Wednesday, June 3, 2015

WCCO Minneapolis MInnesota - 1926

WLAG commenced broadcasting on September 4th, 1922. The station closed down on July 31st, 1924 due to financial difficulties but resumed two months later on October 2nd, 1924 when the call letters were changed to WCCO after being taken over by the Washburn Crosby Company (forerunner of General Mills).

WLAG's transmitter room, situated in the Oak Grove Hotel near Loring Park, Minneapolis (photograph Wikimedia Commons).

WCCO operated from the Oak Grove Hotel on 416.4 metres (720 kHz) with a power of 500 watts. 

Total Eclipse

On January 24th, 1925, the station covered a total eclipse of the sun. Listeners tuned into announcer Howard Kelley's broadcast from an open cockpit airplane above the clouds. Kelley spoke into a microphone that had been adjusted and set up in order to shut out the sounds of the rushing wind.

The Nicollet Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota (photograph 1924 - Wikimedia Commons).

The station moved to the Nicollet Hotel with a simultaneous increase in power to 5000 watts on March 4th, 1925. The new transmitter with twin two hundred foot high towers was situated at Anoka.

The First Commercial Jingle 

On December 24th, 1926 WCCO aired the first commercial jingle. 

The "Wheaties" jingle (the first ready-to-eat cereal) was recorded by the male vocal quartet (pictured below) and sung to the tune of "She's A Jazz Baby", a popular song at the time.

An mp3 audio clip of the first "Wheaties" jingle recorded in 1926, is available here, at the website.   

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