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Hey Scott:

Just checked out the WLS History Website.....very very cool!

Major memories there man.  I still hear from someone at least once a week about having listened to me at some time way back when etc etc on WLS... I feel blessed to have been a part of such a great radio tradition.

-Kris Erik Stevens


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As I turned 60 this year, I've really gotten into nostalgia.  I was raised with WLS Barn Dance.  They were real people that came to our (population: 500) town and visited with us as though we were having a family reunion. 

As a family we visited two shows, BOTH shows.  Visits to Chicago always included the Barn Dance, and the Chicago Theatre where I was first entertained and learned to love Pearl Baily.  There were other famous people on with her, but she's all I remember. 

Saturday evening I rushed through whatever I had to get to the radio and listen to the warm-up show with Rex Allen and his wife (her name leaps in and out of my mind often).  Part of a sister act, she was gorgeous.  Saw her sister once on TNN when Rex Jr introduced her, still beautiful.  Along with them was a little fella called Dusty.  I was really frustrated That Rex Jr. never mentioned a sibling named Dusty... Now I know, he was Dusty and his parents were proud of him.

Arkie was my absolute favorite, Someone I always acquainted him with being like Ernest Tubb. (We couldn't get a clean dial in for WSM until after midnight.)

I cried for days when Jethro died.  I loved seeing Homer on Hee Haw, playing with the Million Dollar Band with all the greats.

I feel a personal pride about Lulu Belle and Scotty. So many country singers name "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" as their favorite all time song... And it's mine.  I loved hearing them tell the story time and again of how he came to write it for her. 

Red Blanchard, and how about Harry James and his banjo?  Both times at see the show, watched him pulling a rope after him, disappearing, then reappearing at the other end.  Wasn't Red part of the Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers?  My favorite song of theirs was "Whispering Hope."  I learned to harmonize on it.

Though it is all great and nice to wax nostalgically and remember when you were a kid and could afford to love any and everything, the 60's and 70's took away our innocence and forced us to look at the reality of the children with no ideal heroes like Gene, Roy, Rex, and Hoppy.  All they could shoot for was a successful draft dodger and young women whose breast would one day be bouncing off their knees. 

Don McNeill stayed on so long and he had so many wonderful people on... Was it Aunt Blabby (I know that's Johnny Carson's old woman) or something near played by Fran Allison.  Some good singers marched with everyone else around the Breakfast Table.

Thanks for letting me reminisce, so nice to even remember such wonderful people.

-Peggy J Simmons

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I had a chance to look at your entire site. I must say you sure did put a lot of work into this. I saw a number of old friends and co-workers as I scrolled thru the pages. I don't know if you are aware that my first radio job was at WLS. Gene Taylor hired me in 1965 as a studio assistant. I worked Monday thru Friday 4 p.m. till midnight and all day Saturday. My main responsibilities were helping Dex Card, Ron Riley and Art Roberts. From there I moved to WIND. I was at WLS for almost two years. If I can be of any help, just let me know. I am still in touch with ART and CLARK.

-"Chicago Ed" Schwartz


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I've read through your WLS 75th Anniversary website several times, discovering that there's always something else that I've missed on previous visits.  It is truly a remarkable piece of work. I'm a techie myself, and I've been fascinated for most of my life with large radio signals with a large impact.  WLS certainly fits that definition.  It's always been, in my mind, the best example of what's possible in AM radio when imagination, energy and technology are combined.  My grandmother lived in Kansas in the 20's and 30's and relied on WLS for information and big-city entertainment.  My father grew up in Florida in the 30's and knew of WLS then from its rural and Barn Dance programming.  I grew up in the 60's - 70's, knowing WLS from its level of sheer fun and its uncanny ability to get virtually everyone to listen.  I used to drive by the transmitter site when I was in high school, intrigued by the technology.  Do you have early pictures of the transmitter site in your extensive collection?  I was recently able to obtain a copy of the 1939 Family Album, which has an aerial shot of the "new transmitter."  I recall seeing, somewhere, other photos of the site showing more of the equipment and building itself. If you have any of those shots, I would really enjoy seeing those on your website.

Congratulations again on the beautiful layout and the very readable history.  These things really are significant in American history, and it's so easy to overlook them.

Great work!

-Tom Braxton


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My first choice for radio while cruising around North Alabama,
as a teenager in the sixties and seventies.

-Donald Smith
Muscle Shoals, AL.


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Hi Scott--

Congratulations on a wonderful job with the WLS history.  Your work is a comprehensive, yet concise, history of the station.  It's just excellent...I truly enjoyed reading it!!  Again, great job!!


-Steve Scott, News Director
Newstalk 890, WLS


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Hi Scott,

What a first class effort!

Keep well,


-Art Roberts


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I enjoyed your web site. Growing up outside of Chicago in Woodstock Illinois I have great memories of the BIG 89 on the radio in the mid 60's until I left for the Navy in August of 1983. It was a pleasure to travel through your web site. Thanks for the memories.

-Mike Felmeten


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Damn, I thought Jeff Davis loved the place...And not to forget Jeff Roteman, Rich Samuels, and all of the others of us who "grew-up" on WLS, and are sharing it on the web. Once I get fired I'll have time to scan and post all of my stuff.

As for your site...what more can I say?

This is definitely a CLASS A job at web design. You should do it as a second job!

Anyway. Like you and so many others, who took the WLS ball and ran with it, Thanks for the hard work.

-Michael Garay
WLS Technical Producer, Don Wade and Roma Show


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