Personalities with Chuck Anderson

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  • Hosted by Chuck Anderson

Vintage interviews with well-known and not-so-well-known South Dakotans.

During his long career in radio broadcasting, Chuck Anderson recorded and saved more than 500 hours of recorded conversations. The collection is an archive of stories and anecdotes that capture the essence of our state in the voices of it's people.

"Everyone has a story to tell," says Chuck. "It made me feel good to give them that chance to say it."

Communist coup, August 1991
Michigan State University Soviet History Archives

The "Germans from Russia" story continues with Drs. Tim Kloberdanz and Harry Delker, experts in German anthropology and heritage. Radio journalist Chuck Anderson's interview with these men expands on the Volga Russian experience during WWII, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the American experience for German-Russian immigrants.

Tim and his wife, Rosalinda, visited Volga Germans near the port town of Saratov in August 1991, during a coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. 

Volga Germans
German Federal Archive

The Dakotas are a product of Native American and northern European cultures. With a deeper look, one can see the added influence of diverse subgroups such as the Volga Germans.

In November, 1993, Huron, S.D. hosted the national convention "Germans from Russia." Radio broadcaster Chuck Anderson met and interviewed Ted and Corinne Becker, a father-daughter duo who dedicated their lives to researching the experience of being a Volga German.

Personalities: Baxter Black

Oct 3, 2016

The nation knows his tongue-in-cheek performances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. People from the heartland listen to his imaginative-yet-relatable radio program on cowboy life. Meet the master of cowboy poetry, Baxter Black.

Personalities: Roy and Lucille Fitz Pt. II

Sep 19, 2016

In this continuation of the story of Roy and Lucille Fitz, the De Smet couple discusses the reality of the Depression's effects on the plains. Roy says eastern South Dakota was hit in the early '30s. An acre of land valued at around $50 in the 1910's (about $1,200 today) had dropped to a mere five dollars (about $87 today). Crops dropped steeply in value, and it became difficult to feed livestock. Farmers and governments both were accumulating crippling debt.

On top of all this, droughts became normal and the infamous Dust Bowl began.

Personalities: Roy and Lucille Fitz, Part 1

Sep 19, 2016

Sadly, we're losing senior South Dakotans able to share first-hand remembrances of what life was like here in the years before and during World War II.

Fortunately, some of their memories have been recorded and saved.

Chuck Anderson interviewed Roy and Lucille Fitz, a farm couple from DeSmet, for a radio broadcast in 1994. Roy was born in 1911 on a farm near DeSmet. Lucille was born in Yankton County, near Irene in 1915.

Candace Hilligoss grew up in Huron during the 1940s and 1950s and graduated from Huron high school. After three years at the University of Iowa, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting and theater. She enrolled in the prestigious Actors Studio, paying her way with money she earned as a dancer at the legendary Copacabana night club.