Ron Brittain; Barney Pipp, WCFL Chicago | October, 1967

WCFL Chicago

Barney Pip 1000 Chicago WCFL 1960s
When Contributor Frank Davis wrote to say he was sending a box of original tapes, we really had no idea of the quality of the recordings. Most, says Davis, were taken right from the source reels, or recorded directly onto cassette. This was apparently the former.

Starting off with a promo for the upcoming ‘New’ Dick Biondi ’68 show, here’s Ron Brittain and Barney Pipp – not together, but mixed inside this 30 minute partial scope of what sounds like a couple of different day recordings from the Fall of 1967. Listen to the assortment of jingles that WCFL was using in 1967! Some are instantly recognizable as classic PAMS cuts, others we’re not quite sure about. Heller, perhaps?

As we’ve pointed out on numerous occasions on this website, the AM receivers of the 1960s and most of the 1970s were quite widebanded. By that, I mean AM radio back then, by regulation, was 13khz wide per ‘channel’, as opposed to today’s restrictive 9khz bandwidth. Thus, recordings from that era which survive in good condition, such as this one, demonstrate that the AM band really WAS a good place to listen to music, despite its lack of stereo separation – and one could easilly digress about how all the designs were there for AM Stereo even in 1967, had the FCC wanted to take the extra step and create a legal standard for it at the time (but it refused, so that FM could be developed and ‘catch up’ with AM listenership). But that’s an entirely different discussion, which you can read about HERE at your lesiure.

I mention all that, so that I can point out that this is an excellent recording, which survives more than four decades in almost perfect condition. So perfect, you hear even faint crackles from distant thunderstorms and even slight tape imperfections.

We left this recording alone. There’s been no editing whatsoever by your webmaster, apart from some manual level adjustments at the source through the sound board here to ensure equal volume on L & R channels. Your reward, is a 30 minute trip back to October of 1967, and the sound of Chicago’s “Voice of Labor” – WCFL. (1)

(1) RadioTimeLine Tribute site for WCFL


  1. Al Horne

    Looking WCFL jingle….”perfect time to listen to…W C F L…..” Possibly PAMS…
    Jingle has a beautiful Bass harmony.


  2. Mark Jeffries

    At this time, all WCFL jingles were written by Chuck Blore and sing by the Johnny Mann Singers. The original “Encore” package was originally done for KRLA in LA and in the fall of 1967 Blore did a custom package for CFL that was mixed in with the “Encore” package until the summer of 1968, when they responded to WLS kicking their butt with Drake formatics with the first great TM package, “The Beat Goes On.” And they stayed with TM for the nexr decade (the beautiful music format was TM).

  3. As a kid growing up in the ’60s and living south of Buffalo, I explored all the 50 KW stations I could find. It didn’t take me long to realize that WCFL, especially Brittain and Pipp were my absolute favorites and radio inspirations. The controlled chaos of the Brittain program, and all the production and planning that went into it (I realized this even as a kid) impressed the heck out of me.

  4. I was fortunate enough to be going to broadcast school in Chicago during CFL’s hey day. Ron Britain was kinf enough to let me be his gopher at the station. Some of the drop ins were my voice. Things like “Wella Wella” I spent 30 years in the bizz thanks to people like Ron.

  5. scott staszak

    the original Chuck Blore jingles from ’65-’67 were fantastic 2 min jingles ENCORE……ENCORE!!!!! Just a totally thought out radio station Ken Draper knew what he was doing……..and the talent wasn’t too shabby either…..

  6. Ted Laws

    The great Ron Britain, King B, also did the Green Hairnet among other zanie characters. It was pure pleasure to listen to him. Where can we get more recordings of his inventive pieces? Is he still alive in Sept. 2016? I’d love to send him a note of appreciation.

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