Skip Nelson
by Ray Dennis


Skip Nelson - 1960

George “Skip” Nelson was born in 1936 and graduated from Ames High School in 1955. He participated in football, basketball and track. He was the first under-class man ever elected captain of a varsity sport (track) and was the first Ames High sprinter to run the 440 yard dash under 50 seconds.

Skip served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 – 1959. He graduated from the Navy Journalist School at Great Lakes, IL in 1956.

Skip began his broadcasting career in 1954 at KASI in Ames. Following his Navy service, he worked at KASI, KWKY, KIOA and KSO all in Des Moines, KWMT in Fort Dodge and KHAK in Cedar Rapids. While at KWMT, he was named the Country Music Association's Small Market Disc Jockey of the Year in 1975. For a number of years, he was featured on Iowa Public Television's State Fair telecasts.

In 1977, Skip changed careers and went to work for the Iowa Department of Transportation as an information specialist. He retired from the DOT in September of 2001.

A lifelong auto racing enthusiast, he served as an announcer at several tracks in Iowa including Knoxville, Des Moines, Webster City, Boone, Newton, Oskaloosa, Bloomfield and Marshalltown. He also announced races at state and county fairs in Iowa and the Midwest. In 1989, he was inducted into the Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame. Skip was the announcer in the racing movie “Fever Heat” which was filmed in Iowa. According to the film's producer, he had the most lines of dialog of any actor in the movie. He also announced auto races and shows aired on Iowa Public Television.

Skip passed away after a long illness in late 2008.

Skip - at mature age


Skip Nelson at KIOA with news cruiser and Hi Hoopers.

1960 KIOA staff pictures including Skip Nelson


Skip Nelson Morning Theme Song - Make Me Lauggh. This became a trademark of the Skipper. It was from
a 45 RPM recording by Joe Sherman recorded in
1958. It was played at Skip's funeral.


Skip Nelson - KIOA 1960

.Skip Nelson KWKY jock theme jingle - 1959

Skip Nelson traffic safety spots - KIOA early 60's

Skip Nelson Sweater Girl promos - KIOA 1962

Skip Nelson Egg Contest - KIOA

Skip Nelson KIOA moblie news intro

Starlight Drive-In movie spot - 1960 KIOA. Proof of KIOA's large coverage area


Special thanks to Skip's widow Becky and the rest of the Nelson family for their assistance


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