Today we’re celebrating the 67th anniversary of Golden West and the radio station that began our commitment to community service radio, CFAM Radio 950. The evening of March 13th,1957 is when the radio station hit the airwaves of the Pembina Valley for the first time.

When CFAM signed on in 1957 the slogan was, ‘Your farm and good music station!’ Elmer Hildebrand was one of the original eleven employees, and has remained with the company over the past 67 years, leading the Golden West team for decades, currently as C.E.O.

“We have a unique program format, and the kind of family programming that covers the entire spectrum of family values and local information,” said Hildebrand in a recent interview celebrating CFAM's sister station CJRB Radio 1220 and its 50th anniversary last October. "The local information keeps us relevant, and the family-style values we present every day, you can’t find that anywhere else. From my perspective, I'm proud to see all of these things develop and will continue to cheer everybody on."

radio program guide

So, with CFAM Radio 950's 67th anniversary in mind, we thought it would be neat to connect with Tina Schmidt, who co-owns Hometown Heritage, a collectible and memorabilia store in Altona. Over the years, along with her husband, the couple has come into possession of a number of really neat radio related pieces, and Chris connected with Tina on one of those in light of today’s anniversary.

Now the piece Tina highlighted isn't directly connected to CFAM, or Radio Southern Manitoba, but it shares the commonality of being radio related in the early days of the medium in this region... a "Winter Radio Programs" guide for Altona and Gretna that was "Compliments of Altona Feed Service Mill" at the time.

"It's something we got in that I have in one of the display cases in the shop," explained Schmidt. "It is the Home-O-Gram 1949 to 1950 Winter radio program, I would call it a booklet. It gives you a whole listing of programs, the times, the radio stations they're airing on, with a lot of local advertising, which because we're local history nerds, is really, really fascinating. Because I've worked at Golden West for a really long time, this has a little special place in my heart because it's radio."

Programs like "Farm Forum", "Air Kindergarten", "Guest in House", "Happy Gang", "Wayne & Schuster" and " Burns Chuckwagon" are just some of the programs highlighted from stations like CKRC, KSJB (U.S.), KFYR (U.S.) among others. Another notable feature is the phone numbers of several businesses are on it, some of them a single or just two digits.

"I love that D.M. Friesen from Altona has the phone number 5, which I love," said Schmidt with a smile. "It's just really interesting to see what existed. What did they do? What were they thinking? Who got these? That's what I want to know. I would love to know what the story behind it is. Did you have to ask receive the program? Did it just automatically come in the mail? I don't know. I love it because it's a really great little fold out booklet you could have put in your kitchen, or in your living room, beside your radio and tune in every week to all those things that were special to you."

And speaking of tuning in, we'd like to thank you for spending time with CFAM Radio 950 all these years. We know many of you have been listening every day for decades, and some since the very first broadcast 67 years ago. Thank you for being part of our radio family, and for giving us the opportunity to be community service radio while connecting communities all these years.

You can listen to CFAM Radio 950 Morning Show host Chris Sumner's conversation with Tina Schmidt, below.