Bob Helgeson didn't start his career in radio but as a musician. He landed his first professional music gig with the Sy Sargent big band in Sioux Falls. That was followed by playing with Milt Askew's Dixie Rhythm Club and later he formed his own group, The Three Dads. In 1947 Bob attended Beck Radio School in Minneapolis for two months. He then accepted a radio job at KGWB in Goodland, KS playing country western music. After two weeks Bob threw in the towel and took a bus back to Luverne, MN.
In 1948 KISD, 1230 on the dial, was born and Bob was back on the air. Two years later he got a call from broadcasting legend Ray Loftesness at KSOO where he spent the next seven years. Some of his co-workers included Bill Rohn, Orrin Melton, Murray Stewert, and REd Stangland. One of Bob's fondest memories was doing remotes from the Arkota Ballroom. He interviewed Gene Krupa, Les Brown, Woody Herman, Ray Anthony, Billy May and many more. Doing a remote at the Arkota was the beginning of a long friendship with Myron Lee. It has special significance because that is where he met his beautiful bride to be, Jeanne Gross. They were married on Valentines Day, 1953.
Bob received a call from KIHO in 1957 and was offered a job playing top 40 rock and roll. This was something new for the big band and jazz enthusiast but with an adventurous spirit, he gave it a try. Bob spent two years with KIHO and was affectionately known as "KIHO Helge". Other on air personalities included J.P. the D.J., Lucky Lloyd, Red Rover, and another 2009 inductee, Smilin Jack' Shafer.
Helge got out of radio for two years but in 1960 KELO in Sioux Falls called and he was back on the air playing rock and roll. In 1966 he received an offer from NSP to join their advertising department, which he did. It proved to be a good career move as he was there until 1991 when he retired. Today Bob and his wife live in the twin cities area and enjoy their grandchildren. He may be grandpa Bob but we will always think of him as "KIHO Helge".