Musicradio WLS is back!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by slinkyfarm, Jun 29, 2008.

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  1. slinkyfarm

    slinkyfarm Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Winchester, KY
    WLS is playing music in Chicago again! :goodie:

    I was flipping through the dial yesterday, and when I heard the "new" call letters at 94.7 FM, their old FM frequency, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

    It's "true oldies" now, so they're playing the same songs 890 AM did way back when. Dick Biondi, John Records Landecker and Brant Miller are back in the fold, they're using some of their old bumpers, and even making references to "Silver Dollar Surveys".

    I shouldn't be this excited about an oldies station changing its call letters (their website is still, but if you grew up listening to the Big 89, you probably understand.
  2. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

    "Don't be nervous, don't be rocky, you're our teenage guest disc jockey now..." ;)
  3. louisville

    louisville Peel Slowly and See

    Louisville, KY
    Very cool! WLS surveys and a transistor radio under the pillow tuned to 890AM as a kid in the south suburbs in the late 70s shaped my listening habits for years to come (until I discovered XRT as a teenager in '89). Keep us posted if any cool guest appearances by Uncle Lar and Tommy come up!
  4. dyno guy

    dyno guy Active Member

    st.paul, MN, USA
    Good news. While I've never been privleged to hear WLS, either in the classic '60s AM days or the newer FM version- have never been to your fine city- I've always been impressed with the WLS Top 40 music surveys from the '60s. For any of my chartbustin' research ( Steve's DCC "Beach Classics", Jan & Dean, Beach Boys, Byrds), WLS is a key part. I like the presentation, and their unique listing of the number of weeks a single had been played, even before it made their charts.

    Jan & Dean in particular did extremely well on WLS in 1963-into '64 with their string of smash hits: it was almost like they 'owned' the WLS charts! In a number of cases, Jan & Dean did better chart-wise in Chicago than in LA, which surprised me.

    The other thing I find fascinating is to compare a single's chart performance on WLS with its' chart activity in the Twin Cities (KDWB, WDGY), in terms of when a single broke, where it peaked, how many weeks it spent in the Top 25, Top 10, etc. Of course I'm talking back in the mid-'60s or so., for songs.


    The bright sound of Chicago Radio


    July 2, 1965

    1. 2 9 Mr. Tambourine Man- The Byrds - Columbia

    ( MTM had actually hit #1 on WLS on June 18th, 1965, in only its' fourth week of charting. In its' fourth week of airplay, it made its' debut on WLS at a high #11- fairly impressive).

    ( Sorry folks if my original layout above gets mangled in the post-up...).
  5. dyno guy

    dyno guy Active Member

    st.paul, MN, USA
    The other cool thing about the WLS Top 40 surveys from the mid-'60s that I've looked at is that they would list a couple of 'Featured Albums' after the singles were listed.

    I like this at the tail-end:

    "This survey is compiled each week by WLS Radio/Chicago from reports of all record sales gathered from leading record outlets in the Chicagoland area. Hear Dex Card play all the SILVER DOLLAR SURVEY hits daily from 3:00 to 6:30 P.M. *denotes record first heard in Chicago on WLS." ( taken from the 5/28/65 survey).

    For those folks who contributed those classic WLS Surveys from the '60s, so we can check 'em out online, a special thanks. Kudos!
  6. HarvG

    HarvG Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    I fully understand and had the same reaction to hearing the call letters - I grew up on the North Side of Chicago and have the same memories of WLS and also WCFL (Sound 10 or Super 'CFL - AM 1000).

    If you check out the newly revamped website (, you can view the Silver Dollar surveys through the years. For example, the WLS top five from July 15th, 1968:

    1. Jumping Jack Flash...Rolling Stones
    2. I Need Love...The Third Booth
    3. Pictures of Matchstick Men...Status Quo
    4. Lady Willpower...Union Gap
    5. Indian Lake...The Cowsills

    For someone who was almost ten years old at the time, it didn't get any better! I owned (and pretty sure I still have) all five of these singles. If the "new" WLS-FM can get remotely close to this, I'll be a very happy camper.
  7. Cheepnik

    Cheepnik "Digs" "beat" "poetry"

    I never thought I'd see a reference to this great record here....:laugh:

    It pays to listen to KAOS, but not to work here
    We wish somebody'd pay us...
  8. I have a John Landecker bumper sticker, from when he worked in Canada at CFTR in Toronto. I remember his "Boogie Check" from back in the day.

    "Records truly is my middle name". And it is. It's Landecker's mother's maiden name.
  9. Marty Milton

    Marty Milton Forum Resident

    Urbana, Illinois
    I wasn't aware they had changed their call letters. I was listening to them on my computer a month ago and they still had the old call letters then.

    I was 11 when WLS started playing rock & roll music in May 1960. Once I found the station I listened to them exclusively for the next seven years. I used to put my radio under the pillow to listen to Dick Biondi, a dj on the station now.

    After Dick Biondi left I listened to Art Roberts after I went to bed. Around 1966 Art Roberts did a Sunday night show called - Hey Baby Their Playing Our Song, which became the title of a song by the Buckinghams. On this show Art played "oldies". Now it seems weird that they would be playing "oldies" when rock & roll was barely 10 years old.

    I also remember Ron Riley as a dj in the mid 60s at WLS. He formed the Ron Riley's Batman Club and I still have my membership card and button. Did anyone else become a member of this club?
  10. Radiotron

    Radiotron Tube Designer

    Montreal, Canada
    I loved WLS in the 80s. I used to call Jeff Davis at night to ask for songs. And I was in Canada!
  11. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Arkansas, USA
    I remember listening to WLS at night in the late 60s. I lived in St. Louis at the time and could pick it up most evenings pretty easily on the AM radio I had at the time. This is cool that they are resurrecting some of the original DJs and station IDs, etc.
  12. Larry L

    Larry L Forum Resident

    Allen, Texas
    I grew up staying up late and listening to WLS, in Oklahoma. I first heard Lost Angeles there.
  13. Planbee

    Planbee Monk Or Wizard?

    Unless I missed something the last few days, Landecker is NOT back at the station (except for his syndicated weekly '70s show). He did afternoon drive at 94.7 until a year or two ago, when I guess the station thought they needed more of Scott Shannon's cornball flown-in voiceovers.
  14. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    What we REALLY need is a good ol' fashioned "Boogie Check"! :goodie:
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