Ron O’Brien, WCFL Chicago, Part 1 | 1973

WCFL Chicago
Big Ron OBrien
Big Ron O’Brien Sketch while at WPGC Morningside

Recording Date: 1973 (Exact Date Unknown)
Station: 1000 WCFL (WLUP) (WMVP) Chicago (Wikipedia) (WMVP Website)
Branded: “The Voice of Labor”
Ownership: Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL Union) (Website)
Featured Air Personality: Ron O’Brien (Richard Wallis 10.24.1951 – 04.27.2008) (KBAB/WCFL/WXLO/WRKO/WNBC/KIIS-FM/WPGC/WYXR/WOGL (Wikipedia)
Contributor: David Hudach
Segments: Part 1 | Part 2

7 O’clock at the Voice of Labor!

Curator’s Notes:

There are three breaks in this 15 minute tape, each one appears to be a different broadcast day. Our contributor wrote:

I have a 27 minute compilation aircheck of Big Ron O’Brien from the 70′s. Early 70′s and then later when CFL was running The Last Contest. Myself and friends were from Struthers, Ohio at the time and loved Big Ron. We were involved in our high school FM radio station and aspired to be big city radio jocks. At one point probably in 72-73 we actually called Big Ron and asked him to say something about us on the air. He couldn’t do that, but he did mention Struthers, Ohio when he introed Sister Mary Elephant by Cheech and Chong. We were thrilled. That segment is about 6 minutes into the aircheck. In addition, when Big Ron went to WXLO NY, four of us took a bus trip to NYC and visited Big Ron. After calling him that first time, we managed to keep in touch with him off and on and when hearing that he had gone to 99X, decided to take the trip. He was super to us young kids and we never forgot that. By the way, this CFL aircheck is a true classic.

WCFL Chicago

Some other Ron O’Brien Airchecks that you may enjoy:

Big Ron O’Brien, AM 1490 KBAB Indianola, Iowa | Composite 1969/1970
Ron O’Brien, 68 WRKO Boston | September 17, 1978
Big Ron O’Brien, 98.7 WXLO 99X New York | Winter 1977
Big Ron O’Brien, 1000 AM WCFL | 1976
Big Ron O’Brien, 98.1 WOGL Philadelphia | April 24, 2006


  1. Nick Sarames

    Based on the music, jingles and the Sly Stone concert ad, these airchecks were from 1973. I believe Ron returned to CFL sometime in ’75 but I don’t believe he stayed that long. WCFL would change format to BM on March 15th, 1976.

    • Carl Rychlik

      When I lived in Chicago back in the ’70’s,I would listen to SuperCFL and it was some of the best radio I have ever listened to. Thank God I was able to listen to it back then and little did I know it would fade into oblivion. All of us that truly appreciate what SuperCFL was,really miss it to this day.It was a great radio station and had a unique sound to it. There will never be another radio station like it.

  2. Paul Ford

    The music in this aircheck tells me that it was recorded in 1973.
    The audio quality is fair but Big Ron was one of the best.
    I used to listen to CFL in the early 70s when the signal was best about an hour after sunset here in Michigan.
    Thanks for posting.

  3. Bill Shannon

    Actually this aircheck is from late 1973 which makes it Ron’s first time there. That was the year that they ran Jack McCoy’s “Last Contest”. It was also the year that Kris Erik Stevens joined for a short time following his time at WLS. They were calling the station WCFL. By 1974 they’d start using “Super CFL” as an identifier. Ron would go to KTLK in Denver
    but would return to CFL to program in 1975.
    He stayed until early 1976. CFL ended it’s run as a top 40 on March 15, 1976. Big Ron was a great talent on a great station.

  4. Based on the majority of songs heard on what was a very current-driven format -and- the temps indicated during the forecast breaks, I’d have to say the series of airchecks are from somewhere between Dec. 1973 and March 1974.

  5. David Hudach

    You are all probably correct about the time of the airchecks, around 73-74. Audio quality is fair for sure – I am from the Youngstown, Ohio area. As I recall, I recorded many of these in the summer. So there was a lot of pre-sunset signal fade !!


  6. steve kingston

    super cfl’s last gasp was late 1975-1976, which is showcased on a WCFL tribute site…midwest radio wars at their best between CFL and WLS. As a young impressionable future programmer, I would study these two great radio stations and their tremendously talented airstaffs from the Jack In The Box parking lot in College Park, MD…Big Ron at his best is “part 2” . Check it out at//

  7. Steve Wilson

    The first segment is certainly between October ’72 and March ’73 assuming // is accurate. The very beginning has Ron announce that Kris Erik Stevens is at 10:00pm. Given the weather report at 1:20 into the clip with the VERY cold temperatures suggests it is most likely January ’73.

  8. Randall Underwood

    Listening to CFL … Chicago…..I was wondering if anyone has any recordings of John Allgood, known as Gary Chris Stevensons….I believe he was known as on the radio……I think he was on WKLS. I was stationed in VietNam with John , and remembered him talking about being a DJ there…..

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.