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Joe Dawson, Hot Hits ™ “96 Now” WBBM-FM Chicago | 1983

Courtesy of Contributor Keith Teicher, here’s 14 minutes of pure Hot Hits ™ heaven! WBBM-FM was known as “96 Now” in 1983. You’ll hear a generous dose of TM Fusion ™ jingles sung for WBBM-FM. It starts with the 96 Now morning show, then moves on to Joe Dawson’s late morning/midday show.

Hot Hits fans will notice the rigid formatting in place at WBBM-FM. For some reason, this sounds more formal than the earlier version of Hot Hits that Mike Joseph instituted at WTIC-FM Hartford some 6 years earlier. Comments?

Joe Dawson is one of our personal favorites… Joe is one of the most positive people and you’ll see that if you look him up on Facebook – his are the most encouraging posts you’ll read in a day!

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6 Comments


  1. FWIW-Aircheck was recorded May 18th, 1982 (MLB scores helped track down the date as well as the music), so this would be very early into the “Hot Hits” format.

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  2. Good catch Robyn. The Hot Hits format hit Chicago on May 2 or 3 of 1982.

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  3. I believe Mike Josephs’ first consulting gig was with WZUU in Milwaukee back in ’72. They played Gilbert O’Sullivans’, “Alone Again Naturally” every 90 minutes. “Stereo 96” was the beginning of the end for top-40’s WOKY and WRIT.

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  4. What a complete disaster! Not only was the jingle package completely corrupted – destroyed, even – but the “personalities” had no idea how to use the jingles, and had not the slightest understanding that the jingles with the long music intro were to be used as a music-bed while they were talking, for example the top-of-the-hour legal ID jingle. Same with the WCAU-FM format/jingle package – Disaster! Listen to the 96 TICs airchecks in order to hear the original jingles and how they were designed to be used, before corrupted in the ’80s.

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  5. Wow, another Hot Hits airchecks I never heard and just discovered on Airchexx! This one is not my favorite. It’s no surprise that WBBM-FM began changing the formatics by August of ’82. It seems as though in Chicago they never really believed in or committed to the format. In this aircheck it’s obvious Joe Dawson was late for his shift, and you can hear the frustration in Steve Davis’ voice. As noted before it was recorded in May of ’82 only a few weeks after the format debuted. Also, the audio processing never really matched the format as songs and the mic sounded flat. Finally the “Hot Hits” jingle shout was very weak. But, alas any Hot Hits aircheck is special and I am grateful it is presented on this site!

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    • Memory eluding me in my old age (lol)… I forgot that YOU didn’t give this to me. You’ve got all the good ones, including the WTIC-FM gems! I understand why the format burnt itself out but damn. It was good while it lasted!

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