My grandparents lived in Michigan, North Dakota. Their town was located right on Highway 2, 51 miles west of Grand Forks and 40 miles east of Devils Lake. I always loved coming to visit because it gave me an entire dial full of different stations to listen to. The fantastic soil conductivity meant I could hear AM stations from 200+ miles distant during the daytime. Back home in the Twin Cities, it was difficult to hear some stations from 40 miles away. Good TV reception in this area required a large “fringe area” antenna on a tower. By disconnecting the TV and attaching the lead-in cable to my radio (after Grandpa went to bed, of course), I could also receive FM signals from 100+ miles away!
This is a quick dial scan from July, 1983. Basically station ID’s, sweepers, and jock talk from various stations. You’ll hear KFGO, WDAY-AM, and KNOX, back when they still played music! The infamous KSJB “Emergency Message Service” is included. And of course, the mighty K-FIRE in it’s prime! I have always been a huge fan of KFYR, especially during the Dan Brannan years. The personalities, music rotation, audio quality, and imaging on that station were as good as anything in the Twin Cities. The fact that their enormous daytime signal could be heard EVERYWHERE didn’t hurt either.
I recorded this when I was 19, freshly graduated from Brown Institute and looking for my first radio gig. Many new Brownies were placed at North Dakota stations. Because of this, I needed to listen to and record as many stations/dayparts/jocks as I possibly could. This recording was made using a Pioneer AM/FM/Cassette stereo boombox and TDK-D90 tape. Built-in antenna for AM, Grandpa’s TV array for FM.
In 1983, AM radio was still dominant across North Dakota. FM was just starting to become competitive in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot. This was back in the days of REAL radio when every station was live, local, and served their community.