(not) Much of what follows is true:
Back in the 1860's, Thomas Edison invented the radio. Extremely proud of his latest invention, he and his trusty sidekick Watson celebrated that evening with a glass of brandy in front of the wood-burning stove. They then spent the rest of the evening listening to Dick Biondi and Herb Kent as they beamed across the airwaves of Edison's brand-new contraption.
Who would have ever thought that nearly a century and a half later, while Al Gore was busy inventing the Internet, these two radio icons would STILL be on the air, broadcasting to their legion of fans and doing what they love best.
For the past couple of weeks we've been telling you about the upcoming tribute to two of Chicagoland's Radio Legends, Dick Biondi and Herb Kent. Hosted by Bob Sirott (no radio slouch himself ... when Bob first took to the airwaves here in Chi-Town, he was an IMMEDIATE hit and quickly became one of the most listened to deejays in town ... as well as a personal favorite ... he parlayed that success into a television career as well), the event was held last Saturday at Columbia College (where Sirott himself is an alum!)
We were unable to attend the ceremony (and have been kicking ourselves ever since) as a virtual Who's Who of Chicagoland Radio and Rock And Roll were on hand to wish these two radio legends well.
Here are a couple of first-hand reports (and photos) from some of our readers who WERE able to attend:
I WAS VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN AT THE BIONDI / KENT EVENT.
IT WAS FAR BETTER THAN I EXPECTED, AND BOB SIROTT DID A MASTERFUL JOB OF HANDLING THE EVENT & THE AUDIENCE (ESPECIALLY ON SOME UNCOMFORTABLE AUDIENCE QUESTIONS).
I'VE KNOWN DICK A LONG, LONG TIME, AND HEARD SOME STORIES FOR THE FIRST TIME. IT WAS INTERESTING TO HEAR BOTH ENDS OF THE RACE ISSUES. THEIR MEMORIES & INSIGHT WERE FASCINATING, AND THEY HAD PLENTY OF MORAL SUPPORT FROM MANY OF THE ARTISTS THEY'VE HELPED OVER THE YEARS. GENE CHANDLER, AND ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF THE CHI-LITES, THE BUCKINGHAMS, THE IDES OF MARCH, THE NEW COLONY SIX, THE FLOCK, FOUR DAYS & A NIGHT & THE CRYAN SHAMES WERE ALL IN ATTENDANCE.
THESE OLD SCHOOL DEE JAYS TRULY LOVE THEIR FANS & STAYED STILL EVERYONE HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO THEM. A CLASSIC EVENING OF CHICAGO MEMORIES.
YOU SURE MISSED SOMETHING SPECIAL IF YOU DIDN'T GO. KUDOS AGAIN TO COLUMBIA ALUM BOB SIROTT FOR PUTTING THIS ALL TOGETHER.
A SPLENDID TIME WAS HAD BY ALL ...
MICHAEL G. BUSH
I had REALLY wanted to attend this thing ... in fact, I talked to Ron Smith Friday Night about it and he said they were expecting a couple thousand people to show up ... unfortunately, he ALSO told me that the auditorium seated about 300!!! (Biondi told Ron that he didn't expect 200 people to show up ... and Ron felt that there would be AT LEAST 2000!!!)
I heard from Carl Giammarese and Fred Glickstein earlier in the day that they had planned to attend ... now I wish I would have just shrugged it off and gone, too ... was hoping that maybe SOMEBODY filmed this whole thing for some sort of local broadcast.
Anyway, sounds like a GREAT time ... and you're right ... I wish I coulda been there!!!
BOB SIROTT DID HAVE THIS FILMED, SO IT SHOULD COME OUT IN SOME FORM EVENTUALLY (WE'RE SUPPOSED TO GET TOGETHER AGAIN REAL SOON!). HOWEVER, IT RAN FOR SEVERAL HOURS, SO YOU WILL MISS SEEING WHAT ENDS ON THE OLD CUTTING ROOM FLOOR, RATS! ... MGB
Your site is always INCREDIBLE!!!
Went to the Columbia event last night -- besides all the celeb radio folks there -- there were many of our beloved Chicago music artists -- Here are some pix if you want a peek -- I'm passing these around -- feel free to use any you want!
THE NEW COLONY 6 - RONNIE RICE & Me
THE CRYAN SHAMES - JIM PILSTER (J.C. HOOKE) and Me
MARIANNE MURCIANO - BOB SIROTT - Me
HONORED GUEST - HERB KENT, THE COOL GENT & Me
Oh well ... I'm hoping somebody filmed this and will air the highlights later ... truly radio royalty on board that night ... and some major celebs in the audience, too!!!