Even at 11 years old, Prince understood the importance of fair wages for teachers. CBS affiliate WCCO has unearthed rare archival footage of the late musician on the site of an April 1970 teachers’ strike.
WCCO Production Manager Matt Liddy made the discovery while conducting historical research to offer context for the recent Minneapolis educators’ protest. Upon taking a look at the reel from 1970, Liddy spotted a reporter interviewing children about the strike, and immediately recognized one of them as a young Prince.
After extracting the audio with the help of a specialist, the station was able to hear the young man’s voice as he responded to a question about whether most of his schoolmates were in favor of the picketing. “Yup,” he responded. “I think they should get some more money because they be working extra hours for us and all that stuff.”
Unfortunately, the reporter never asked for the child’s name. WCCO’s research led them to Minneapolis historian and Prince expert Kristen Zschomler, who identified the school as Lincoln Junior High School. Zschomler then connected them with Prince’s childhood friend and former bandmate Terrance Jackson, who says he knew the future superstar dating back to kindergarten.
Jackson recognized his old friend, nicknamed Skipper, immediately. “That’s Prince, aka Skipper to the Northside,” he said. Wiping tears from his face, Jackson recalled that Prince was already “phenomenally” playing guitar and keys at 11.
Check out the archival footage of Prince in the full segment below.