Back in 1973, WCCO-AM was the 10,000 pound gorilla of Twin Cities radio. This 50,000 watt heritage station was always #1 in the ratings by a large margin. The other stations all competed for second place. At the time, WCCO’s 10PM news attracted a larger audience than all of the local TV stations combined! The format was Full Service, as it had been for decades. Legendary personalities like Charlie Boone, Roger Erickson, Howard Viken, Steve Cannon, Franklin Hobbs, and many others made ‘CCO the station Minnesotans turned to more than any other.
For many years, WCCO aired a program called “Honest to Goodness.” It was hosted by Steve Edstrom and Ray Christensen and aired from 9:06 to 10:00 each weekday evening. Listeners would send in cards, requesting to be called by the program hosts. The hosts would then select a card, call the person, and ask them a trivia question. If the listener answered correctly, they would win the jackpot which started at $8.30. If they gave a wrong answer, the jackpot would be increased in increments of $8.30. A bottle of Old World Panel Care from Plywood Minnesota was always given as a consolation prize. Occasionally, “Abner the Engineer” would drop in a special sound effect, signifying that the caller had won the “bonus” prize for that night’s show. The program was very popular. Since WCCO’s clear channel signal reached across the country at night, the station received cards from listeners in many areas far away from Minnesota.
This recording is a bit “choppy.” I was only 8 years old when I made it and was trying to save tape since I had less than 20 minutes’ worth left on one side of the cassette. So, I’d hit the pause button whenever I thought too much tape was being wasted on unnecessary material. I’ve cleaned it up as much as possible. This is a long file (15.8MB), but worth the time it takes to download. Recordings of “Honest to Goodness” are somewhat rare. You don’t find many floating around the Internet. At the conclusion of the show, you’ll near the live news adjacency spot for the Chester E. Groth Music Company. Then, the “Your Nighttime Neighbor to the Nation” Legal ID, followed by the introduction of WCCO newsman Dick Chapman.
This was recorded from my home in Apple Valley, Minnesota, using a Spartan-Atlantic “shoebox” cassette recorder with built-in AM radio. Source tape is an Audio Magnetics C-60 Compact Cassette. A fancy term for a cheap “bag cassette” which typically sold 3 for $1.99 or less.