February 14, a day for lovers when they exchage vows, boxes of candy and
flowers; a day that Elliot Ness fans remember the St. Valentine's Day garage
slayings; and a day that spurs Kris Stevens' heart, for he had fulfilled
a life-long ambition.
was old enough to enjoy radio, I listened to WLS, imitated the the jocks
and concentrated very deeply on being a member of the team. And it was
on St. Valentine's Day that I began with WLS-Radio, coming on the air with
a hole bunch of love," says the 10 pm to 2 am dj. "The Kris Stevens Show"
is very "together" in a bright, fast-paced fashion, according to it's star.
Kris Stevens communicates baby - he's alive and loving every minute of
it!' Being the youngest on-air personality on Chicago radio, he finds a
natural empathy with th younger segment of the audience, and does real
well with the "71 year-old grannies who still love Elvis Presley." He receives
a lot of mail from kids all over the country who like his easy-going platter-chatter,
from California to new Yor and from Florida to Greenland. "I like the kids
to feel they can talk to me as one of their contemporaries," says Kris.
"I'm not that far removed from that age where I can't remember some of
the hang-ups. I tell them all to sat cool, it'll work out." And even though
it sounds as if this advice is coming from a member of the older generation,
Kris is only 22.
Kris himself is living proof of his philosophies: "it's fun when you're
young and never, never give up." As a youngster growing up in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, where he was born on December 30th, Kris believed that "fun
is what you make it" and although he spent many years in Ipsheming, Michigan
("it's the type of town where on a Saturday night everybody gets all dressed
up to go downtown and kill crickets") he had ambition. At first he thought
of joining the Navy and as the old sign says, see the world, "wearing those
great blue uniforms - blue is my color. However, I earned enough money
on my paper route to buy a guitar, learn how to strum a few notes and eventually
form my own combo." It was the feeling of being behind a microphone that
spurred his thoughts toward entertaining "which were the basics for jock
While still in Ishpeming High School, Kris started his career as a disk
jockey on an all-night show on local radio. The job was handed to Kris
after the station manager became accutomed to seeing him "hanging around"
all the time. "It was midnight till 6 a.m.," he yawns. "I did homework
from 6 to 8 a.m., spent 8 to 4 p.m. in classes, and 5 to 11 p.m. sleeping,"
recalls Kris. It was a maddening pace for the young d.j. on his way up,
but the worst was yet to come. "When graduation time came around,
I didn't want to miss any of the action so my schedule was worked out where
I was to go 52 hours without slumber. I fell asleep at 5 a.m. one show
and the next thing I knew, the Ishpeming city police were in the studio
ready for action. All they could pick up on their radio was the clicking
sound of a record that was completed."
he moved up the dials, working at radio station in Indiana, Omaha and Detroit.
Before coming to WLS he was with KQV in Pittsburgh where he began that
station's library of "oldie" records, and right now his life is moving
as fast as the cars he drives.
"The biggest day in my life came when the operations manager of WLS called
and invited me to join them. Years ago when people asked me my goal in
life, I would quickly and simply say "WLS," and here I am!" Perserverance
and hard work really paid off and Kris' success is his mass appeal, indicated
by his mass of fan mail. He's sincere, funny, soft and creatinve and keeps
in tune on his listeners' vibrations. "They all just groove with me, from
the grandmothers to the teens, every night without fail!"
love him. He hadn't discovered the extent of his fandom until the evening
he was in the middle of a "live" commercial, when a mouse came dashing
across the console in front of me and parked his little frame right in
front of the commercial book. I completely cracked-up laughing 'cause I
really didn't believe this was happening; trying to explain it was even
neglect education, having attended Michigan Technological University. After
that, whatever education he was to get, came through his experiences on
radio. Now he's so busy he finds that leisure time comes at a premium,
but he'll usually pull out that old guitar of his and hit a few chords
while accompany ing himself.He woyuld love to become an actor and do movies,
but only second to sports. Having grown up in the snow country of Upper
Michigan, he has received several trophies in ski jumping competition.
If that's not enough speed for him, he has three trophies in drag racing
and one from a stock car race at the Santa Fe Speedway in Chicago. His
corvette motor is always running and ready to go traveling.
A hit with young and
old, Kris is often called upon to address groups, especially football banquets.
His bad habit of saying what's on his mind, gets him into weird situations,
like the night he slept under a goal post. He also gets to kiss pretty
he has a big world outside in front of him, Kris is very much an individual
and not likely to go along with the crowd just for the sake of belonging.
"I am enthusiastic and put my heart in everything I do; decisive, not easily
fooled, and restless and always trying to improve myself. I think happiness
is being successful and to be successful, you've got to have a job that
you really love. . . so I'm happy," he philosophizes.
very much an eligible bachelor. His pad is in the suburbs of Chicago, decorated
in Mediterranean and California modern. . . whatever that is. He's proudest
of his round bed which is a sure-fire way of never getting up on the wrong
side of it! And even though he is a night person, he sleeps his regular
eight hours. Constantly on the move, he may remain a bachelor for a few
more years because he hasn't found one special gal who can keep up with
his pace or compete with his love affair with Chicago.