Recollections from Joliet


Your web page sparked many great memories of “The Big Eighty-Nine.”  My first recollection of WLS dates back to the mid ’60s when as a child of six, I would frequently alternate my rock-n’-roll listening between WLS and WOKY in Milwaukee.  At the time, my father had an old Hallicrafters shortwave receiver with a great AM tuner section which became the basis for my AM radio addiction and eventual entry into broadcasting.  By the time I was in my teen-age years, my family had moved to Joliet, a southwestern suburb of Chicago and not too far from the WLS Tinley Park transmitter site.  From Joliet, it was an incredible experience to hear the thunderous roar of the WLS transmitter which oftentimes blanked-out the entire AM band.  My fondest memories of WLS include Larry Lujack’s “Klunk Letter of the Day,” and John R. Landecker’s “Boogie Check.” And who could ever forget the sound of that gorgeous reverb, which became a WLS signature and hallmark.  I spent nearly twenty-five years in radio with about ten years as Director of Engineering.  I eventually left radio in the mid ’90s when seemingly every station and broadcast group was turning ownership several times during the course of a year.  It was time to leave.  Today, I’m a corporate communications attorney and engineer for AT&T.  I’m having a great time but it will never match the fun, mystique and entrepreneurial spirit we all enjoyed at one time in broadcasting.

Scott, thanks for chronicling the history of WLS and for offering this great tribute to those who were a part of the world’s greatest radio station.

-Paul Christensen
Jacksonville, Florida

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