are your memories of WLS . . .
... Kelly Bryant (2/11/05)
I knew Joel Sebastian well and worked many summers with him as he came to the booth I was a dj at, at the Winnetka Children's Fair in Winnetka Ill. Joel, Dick and Art were my mentors. I spent many days with them at WLS and WCFL. We talked radio. I am no semi-retired from radio because radio is not what radio was meant to be now. All the greats like Joel are missed on the radio today. It is time for radio to reyurn to the days of Joel, Dick, Art, etc.
... Cliff Edwards (1/21/05)
I love your WLS tribute. Lots of my friends and several that I hired at WLS are included. Would it be asking too much to include me in the list of programmers/on air at WLS?
I brought John Landecker with me from then CHR, WAGO (G106) in Chicago back to WLS in 1985-87. I was PD of WLS-FM, worked on music with John Gehron at WLS-AM and worked swing on the air at both. The lineup during my years was Larry Lujack, Tommy Edwards, Brant Miller and Peter B on FM and Larry, Fred, Don & Rona and John Records Landecker.
I appreciate your consideration. I may even have an old picture of me from the Big 89.
... Jan Jeffries (12/20/04)
Anyone know whatever happed to Bob Hale? He was one of the 7 original rock jocks. He went on to a long TV career in Chicago ... and a few years back was with WJJD when it was a good music station. But since then, what has that great talent been doing?
Signed: Bob Hale (what the heck, we always promoted ourselves...wanted to see if I could still do it. Tee hee.)
(9/25/04) From the WLS Message Board
I remember you from WIRL and was a student at the U of I. when you suddently appeared on WLS "East of Midnight" I also remeber you playing the "Man with the Golden Arm" decidcated to the Pi Phis. I am sure you heard about that.
... Tom Weimer (12/30/04) From the WLS Message Board
When I was a very young kid, being born and raised in the metro Chicagoland area, I was a very big fan of WLS radio. Every morning, while getting ready for school, I would listen to Larry Lujack and that guy would make me laugh especially when he would do "ANIMAL STORIES" or "CHEAP TRASHY SHOWBIZ." His stories were so funny, in fact it would make me smile!I remember when I was in the Taste of Chicago in '87 before I moved to Orlando, Fl., I was at the WLS booth and he was broadcasting live. He was to give out a live traffic report, but then he told us, his loyal listeners, to drop down our pants and "MOON" the chopper. I thought "O MY GOD!!! That's crazy!!" Anyway, I also wanted to say that NO-DOUBT ABOUT IT, THAT WLS A.M.89 WAS, IS, AND WILL ALWAYS BE MY VERY FAVORITE RADIO STATION OF ALL-TIME, even though now that I'm here in Orlando, Fl. Larry Lujack was, is, and will always be my favorite DJ OF ALL TIME!! ROCK ON CHICAGO!! WLS IS NUMBER 1!!
... Allen Confesor (9/13/04) From the WLS Message Board
What ever happen to Clark Weber. I met him, at a sockhop, in Demotte Indiana, in about 1963?
... John Conley (9/04/04) From the WLS Message Board
He runs an ad agency in chicago now and shows up on radio from time to time and does voice overs. He is a neat guy. I met him years ago at an event.
... Melanie Silver (1/09/05)) From the WLS Message Board
Hi, And Thanks for a great site!
Do you know of a jingle (Anita Kerr Singers, sounds like) that starts with “Take us along…. Take us along..” “set your dial to 8 9 0… personality”….?
WLS has been currently playing it from time to time. Do you know where I can find it?
... John Bart (8/14/04)
Try KenR.com Note that Ken R is retiring in Spring 2005.
Some time ago I read a really great hardcover book about the 50's and 60's era WLS/Chicago disc jockeys. It was a collection of autobiographical pieces written by DJ's like Art Roberts, Dick Biondi and many more, and it gave a really good history of the rise of WLS to fame.
Now I'm trying to buy a copy of the book for myself, but I can't find it anywhere. I don't even know the exact title of the book, or the publisher, so the bookstores can't help me. I've tried doing an internet search, even on e-bay, but still haven't found it.
... Jim Holden (7/19/04)
Stew Salowitz published a book called "WLS Disc Jockeys of the Early 1960's." You can find more information on it here.
That is one fantastic website you have - I'm afraid I spent too much time on it at work this morning!!
I have a very limited number of books available, probably fewer than 50. I was getting them to the Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications for several years and they sold them in the gift shop, which really ate into my supply.
Thanks for the notice about the web page.
... Stew Salowitz
I worked at WLS from 1976-1978. Among the things I remember most: WLS was the first radio station to give away the "big trip prize" (to Disneyworld); I was there when Elvis died. Talk about chaos! I do remember that Steve King was particularly upset and had a difficult time doing what (in my opinion) one of the best shows of his career at WLS;
Fred Winston was taken off the air - the advertiser at that time was a restaurant chain called Yankee Doodle Dandy. Fred gave the spot the tag "you can yank my doodle, it's a dandy!" The King Tut exhibit was touring the country. We wrapped Bob Sirott in gauze and stuck him (and a real coffin) in the window of I. Magnin to broadcast. Unfortunately, the "blue hairs" who shopped at I. Magnin found it all to be in questionable taste - especially since we had to put a "coffin courtesy of (undertaker's name)" sign in the window. One lady fainted.
There was lots more, but I don't want to get sued... (smile). Keep up the good work!
... Janet Lawson (7/09/04)
Just wanted to let you know how much I liked your site. Ah, the "Big 89".... brings back memories of listening in the mid-70's through early 80's. I lived in the town of Willow Springs, MO and most of us listened to WLS. I still remember hurrying to get off work in the Summer of 1981 or 82 so I could listen to The Rolling Stones concert. Throw in some "Animal Stories" and a "Boggie Check" with the hottest rock and roll and coolest DJ's - it's the stuff memories are made of.
... Todd Cooper (7/04/04)
I'll never forget the day when I (age 13) was at home in Lockport, Illinois, listening to my parents old radio in my bedroom and heard the announcer state that "this radio station (WLS) was changing the format to rock and roll". I remember thinking "thank god, no more farm reports!!!" Within a year I was a member of the Dick Biondi fan club.
... Bob Sander (5/18/04) From the WLS Message Board
Hi, I just wanted to say that I used to listen to the WLS "Boogie Check". I discovered CKLW radio and music in the late 70's and I used to turn the dial to the "Boogie Check" on WLS. Wow, what a great memory for me! I was raised on a farm near Kincardine, Ontario, Canada on Lake Huron so these stations came in loud and clear.
... Kay (5/16/04) From the WLS Message Board
Don't ask me why I stopped by. I was just bored one night. I loved listening to Larry Lujack & also Ron Riley when growing up in Indiana in the 60's. I had to listen to the Silver Dollar Survey with Ron Riley every day after school. Great website. Brings back lots of memories!!!
... Vicki Bloom (4/30/04)
I have just about a complete set of WLS Silver Dollar Surveys from March 1964 through about Feb 1967 and would like to trade for surveys from whenever they started to Feb 1964. Is that something you could let people know about? Thanks.
... Michael Kanz
If you have surveys to trade, you can reach michael at email@example.com
Hey awesome site. I am a programer and grew up listening to WLS. Keep up the memories and the great job with the website.
... Roger Allen (4/18/04)
Thanks for the great WLS page. I grew up listening to that station, and there has never been another one like it. I live downstate, so much of the time my ear was pressed to my transistor radio since the signal wasn't always real strong. LOL! I remember laying out in the sun in the summer, and the station would start out coming in pretty strong, but as the sun beat down on the radio ... well, the signal just faded away. Can't help with any names, sorry. Probably most of the people I listened to were in the late 60's and the 70's ... although I did keep listening into the 80's. I dearly remember "The Tooth Fairy" during my early high school years, and later on "Animal Stories". I loved "Uncle Lar and Lil Tommy"! Also remember listening to John Records Landecker. Boy, do I miss the good old days of WLS ... radio today is pretty crummy. My local radio stations refuse to go to an "oldies" format, and besides that, the playlist they do use must have all of 30 songs on it. Same old thing day after day after day ... I miss the DJ's having fun, live call ins ...
Again, thanks for the memories!"
... Maurine Moore (3/23/04)
I grew up about 45 miles south of Indianapolis in Columbus, Indiana. There wasn't a night that went by that I did not listen to The Big 89. I was in Junior High and would spend hours listening ... through the lightening storms, and static too!!!!! I ended up working in radio as a jock, newsman, play by play announcer, salesman ... and now am the Marketing Director and Sports Director for the University of Idaho Sports Radio Network ... and play by play announcer for the UI basketball team. One of the University of Idaho's coaches grew up in Chicago in the late 60's and early 70's and we've spent many a day and night reminiscing about when radio was really radio!
Thanks for the great memories!!!!!!!!!
... Tom Morris (2/07/2004) ... I hope someday there will be people listening to today's radio that have the same passions for radio that we did listening to the the great radio stations of the past. ... Jeff
WOW. Just checked it out, the WLS silver dollar survey. BLEW ME AWAY. I loved going through certain years in detail, and I mean detail! I used to collect these sheets in the 60's as a kid. Long gone now. Did you know that a single WLS survey sheet sells for outragous prices on Ebay? I've seen several from 1964 sell for over $400.00 each.
Keep up the great work my friend,
... Steve Galasinski (12/29/2003)
During the late 1960's there was a program on WLS-fm before it was sold. It came on late night. I believe the program name was "SPOKE......." I really enjoyed the program. Is there any info. on It?
... William Brauch (11/16/2003) ... Can anyone help ?
Yes, SPOKE was on beginning in 1968. See and hear more on the WLS History site here....
A bit about WLS FMs History ... Scott Childers
Listening to WLS from Lexington, KY in the early late 50's and early 60's there was always ads for a product with a jingle . I believe it was a skin care product (pre-Clearasil) days. It ran for several years and I am trying to recall the product. I believe it was for boys and girls and not a type of makeup.
... Scotty Coon (10/20/2003) ... Can anyone help ?
Recently I've been cleaning up my old Biondi airchecks from '62 and '63 (amazing what digital plugins can do to crappy audio!). I was a board engineer in 70 and 72 and have all the jingle packages and jock and news intros used during that period. I've got about 8 hours of Lujack airchecks (recorded at the station), along with Gary Gears, Kris Stevens, Joel Sebastion, Steve Lundy, John Landecker, some early Bob Hale silver dollar survey airchecks, Ron Reilly and Bill Bailey. Something that would go nice on your website would be some '50's flashback drop-ins (60 sec) that give news events and brief snippets of songs from 1956-1959. I've got about 30 of those, they were WLS produced lead-ins. I've got original silver dollar survey lists from just about every week from 1963 to 1967 too. If you would be interested in adding to your site.
... Greg Daniels (10/20/2003) ... Some of these are now in the Greg Daniels collection... Jeff
I am stopping by and dropping a note to say "Hello!" to everyone. I truly enjoyed listening to WLS Radio AM 89 when I was three years of age in Bement, Illinois. I am typing this message over the Internet because I enjoyed hearing so many tunes from the 1970's as a little kid.
I now reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana. I still; however, like to hear songs like "Doctor's Orders," "Island Girl," "All By Myself," "Sky High," "They Just Can't Stop It (Games People Play)," "Walking In Rhythm," "Old Days," "Have You Never Been Mellow," "Live And Let Die," "Black Water," "Love Takes Time (1979 Version)," "In The Navy," "Bad Blood," "Love Machine," and "I Write The Songs" every chance I can at home or on the road. The reason: these tunes bring back a period of the disco revolution when that trend was quite hip in America.
These tunes were quite hip at a time when America was in a sorry state of affairs. What a big morale booster!
I will end this letter by saying WLS Radio AM 89 in Chicago was definitely a cut above the rest in playing these tunes in the Chicagoland area and across Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Thank You All!!
... Eric L. Ellis (9/28/2003)
My name is Ron Walters and I came accross your web site on "WLS" while searching for any info to help me in my search for a dear old friend from h.s., Kathy McFarland. Do you have any knowledge on her whereabouts these days? We were in band and spent quite a bit of time together while attending "Chicago Vocational H.S.", although I believe I was a year ahead of her. (class of '68 vs '69) By the time I realized she was on the air in the Chicago area during the late 70's, she vanished from the airways. The only attempt I did make, was to send a get well card at on time when hearing of an auto accident she was involved in. Obviously I didn't get a response from her or the station at that time. I'm still involved in music here in the Chicago area (I was drum major and head of percussion section/ Kathy played flute), and would love to contact her. If you do know of her whereabouts, could you please pass this on to her or give her my contact info? Thanks for taking time to read of my quest.
... Ron Walters (7/18/2003) ... If anyone can help, please let me know... Jeff
Only visited for a short while, this time. I will be back at another time for more trips down Memory Lane. I like the site so far. You know what would really be nice? Is it possible to make the songs on the "Hit Parade" lists link to audio that I could re-listen too? That would be great, but just playing them over in my head was pretty cool too.
PS. Somewhere, I have a couple of the Animal Stories albums on records. As in Vinyl. Talk about old memories. Keep up the good site.
... Scott Epster (6/18/2003) I wish I could link to the music, but that would be a massive undertaking, plus probably illegal with the current RIAA rules... Jeff
I grew up in Garden City, Michigan and listened to the "Big 8 CKLW" which was located just across the river in Windsor, Canada but I had a girlfriend that lived in Gary, Indiana who listened to WLS. I had family that lived in that area and my cousins introduced me to one of their friends who became " the love of my (teen-age) life." I am giving away my age here. Her nickname was Mrs. Peel because of her resemblence to Diana Rigg who was on the weekly TV series "The Avengers". In one of her letters she wrote that she had called Larry Lujack at WLS and dedicated a song to me! this was in the summer of 1967, I didn't know then that he was a famous DJ. Later that summer I was in southeast Kentucky where I now reside staying at my Grandparents farm and I hooked up the TV antenna which was on the hill behind their house to my radio and picked up WLS-AM, two different girl cousins who were sisters and lived in Hobart, IN were visiting at this time also and that tickled them to death to hear their favorite station. We sit up and talked about WLS, CKLW and our favorite songs ect. until the grown-ups chased us to bed. Recently I came across reelradio.com and the "classic CKLW" web site and it brings back memories of the best summer I ever had in my life. I feel very fortunate to have grown up during that era of great music and radio personalities. Also I want to compliment you on a great web site as well I have visited it several times!
... Ben Gilbert, Barbourville, Kentucky (6/06/2003)
I stopped by your website, listened to old mid 60's jingles. Reminded me of fond times for hours sitting in front of the radio listening to "WLS in Chicago".... from Cincinnati!!!! So maybe you can help me. I am trying to locate ONE jingle from 1965-66 which went "WLS, the station with personality", in 4-part harmony and horns. I would like to hear this just one more time.
Thanks. GREAT website!
... Gregg Norman (6/02/2003)
Thanks for the memories! I really appreciate the effort you have put into your site. I visited a couple of the links that you provided. I grew up in South Bend ,Indiana, so I was able to listen to WLS both day and night. Dick Biondi and the other jocks were household names to us kids in the 60's Midwest. I also listened to Cousin Brucie on WABC late at night.
Well, take care, and thanks again.
... Ted Lawrence, Lovejoy, Ga. (5/28/2003)
Great site! Thanks for putting it up. It brings back some great memories. I have bemoaned for years the fact that I threw out my collection of 4 years of the surveys (1965-1968) many years ago. This is the next best thing.
... Dan (4/22/2003)
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