Here are your memories of WLS . . .

"I am a Chicago native who was a huge fan of Larry Lujack's Animal Stories. Larry Lujack had about 4 lps of the Animal Stories show that were released though out the 80s. I was wondering if you had any idea where I could find these? ... Thanks" Nathan O'Bryan (11/23/97)

"I was a avid WLS listener from about 1967 till they quit playing Top 40. I still have several WLS Hit Parade Surveys and old newspaper ads from WLS. I lived in central Illinois near Peoria and always listened to WLS. I was also able at times to get WCFL but not very well. Even when I was on vacation in Colorado or Texas I listened to WLS at night. I sure like this site." (10/19/97)

"I was born and raised in Chicago. I lived for WLS. Hated WCFL. I met quite a few of the dj's and went to those "sock hops" to met them and joined the fun. I have saved all the Silver Dollar Surveys from Jan 21 1966 thru Dec 1976. It's fun to see how Chicago fared against Billboard. I was on a tv show with Ray Rayner in 1965 with Clark Weber's daughter. I remember I had this terrible crush on her and it was so cool to meet him and spend time with him. My cousins lived next door to Larry Lujack and I think it was 1968 when they lived in Glenview Illinois or Glenwood. Have to ask my mom. I met him. I just went up to the door and he let me in and we chatted. I cant believe I did that but I was star struck. It's a great tribute. Nice to see some dj's write in too. I listened to Kris and Chuck every day back then. thought i'd just drop a note!!" ... Chuck Smith (10/15/97)

"The WLS site is great. It really brings back the mems of the 60's. I'm from Southeastern Ok. and during the 60's we could only hear two radio stations at night. WNOE in New Orleans and WLS. I was so impressed with the jocks @ WKS that I became one. Never made it big but had a lot of FUN. Keep up the good work!" ... Bill Alexander (11/13/97)

"I just came across your WLS history -- and want to thank you for developing this site. I've only recently started looking for WLS history, particularly during the 1950-1960's. I realize you are more interested in the years following this period, but I hope you may be able to help me. My father, Bill Duane [real name: Duane Nelson] was the "ace" newscaster for WLS during the 50's. Before he died in 1961, he was also Program and News Director for the station, just when WLS was making the transition from prairie farm to rock & roll. He was also an MC for the National Barn Dance which [altho some of your readers have obvious disdain for this type of programming] is still considered by roots music historians as one of the richest radio shows in American history. In addition to his work at WLS, my father acted in regional theatre / local radio dramas [Jack Armstrong, Hawkins Falls, etc.], and made countless tv commercials and educational films. I was only 15 when he died, but have many memories of visiting WLS -- even making a commercial for them -- and meeting members of the staff and old-time stars like Homer & Jethro, LuluBelle and Scotty, and a host of radio personalities of the time. I'm particularly interested in finding people who may have been at WLS during this period. I would also like to find copies of the WLS annual YEARBOOK, which contained biographies of the staff / stars, as well as family photos. Do you happen to know if any WLS archive exists? Or if any group [Midwest Radio Broadcast Pioneers, for example] has a person to contact, or an address to write? Or if there is a radio historian who is particularly interested in this period of WLS history?" ... Elizabeth Nelson Pearson (10/07/97)
 If anyone can help Elizabeth please contact me ... Jeff

"Jeff, I have been scanning your WLS site with great pleasure,it brings back lots of good times. Since I was there from 1968 into 1971, I would appreciate being placed on your site with my old friends. I have really enjoyed your work, keep it up. best wishes. (Chuck has since been added to the site ... Jeff) As you are probably aware I did news along with Lyle Dean and Jeff Hendrix. My shift followed Lyle, I went on at 1pm till 7PM. I will have to look in the scrapbook for a picture , when I find one I will scan it thru to you. . . I loved WLS,but I am a warm weather Texas boy and after three years fighting the Hawk (the constant wind) with below zero temps, I swore never to work east of the Mississippi River ever again, so far so good. Best wishes" ... Chuck Scott (08/27/97)

"Dear Jeff, Like many others whose comments I have read regarding your web site, I am very impressed and grateful for the stroll down teen-age lane that your site provided me. I located it from the Yahoo search engine and will return many times. My interest stems from two sources: one, my own nostalgia for golden radio and my experience as a youth with WLS and two: I am researching for a book. ... Thanks for the tremendous site. I remember listening to WLS on my transistor as I buried my head under the pillow so my father would not hear the rock and roll to which he objected. We were bad, weren't we?" ... Chuck H. ... Byron, Illinois (08/17/97)

"What can I say? Listened to WLS in the ' 70s and ' 80s and it had it all...great programming, promotions, and PERSONALITIES. The big 50,000 watt blowtorch would come booming into Keokuk, Iowa, at all hours of the day. (Much to my parent's dismay..."Turn that radio off and get some sleep!") Anyway, those sure were some great times. Thanks for the memories. P.S. Loved all those great WLS jingle packages over the years. Too bad more stations today don't pick a logo and stay with it package after package. It certainly worked for WLS!". Tim Brown (08/14/97)

"Hi Jeff ! I've been lurking 'round your pages for awhile now. I first "discovered" WLS in 1973 in Connecticut when I got my first 5 tube SW rig. I lived far enough away from the WCBS/WNBC tower in "da Bronx" that I rarely had trouble pulling it in, especially on the dead of winter. Gotta admit, I was a CKLW fan first and foremost, but always looked to WLS for more of a rock sound than the Big 8. I'm sure they were heavily day-parted, perhaps a bit more than WABC in NYC (did Sklar exert any influence on the rest of the O & O's?)." ... Regards, Jay Fink (08/13/97)

"Going thru the page, I flashed back to a summer night when someone got a "new" transistor radio and boys and girls sat there and listened to Bob Hale and Dick Biondi. I once had a bunch of Silver Dollar Surveys but lost them over the years. ... If I find mine, I will contact you. Not only did this page revive memories of a great station, but all those friends I shared these important and fun years with. The great days of Chicago Radio live at this site." ... Phil Cullotta- South Side Chicago (08/05/97)

"Dear Jeff, I stopped by your site and checked out the cool jingles you have for WLS. I love the old WLS stuff from the sixties. Kinda makes me wish I would have been alive to hear WLS in it's heyday. But hey, the legend lives on with folks like you who create web pages to take us back. Thanks a lot. My name is Russell Rutherford. I work at Ken R. Inc. in Toledo, Ohio. ... You've got a great tribute to WLS. I liked checking out the jingles." . . . Russ Rutherford (Production Engineer Ken R. Inc.) (07/31/97)

Ken R sells copies of the great jingles of the past and can be reached at (419) 243-1000 ... Jeff

"Just got through looking through and does it ever bring back the memories. I used to listen to WLS when I was a kid. Being in SW Ok. I could only pick it up after sundown when most of the other stations powered down. But John "Record" Landecker was an inspiration. That's why I'm still "on the air". Would like to hear air checks from John. Great site keep up the good work." ...Don Lane Altus, Ok" (07/24/97)

"Hi Jeff !! Thank you for the wonderful WLS web page !!! As a young boy in the Boston area, I fell in love with WLS quite by accident. I was nervous about the first day of school in the third grade. So, I woke up in the middle of the night. I turned on the radio on the table next to my bed and found the nearest station on the dial. The tubes heated up and I heard "Got To Get A Message To You" by the Bee Gees. It was coming very strong and I was amazed when I heard the famous jingle "Eighty-NINE..... Double-U....L....S . CHICAGO !!!!" Needless to say, CHICAGO.....WOW !!! For the next twenty or so years, WLS was on my radio every night, complete with "OLD STYLE BEER" commercials every twenty minutes and the new "TWENTY FOUR HOUR A DAY, Chicago Tribune...." I miss Yvonne Daniels. She was a class act and a nice lady. I have the phone bills for all of the times I called for a request on 312-591-8989. My parents were a little bit miffed. It was worth it. I used to love the "Boogie Checks", (I was on one of them !!) with John "Records" Landecker. Of course, the mighty Larry "Super Jock" Lujack was on the radio until sunrise when 'LS faded into the distance. Bob Sirott, Jeff Davis and crew were excellent as always. I miss WLS today. Here in Boston, 890 is occupied by some "Johnny Come Lately" station that specializes with brokered time programming. I can only hear WLS in the mud now. But, I will always remember "The BIG 89" !!! I am thankful that I had a chance to hear it and live it. WLS was the greatest !!!" ... Peter Q. George Whitman, Massachusetts (07/23/97)

"Jeff: I think your WLS page is great. I enjoyed the old jingles immensely." ... Gene Foster (07/24/97)

"Just cruisin' thru the internet, and found your page. This is sooo cool! (Like my 13 year old daughter says, IT ROCKS!) My husband and I were born and raised in Chi- town. Ron Riley and WLS were a part of my life in the late 60s and early70s. Do you have anything on the feud between Ron Riley and Clark Weber (or was it Larry Lujack ?) That was going on for a while. By the way the weather jingle was a wee bit short. That phrase should have been repeated twice. Keep up the good work, I'll bookmark this site." ... D Karina (06/17/97)

"I love your site, especially the pic of the air staff from '75..John Landecker was and still is a hunk ! ! " ... Kathy Sheppard (06/16/97)

"Unlike WABC,which served the NYC tri state area,,WLS was the only night source for after dark rock in hundreds of small and medium sized towns in the south and midwest.For some propagation characteristics not clear to me,WLS carried particularly well in the southcentral and southeastern states. As a kid in Ga., WLS sounded louder at dawn than the 500 watt local station!" ... Evan Torch (06/15/97)

"Hi Jeff, I just wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying your radio web pages. Nice to know that the old blowtorches aren't forgotten". . . Jim Walsh WASK-FM Lafayette, Indiana" (02/17/97)

"Just wanted to let you know how I love this page. I am a broadcast student at Columbia College and all I ever hear/heard about was the Mighty WLS ! Now that there is somewhere to go for info on the Big 89, I'll visit quite often. Keep up the good work ! " ... Helen Malkowski (02/19/97)

"Jeff, Just a note to say keep up the good work, and I hope you will be adding more in the future. Living in north-central Missouri I listened to WLS at night. It was really the only top 40 station we had at night other than KAAY-Little Rock. KAAY had pretty much ditched top 40 by 1982. During the day WHB and KCMO in Kansas City were the am top 40's, but had directional patterns and at sunset they were gone. Just a few names of jocks of the top of my head. John Landecker, Brant Miller, Jeff Davis, Turrie Rider, Larry Lujack, Chuck Britton, and Fred Winston were a few of my favorites ... Regards, Aaron Ervie" (01/27/97)

"Great job on the WLS Webpage. I grew up & still live in the Chicago area & my memories of WLS are good ones ! Thanks, ... Rick Rummick (02/13/97)

"Back in the early sixties in South Arkansas we had two stations we could pick up at night that played Top 40 music and WLS is one and WNOE in New Orleans was the other one. The local stations had to go off the air at sundown, this was before any FM in our area. We spent a lot of hours cruising and listening to WLS. ... T. Dodson (02/19/97)

"Jeff, great work about WLS. What a great radio station that was. I grew up in southern Minnesota and the big 89 would really boom in after dark. About 1970 to 1973 I rember listening to Larry Lujack before school in the mornings and coming home in the afternoon to Fred Winston till 6pm. Kris Stevens 6-10pm, Chuck Buell 10-2am and Bernie Allen at 2am. Thanks again." ... Mike Sandersfeld (02/22/97)

"I'm a transplanted Chicagoan living in Minneapolis. Can't remember how I tripped across your page, but I love it!... Would like to see more attention given to the later greatness of Larry Lujack...esp more Animal Story bits. Those were some of the funniest things I can remember from my childhood ... I'm 23 yrs old. Thanks, keep up the great work !" ... Dan Magan , Industrial Relations Center University of Minnesota- Twin Cities (02/24/97)

"Just want you to know that I found this GREAT page. I was a loyal listener of the big 89 since I was old enough to reach the knobs on the radio." ... Ross Eggers (02/26/97)

"Checking in from San Diego (Santee, actually)! You've done great on the site. Do you have the WLS Personality Magazine? I have one in MINT condition and one I use for reference." Douglas A. Pierce Santee, Ca. (03/01/97) I wish I did ... Jeff

"Just found your WLS page and could not help but notice the photo of Gene Taylor. As you probably know, Gene Taylor was one of the original personalities on WLS at the beginning of it's reign as one of the premiere rock radio stations in the nation, and went on the become WLS general manager. What is not as widely known is that Gene concluded his radio career at KKAR Omaha, a news/talk station, 5kw at 1290. Gene was the news director at KKAR until 1993, when he retired to San Luis Obispo, California with his wife Marti. Sadly, Gene passed away there in 1996. Gene was brought to KKAR by another WLS/ABC Radio alumnus, Ralph Beaudin, who was vice president and general manager of the Mitchell Broadcasting stations in Omaha. I was fortunate enough to work with, and alongside, Gene when I came to KKAR as program director in 1993. He was always a source of radio wisdom and an inexhaustible supply of great stories about the glory days of great radio and great radio people. Gene's contribution to the industry and to helping young people perfect their craft will be missed. Until the day he retired, one of his favorite things was to teach young news kids how to properly read a story,young air talent how to perform on the air, and new program directors how to appreciate a guy who really was there at the beginning. He not only lived through it all but actually made some of it happen." ... Neil Nelkin, Operations Manager, KKAR/KOIL Radio, Omaha (03/05/97)

"I just happened to stumble across you site and was thrilled. In the late 60's and 70's I was a dedicated downstate WLS fan. Lujack of course was my favorite. He was that times version of Politically Incorrect with his Klunk Letter of the Day and Cheap Trashy Showbiz report. At that time I was an English teacher at Nauvoo-Colusa H.S.We were trying to get a summer enrichment program going and just on a fluke I decided to call WLS and see if Lujack could record a promo for the summer program for use over the school intercom.. and much to my amazement -- he did! He had just finished his morning shift and I had a recorder hooked up to the phone and he asked me what I wanted him to say and he read it back perfectly.  The kids were thrilled. In a few words, this site made my day! Thanks !" ... Tom Dreasler (03/08/97)

"Hello from the heartland!!! As a native Chicagoan who grew up in the 60's and 70's linking to your page was just great. Getting a clip of an Animal Stories episode was FANTASTIC!!! I'm currently PD/AM Drive at KINA-AM Salina-Wichita, KS.... I do homeage to Uncle Lar and Little Tommy each weekday with "True Crime Stories"... easier to make fun of criminals these days than animals.. too much pc pressure!! Thanks for the jingles and above all thanks for the memories ... Dorothy and Toto send their best TOO!" ... Mark in the Morning (Mark Powell) KINA-AM (03/09/97)

"Love your WLS site. I grew up listening to the Radio89 Hit Parade. I have what might be the rarest book of the rock radio biz:SUPERJOCK, The Autobiography of Larry Lujack (WLS, WCFL - 1970s in Chicago.)" ... Steve Lynch (03/14/97)

"Thanks for posting the information on the "old" WLS! I grew up listening to WLS during the 60's. They were indeed a very class act - you do not hear of many stations like that anymore. Keep up the good work!" ... Mark Prather (03/15/97)

"Great page! The pictures are wonderful. I am a big fan of classic top 40 radio, and WLS is my favorite. You have done a great job in making WLS memorable. I'll keep coming back for more. Thanks. ... Matt Deckard , Evansville, Indiana (03/22/97)

"Just stopped by! Was showing a radio friend who's new to this Internet thing how it works, and so we called up "WLS" for the fun of it and found your page! Will be back. Looks like it'll be fun. Good luck to you! " ... Chuck Buell (06/07/97)

"Just found your WLS web site and it's great. I remember when WLS changed from the prairie farmer station" to Top 40 in 1960. It took years to shed all their old programming, including Don McNeil's Breakfast Club and morning stockyards reports and some awful live stuff with Captain Stubby and the Buckaroos or some such agri- radio programming. But the rest of the day it was all "cheap trashy rock & roll," as Larry Lujack would say. We would rush out to the record store to get the new Silver Dollar Survey every week, and listen to the afternoon countdown of the new Top 40 too. At night, Dick Biondi was to Chicago what Wolfman Jack was to southern California: required listening. Later on WCFL gave them stiff competition, but for anyone who grew up in Chicago in the '60s WLS will always be a dominant memory. Now I just have a few airchecks, an autographed copy of Super Jock, some old "surveys" and 3 LPs of Animal Stories to remember it by ... and now your web site! ... Thanks for creating this tribute to The BIG 89." ... Bob Jones (05/30/97)

"Great web site. I grew up in the Chicago area and remember taking a transistor radio to bed with me and listening to Landecker's "Boogie Check" at nights under the sheets (why not, I was far too young to do anything else under those sheets). The jingles were soooo cheeesy!!! They're great .... . I still miss Lujack." ... Loo Waters Mornings 97.7 KCRR The Best Classic Rock Waterloo, IA (05/12/97)

"Nice WLS site. Did you know there is a WLS reunion in the works? All former WLS employees from 1960-1985 are invited. From Lujack to the mailroom staff, all who drew a paycheck from the Big 89 are welcome. For more information... or if you know of a "lost" WLS-er, contact Mickey at mickeynelson@msn.com" ... Karyn Kasi (04/30/97)

"LS Page is a touch of nostalgia to say the least....Looks Great." ... Kris Erik Stevens (04/28/97) Kris ... Thanks for the pics ! ... Jeff

"Thanks for the WLS PAGE. WLS was my all time favorite radio station and John Landecker was my favorite disc jockey ever. I listened from Houston, Texas. I spent many an allnighter while at Texas A & M with JRL, Steve King and Yvonne Daniels keeping me company" ... Michael Dunn (04/29/97)

"Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your WLS page.I grew up in Rockford IL and listened to WLS day and night in the 60s and 70s. I dreamed of being a DJ and wanted very badly to get on the Guest Teen DJ show. I never made it and never got into the business directly ... I am still an avid AM broadcast listener. But oh how I miss the BIG 89. Thanks again for bringing it all back. The audio clips are fantastic!" ... Patrick M. Griffith, Federal Heights, Colorado (04/16/97)
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