I have been pretty absent comment-wise from your site, but have tried hard to keep up with reading when I can. I just HAD to write to thank you for the info about Dick Biondi's 50th anniversary show! HOW could I forget such an important date in history? I have been much aware of this date for decades, yet i almost missed it! What a great radio show! To make matters worse (better?), it became a radio war to rival those I grew up with in the 60's with Chicago radio!! Staying true to my youth, I was listening to the Biondi show in bed with headset (that replaces my transistor under the pillow of 60's) with pre-set buttons on WLS AM. With a button push, I could move to WGN and Bob Sirott (who'd been on Biondi's show earlier!) interviewing Ramsey lewis about his career!! HOW COOL was that?? Like flipping between the two Rons (Britain and Riley) in the '60's on 'LS and 'CFL!! Not quite as good, but as good as it gets in THIS century!! I had some old photos of Dick to scan and send along as well as audio, but just no time with neice's graduation week. I hope Dick had a great time. Dick had so many people I did not know even still performed and THEY KNEW HIM and remembered him and loved him!! Just a great great show and I thank you for keeping us informed!!
WLSClark / Clark Besch
Dick Biondi's Anniversary Show was GREAT!! I enjoyed all the singing stars and the fans and their stories. He also played a lot of good oldies you do not hear anymore.
We're hoping to have some exclusive pictures from this event to share with you soon. Meanwhile, today we are VERY happy to inform you that, according to Robert Feder's latest column, the City of Chicago is FINALLY honoring Dick Biondi with a new segment of real estate called "Dick Biondi Way".
Our buddy Jim "J.C. Hooke" Pilster of The Cryan' Shames should be VERY pleased ... he has been campaigning for this honor for YEARS now ... and Feder's column announces that thanks to the efforts of Chicagoan (and fellow broadcaster) Bob Sirott ... and a City Council vote ... the area adjacent to 360 N. Michigan Avenue, home to WLS Radio for SO many years ... will OFFICIALLY be renamed "Dick Biondi Way"! Hot on the heels of Biondi celebrating the 50th Anniversary of his first Chicagoland broadcast for the station, this just couldn't come at a more appropriate time. Here are all the details:
AFTER 50 YEARS, DICK BIONDI GETS HIS OWN WAY IN CHICAGO
-- Robert Feder (Vocalo.org)
Dick Biondi still remembers when fans would stand in the alley outside his old radio studio on Michigan Avenue and yell up to him through the fifth floor window. Soon the legendary disc jockey will be able to call that spot his own.
The Chicago City Council approved a resolution Wednesday to name the area just off Lower Wacker Drive near East Lake Street and Garland Court “Dick Biondi Way.” It’s adjacent to the 360 North Michigan Avenue building that housed the studios and offices of WLS-AM (890) for decades. It also housed the famed London House night club, where top music acts of the ’60s played.
Biondi, 77, who earlier this month celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first broadcast on WLS, said he was overwhelmed by the honor. “That is so great,” he told me just after the vote made it official. “For a skinny Italian kid from the North Side of Upstate New York, I can’t believe all this is happening.” Particularly delighted by the alley’s “underground” location, Biondi quipped: “I’m always telling everybody that my fan club has their headquarters on Lower Wacker.”
Five decades after he first signed on at WLS-AM, Biondi is still going strong — and sounding better than ever — on “True Oldies” WLS-FM (94.7), where he holds forth from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. Both stations are owned by Citadel Broadcasting.
Veteran broadcaster Bob Sirott (who helped relaunch Biondi’s career in Chicago with a “Where Are They Now” feature he reported on WBBM-Channel 2 in 1982) spearheaded the effort for the honorary street designation. It was sponsored in the City Council by 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly. No date has been announced for the dedication.
Although Biondi has long been enshrined in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame, the designation of “Dick Biondi Way” marks his long overdue recognition from the city where he helped put WLS on the map as America’s premier rock ‘n’ roll station and where he discovered and nurtured many of the biggest recording artists of the Top 40 era.
“Dick Biondi has been a landmark in Chicago over the last 50 years, so we are most appreciative of the city for honoring that status,” said Michael Damsky, president and general manager of WLS. “We feel honored to work with him everyday.”
Congratulations, Dick ... you deserve it. Biondi has been a friend and supporter of Forgotten Hits for many years ... our 2002 feature naming him as the very first disc jockey in America to play a Beatles record on the air is one of our most-read series ever ... and has been used as a reference source by other Beatles historians ever since.
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Who Played The Very First Beatles Record In America?
You can catch Biondi's show on WLS-FM weeknights from 7 - 11 pm ... and Friday Night he does the All-Request Show ... where you'll hear music that you haven't heard in 30-40 years! A "Listen Live" link appears below:
Click here: 94.7 WLS-FM