WCCO Minneapolis recently hit gold when an employee went to pull archival footage for a story about a local teachers’ strike.
Production manager Matt Liddy was watching a 52-year-old film relay feature local landmarks when he saw that he believed he was a familiar face. Without revealing his guess, he showed a picture of a young boy to his colleagues and asked them what it looked like. They all had the same answer: “Prince.”
The timing and the boy’s apparent age coincided with the life of the then Prince Rogers Nelson, who grew up in Minneapolis. But no matter how famous the future superstar may be, there are still very few videos that document his childhood, according to a superfan in a WCCO interview.
Kristen Zschomler is a historian and archaeologist who has studied the landmarks of the Twin Cities. He may also be a Prince fan who has documented the artist’s “Journey to Paisley Park and the World from the Northside of Minneapolis”.
Asked about the available documentation of the 7-time Grammy winner’s early days, Zschomler said, “As far as video is concerned, I’m not familiar with any of them. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I’m not familiar with anyone.”
In fact, the earliest picture of the superstar may have been his junior high basketball picture, which was widely circulated on social media but was taken a few years after the WCCO footage.
Although Zschomler did not identify the boy with complete certainty in the 1970 video, comparing it to Prince’s picture at the time, he said he strongly felt it was the musician.
Many local TV stations, pinched for funding and happy to present stories as “mysteries” instead of predicting, would stop there. But the CCC-owned and operated WCCO did not.
A track down from reporter Jeff Wagner Purple rain Legendary childhood friend, Terrence Jackson, a neighbor who went to kindergarten with the superstar and his first band was at Grand Central.
“Oh my God, that’s the kitchen,” Jackson said as the video began, recognizing their friend Ronnie Kitchen as a teenager. Then, as soon as the boy in question came into the frame, he shouted, “That is the prince! You’re standing right there with your hat on, aren’t you? It’s the captain! Oh my God! “
The captain, it turns out, had an 11-year-old nickname.
The station actually interviewed the boy who questioned the 1970 teachers’ strike – although it did not get his name – and after some technical squabbles, Wagner’s audio got to work. She played it for Jackson, who began to cry when he heard the voice of his now dead childhood friend.
In the video, a reporter asks the young captain, “Do most kids favor picketing?”
“Yes,” he replied briefly.
“How?” The reporter asked.
“I think they should get some more money because they work extra hours for us and all those things,” the boy said, glancing mischievously at his companions as he spoke and then smirking at the Prince’s trademarks. Life
Jackson was thrilled to see and hear the video, “I flew. I’m totally amazed, “Jackson said.” He was already playing the guitar and the key, extraordinarily, “he continued.” Music has become our sport. Because he was athletic, I was athletic, but we wanted to compete in music. “
“It’s a prince, aka Skipper to the Northside,” Jackson confirmed at one point, as if he were a reporter to dispel his own disbelief.
See for yourself: While releasing footage of the 1970 Minneapolis teachers’ strike, the WCCO uncovered something valuable – unseen footage before the 11-year-old prince! | Full story: https://t.co/dz7grOfpQW pic.twitter.com/UE32rCSMNt
– WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) April 4, 2022