Ron O’Brien, WCFL Chicago, Part 2 | 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
Total Time: 13:05 (Telescoped)

Segments: Part 1 | Part 2

Description by David Hudach:

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.

We might add that Part 2 is a bit tough to listen to. The audio quality is only fair at best thanks to nighttime fading, but if you can get past that, Big Ron is awesome! We continue to be amazed at just how tight ‘CFL sounded, especially compared to crosstown WLS… but this IS from a period of time when WCFL finally beat WLS in the ratings… just once!

This is another in our series from the late Ron O’Brien. If you have a recording from Big Ron, we’d sure like to post it. Email the curator for all the details!

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. Paul Ford

    I enjoyed this CFL aircheck despite the signal fade.
    My favorite was at 3:17 when he played the Deep Purple intro….that was first time I ever heard (Smoke on the Water) on an aircheck.
    We miss you Big Ron !!!!!!
    Thanks for the memories.

  2. Tom Lane

    I only barely remember WCFL, but growing up in St.Joe, Michgan I love ALL Chicago radio from the 70’s- this was SO much better than listening to “canned” mpe’s like the kids today- I know, I sound like an old codger!!!

  3. Kimberley O'Brien

    Love this! Thanks so much for the great Chicago Memories!!!

Leave a Reply

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