MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Radio personality Roger Erickson, who ruled Minnesota's morning airwaves along with on-air WCCO partner Charlie Boone for 38 years, has died. He was 89.
His daughter, Tracy Anderson, said Tuesday that he died of natural causes at his home in Plymouth on Monday. He had been suffering from dementia for around 10 years, she said.
The folky "Boone and Erickson" show, with its mix of humor and news and its signature "Good Morning" song, recalled an earlier era of radio for many listeners. In the show's prime, half of the people listening to the radio in the greater Twin Cities area on any given morning were tuned in to the show.
Boone and Erickson did their last show together in January 1998. Boone died in 2015 at age 88. Their signature skit was the recurring "Minnesota Hospital," a takeoff on an old radio soap opera.
"It was an amazing time in radio," said Anderson, who recalled hanging around the station when she was a girl. "It was incredible to see an entire staff working together like that. It wasn't just him. He was just like an engine of the whole train."
Erickson, who grew up in the southern Minnesota town of Winthrop, also endeared himself to generations of Minnesota schoolchildren by delivering school closing announcements on snowy mornings in his deep baritone voice.
"He said the epitaph on his tombstone would be 'Roger Erickson, two hours late, now closed,'" Anderson said.
Erickson was one of the original inductees into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.
Besides his wife, Margaret, he is survived by Anderson; her husband, Scott; and two grandchildren. A son, Steve, died in 2008.
His memorial service, open to the public, will be at 10 a.m. Nov. 10 at the Lafayette Club in Orono. Anderson expects people who worked with him will be speaking. The family requests that instead of flowers, memorials go to the theater or agricultural departments at the University of Minnesota, or a department of the donor's choice.