WDGY-AM 1130 Minneapolis MN Boom Boom Bailey 1973

Back in January, 1973, WDGY was the station I listened to the most.  During the daytime, they had the strongest signal by far at my location in Apple Valley.  Those 50,000 watts from south Bloomington could be heard on a crystal radio with a paper clip antenna!  At night, however, it was a completely different story.

In order to prevent interference with several other 1130 stations, WDGY was required to reduce power to 25,000 watts and use an extremely directional NINE tower pattern at night.  This pattern shot most of their signal north-northeast with very little coverage in other directions.  The tightest restriction was to the south, in order to protect KWKH in Shreveport, LA.  Being in Apple Valley, I was right in that null.  Although I was less than 8 miles away from the towers, it was impossible for me to get a clean signal from WDGY at night!  You can hear me fine tuning the radio during the newscast, trying to bring it in clear.  St. Louis’ KMOX is the loud station on 1120. WRVA from Richmond, Virginia is on the other side at 1140.  At the time, I was only 8 years old and didn’t yet comprehend AM directional arrays.  It frustrated the hell out of me, having them bleed all over my dial during the day, but barely receivable at night.

Dave Hellerman, aka “Boom Boom Bailey” did nights on “Weegee.”  Since the FCC still required news and public service content in those days, he read newscasts and played segments of “WDGY Listens to You”, in addition to playing the hits.  All 3 elements can be heard in this aircheck from January, 1973.  Note the forecast and current temperature, all of which are far below zero.  Now I remember why I moved away from Minnesota!