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
This Page Has Photos, Stories and Comments on KTCR-FM
Check back for more airchecks. Scroll down to find old station photos. Airchecks of Mike Cunningham, Randy Randall, John Sandri, Tommy Haper, Bruce Lee, Don Johnson, and Rick Mason (Burnett) from the 70's and early 80's, along with other airchecks are on Page Two. There are some rare early 1960's airchecks of KTCR-AM also are on Page Three.
The History of 97.1 FM in Minneapolis
The frequency of 97.1 in Minneapolis is one of the oldest FM stations in the Twin Cities, having been established in the late 1940's. The original call letters were WTCN, and its owners eventually started the local television station with the same name on Channel 11. By the late 1950s, 97.1's call letters were KWFM.
Al Tedesco purchased the station in 1968 and operated it as KTCR-FM, mated with its AM sibling of the same name (690 AM). In the early 1980's, For a number of years, KTCR-FM was the only stereo country station, and the only 24 hour country station in the Twin Cities. KTCR-FM was a struggling country music station in the early 80's. KTCR-FM was up against aggressive competitionin the late 1970's and early 1980's, most noteably KEEY, and Al Tedesco decided to sell the stations. Al's and his brothers were inducted into the Musuem of Broadcasting Hall of Fame. See more on this at the following web site: http://www.pavekmuseum.org/tedesco.htm One of Al brothers was Victor Tedesco, who was on the St. Paul city council for a number of years in the late 60's to mid 70's. You can see a recent photo taken 9/16/06 of the original KTCR-AM studios on Winneka in New Hope by clicking on the following web address:
The stations' new owner, John Parker, dropped the Country format on February 8, 1984, and a unique new format was introduced. KTCZ ("Cities 97") was a different kind of station, featuring progressive rock, alternative rock, new age and even jazz. KTCZ's other influences reach back even farther, to progressive FM rock stations from the 1960's and 1970's, particularly the freeform days of KQRS.
Although Parker Communications sold the station back in the early 1990's, today's Cities 97 is still similar to the version that debuted in the fall of 1983, though the influence of its current owner can be felt heavily.
Robert (Bob) Rock, Former General Manager of KTCR AM/FM, Minneapolis
Robert Rock 1/13/23 - 11/03/09 Rock, Robert "Bob" age 86, of Richfield. Born January 13, 1923 in Marshall, MN to Peter and Florence Rock, passed away November 3, 2009. Bob was an Army veteran of WWII and an Owner and General Manager of multiple radio stations who retired in 1982.
Rock was the General Manager of KTCR AM/FM until it was sold in the early 1980's and became KTCZ. He worked with owner Al Tedesco, owner of multiple stations. Al Tedesco and his two brothers were inducted into the Pavek Museum of Radio Hall of Fame in 2005.
KTCR-FM's Mike Cunningham Does Pole Sitting Duty June 23, 1975
At least the weather was too bad for his remote broadcast at Wicks Furniture. I did visit Mike on this day and went to the top of the pole. The view was great. I left long before Mike.
Pole sitting DJ - Mike Cunningham in June 23th, 1975 Mpls Tribune article. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Old KTCR-FM Photos
Mike Cunningham, the one time manager of KTCR-FM, sent me these photos of KTCR-FM with some of the old staff members. There are airchecks of Mike and the others on the Cunningham Contribution Page on the this site. I worked with Mike as Rick Mason, at both KTCR-FM and a station he also later hired me at, WLCX in La Crosse, in the late '70's.
Mike lives in the La Crosse area with his wife and son and owns The Board Store.
Click on the Photos Below to EnlargePhotos contributed by Mike Cunningham, formerly of KTCR-FM and WLCX-AM/WLXR-FM (La Crosse). (Posted 11-11-07)
KTCR-FM - Chuck Ingle Announcer/Chief Engineer
Chuck did double duty at time in the 70's for KTCR-FM. I do not have an aircheck of him on KTCR, but Chuck did provide me a link to an aircheck of him on Armed Forces Radio.
http://www.afvn.tv/audio/jimallingham.html Among the voices heard on this aircheck are those of Army disc jockey SP4 Chuck Ingle. Go to the Nha Trang Air Check 6-23-70. Chuck is on after the preacher in the beginning.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
KTCR, Affiliate of The Old Mutual Radio Network Studios/Office in Washington DC 1977
The Mutual Broadcasting system was heard on KTCR in the Twin Cities in 1977. These photos were taken by Mick Cunningham.
On the first photo to the left, notice the prehistoric word processors (typewriters) in the news room at the desks. This is 1977 and the typewriters still look ancient.
Contributed by Mike Cunningham, LaCrosse Wisconsin, formerly KTCR-FM Operations Manager
Production Facility CLICK ON IMAGETO ENLARGE
Some Old Stories and Updates on People
On September 15 & 16, 2006, I was in the Twin Cities for business and stayed over so I could attend the Brown College (formerly Brown Institute). I was able to catch up with a few ex-KTCR people.
Jerry Cunning Causes Loss of 50% of WWTC Listeners
I found out from one of the Brown instructors that KTCR's colorful General Manager, Bob Rock, was retired and living in Richfield, MN. I was also told that former PD for the AM side, Jerry Cunning, died a few years ago. After the stations were sold in 1984, Jerry ended up at WWTC as the operations manager, succeeding Dick Driscoll. Jerry was mentioned in the book; Fiasco At 1280 : The Rise And Hard Fall Of A Twin Cities Radio Station by Jeff Lonto. While Jerry was at the WWTC remote studio at the Taste of Minnesota in St. Paul one year, one listener stuck his head into the mobile studio Jerry was manning. Jerry screamed loudly for him to get out. It is rumored that Jerry caused the station to loose 50% of is listeners that day.
Lesbians in Lebanon
Jim du Bois, currently CEO and President of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association, worked at KTCR-FM before moving on to WDGY and K102. He started when he was a teenager doing weekend afternoons. One Sunday as I was driving in to do my 6 PM - Midnight shift, I heard him read a news story about some violence in Beirut stating "....as reported in a lesbian newspaper.." He did not realize he said lesbian in stead of Lebanon. We still chuckle about it today. Unfortunately I did not have a recording of it.
Country Church Farce Busts Format
One day I had to come in early Sunday morning to cover for someone who didn't make it in. I had to play gospel records on the KTCR-FM Country Church. I changed the format and started telling stories in between the songs. I should have been fired for this but no one from management was up early enough to hear it, nor anyone else. Scroll down to the Country Church aircheck to hear something that should not have gone out over the air of a 50,000 watt station.
Check back for more as my memory returns, or as someone reminds me of some old information or story.
Rick Burnett (Mason)
KTCR-FM DJ early to late 1970's
Emails From Those with KTCR Memories (Emails on KTCR are only used with permission)
From: Hoth, Tom [mailto:Hoth.Tom@basco.com] Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 1:10 PM To: Rick1031@hotmail.com Subject: Brown Institute
Hi Rick: My name is Tom Hoth (long "O"). I attended Brown institute from 1967-1968. I acquired my 1st class radios engineers license from Brown. I was working at KUXL AM radio with "Admiral Richard E" and Curt Lundgren while attending Brown. I was also playing with the first interracial R&B band in the Twin Cities "Dave Brady and the Stars" Just inducted into the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame April 2007. From KUXL I was hired by Gerry Cunning to work at the first stereo country formatted station (so I was told) in the United States, KTCR FM located in the Northwest Electronics Institute Building. Spent 17 months there working with a fledgling intern Bill Bauman and semi-seasoned Gregg Ellsworth. In 1968 I took a job in Maplewood Minnesota. WSJW owned by Sev (Severance) Widman. My co-worker was Rodger Kent. The was the first "All Polka" station in the twin cities. Commercial spots were read over the already play polka music. Spent 18 months at WSJW 1010 radio. 1970 - 1979 I played drums with The DelCounts.
From: William Roberts Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 6:49 PM To: Rick1031@hotmail.com Subject: Terrific Site !
Rick: Thanks for all the volumes of radio info, that I know you spent a Lot of Time putting together. I, also worked as an announcer at KTCR in the early 70's but I don't think we ever met. I graduated from Brown in '66 and worked in Valentine, Neb (KVSH) & Redwood Falls, MN (KLGR) which was owned by Al Leighton from Detroit Lakes, and managed by Don Scheel, who later became the PR Director for the Minnesota Twins. I worked at WAYL in 1969 - started part time & went to full time. Denny Long was working there part time then. Jack Moore was the owner, and he later bought a Jazz station in Anoka. Jack sold WAYL to a Philadelphia Lawer for a million bucks, and Sam Sherwood (from KDWB) came in to manage the station.
The owner sent over a guy named Nick Fruenzy to be program director, and he & Sherwood locked horns right from the start. We went into a recession, and I was laid off. About this time, an old friend of mine, Gregg Ellsworth was named manager of KTCR FM. This would be around 1971. He asked me to work part time on weekends. There was a lot of drama & intrigue over at the AM. The FM was just plain sleepy. Dan Hertzgaard was on the air at the AM. Bob Rock was the station Manager for both AM & FM. Gregg had a good ear for which way the wind was blowing & he knew his days as manager were numbered, so he hurried up & organized the staff to all be members of AFTRA. Rock knew nothing. About this time, Gregg was demoted to just an announcer. They brought in a hot shot manager for the FM from Colorado. His first job was to fire all the old staff. I didn't give him the chance, I dropped off my key with one of the full time people, and never went back. This new manager, I don't remember his name, was fired by Rock after exactly 2 weeks! I think he had just moved his entire family to Minnesota days before. Right after that, Gregg & AFTRA called the strike. I will never forget calling the station engineer to tell him!. He absolutly didn't believe me!!! (Good Guy - don't remember his name either!) A bunch of us went over to the FM to support the strikers that night. Bob Rock came careening into the parking lot (parking space? !) and jumped out all red in the face. He went around to every guy there asking "Do you work for me?" If they said yes, he said "You're Fired". When he got to Dick Sigurdson (one of your contributors - had the WDGY records) Siggy said "Hell No" !!! There are a million stories surrounding this completely disfunctional place. I Know you have your own. Anyway, just a gas to know this station was not completely forgotton. Thanks for all your efforts, - Bill Roberts
Chuck Ingle in the KTCR-FM (former KWFM-FM) control room. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
KWFM-FM A Bit of Historical Perspective from Chuck Ingle - Former Engineer/Announcer KWFM-FM & KTCR-FM
Chuck took some time to write down his perspectives on KWFM-FM, where he worked as an engineer and on-air announcer. Chuck also worked eventually at the Chief Engineer at KTCR-FM during its ownership by Tedesco. To the left is a letter of reference from Jim Hubbard, then of KWFM-FM.
Chuck writes the following:
The amount of work and time spent, to create your website, boggles the mind.So I thought I'd add something of my own, to give you more to do.
I'm finding the references to KWFM very interesting, as that station was my first job, on-the-air, in April 1967.As memory serves, the station was owned by Bob Smith (not one-in-the-same with Buffalo Bob).Bob had one of those melodic radio deliveries, such that when he recorded a voice-only spot, you'd swear you were listeningin color.He ran the station on a shoestring, and in the months leading up to the sale, he was his only salesman, while pulling a weekday morning shift.Jim Hubbard, who in addition to managing the office, also wrote copy, did some production, on-air, and control operator duties.
Bob also had additional revenue from a dwindling list of Storecasting clients.Telco dedicated loops were cheep, in those days, and I think that was how he delivered the audio, rather than licensing an SCA channel.The service delivered MOR Instrumentals, reproduced from a cabinet containing two alternating, 10-inch tape transports.The system relied on silence sensing, between cuts, in order to switch to the alternate deck.In this way, reels were rotated randomly, which helped to somewhat minimize song predictability.To obtain fresh tapes, Bob wanted the announcers to start and stop a recorder, to capture instrumentals that were played on-air, during their shift, while attempting to preserve the 2-second deadroll between cuts.This seemed to be a bit much for a new guy.The system for the most part, was considered an out-of-site, out-of-mind distraction from the more important, on-air production.Much ado for 1, maybe 2 remaining clients.
If there was one thing that Bob was a stickler on, it was the infamous Record Wiping Rag!At one time, this piece of cloth was a new record duster with anti-static properties.It soon became a used and reused rag that was supposed to be kept on the damp side, by visits to the drinking fountain.He mandated that all operators wipe every LP, prior to cuing.Heaven help you, if you were caught with your rag dry.Bob would make occasional passes, through the control room, to feel your rag, while you were on-mic.So, a few announcers would do the rag-dampening regimen, whether they used it, or not.
Ed Oldsgard was our Classical Music Director, the resident highbrow.A college student somewhere, Ed's view of the typical "Disc Jockey" was:a man of diminished integrity, doomed to a life of minimal achievement.And I was determined to reach that level, as fast as I could.Taking nothing away from Ed, he had the Classical Library meticulously cataloged.And when recording his tracks, made sure to pronounce every movement, composer, and conductor, with that slightly exaggerated Oldsgard flourish.Yes, classical announcers, after carefully compiling their programs, recorded their comments on reel, for later airing by one of us MOR or Jazz announcers, with an adjacent shift.It was either too inconvenient for them to be in the chair at air time, or Bob wasn't about to pay them what they wanted, perhaps both.
We had a bear for a Chief Engineer, whose name might have been Tom.Back then, the FCC required extensive logging, 30-minute intervals on transmitters and sub-carrier devices, and a Chief Engineer on staff.In the case of KWFM, part-time was sufficient.Tom took it upon himself to dictate certain operational techniques.He would all but whack your knuckles, if you operated your mic controls incorrectly.He wanted the mic "potted", and the mixer key, switched only while the pot was down.Many of the old consoles put out pops or clicks, if the mic was switched with the pot up.And for mic-off, the pot must be down with the key off.This made Tom confident that there would never be an unintentional open mic.
I also had the privilege of being the announcer/producer of the daily Central Livestock Association Radio Network.This was a broadcast-hop network, relayed from one market to another, around the state, by just the air-signal itself.You can imagine the reduced reliability and fidelity you might encounter, if you were at the last hop in the chain, given the number of badly tuned receivers, consoles and transmitters handling the program, by the time it reached the far end.Yet, this was the best it ever got.A few second before 12:30 each weekday; I would fade the program, as would the affiliates, who then joined the dead network, waiting for me to roll the opening theme (Our Director March, recorded by some local college pep band).I would do the live opening and closing credits, and insert the breaks.The live reports came in via a direct program loop, from a studio, in the offices of the CLA in South Saint Paul.From his microphone, following my scripted introduction, came the gravelly voice of "Central's own market reporter and broadcaster, Lyle Lamphere bringing you today's markets".Other reporters came later, but none matched his persona.
On weekends we produced a German show, hosted by Norbert Kosack.Norbert was the owner of Kosack Interiors, which I think was located on one of the more obscure blocks, south of Lake, on Nicollet.One of the novelties, he liked to feature, was German made Folding Bicycles.You could carry them in the trunk, instead of on a roof rack.From the studio, Norbert would walk back and forth to the control room, carrying his Bavarian LP's, a couple at a time, for me to play.He spoke mostly in German, with an occasional brief translation to English, for the "nicht verstehe", who he was also glad to have listening, which included myself.
And so it went, until the new owner/format of 1968.
I've attached an example of the KWFM letterhead, on which is a letter of reference, prepared by J.D. Hubbard.
Regards, Chuck Ingle"
KWFM-FM Letter of Reference for Chuck Ingle. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Bill Roberts shared this 1971-72 KTCR-FM studio photo of himself at the control board. You will see no computers in the control room here. Station was still playing pre-historic CD's (45 & albums).
Email With Photos (Shared with permission)
KTCR-FM Early 70's
From: William Roberts Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 6:41 PM To: Rick Burnett Subject: Re: Terrific Site !
Nice to hear from you! I took some more time to nose around your web site, and found more info, and recordings that just bring it all back. Did you ever know Jim Hubbard? He was a hold over from KWFM (classic music). Bruce Browning worked at KTCR - and - WAYL while I was also working at those 2 stations! He was a good guy, and he eventually went to work as some kind of ad-hoc engineer, tech support person at Brown, through all their machinations. Gregg Ellsworth carried the strike for approximately 10 years!!! All the other strikers were gone by the end of the summer. AFTRA paid all the legal bills, and he picked up some part time jobs along the way. At the end, the court ruled in favor of the union, and Gregg was re-hired - and - the station had to pay him back pay to the day of the strike!!!!!!!!! He stayed on as an announcer when the station was sold (several times) "The Cities 97" and was Finally let go in about the 6th station sale in the 90's!! This is a guy I grew up with!! We kind of lost touch over time, but his story is kind of unique. Jerry Cunning was a neighbor & friend of his uncle & cousin. He acted as a kind of mentor to Gregg and gave him advice on education and hired him at the FM when it was simulcasting the AM. There is a very interesting story about Gregg & the Tedesco's that I will relate some time if you are interested. Bill Bauman was a 13 year old paper boy, and KTCR was on his paper route He started hanging around, was allowd to read sports and some other stuff, took a radio course at Vocational High School, and was hired over at the AM. Don't know what ever happened to him. Bob Bradley was a very prominant radio personality at WLOL: and worked on the air with Jerry Cunning. When LOL went talk radio ( ! ) Cunning brought Bradley over, more as an act of charity then anything else. He didn't last very long. I think he said something really bad on the air, and that was it!
I enclose a couple of shots of me at the FM, taken in 71' or 72' (somewhere in there !)
In answer to your question, yes, I am here in mpls (edina) with my new wife. I work at Qwest, (formerly US West; Northwestern Bell) 17 years now, in the credit dept.
This little memory trip is fun, and thanks again for your efforts in gathering all this data on your site!!
- Bill Roberts
Another view of the KTCR-FM studio. At the time (1971-72), KTCR-FM was located at 3800 Minnehaha Avenue, inside the Northwestern Electronics Institute Building.
Mike Cunningham was the operation manager for the FM side of KTCR. His first job was at KUXL-AM. Tape courtesy of Randy Randall.
(From the the collection of Randy Randall, Rochester, MN.)
KTCR-FM's Deanna Love 1978
Jeff Lonto sent this phots of Deanna and writes:
"Before coming to KTCR-FM in 1978, Deanna Love got her start in radio playing country music at KLOH-FM in Pipestone, Minnesota as a pioneering female voice.
She left KTCR in early 1979 and went to WWTC during their transition between all-news and The Golden Rock. At that point the format was called the Splendid Blend, a "blend" of adult contemporary, oldies, news and the Larry King Show from Mutual network. When Scott Carpenter, one of the creators of the Golden Rock format was hired as program director, he eventually let go of Deanna when he hired Nancy Rosen, apparently because he didn't want two full time women on the airstaff, according to the late "Ugly Del" Roberts.
From there Deanna sought greener pastures in San Francisco, where she eventually got married and got out of radio for good. Which was really too bad because she had a great voice and great personality."
Photo contributed by Jeff Lonto, author of "Fiasco at 1280"
KTCR-FM Deanna Love 1978 and 1979
For you Deanna Love fans. Deanna plays the country music on these airchecks contributed by author Jeff Lonto. See Jeff's comments on Deanna below next to her photo.
Contributed by Jeff Lonto, author of "Fiasco at 1280." (10-1-07)
From: Deanna Love Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 11:30 AM To: Rick1031@hotmail.com Subject: A Blast From The Past. . .A former radio announcer from WWTC
Dear Mr. Burnett,
I just visited your website and was tickled to hear ME "on the air" again!Thank you for the bit of background about me and the example of my on air work for WWTC in 1979.I tried to call you but, alas, directory assistance did not have a listing for your number.
I no longer live in Minnesota since having moved to the deep South in 2005.My husband and I purchased an 1856 antebellum Greek Revival mansion in the historic town of Americus, Georgia.It was refurbished by the architect who owned it for seven years and has all the bells and whistles of a 2009 construction while preserving the incredible beauty of the original construction.We love it here!If ever you find yourself near Atlanta and can drive a few hours to come visit, I would enjoy chatting about the "old radio days" specially since you are so versed in the subject.I can send you a photo of me during that time, too, if you like.
Thanks again! Regards, Deanna Love ______________________ Deanna,
Thanks for the update and the photos. Good to hear you are living the good life in Georgia. I will see you next time I travel to the area.
KTCR Music Surveys From 1974
At one time in the Summer of '74, KTCR-FM had its own survey. I was responsible for its weekly publication as the then music director. It only lasted a few weeks and was discontinued. I think the trade-out we had with teh printer ended. I wish I had a copy; it looked better than the survey's to the left.
Surveys contributed by Jeff Lonto, author of "Fiasco at 1280"
KTCR-AM & FM Twin Cities Country Music Twins survey from 1-12-74
KTCR-AM & FM Twin Cities Country Music Twins survey from 1-19-74
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 use by blind person 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 acquired from other available collections. 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