SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Just in time for our 70 anniversary KELOLAND got a surprise gift. A reel of film from the 1950s. It came from the family of the host of KELOLAND’s first live variety show.
“Hi there, we are glad you came because we are featuring fireworks today, tomorrow is the big day the glorious 4th, host Sylvia Dunn told the audience back in 1955. ”
The Sylvia Dunn show was the first live variety show on KELOLAND.
“We are having fun with food; we have a human firecracker in the studio today. And right now, to start us rocketing off, we are going to have Standing on a Corner with Abby. (Abby Austin)
The images are a long way from today’s high-def TV, but at the time this was all new.
“My mom had a local variety show on KELO for about a year and a half in about 1955 to 56,” said Schoeder.
Marie Schroeder, a retired pediatrician from Willmar, Minnesota stopped by the station to talk with us, she says her mom was looking to supplement the farm income. As luck would have it KELO was looking for someone to host a live variety show sponsored by General Mills.
“Because this flour, which is an all-purpose flour, is specially milled to make anything that you bake taste better,” said the commercial.
“It is interesting to watch the old film because she performs. She was a singer, she had a beautiful voice, and she does her singing and goes right into a commercial, and it makes you laugh from our perspective, you know, over 50 years later.
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“Because, it is such an abrupt transition, from this singing to trying to sell cake mix,” Schroeder said.
Schroeder says her mom kept this reel of 16-millimeter film. Marie had it copied to digital format and wanted the station to have the original film.
“There were so many live shows, they were never recorded on tape or film, so they are gone. It’s so very important to be able to preserve the history here in KELOLAND and to be able to get a film we didn’t even know existed.”
As KELOLAND marks 70 years on the air, it’s nice to get a glimpse of what those early days of TV looked and sounded like. Marie says she remembers hanging around the first years of the Captain 11 show, which aired right after her mom’s show.