I’m a native of Northwest Indiana and a life-long WLS listener. I thought your site was very informative and very well done.
Please, don’t let it go away, and also, please keep updating it in the future. It’s fascinating, both for those who remember it, and for those who weren’t lucky enough to experience it first-hand.
I am not planning on going away anytime soon, Bill! WLSHistory.com has been racking for the last 15 years! -Scott
I’m sure you didn’t work on this site for peanuts, but a lot of what comes across is a “labor of love.” And that’s truly great. I found this link from a piece Bob Sirott did with WTTW on “How Chicago Rocked the 60’s.” I’m sure glad I did. You brought back a lot of memories from “the good old days.” I grew up on the southwest side of Chicago listening to Dick Biondi, Clark Weber and Art Roberts, they were my most admired of the “Swingin’ Seven.” I moved to the southwest suburbs and still listen to Dick. Also, listened to Clark on WAIT. Clark has changed formats but both he and Dick are still the same. Your site brought back a lot of memories and facts that I either forgot or didn’t know.
A thousand thanks,
Thanks Ron for the compliments. Much to most folks surprise, I do not receive any compensation to do this website. Nor does anyone supply the web space or domain hosting. It is completely funded by me and unlike many other sites – you won’t see any advertisements! I do it because I believe in it. I do appreciate the moral support of WLS-AM . ~Scott
My name is Neal Barton. I am now the chief meteorologist at the CBS o&o in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. But, my first love was radio…before the consultants killed it. back in the late 70’s and early 80s..my DJ friends and I would listen to WLS October through May ..until the atmosphere was so hot, all we could get was static down on the gulf coast of Texas. (Beaumont)
Thanks for taking the time to build a site where some of us could look back and enjoy what really got us into the biz.
Good luck to you and your family,
Searching for Bradley Fackler’s e-mail address, I hit this guest page and my heart was immediately warmed by fond memories of the experience of the great WLS 89 AM from Chicago. God, I still can hear the jingle now that I am writing these words some 4,000 miles away from Northern Indiana where, being an exchange student, I went to school in 1968/69 for a year together with Bradley and some other great folks from Bourbon, Indiana. I listened to WLS practically all day long (outside school, of course). At that time, a radio station such as this was a completely new and thrilling experience for me. Just think – nothing but pop music 24 hours a day, something I had not been familiar with in Germany.
– Reinhold Tyrach
Just wanted to write and tell you I really enjoy the WLS History website. Great trip through the past. I remember listening to WLS in the summer of 1976, when I was on a trip to my mom’s hometown of Taylorville, IL (200 miles south of Chicago- I grew up in Louisville, KY). “Afternoon Delight,” “Shake Your Booty”, and “Let ‘Em In” were the songs I recall hearing frequently during the trip, but what really impressed me was how clear WLS came in even that far away. My first exposure to Top 40 and clear channel radio. Can’t think of a better introduction myself. My mom listened to Dick Biondi back in the 60s on WLS, and now I listened to him on 104.3, now on 94.7. That’s one thing we have in common.
Anyway, keep up the good work, and I’ll keep checking back.
– Benson Stone
What a great tribute! I just came across it for the first time and I must say I am VERY impressed.
When I first started out in radio in the early 80’s, my room mate (he was the PMD/MD, I was the PMD/Engineer for a 500 watt daytimer/3kW FM in Lumberton, NC) and I listened to ‘LS every night after we got in from work.
We struck up a telephone friendship with Brant Miller, Jeff Davis and Susan Platt. We copied EVERYTHING ‘LS did on our little podunk station. It was the best time in broadcasting! My room mate moved on and he does voice over work in Fayetteville, NC, last I heard and I moved into TV as the transmitter supervisor for one of the FOX O&O’s in Greensboro, NC. I had always wondered what had happend to Brant, Jeff and Susan. Your site filled in some of the holes!
I have spend many a night listening to ‘LS and then trying to hear Larry Lujack over the stations signing on in the eastern time zone. Even 800 miles away, “The Rock of Chicago” is missed!
– Charles Layno
Greensboro, North Carolina
Hi from Europe. Your WLSHistory.com site is terrific! In Part 2, The Prairie Farmer Days, you mention twice JULIAN BENTLEY, the news broadcaster (and a there’s a photo of him). He was at WLS roughly late 1930s thru late 1940s. Besides news, he may also have hosted the station’s “School Time” program for a while. I listened to him on WLS when I was a kid in Chicago and can still remember his haunting, unusual voice. I’ve tried for a long time to locate a recording of Bentley’s voice — preferably a recording of him broadcasting on WLS (or even WBBM, where he moved to in about 1950 or so). But I’d be happy to hear any recording of his voice! I’d be grateful if you could possibly tell me who might know where there’s a recording of Bentley’s voice (even a one-minute excerpt!). I’d love to be able to buy a dubbing. But I’ve already tried station WLS (Jeff Davis replied), Chuck Schaden, and Museum of Broadcast Communications.)
Thanks very much.
– Philip Chavin
Phillip, Thanks for your hello from across the pond! I do not have a recording, but I challenge those who drop by the site to find one. Anyone who may have some info, please email Phillip at firstname.lastname@example.org -Scott
A long time ago when I was a child, my mother introduced me to something new; WLS, Rock and Roll, Larry Lujack, ‘little Snotnosed’ Tommy and John Records Landecker, and Bennie and the Jets. It forever changed my life, and gave me an appreciation for music. I can still hear the jingle, and the parody of Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook”, even though it seems lifetimes away now. And even when I traveled away from my hometown of Beloit Wisconsin, on a good night I could still faintly make out the station, even though I was hundreds of miles away. It was still there reminding me that home was never that far away. When WLS changed formats to Talk Radio, it was truly the end of an era. Gone were the strains of Chicago’s ‘Saturday, in the Park.’ The magic faded. Tonight, on a whim, I searched the internet and came across your pages. It is great to see that someone realizes the importance of that history, and what WLS has meant over the years to so many people, such as myself. And if you even hear from Larry, John or Tommy, please tell them that they are remembered, and missed.
My deepest thanks !
– Michael Grey
WLS Listener, 1967 – 1983
A great piece of work, it evoked many memories I believe somewhere in my attic there is a shoe box full of every WLS Silver Dollar Survey from 1963 until whenever they stopped printing them. Art Roberts’ “Top Three Phone Requests” at 10 PM, the Weber-Riley feud, Larry Lujack’s first show – I grew up here in Chicago with all of that! Made some profound impressions on me, and is probably responsible for my love for music
Clark Weber and Ron Riley in studio (1966).
I came across the WLS History site when trying to find out where Bob Lassiter might be these days. I used to listen to him daily and was disappointed when I moved from the area and came back to find Bob was no longer with WLS. Your site brought back so many memories. There’s nothing I could say to you in an email that you probably haven’t read a million times from others. So, I’ll just say thanks for helping me to remember some of the people I spent so much time with on my commutes back and forth to work and on trips from my office in Ft Wayne, IN to Michigan City, IN. I’ve listened to WLS since the 60’s, and it’s been a part of the lives of millions. I remember so many of you who made WLS the only station I listened to.
Not too long ago I came across a cassette I made, probably back in 1969 or thereabouts. It’s got the song “I’m Into Something Good” by Herman’s Hermits, and then the WLS DJ comes on afterward…and for whatever reason, I taped the weather report that came on immediately following that (was a cold night in Chicago…imagine that!).
Have a great holiday season and a safe and prosperous new year, Scott.
– Larry Dickens
Ft. Wayne, Indiana
Bob passed away in 2006. He was 61.
Lassiter, who entertained listeners during “Talkradio 890’s” infancy, also hosted programs on WFLA in Tampa, as well as WPLP, and WSUN, had been suffering from complications related to diabetes. He spent his final year blogging about his experience.
“I always thought that I would live until I died – I did not realize that it could take so long, be so hard,” he wrote in his blog. “In some respects, it’s amazing how a body that clearly is failing clings on to life – fighting a losing battle, refusing to give in to the inevitable.”