A CNN-affiliated station in Minneapolis has stumbled upon a rare find – archival footage of the late and great icon Prince at age 11, supporting striking public school teachers.
WCCO staff members were scouring the station’s archives for old clips from a local teachers’ strike in 1970 to include in a story about a more recent strike when they spotted a familiar face in the one of the clips.
An interviewer in the 1970 clip asked a young boy if most of the children on strike were in favor of picketing their teachers. The boy, sporting a very familiar smirk, replied, “Yeah.”
“I think they should make a little more money because they work overtime for us and stuff,” he said in the clip.
WCCO staff were certain the boy they had spotted was Prince – the only thing they were missing was a video of the boy saying his name. So, to confirm his identity, the station reached out to Prince’s old friend and schoolmate, Terrance Jackson, who had known the Purple One since kindergarten and even played with him in his first band, Grand Central.
When WCCO presenter Jeff Wagner showed Jackson the footage, Prince’s old friend laughed with delight. And when he listened to a young prince speak, Jackson was speechless and in tears.
“Wow, that was him,” Jackson said after an admiring pause, confirming the boy in the clip was indeed a preteen Prince Rogers Nelson. “I am totally blown away.”
The young musician was already playing guitar and keyboard when the video was shot, Jackson said.
Prince, who died in 2016 of an accidental fentanyl overdose, is well-loved in Minneapolis — and he adored it throughout his life, often recording at his studio and at his home in Paisley Park, out of town . After his death, WCCO discovered donations he had made to organizations across the city that he had not spoken about publicly, including funding for a school and more than $1 million through his own charity.
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