I'd listen to Hobbs and think to myself, "What a gig he's got, playing such great music to a nationwide audience." You can't find quality programming like this on overnight radio anymore.
When Hobbs announced his intention to leave CCO Radio, I had a feeling that nighttime radio would never be the same. I knew I had to record his last show. So I scrounged up a blank 90 minute cassette tape and set up a portable Panasonic recorder near the speakers of my radio. I was living some 65 miles north of the WCCO Radio antenna site, and although the signal was strong, the typical nighttime conditions for AM Radio are a bit evident in the recording.
As the remaining overnight music shows continued to disappear, nighttime radio lost its appeal. However thanks to aircheck sites like this one, you can at least relive some of those wonderful memories. The final "Hobbs House" on WCCO Radio was recorded during the overnight hours of March 13/14, 1981. The tape is only 90 minutes, so obviously I did not get the entire show. I got enough of it however to capture the essence of the final broadcast.
Rick has divided the recording into two parts. Part One includes selected segments recorded between 11 PM and Midnight, Part Two contains selected segments recorded between Midnight and 1 AM. Highlighting the tape besides the Hobbs/McFarlin chat [during the 12:30 AM weather break] is Denny Long giving the forecasts at 11:30 [CCO did the five state forecasts back in those days], and a Steve Cannon ad right at the top of the midnight hour featuring his sidekicks Mundane, LaRue, and Linger. The sounder for CBS News was different back then too, as it was for WCCO Radio News. Another feature was when Hobbs spoke specifically to his audience of listeners across the country beyond the normal Twin City radio range. Of course there was that wonderful music Hobbs played that you don't hear on radio anymore."
Contributed by Kenneth Broshofske, Ogilvie Minnesota. (Posted 11-17-07)
WCCO-AM Bill Diehl & The World of Jack Benny - January 2, 1975
Bill plays old Jack Benny radio show on this January 1975 Sunday. Bill previously worked at WDGY in the early to mid-1960's. Bill also reviewed movies for the St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press newspaper. I thought I heard that Bill died in the late 1990's. Not true. Tom at RadioTapes.com tells me he just received a holiday card from Bill and his wife , who are enjoying a lot of traveling in retirement.
The Benny show portions are edited out. However a news clip of Benny's reaction to Fred Allen's death on 3-17-56 is left in this recording.
Recorded off the air and contributed by Mike Cunningham of La Crosse, former KTCR-FM Operations Manager. (posted 12-15-07)
John Sewall - Weekend Hobbs House Host - October 7th, 1965
John recently sent a few airchecks from way back in 1965. One is posted here and several more will be posted soon. When Franklin Hobbs was having a day off or on vacation, John Sewall was broadcasting from "The Station That Serves The Nation." This was a time when the phrase "Clear Channel" did not refer to a broacasting conglomerate, but meant that the freaquency used by WCCO at 830 Khz was clear of other stations and you could hear WCCO across the nation.
You will hear John tell you the latest news and weather. John will also mix in the Hobbs' House music with a recorded (transcription on disk) Franklin Hobbs commercial, a Grain Belt Beer commercial, and other announcements from the Mid 60's.
Franklin Hobbs' Last show on WCCO can be heard on this site. It is on the WCCO 830 page.
Contributed by John Sewall, Duluth, Minnesota. Posted 12/24/2014
John Sewall on cover of WMMR 10th Anniversary publication (early 1960's). WMMR was a carrier current station broadcasting to the University of Minnesota campus. CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
More recent photo of John Sewall. CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Old WCCO Early 1960's Promotional Flyer
Kenny Broshofske send another rare item from his vist to WCCO when he was a kid. Click on the photos to your right to enlarge WCCO's promotional flyer (4 scans of 4 pages). Kenny writes in an email to me:
"Well, I did some digging and finally ran across that elusive WCCO Promo - Circa 1966 [see attachments]. Boy does that thing bring back memories for an old radio hobbyist like me. Hope you enjoy this!
This promo goes back to the days when WCCO was truly a great radio station. It had undisputed command of the radio market in the Upper Midwest, along with a following of loyal listeners across North America at night. The station had the monopoly on sports coverage in those days, covering the Twins, Vikings, Gophers, and shortly thereafter those beloved North Stars. They even did the high school basketball tournaments back in those days! The station personalities were all well known back then, and beloved. If you asked me to name anyone on CCO today, I'm not sure I could other than Malmberg -and only because he's posted prominently on this site. I guess I'm just not a fan of nighttime talk radio - Sorry. Actually, the time I've spent listening to CCO in recent years has diminished as the old personalities have left. The last time I listened in to CCO Radio for any appreciable length of time was when Ray Christensen was still doing Gopher basketball games. It just doesn't have the appeal it once had [excuse me, but I'm on my soapbox now], and I guess I have a real problem trying to understand something. With all the big 50000 watt stations out there, you would think that at least one of them - just one - would want to play some nice music at night. Frankly, there are too many 50000 watt talk stations out there. There might be a small AM station here or there playing good music, and if your lucky you might pick them up if conditions are favorable. I haven't had any such luck. Maybe the advent of HD radio will change the dynamics a bit in the future. Oh sure, I know that the Truckin' Bozo is on at night, but he's syndicated on several stations - and he only plays Country. I think WSM is the only remaining 50000 watt AM station that still plays vintage country-western & bluegrass music with its own announcing staff. I do occasionally listen to them in the early evening hours, and while I like listening to traditional country music, that's not exactly what I had in mind for late night radio listening. In the old days, you could listen to nice music at night from the same station on the radio while driving hundreds of miles! Not any more.
So how did I come across this promo anyway? Interesting story. In June 1966, my 18 year old cousin and I [only 16 at the time] came to Minneapolis to look for work. He was looking for full time employment as he was fresh out of high school, while I was just looking for a summer job. While we were driving around in downtown Minneapolis, we saw the WCCO building. He was driving, so I asked him to stop and see if we could check out a big time radio station, just for fun.
Amazingly, we walked into the main lobby and started to just look around. There was someone at the reception desk, but she didn't seem to be at all bothered by our being there. [We must have looked like good, trustworthy kids]. We saw Howard Viken working in an enclosed studio on the right as we proceeded down the hall to a closet that was full [and I mean FULL] of old tubes. We walked back toward the front and hanging on the wall in the corner was a rather large map of the United States full of stick pins, indicating points from which listeners had heard the station. On the table below the map was these fliers about the station - so I grabbed one.
After our short visit, we left the station apparently as unnoticed as when we came in. I wonder in today's terror sensitive society if we could pull that off now? Somehow, I sort of doubt it.
Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. All kidding aside, it was an interesting experience, even without a tour guide to explain it all. Hopefully the promo will post well on your site. I'll keep digging for more CCO stuff. I know there is still some Hobbs related material around here someplace.
Contributed by Kenneth Broshofske, Ogilvie Minnesota. (Posted 11-22-07)
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Pavek Museum of Broadcasting October 27, 2007 Hall of Fame Dinner Public Service Announcements Spots with Charlie Boone of WCCO and Chuck Knapp of K-BOB
It will be a great event and Mary Niemeyer of WCCO and Chuck Knapp of K-Bob will be the co-hosts who will induct this year's Hall of Fame broadcasters.
PSA spots provided by Mary Niemeyer, SVP/Market Manager CBS Radio (WCCO). Posted 9-21-07.
WCCO Radio Building. WCCO, WLTE-FM and JACK FM 104.1 all broadcast from this building. Photo taken 7-21-07
WCCO 830 AM studio photo taken 7-18-07. This looks much different than the last time I was inside in 1969. Howard Viken let me visit him on the air when I was in high school. In '69 WCCO was still using transcription playback for recored commercials. All the other stations in town were using cart machines at that time. Computers have improved station operations. Times have changed.
WCCO 830 AM studio photo taken from the reception area side of the control room.
WCCO - Don Shelby at the mic during drive-time on July 24th, 2007.
WCCO - Front Reception Desk on July 24th, 2007
WCCO - Photo of WCCO's Senior VP/Market Manager (title at date of this photo, more recently VP of Sales before leaving the station March 9th, 2009), Mary Niemeyer (Left), myself - Rick Burnett, and WCCO's Program Director, Wendy Pauslon. Mary and Wendy welcomed me to the station. Wendy showed me around the station, giving me the opportunity to take photos. Both Mary and Wendy are interested in radio history. Mary is active on the board of the Pavek Musuem of Broadcasting and Wendy has many items of WCCO memorabilia in her office. Thanks to John Lassman, Program Director (not pictured), I also was able to go upstairs to take studio photos of WLTE-FM and JACK FM. You can see those photos on the WLTE-FM Page on this site.
WCCO - Photo of Wendy Paulson, WCCO Program Director, describing a photos on the wall to her left of the 1950's WCCO company picnic at the transmitter site. This photo of Wendy was taken July 20th, 2007.
WCCO undated photo of Babe Ruth in front of the 'CCO mic. This was taken in Wendy Paulson's office fro the WCCO 80th Anniversary book (a photo of a book photo).
WCCO - This is a close up of the photo of the WCCO 1950's company picnic at the AM transmitter site hanging on Wendy Paulson's office wall. Unfortunately, there was some reflection in this shot.
This is a photo from a book at WCCO in Program Director Wendy Paulson's office. the caption reads "The expanded transmitter was completed in the summer of 1932. This building still houses the original equipment and the additional 50,000 watt transmitter and special emergency and remote broadcast communications apparatus."
WCCO - Another early photo of the WCCO transmitter site. Like the photo above, I took a photo of the WCCO 80th Anniversary book (photo of a photo) that Wendy showed me while visiting her office on July 20th, 2007. The caption reads - The WCCO transmitter building has been completed, the two 200-foot towers had been erected, and the Gold Medal Radio Station sign was in place. This 5,000 watt transmitter was used for the first time on March 4, 1925, and broadcast the inauguration of President Calvin Coolidge.
These two recordings are from the 1940's and represent some early history in Twin Cities broadcasting. Cedric Adams was a big time broadcaster in the 40's with WCCO-AM. Although I was not around at the time, I find these recordings interesting and they certainly have historical value.
The first recording was off the air on January 19th, 1945. This was Cedric Adams noon newscast and was brought to you by Crisco Shortening. You will hear a detailed update on the action in World War II as it draws near its end. Cedric informs us this is President Roosevelt's last day of his 3rd term and he will be sworn in for his 4th term the next day.
The Twin Cities will also have a new model street car launched the next day from the rail yards at University Ave. and Snelling. This was the street car maintenance yards before Midway Shopping Center was built at this location.
The second recording was made November 1956. Israel captured the Gaza Strip for the second time. Yes, the Middle East was even a big news story back then.
But the lead story was the school closing announcements. The winter weather was severe and Cedric had a long list of closings to get through. Boone & Erickson had this duty in the 50's, 60's and 70's. We all tuned in to see if we were getting a snow day. Most times my school was not one of the closings reported and I had to get my boots on.
Twin City Federal was a big sponsor for this newscast. They were touted as "the largest savings & loan in the United States" They had offices in Downtown Minneapolis and Downtown St. Paul. It appears at this time, branch bank offices were common.
The Cargill Red River Valley Gang broadcast was on the air during the time when live audiences attended studio broadcasts. This was a weekly broadcast for some time at WCCO-AM. Hosted by Bob DeHaven, Cargill was the sponsor for this live show that included a studio audience. Corny jokes and country music is the format. The Grand Ole Opry was not the only place for live country music, but it was better than this. At the end of the broadcast Bob informs us next week's show will be coming from Grand Forks in celebration of "Harvest Days." As of July 2008, I came across the following link to a WCCO broadcast from the 1955 Minnesota State Fair of Bob DeHaven and the Red River Valley Gang:
One of the members of the Red River Valley Gang was Hal Garven, known as Gus on the radio broadcast His brother, Ernie, wrote the Hamm's Beer commercial. Ernie died in 2004, but his memory lives on here and on a web site at: http://www.tcmu.com/archivemm/mmarticles03.html Scroll down to the second to the last photo and bio.
Ernie Garven wrote many popular commercials, which the trio recorded during the 40's and 50's. You may recall, in addition to the Hamm's Beer commercial, "From the land of sky blue waters!", the one he did for Dairy Queen, "Let's all go to the Dairy Queen, I see one just down the street". The commercials aired for many years all over the country.
(Acquired from collector A. Mintz)
WCCO-AM 830 Severe Storm Coverage
In addition to reporting on school closings during the winter, 'CCO was also the station that was tuned in by many Twin City citizens to find out if they were in the path of an oncoming tornado. The recordings below are a collection of severe weather segments. Although it shows a date of May 6th, 1965, there are segments from many different years.
This is collection of older newprint schedules and display ads for WCCO and its predesessor, WFLG.
The St. Paul Daily from January 1924 shows a schedule for WLAG, the call letters prior to WCCO. It also shows scheduled from out of town stations, like KFI in Los Angeles and others. You will need to enlarge the file to see the print better, or download it to your computer to get a better view.
The display ads from 1958 appeared i the Minneapolis Tribune.
Contributed by John Meyer of Shell Lake Wisconsin and posted 1/2/2011.
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The airchecks on this not for profit web site were recorded off the air. The recordings on this site provide historical examples of Twin Cities radio and are intended for purposes of archival preservation and for research. Additionally, the recordings can be used by vision impaired visitors to get an audio perspective of radio history. These recordings are not intended to by used by others for commercial purposes.
Some of the airchecks are off reel to reel tapes that were recorded off the air by the web site creator. In May 2006 the recordings started to be converted to MP3 and shared here. In addition to this web site creator's recorded aircheck collection, there are also many airchecks that were recorded and submitted by friends and acquaintances, or contributed by other collectors. Sources are cited, if known. The contributed recordings from friends and contributors of both airchecks and other material are greatly appreciated. Without their help, the site would have many less pages of radio history. The recordings of the contributors to this web site who recorded them off the air may show up on other sites. This site does not charge any fees to listen to the posted recordings. The purpose of this site is to provide radio history and intended for purposes of archival preservation and research.
Windows Media Player works well to play these MP3 files, and depending on your internet settings, will start streaming the file once the link is clicked, Some files are large and may take time to open. Should you have any aircheck of Twin Cities radio stations, let me know and I may be able to include them at this site. Contact me at Rick(at)HotMail.com --- NOTE Replace "(at)" with @ when typing email address