Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dick Biondi Way

A few photos and reports from yesterday's street dedication ceremony honoring Chicagoland Radio Legend Dick Biondi ...

And the Year of the Wild I-Tralian continues!
Less than two months after Chicago DJ Dick Biondi was saluted on the 50th anniversary of his first radio broadcast in the Windy City with a "day" in his honor, on Tuesday June 29th the City of Chicago dedicated "Dick Biondi Way" at the corner of Lake Street and Garland Court. Though the Garland "alley" runs north to the old Stone Container Building, home of WLS-AM in the '60s, the site is actually across the street from the original WJMK-FM (Oldies 104.3) studios where Dick broadcast for over twenty years.
A crowd of nearly 200 were on hand for the unveiling by Dick and Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly, who sponsored the honor in the City Council. Also speaking were Michael Damsky and Michael LaCrosse, General Manager and Program Director respectively of Dick's current home, "True Oldies" WLS-FM. Bob Sirott - a Chicago legend in his own right - spearheaded the effort and hosted (and his wife, Marianne Murciano, brightened the festivities).
Dick was serenaded with a chorus of his "Pizza Song" by Chicago rockers Dennis Tufano of the Buckinghams, Ronnie Rice of the New Colony Six, Jim Peterik of the Ides of March (on ukelele), Jimy Sohns of the Shadows of Knight, Jimy Rogers of the Mauds and Jim (J.C. Hooke) Pilster of the Cryan' Shames. Also present were True Oldies DJ Greg Brown, Radio-TV columnist Robert Feder and Theresa Gutierrez of ABC - television's Channel 7, plus a plethora of Dick's current and former co-workers (including a former Music Director of his who shall go nameless).
(EDITOR'S NOTE: That would be our FH Buddy Ron Smith ... who worked side-by-side with Biondi for YEARS!!!)
The funniest moment of the afternoon might have been when a clueless passer-by exclaimed, "Is that Al Pacino?" No, but it was - as Peterik put it - the only Italian on the planet with no rhythm.
Channel 7 coverage:
-- Ron Smith
As we mentioned earlier in the week, we were unable to attend the street dedication ceremony honoring Dick Biondi ... but thankfully Ron Smith was there and filed this report (Hey, isn't that YOU in the background there on this ABC news clip?!?!? lol) kk

Ron also sent along some very cool photos from the event (click to enlarge) :

The Street Signs ... Before and After the Unveiling
Dick Biondi with long-time friend of Forgotten Hits,
Photographer Michael Bush

Ronnie Rice (formerly of The New Colony Six), Greg Brown (WLS-FM DeeJay),
Jim "Hooke" Pilster (The Cryan' Shames), Jimy Rogers (background in hat, The Mauds)
and Jim Peterik (The Ides Of March) were all on hand to help celebrate!

Dennis Tufano (formerly of The Buckinghams ...

he's the guy with the naturally graying hair)

and Jim Peterik of The Ides Of March ...

(he's the guy with the fluorescent purple rock star hair)

were on hand to serenade the crowd
Hi Kent ...
How cool is it to now say ... "Meet me at the corner of Dick Biondi Way?!"
- Michele Abrams

An unidentified female fan (is that you, Candace???)

and Bob Abrams (formerly of the Buckinghams)

flank Ronnie Rice (of the New Colony Six),
holding the sign now signifying Dick Biondi Way!
(Photo courtesy of Michele Abrams)
VERY cool!!! Very cool indeed! (kk)