Chicago

QuickCheck: John “Records” Landecker, WLS Chicago | August, 1975

Date of Recording: 08.xx.1975 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 890 WLS Chicago Illinois, USA Featured Air Personality: John Records Landecker (WILS, WIBG, WLS, CFTR, WLUP, WAGO, WPHR, WJMK, WZZN, WLS-FM) Airchexx Entry: 644 (Repost at 1,453) “If anyone asks you what station YOU listen to, tell them W L S!” Comments: Another too short listen to Landecker, finds him reading off the names of people who will be going to eat dinner with the Osmonds and then see them in concert. Hard to believe Donny & Marie were ever a big deal (if today’s oldies stations are any guage), but JRL sure talks it up. Listen for a great promo for the WLS Monster Bonanza as Tommy Edwards produces this piece that shows WLS giving away a Mazda! We have a similar aircheck here most likely from the sa...

Captain Whammo, WMET Chicago | April 1978

Date of Recording: 04.xx.1978 (Exact Date Unknown) Station: 95.5 WMET Chicago, Illinois, USA Featured Air Personality: Jim Channel (“Captain Whammo”) (WDHF, WMET, WCFL, others) “I Feel like a little screamin’ and yellin’ tonight!” Comments: Jim Channel, aka “Capt. Whammo” is heard here on 95 1/2 WMET. Note the disco music and the WCFL-style jingle package in use at the time which kinda sounds out of place considering the year. They sound good at this point, but I’m at a loss as to why WMET had some of the worst jingles ever heard prior to ’78… low budget, maybe? And, in your humble webmaster’s opinion, the imaging voice is and was horrible, but that’s made up for the fact that the format itself slams, and Whammo ...

Smokin’ Joe Dawson on B-96 WBBM-FM Chicago | September 2, 1986

Labor Day weekend 1986… not particularly memorable except perhaps if you were lamenting the fact that Summer vacation was over. Smokin’ Joe Dawson sent this in himself and explains that at this period in time, B-96 had no jingles! This was about a month before I left to go to Seattle to burn off a no compete before coming back to Chicago at WFYR. The powers that be had B96 sounding like a cross between ‘GCI and Q101 in their Hot AC days. More original audio from the site that brings radio back to LIFE!

Format Change in Chicago: WCFL AM 1000 Becomes WLUP | April 29, 1987

Date of Recording: April 28-29, 1987 Station(s): WCFL AM 1000, WLUP/WLUP-FM 97.9 Chicago, Illinois Featured Air Talent: Steve Dahl, Gary Meier, Jonathan Brandmeir, Patty Hayes, Various others Contributor: Frank Davis Aircheck Entry: 1,423 Comments: “WCFL – Nothing has changed but the religion…” At the stroke of midnight, 4.29.87, The legendary WCFL call letters disappeared forever from AM 1000. So, too, did the unique religious programming. In a final half hour in which the station hosts said goodbye, a farewell show worthy of a great Top 40 station, the staff takes the time to say goodbye to dozens of callers… then goes out with a prayer. The next hour of this hour and a half aircheck is all the new WLUP (AM) in the minutes following the midnight flip, then l...

Big Ron O’Brien, 1000 AM WCFL Chicago | October, 1973

The heated battle between WCFL and WLS never was hotter than this… in 1973, ‘CFL actually BEAT WLS in the ratings – it happened only once. But what a year and what a sound the Voice of Labor had. Having ‘stolen’ Larry Lujack from WLS, and the addition of some great talent, including Big Ron O’Brien (who went on to bigger fame at WXLO 99X New York), WCFL really cooked during this time period. Restored by your humble webmaster in honor of O’Brien, who passed away on April 27, 2008, here’s a 22 minute high quality aircheck recorded just after WCFL came off the number one rating book, the best book it would ever get. One listen to the fast pace of this station and you’ll know why they knocked the Rock of Chicago off its pedistal – eve...

Big Ron O’Brien, 1000 AM WCFL | 1976

1976 – The final year that WCFL played Top 40. Before flaming out, this was an incredible station – fast paced, screamin’ jocks, and a harder edge to the music than even crosstown WLS, which billed itself as the “Rock of Chicago”. Unfortunately for all of us who loved the format, the American Federation of Labor Union that owned the station was pretty much finished with playing radio, and WCFL was just about done with Rock music in general. That story we’ll tell at another time. By 1976, WCFL had fallen substantially in the ratings race, due to increased visibility and promotion by both WLS, and the emergence of FM Rock stations which were gaining prominence. You’d never notice if you were a listener to the Voice of Labor though, as you’ll he...

Pat Reynolds, 96.3 WBBM-FM Chicago | July, 1990

Date of Recording: July, 1990 (Exact date unknown) Station: WBBM-FM 96.3 Chicago Featured Air Talent: Pat Reynolds Contributor: Robyn Watts Aircheck Entry: 1,405 Comments: Its been quite a while since we posted something from the absolutely fabulous Robyn Watts collection but lets just say this was worth the wait! WBBM-FM’s nickname at this point in time was “The Killer Bee”, and B96 was really smokin’ here! The pace is lightning fast. There’s a couple of promotional spots in there which shows off the station’s killer production talents and creativity. The jingles were ultra modern – but we have no idea what package it might be from. Somebody knows. This is the first aircheck of Pat Reynolds. Don’t know who he is or what other stations he wor...

Jay Johnson, WVON Chicago | 1972

Date of Recording: 1972 (Exact date unknown) Contributor: Leo Knott Station: 1450 WVON Berwyn, Illinois (Chicago) Featured Air Talent: Jay Johnson Comments: Contributor Leo Knot writes: “One of my favorite jocks of all-time. I don’t know all the stations he worked at but he did work the San Antonio market at one time. I heard Jay on Chicago’s WGRT (Later to be WJPC)… he was Orange Juice Jay in the morning. He was wooed away to WVON – the urban music giant at the time. WVON had great personalities from Joe Cobb (the voice of Soul Train… at least at the beginning, Herb Kent “The Cool Gent”, Bill “Butterball” Crane, E. Rodney Jones, Cecil Hale, Richard Pegue, Pervis Spahn and others. After WVON, he ventured to WTLC in Indianapolis to...

The WLS Big 89 Montage – 1960-1979

As December 2015 drew to a close, ideas were flying around as to what ‘new’ programming I could come up with for my own internet radio show. The first, most logical choice, was a take on the memory of what WLS Chicago did every year after they played the Number One song of whatever particular year they were doing their Big 89 Countdown. The WLS Music Montage (it never really had a name) played immediately before Midnight of the new year. It was always timed out perfectly, so that Auld Lang Syne would air after the montage was over. And each year, WLS production would add a new assortment of song clips (I believe they were each Number One songs) for the current year. So, I amused myself and listened to the original montage in its final version for 1988, and decided I wanted to d...

John Records Landecker Promos, 94.7 WLS-FM Chicago | 2012

In the queue for a couple of years for posting is this couple of promos for John Records Landecker, who recently retired from WLS and radio, in general. According to Contributor Mark Shayler, these promos aired during the start of Landecker’s last stint doing nights on WLS-FM, beginning on January 23, 2012. The promos were produced and parts narrated by former (and current) WLS DJ Jeff Davis, who was still the voice of WLS AM and FM at the time these aired. Davis hosts his own show on 94.7 WLS-FM. Aircheck #1,379 since May 2, 2002!

Kevin Matthews, “Night Service”, WLUP The Loop AM 1000 Chicago | August 12, 1987

The great experiment to see if a Talk/AOR hybrid format would work on AM is fully on display here, at the former WCFL Chicago AM 1000 digs, at this point known as “The Loop AM 100 WLUP”. The Night Service is on the air, with Kevin Matthews and a lot of characters, phoners and *some* Rock & Roll. The experiment wouldn’t last long, and soon enough, plenty of gospel would be heard coming from AM 1000. But this era of The Loop was highly written up in the trades. Starts with the end of the afternoon show, a song, then Kevin Matthews. First bit is something with ‘Ronny Reagan’. Yeah, he was getting senile in 1987. There’s lots of dialogue with engineer “Rat Boy”. Ends halfway through something called an “Elvis Minute”. Runs 31:50,...

Larry Lujack with Charlie Van Dyke, 89 WLS Chicago | May 4, 1985

Courtesy of Big Apple Airchecks, we head back to 1985. WLS was celebrating its 25th anniversary as “The Rock of Chicago”. Part of that celebration involved plenty of reunions. …I’ve been known as the comma between Lujack appearances. This particular morning, Larry Lujack is joined by former morning man Charlie Van Dyke, who was there in between gigs at 93 KHJ in Los Angeles. Perhaps in a different world, these two men would have been competitors in the same market. In fact, indirectly, they were for a time. Van Dyke did mornings on WLS when Lujack left to do afternoons on WCFL. This particular day, they reunite on air with a sometimes irreverent, funny and compelling show! Were it not for Chicago’s infamously cold Winters, could these two have made a powerful ...

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