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.”
Great website. It took me back to the early 70’s, sitting in my Dad’s pickup, tuning in to WLS to hear all the great music that was coming into “my world” from “out there.”
I grew up in a very small town in Western Kansas, and all I listened to religiously, was WLS and AM1520 KOMA out of Oklahoma City. WLS rocked the most, though, and the music I heard then was my “training” for later becoming a touring musician on the road in the 80’s to current.
Until I started playing gigs on New Year’s Eve, the absolute THING to do, was sit and talk on the phone with my girlfriend, while we both listened to the Big 89 countdown on New Year’s Eve. I can still hear her radio through the phone, with mine turned down low so Mom & Dad wouldn’t hear me up that “late,” and so I could hear her talk. We lived for those times. For three years, ’79, ’80, & ’81, we would do the same thing, and then, the following year, her dad would let her sit in the car with me in their driveway, while we listened to the year-end show. My first car…My first girlfriend…and WLS.
She has since passed away, but I will always remember those countdowns. The thing that we waited for with great anticipation was the countdown medley of songs that would play “bites” from the previous years countdowns, through the current year.
Thanks for your time…I appreciate all you’ve been doing. May God bless you and your family in the approaching new year, and all the years to come.
– Terry Wright
WOW what a great site!!!!!
I teach music in Winfield Illinois. One of our final projects for our General Music class is to research and find a top10 form an important date in their or their parents lives, print the list and make a compilation of the music to give to that person. Will you soon have the surveys available on-line so we can find specific dates for each survey. I know it is a huge task and I am currently building a resource database for my kids. I WILL be directing them to this site for future reference.
Thanks for all of your future help to the students at Winfield School.
– Bob Siemienkowicz,
Director of Music Winfield School District 34
Bob, you can find all the surveys through an agreement we have set up with Bill Danning and his Oldiesloon. They can be found here in the WLS Survey section.
Great site, but difficult to believe there’s no tape of Steve Lundy available. Do you know anyone that has an aircheck of him on WLS?
A “tough one to find” is an understatement. There’s zero out there of Lundy on WLS amongst collectors. I’ve been searching long & hard. Outside of a couple of short breaks — the ones one on the Reelradio composites, I have a couple other breaks on WLS that I recorded myself way back when (along with Gary Gears, and a beautiful quality 60 min Landecker). Even though there are other airchecks of him on other stations available — there was nothing like Steve Lundy on WLS. I’m thinking the only untapped source of him is from the general public in the Chicago area. In this regard, would you consider placing an appeal to the browsers on your site to come forth if they have some early seventies tapes in their house. I don’t know if you feel strongly enough about this to proceed this way but I know this is truly a rare situation — I don’t know of any similar situation where there’s not a single aircheck available of a major performer at a big league station. Lundy was hitting on all cylinders in Chicago at a time when the Big 89 was also hitting a peak. There may have been other rockers as good — but no one better. No Lundy on WLS — absolutely outrageous!
I know you loved WLS the way I did. I think you may be the only one who can help in a significant way beyond this point.
I’m frustrated …Wayne McAteer
Wayne, Let’s see what our great audience can come up with. Any Steve Lundy airchecks out there? Reply here! In the meantime, check out a tribute to Steve here.
Just wanted to let you know that Tiny Stokes of the Buccaneers is my Uncle. I use to listen to him sing all the time when I was young. He sang “Beyond the Sunset” at my mom’s funeral. The last time I saw him was 4 or 5 years ago at my sisters funeral.
– Wayne M. Rupard
I’m 49 years old. listened to WLS as a kid, teen-ager,etc. A lot of memories. Grew up in Braidwood, Illinois. Remembered Dick Biondi coming to some of our sock hops in the 60’s. Sang with him on stage a few times. he came out on the dance floor, danced with us, talked to us. Just soooo many good-old memories with him and all the WLS jockeys.
Thanks for all the good-old memories WLS!!
I just wanted to say thanks for the effort you have put into keeping alive the memory of the nation’s greatest radio station. I can tell you that you have devoted more effort to keeping the faith than a lot of the programmers who were “in charge” of the place over the years. It was quite an experience working at the Rock and WDAI-WLS-FM. It was a responsibility I never took lightly. Thanks again for your work.
– Ted Lauterbach
I really really love the radio website! The time you took to build it was painstaking, I’m sure, but well worth it for us old timers! I was only able to glance at it for about 1/2 hour-can’t wait to dive into it.
Footnote: I had the privilege of working with Jerry Mitchell @ WYLL- he was a former newsman for WLS when they were still a farm station, and the gentleman had plenty of stories to tell- we lost him in 2000, sad to say.
Have a great day-you’ve made mine with this website!
– Larry Riggs,
Short note to thank you for the great WLS pages. I was jocking in Thunder Bay Ontario when WLS went contemporary. They banged right up Lake Michigan and Superior and man I wanted to work there. Well I didn’t but did get to work with Sam Holman when he assembled a crew to set up CKLG Vancouver. He and I became good friends and would work together again at WOHO Toledo. Although only some 35 miles from downtown Detroit, I have Pulse pages showing us knocking off CKLW in shared counties. The crew that he brought together still are all close. Craig Edwards who is Ops. Dir. for Metro Networks in L.A., Jim Meeker later at KWIZ and PD at KRLA LA and Al Vanik (Gary Mitchell) who languishes now in Hawaii doing voice runs for TV stations. Sam was a tremendously generous person with both his time and love for radio. We all miss him a lot I will alert his son and daughter of this tribute.
– Russ Simpson
After reading the WLS history on your web site what can I say but WOW! Great job!! Like so many of the other readers that wrote, I too grew up in the Chicago land area in the 60’s and 70’s and still live in the area. WLS was a big part of my life. I remember meeting Art Roberts at Camp Henery Horner (Ingleside) when I was in 4th grade. I still have a picture someone took when I was standing with Art. How blessed we were to have TWO 50,000 watt power house stations to listen to in the 60’s and 70’s. My fondest memories were listening to Larry Lujack in the morning on the school bus on the way to High School (klunk letter and all). I pull out some of my old WLS airchecks, put the headphones on, sit back and close my eyes….I’m in a different time.
Thank you for all the inside information and the memories.
Oldies 96.7 WKMQ Rockford, Illinois