Friday, July 23, 2021

The Friday Flash!

As always great stuff, Kent ...

Love the Chicago Radio memories!

Kris Erik Stevens

It's only Thursday, and I can't recall an entire week of FH delivering a wider variety of entertaining and informative detailed tidbits about the music and artists that still make us happy. I don't know how you compile all of this stuff, Kent! Does George Martin slow your day down so you have 48 hours, then you play it back at normal speed?

David Lewis

One of my listeners sent this gift to me today.  They just wanted to say thanks and they knew that I am a fan of Uncle Lar.  

I hope you get a few votes for '71 faves.  That could be a great countdown. 


Nothing so far - but we’ll come up with something.  (Fans who want to vote for their 1971 favorites can just email me your list … please keep it to a Top Ten and rank them in order from 1-10 with your VERY favorite shown as #1.)

Have you ever checked out Mixcloud? 

You’ll find several Lujack shows there … usually uncut with the original commercials, news broadcasts, etc.  They typically run in one hour segments.  (Lots of other ‘60’s and ‘70’s shows there, too.)  Now that Reel Radio is gone, there just aren’t a lot of great sites around to listen to this stuff anymore.  (Unless, of course, readers know of a few others … which we would be VERY happy to pass along the links to!)  kk


Final reminder …

Me-TV-FM’s Class of ’71 Reunion kicks off this evening during the 7:00 hour and runs through Midnight on Sunday.  (And since I actually AM part of The Class of ’71 … our 50th High School Reunion is just a few month away … you can bet that I’ll be listening to relive some of the great music and cultural highlights from this year.)


A while back, we told you that our FH Buddy JR Russ, who runs the excellent website playing a wide selectin of oldies, has launched a new radio podcast saluting the movies. Movie Ticket Radio …

You can listen to movie music all day long at

And you can enjoy the podcasts (also featuring John Records Landecker) here:

@LandeckerJohn and @JRRussRadio just published the 10th episode of The Movie Ticket Radio Podcast on @buzzsprout! Please LIKE and SUBSCRIBE

Our FH Buddy Carl Wiser, founder of Songfacts, made an appearance on Chicago’s very own WGN News this week to talk about the stories behind some our best loved songs …

Hey Kent -

WGN-TV has been having me on their morning news to tell song stories. This week we covered "25 or 6 to 4," "American Woman," "Over The Rainbow" and "Rosanna."

Be Well,

Carl Wiser


VERY cool!  Keep us posted regarding any other upcoming appearances!  (kk)

And, speaking of TV appearances, I got this from long-time FH Reader Don Effenberger …

CNN's Don Lemon is doing a special Sunday night on Whatever Happened to TV Theme Songs …

I tweeted him earlier to let him know …

With your Sunday special, you might be interested in this exhaustive Forgotten Hits List of Readers' TOP 100 ALL-TIME FAVORITE TV THEMES (based on heir 2020 Poll). Kent Kotal is a great interview, too!

It's a long shot, but who knows …

Maybe you’ll hear from the folks there if he doing any kind of promo interviews!

Stranger things have happened … I think.



Wow!  Thanks, Don!

(I don’t think it’s going to happen … usually shows like this are put together weeks, if not months in advance.)  But it WOULD be cool if he directed folks watching it over to the website to see how some of their favorites ranked!!!

Thanks again!  (kk)

You can also check out the results of our 2013 poll …


Have you seen the new Paul McCartney (featuring Beck) de-aging video for “Find My Way,” a track off the new III Reimagined album?

Through a computer technology known as Hyperreal Digital, which specializes in the creation of hyper-realistic digital avatars.

According to Hyperreal’s CEO Remington Scott,  “The technology to de-age talent and have them perform in creative environments like this is now fully-realized, even with one of the most recognized faces in the world.”

Honestly, I’m not so sure …

To me, the video looks more like a Paul McCartney look-alike (and, quite honestly, not even all that realistic looking one) than the real thing, especially the way it’s lit, keeping much of the images in the shadows.

Still, I’ve gotta give Macca credit for ALWAYS finding new ways to present his music.  (McCartney III was only out a few months when the reimagined version was released.)  kk


Speaking of McCartney, this week Billboard Magazine spotlights the fourteen times an artist has replaced themselves at the #1 position on their Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart.  (Once again, you’ll see only ONE act to do so during the era of music that we typically cover here in Forgotten Hits, 1955 - 1989 … and that distinction belongs to The Beatles … who actually did it TWICE!!!)  As you can see, they’re not the only act to do so.  (The reason for the salute is because the 14th occurrence happened this week.) 


The complete list is as follows:


BTS:  "Permission to Dance" replaced "Butter," July 24, 2021


Drake:  "Nice for What" replaced "God's Plan," April 21, 2018 and "In My Feelings" replaced "Nice for What," July 21, 2018 


Justin Bieber:  "Love Yourself" replaced "Sorry," Feb. 13, 2016 and "Despacito" (by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Bieber) replaced "I'm the One" (by DJ Khaled feat. Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper & Lil Wayne), May 27, 2017 


The Weeknd: "The Hills" replaced "Can't Feel My Face," Oct. 3, 2015


Taylor Swift: "Blank Space" replaced "Shake It Off," Nov. 29, 2014


The Black Eyed Peas: "I Gotta Feeling" replaced "Boom Boom Pow," July 11, 2009 T.I.: "Live Your Life" (feat. Rihanna) replaced "Whatever You Like," Oct. 18, 2008


Usher: "Burn" replaced "Yeah!" (feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris), May 22, 2004 and "Confessions Part II" replaced "Burn," July 24, 2004


OutKast: "The Way You Move" (feat. Sleepy Brown) replaced "Hey Ya!," Feb. 14, 2004


Nelly: "Dilemma" (feat. Kelly Rowland) replaced "Hot in Herre," Aug. 17, 2002


Ja Rule: "Ain't It Funny" (by Jennifer Lopez feat. Ja Rule) replaced "Always on Time," March 9, 2002


Puff Daddy: "Mo Money Mo Problems" (by The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy & Mase) replaced "I'll Be Missing You" (by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans feat. 112)


Boyz II Men: "On Bended Knee" replaced "I'll Make Love to You," Dec. 3, 1994


The Beatles: "She Loves You" replaced "I Want to Hold Your Hand," March 21, 1964 and "Can't Buy Me Love" replaced "She Loves You," April 4, 1964, giving them THREE consecutive #1 Records in a row during the height of Beatlemania.  (Between those three titles, The Beatles occupied the #1 position for14 consecutive weeks.  Three weeks later, they were back at #1 with “Love Me Do” … and before the end of the year, they’d top the chart twice more with “A Hard Day’s Night” and “I Feel Fine.”)


The Rolling Stones pick up their “No Filter” tour this September, even adding a few new dates along the way.  (Unfortunately, a couple of previously scheduled cities also had to be dropped due to new scheduling conflicts.  The other days are rescheduled due to Covid-interuptus, dating back to May of this year …

September 26th – The Dome – ST. LOUIS, MO
September 30th – Bank of America Stadium – CHARLOTTE, NC

October 4th  – Heinz Field – PITTSBURGH, PA
October 9th – Nissan Stadium – NASHVILLE, TN
October 13th – The New Orleans Jazz Fest – NEW ORLEANS, LA  [NEWLY ADDED]
October 17th – SoFi Stadium – LOS ANGELES, CA – [NEWLY ADDED]
October 24th – U.S. Bank Stadium – MINNEAPOLIS, MN
October 29th – Raymond James Stadium – TAMPA, FL

November 2nd – Cotton Bowl – DALLAS, TX
November 6th – Allegiant Stadium – LAS VEGAS, NV – [NEWLY ADDED]
November 11th – Mercedes-Benz Stadium ATLANTA, GA
November 15th – Ford Field DETROIT, MI
November 20th – Circuit of the Americas AUSTIN, TX

Could more shows be added to the list?  Never say never.  Word is The Stones have been going crazy being off the road and out of the studio for so long … so don’t be surprised if you find them rolling out your way before the year is through.  (kk)

It’s only been since his death that I learned Robby Steinhardt of Kansas was a Chicago native.  He’ll always be associated with the state of (and the group) Kansas, but he entered the world here, then moving the Sunflower State with his adoptive parents.

Rick O’Dell

I did NOT know that.

What I found out is that there really isn’t a decent Kansas compilation CD out on the market that encompasses all of their hits … and that’s a real shame.

They hit Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart 14 times between 1976 and 1987 and HALF of those became Top Forty Hits.  (Others, like “Portrait (He Knew)” and “Got To Rock On” deserved to be but fell short.)

When I went to listen to their Greatest Hits CD on Monday, I was disappointed to see that only FIVE actual hits appear on that collection.  (kk)

From Tom Cuddy …



Charlene: ‘That one song was such an incredible feat. I loved it’

The singer of the 1980s hit I’ve Never Been to Me has just released a new album

By Lauren Murphy from The Irish Times

Charlene: seven years after its original release, in 1975, I’ve Never Been to Me began to climb back up the charts.


It’s one of those songs; you recognize it instantly, but you’re hazy on the details . If you’ve seen Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, you’ll know it from that iconic opening scene. It has featured in countless other TV and film scenes and even karaoke video games over the years. It’s the ultimate pub quiz question: who sang the 1980s hit I’ve Never Been to Me?

Charlene Oliver – aka the mononymous Charlene – reckons she has performed the song, with its memorable refrain “I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me”, thousands of times over the years.  “But I’ve always loved it as a song,” she maintains. “It’s not like that Judy Garland story of how she hated to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow; I never felt that. That one song was such an incredible feat.We did it, I loved it, it was wonderful... and then...” Her voice trails off. “Well, Motown just kinda said, ‘okay, we won’t do anything with this.’”


The now 70-year-old, who lives in Fort Worth, Texas and works a day job as a music tutor, is bubbly, chatty and charmingly eccentric as she recounts her stint in the spotlight. Or more accurately, her two stints in the spotlight. She may be best known for I’ve Never Been to Me, but the Hollywood-born singer’s life story is worthy of a Hollywood biopic. Even the story of the song itself – which flopped when it was first released in 1975 – is intriguing. When it was randomly picked up by a radio DJ in Florida (Scott Shannon) seven years later, it quickly gained traction and became a global hit. The only problem? By that point, Charlene had given up on music and had moved to London with her English fiance.


“I was working in a sweet shop in England, and I was just ready to get married – and basically, my music career was gone,” she recalls. “I’d been with Motown, I knew Stevie Wonder, I knew Michael Jackson, I knew all the people. I’d done everything that I could do at a record company; I recorded so many songs. So when it didn’t happen, I got discouraged. I was done. I met Jeff [Oliver] in California and we moved back to London and we got married and I was happy. I thought, okay, this is gonna be my new journey, and I was fine with it. And then bam – all of a sudden, I get a phone call saying: ‘You’re on the charts.’”


Showjumping to Motown

Growing up in California, Charlene – born Charlene D’Angelo – initially aspired to be an actress. Later, she kept horses and participated in showjumping events. When her first husband, musician Larry Duncan realised that she could sing, he encouraged her to lend her voice to a demo that had been written by a friend of his. In turn, that led to her being invited to sing a song by renowned songwriter Jack Keller called Sweet Sad Clown. Even so, her brief flirtation as a singer seemed destined to remain just that, before fate took another twist when she was overheard singing at a party in Laurel Canyon.


“Larry pulls out his guitar and starts playing and I’m singing, and this lady walks up and goes, ‘Hi, I’m Nancy Leiviska. I work with Sammy Davis Jr – I’m his publicist – and I’m also dating Berry Gordy. Who are you? I love your voice. You know Motown?’ I went ‘Ummm... no?’ And she said, ‘You know Diana Ross?’ and I said, ‘Oh my god I love Diana Ross! ’ and I freaked out,” she recalls, laughing. “She asked for a tape of something she could listen to, and Larry gave her Sweet Sad Clown. I wasn’t thinking anything about music; I was too much into my horses, too much into just living my life.”


A month or so later, she was offered an audition with Motown boss Gordy. “Nancy called and said, ‘He’s working on Lady Sings the Blues in Warner Brothers – can you come down?’”, says Charlene.

“I said ‘Will Diana Ross be there?’” 


She turned up to the meeting, she says, in her “overalls and boots, a country girl who rides horses” but impressed Gordy sufficiently to be offered a deal with Motown, becoming only the second white female artist to sign to the iconic label. While there, she rubbed shoulders with big names, from Smokey Robinson to The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder, even recording the first demo of Michael Jackson’s One Day in Your Life. A turning point for her at Motown came when she crossed paths with songwriter Ron Miller, who had written multiple songs for Stevie Wonder by that point, including For Once in My Life and Heaven Help Us All, as well as some for Diana Ross.

Charlene: “It’s not like that Judy Garland story of how she hated to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

“Ron had said to me, ‘I’ve heard the songs that you’re doing, and I really don’t think they’ve pulled the best out of your voice’,” she explains. “The first song I ever did was a ballad, and that was my true voice. But Motown were putting me into songs where I sounded just like Michael Jackson. Ron said, ‘I want to play you a song’. At that time, I was going through a really bad time with my first husband; I was very depressed. So he put the song on in his office, and [opening line] ‘Hey lady, you lady...’ played, and I just lost it. I started crying, and I said, ‘This song is amazing. It’s my life!’ He said ‘You know what? I think you can nail this. I’m gonna call Berry Gordy and see if we can get into the studio and cut a demo.’”


Gordy immediately liked the demo and the pair returned to the studio with its co-writer Kenny Hirsch, this time adding a lush string arrangement courtesy of Don Costa, who had worked extensively with Frank Sinatra. (Charlene’s stories, in case you hadn’t already guessed, are peppered with names from the golden era of songwriting). “I sang it, we thought, ‘It’s gonna be a hit’ and we released it, and...” Her voice falters. “It was goodbye.”

A duet with Stevie Wonder

The song failed to perform and a deflated Charlene subsequently dabbled in bits and pieces – including a stint as Petula Clark’s backing vocalist during a residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas – but eventually decided that she was not cut out for the music business. Soon after, she emigrated to England and was getting on with life until seven years after its original release, I’ve Never Been to Me began to climb back up the charts. Charlene recalls stories like being flown from London to New York on Concorde to appear on Good Morning America, but things went sour – again – when her follow-up single proved controversial. Used to Be, a duet with Stevie Wonder also written by Ron Miller, was shunned by and even banned from some radio stations for its contentious lyrics. They included the lines “Have another Chivas Regal / You’re 12 years old and sex is legal.”


“Little did I know that Ron Miller hated the world and he wanted to use me as his voice to say so,” she recalls with a bittersweet laugh. “The song was great, but I did not put the dots together. I should have had something fun and easy. Instead, I was given a song that had to knock the world on its head, that said: ‘Listen to how bad everything is!’ And so... that was kind of the end. The clincher was when I opened up a magazine and it had me and Ron Miller sitting at the piano, and the caption was ‘Charlene: The Magnificent Failure’. My heart sank.”

While Wonder’s career continued to flourish, Charlene’s bit the dust for a second time. She agrees that she was something of a sacrificial lamb in that situation. “I released a rock‘n’roll album after that, but Motown weren’t interested,” she says. “They said, ‘Nope, goodbye – you’re nothing to us, and you owe us nine billion dollars’. So it was awful. I literally had a nervous breakdown.”


It seems that many of Charlene’s career-related issues have stemmed from bad management, bad decisions or bad advice. She reportedly originally only made $13,000 from I’ve Never Been to Me and later become embroiled in financial stresses thanks to a dodgy contract hastily signed when the song was re-released in 1982. “The first time I made anything was like, 2013, I think,” she sighs. “I’m getting royalties now, but a lot of them are very small. But y’know, I can’t worry about that stuff; that’s what brought me to almost having a nervous breakdown. I’m having fun with it now. I’m not beating myself up about it anymore.”


In the intervening years, she has turned her hand to writing both fiction and non-fiction; her autobiography was published in 2009 and acts both as a fascinating insight into the music industry and as a cautionary tale. Most importantly, she has continued to make music over the years. The song’s appearance in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert made her an inadvertent LGBT icon and she spent a period touring gay clubs, while her more recent fare has taken a clubby, dance music slant, including “comeback” single Destiny, which was released in May. “I needed to break away from the dark songs,” she notes with a chuckle. “It’s a fun song and I thought it’s time that I kind of lift things up a little bit. I’ve got a whole album of material – I’ve just gotta put it all together. And they’re all kind of different.”


The million dollar question, however, is why Charlene’s audience would still be willing participant after all these years? She sighs again before answering with a wholehearted enthusiasm; the eternal optimist despite the many disappointments throughout her career. “I’m hoping people will want to hear me and not go, ‘Oh god, it’s that woman who sang that horrible song, I’ve Never Been to Me’,” she chuckles. “I still have a lot to say. I’ve got an ocean of things inside my soul and I hope that the new songs that I write can still do.


You know, I’ve never forgiven Scott Shannon for discovering this song!!!  Or let him live down this “discovery!”  (kk)

And you shouldn’t!!!!



Thursday, July 22, 2021

A Love Of Chicago Radio

Last week we introduced you to Forgotten Hits Reader Ben Meijering from The Netherlands. 

Although he’s been a reader for years, this was the first time we’d ever heard from him.  (This seems to be the case with so many of you out there … and we’d love to hear from more of you more often!)

Ben’s reason for writing was that he felt a certain passion and connection to the piece we did about Chicagoland Radio, circa 1967, when EIGHT local artists made our WLS Top 40 Survey.  (As you’ve seen, others felt passionate on the list as well … it’s already been the topic of at least three radio programs that we’re aware of!)

Ben, in fact, was so inspired that he put together a countdown of the COMPLETE list.  (We shared that link with you last week as well … ... should you also want to … there is now no expiration date regarding when you can download this two hour program.)

So how does a guy from The Netherlands fall in love not only with the music of Chicago’s Local Heroes from the ‘60’s, but with Chicagoland Radio as well?

Well, like so many of our European counterparts, most of these people grew up under the spell of American Rock And Roll Music back in the '50's ... and, just as it did here in The States, it inspired countless fans and musicians to devote their lives to the love of rock and roll music.

When Ben had the occasion to work here in The United States in the early '80's, he just happened to be located right here in Chicago.  His passion for this music had already long existed ... but he was afforded the unique opportunity to experience it all first hand.  (He was also an avid fan of recording what he heard here ... and quickly assembled quite an extensive collection of U.S. ... and particularly Chicago-based air checks.)

Now think about this for a minute ...

The radio he was listening to and experiencing during his time here was really "second generation" rock and roll ... 

By the early 1980's, the music of the '50's, '60's and '70's were already being featured as "golden oldies" ... and it really is quite amazing how many stations here in Chicago were taking part in this format.  (This simply isn't the case anymore where we've essentially got exactly ONE radio station focusing on the music of yesteryear ... Me-TV-FM, featuring a wide variety of "soft rock oldies."  Other than that, you've got to turn to the Internet for any type of real oldies variety selection.)

During his time here in The States, Ben was also afforded the opportunity to travel to other major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, etc., where he continued to record what he heard on the air.  This "hobby" was, in effect, a life force of joy and entertainment while he was here.

His love of this music and this form of entertainment has never waned ... his passion is so great, in fact, that he even started his own website in The Netherlands to tell others about his unique experience ... and it's really quite entertaining.

Clicking on the link below will take you there ... where you'll also find most of the pictures he describes in his story as well as musical links to more than a few examples of his listening experience.  (Although a good number of those music links are working below, I suggest you open a second window in order to be able to toggle back and forth between the two to fully experience the full effect of his efforts.  Either way, you'll find several days worth of listening entertainment by clicking on some of these link to see what Chicagoland Oldies Radio sounded like circa early 1980's!)

I say that because, for the benefit of any of our Forgotten Hits Readers who there who may not speak Dutch, I have translated all of this to layman's English.  I have also edited segments of this for the purposes of our posting here today ... 

As I stated at the outset, this truly is a shared passion of ALL of our Forgotten Hits Readers ... and to experience it thru someone else's eyes only helps to remind us of how much WE loved listening to and discovering this music back in the day.

Here is the link:

And here is Ben's story ...

My experiences as a radio listener in the United  States

In 1983 I worked at a large Telecom company in Hilversum, PTI.  PTI was looking for cooperation with another large U.S. telecom company at the time and was therefore in talks with AT&T from the U.S.  In 1983, it was decided to start a joint venture and within that joint venture, AT&T's telephony system, the 5ESS telephone exchange, would be adapted to the European market and offered there under the name 5ESS-PRX. In the years from 1978 to 1983, I had worked as a software developer at PTI and so it happened that I was asked if I wanted to be sent to the USA to help with the modifications to the 5ESS software, in order to be able to offer it to among others, the Dutch PTT.

On 17 November, 1983, I left for the United States with my wife and son, to the city of Chicago.  Our belongings were packed in a sea container by Arthur-Pierre in Rotterdam in the days before our departure.  We were also allowed to bring a cubic meter of air freight and in it was (of course) a radio cassette recorder. After arriving at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, we were transported by luxury taxi to Four Lakes Village in Naperville, where we were received by a host of colleagues and their partners. Then, we moved into a townhouse in Four Lakes Village. A few days later, the air freight was delivered. Unfortunately, the radio was damaged and no longer usable. However, the insurance covered the damage and soon after, I bought a JVC radio cassette recorder. That's how I made my first recordings on American radio. Soon I discovered a station at 107.9  MHz: WAUR, which then also called itself Gold Rock 108.  Here's a little bit of one of my first shots.  On the left, you see a picture of that JVC radio cassette recorder on the dining table in our townhouse in Four Lakes Village. We did fall with our noses in the (frozen) butter, it was freezing cold in Chicago at the  time … witness the picture here on the right. 

After we found a house, the sea container was delivered and the real recording work could begin with my Revox A-77.

From the Netherlands, I had brought some empty tapes, but they were soon filled. I also bought tapes from shops nearby, but they were rather pricey. I bought quite a few audio sheets and at one point, my eye fell on an ad where 26 cm tape recorder tapes were offered. These tapes were used once by the listening service, then erased, and were for sale for a not too large amount … the boxes could  be bought separately.  I bought about 50 bands and from the third week in September in 1984, I regularly recorded programs from the various radio stations in Chicago.  Soon, that became a side of a band every day, so an hour and a half a day (at 19 cm/s.)  In total, I recorded more than 200 hours on the Revox, in addition to about 50 hours on cassette.

We lived near Naperville.  I've often been able to eat pizza with colleagues at Connie's.  Especially the "Deep Dish" pizzas were very worthwhile … with a man or six, we could eat such a large pizza.   

Both with colleagues and also with the family.  I occasionally came to the Showbiz Pizza Place in  Napervile. Here at the top left is  a photo of the "internship."

In March, 1983, I heard a familiar voice on B96 (WBBM) in the morning. I recognized the voice of the DJ, of one of the Cruisin' LPs, as DJ at WKBW: Dick Biondi. I associated Dick with Golden Oldies, and found it a bit strange to hear him at a Top 40 station. That's what Dick sounded like on B96 on March 21, 1984.  During the summer of 1984, a new radio station was created in Chicago, WJMK (Magic 104) and Dick moved to that Golden Oldies station.  I've listened to him a lot. On 18 October, 1984, Dick could be heard on WJMK in the morning and sounded like this.

In May, 1984, we spent two weeks holiday in Arizona.  In Phoenix, I listened a lot to KOOL FM. One of my other hobbies is growing and collecting cacti.  In Arizona, I was able to indulge myself.  I'd never seen so many cacti before, and certainly not "in the wild."  I also visited a few cactus farms and bought some nice specimens there. We started our vacation in Arizona in Phoenix; then we visited Tucson, especially the cowboy town of Old Tucson and Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.  What a magnificent view you have there.  Arizona is the area of the cowboys, so  we also visited the cowboy towns of Rawhide.

The radio cassette recorder went with it in the suitcase - as well as a number of empty cassettes, all of which went back to Chicago "full."  I recorded about eleven hours of KKLT, KMZK, KOOL, KOPA, KRQ, KSKB, KZZP and Q105.  By clicking on the logo of KOOL FM above, you can hear a piece of Mike Bell from 26 May, 1984 .


The station I listened to the most during the period I lived in the US is WAUR from Aurora, Illinois, on 107.9 FM. In particular, the programming of the All Gold Weekend, got up almost every weekend. On Friday - so towards the end of the afternoon - the Old Gold Weekend  began and that continued until Sunday evening - often interrupted on Sunday morning by some "Community News." The beauty of the Old Gold Weekend was that  little was spoken and a lot of music was played, with occasional gems on the playlist, which I didn't know yet.  WAUR knew very few jingles. Advertisements were run there – but also to a limited extent.

When I got up on a Saturday morning, the radio usually went straight to Mike Hartman.  On Sunday afternoons, I listened to Doug James and on Saturday – later in the afternoon - I listened to Kim Smith.  Sunday mornings, sometimes to  Dick Clark's Rock, Roll &Remember and Sundays from 6 pm to Al Mitchell with Rare & Scratchy Rock & Roll.  On Friday nights, you could listen to Tom Milligan and Bill Marquis. Sue  Daniel, Rick O'Dell, Steve Haynes, April  Laborne, Len Turner and Tom Rottmann were also on the DJ crew for shorter or longer periods of time.  During the week, I used to listen to Joe Bartosh in the morning.  WAUR also provided weather and traffic information with Mike Spiel, Greg  Suminic for the weather and Barry Butler of Shadow Traffic for the traffic info. Advertising was made for Yes Electronics, Coke is it, the film De Terminator, Geneva on the Dam, Burgners, Puppy Love Petcenter, Ogden 6 theaters, Charly Club, Cabbage Patch kid, Home savings, AT&T Information Systems and the WAUR Music Service.  Typical WAUR pictures which stayed with me were Lakeshore Drive by Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah, the New Colony Six, the  Buckinghams, I'm Into Something Good by Herman's Hermits, Mirage by Tommy James, Baby I Need Your Lovin' by Johnny Rivers, Black Pearl by Sonny Charles, Brown Eyed Girl by Van  Morrison, Spanky & Our Gang, I Dig Rock & Roll Music by Peter, Paul & Mary, Abraham, Martin & John by Dion, the Association, The Eyes Of A NY Woman by B.J. Thomas, the Four Seasons, the Grass Roots, Could Be We're In Love with the Cryan' Shames, the American Breed, the Outsiders, and so on. WAUR held up in the building, of which you can see a photo below.

WAUR 200484 2132-2219 Steve Haynes


In my Top 10 of Chicago Radio Stations in 1984 and 1985, there was WJMK … in fact, after 1985, it was even number 1.  Although WAUR had a more varied playlist, the appeal of WJMK was the DJs and the jingles. Dick Biondi, in particular, I liked to hear, but "King B" Ron Britton, John Charleston, Dan Diamond, Stu Evans, David Earl, Kendall Gordon … I listened to them all. WJMK had the "Number Ones" weekend, "Super Sixties" weekend and Dick Biondi performed live at the Grand Band Stand. 

On Monday,  3 September, 1984 (Labor Day), WJMK broadcast the 104 Greatest Hits of All-Time ... a beautiful list of beautiful gems.  John Charleston presented hours 1-4 and Ron Britton, hours 5 and 6.

WJMK 141284 John Charleston 1200-1236

WJMK 300588 Dick Biondi Motown Monday

WJMK 160496 Scott Miller Sixties at Six 1800-1900

 From my time in and visits to Chicago come these airchecks:

"Clear continuous music," "The choice is clear"

WCLR 020185 Jack Miller 1211-1245

And then there was WFYR with Dick Bartley on Saturday night with "Solid Gold  Saturday Night," late-night Bob Dearborn with "Nighttime America" and "Morning" CK Cooper.  Below, you can hear it on 30 November, 1984, in the morning between  08:00 and 09:00 am.

WFYR 301184 C K Cooper 0800-0900

WLOO was a station with only beautiful music, a kind of precursor to the first performance of Sky radio.

WLOO 161084 Jack Taylor 0725-0756

Long before Arrow Classic Rock entered the Netherlands, Classic Rock was already known as a format in the USA.  In Chicago, it was WCKG on 105.9 FM in 1984. Below, you can listen to a recording of WCKG in 1988.

WCKG 270488 Dan Michaels


Y-107 WYEN from Des Plaines was a so-called Adult Contemporary Music station,  where the mainly requests of listeners were running.

Here you can listen to WYEN on 9 December, 1984. The DJ is MG Kelly and he plays  the first hour of the Top 30 USA between 19:00 and 20:00.


WLS is one of the oldest radio stations in Chicago. In the morning, I often listened to Superjock Larry Lujack.

Here you can listen to Chicago's Rock, WLS on December 15, 1984, with five minutes pf Chuck Britton from 6:55 - 7 p.m. and an hour Mike Wald from 7-8 p.m.

One of my favorite Radio Stations broadcasts in San Francisco:  KFRC

After returning from a 2-year deployment to Spain in 1992, I became responsible for a team that supervised the introduction of new products to customers.  In 1993, a new product was sold to a large customer in the Netherlands.  The product  came from the lab in Columbus, Ohio, where part of the development of that product was outsourced to a company in Berkeley, California. In August, 1993, a project meeting took place and so, on Sunday, 15 August, 1993, I boarded the KLM flight to Dulles Airport in Washington. From Dulles, I flew a propeller plane to Columbus. In the evening, at 22:00, the JVC radio recorder went into recording mode and I recorded some of WCOL. The following days, in preparation for the meeting, which was to take place in California, a meeting was held. On August 17th  I flew from Columbus to San Francisco and in the evening at 23:10, my first  recording of KFRC started on the JVC.  I was staying  in  a  hotel,  which  was  close to the Fisherman's Warff, and the reception there was not quite optimal. On  Thursday, I flew back to the Netherlands with a number of KRFC, KOIT and KYA recordings. In October, 1998, I came back to San Francisco again, then for a workshop of ITSMA. I arrived on Sunday, 18 October, and left on Thursday, 22 October. And that's how I met KFRC.

KFRC can be found   here

And this is a “can watch video” of Bill Lee on KFRC.

Also    listen to  KYA  from  San Francisco  from  August 1993

 Another favorite NEW York radio station:  WCBS-FM

On 15 March, 1994, I left for New York on a KLM plane.  Within the company where I worked, a number of  initiatives had been started to streamline business processes and on behalf of the EMEA region, I was the representative for the Technical Support processes.  In the evening, at 20:44, I put the JVC radio cassette recorder on record and made my first recording of WCBS-FM. Because of the jet lag, I was awake early the next morning and then recorded some WCBS-FM and also some HOT97W. If I remember correctly, I was staying somewhere south of New York, a rather large distance from the city, so the radio reception was not optimal.  After the meetings on the 16th of March, I flew to Chicago and in the evening at 22:30 the JVC was already taking WJMK again.  The hotel where I stayed was relatively close to the city, so the reception was fine.  Anyway, my first personal introduction to WCBS was on 15 March, 1994. More than two years later, on 17 April, 1996, I was able to record WCBS for the second time, then on DAT, in the evening at 22:51, the portable Sony DAT recorder went on.

From 5 - 7 December, 1995, I was also near New York, but too far from the transmitter of WCBS to be able to record anything. In the years that followed, I came to New Jersey regularly.  I worked for an American boss and part of my own team I was in New Jersey. I came to New Jersey 1-2 times a month, usually for a week, sometimes a little longer. In that time, I was able to record hundreds of hours of WCBS. Sometimes I would arrive at JFK airport on Sunday night. From the Terminal I then took the van to the car rental company, took the rental car, put the radio on WCBS and then,  listening to the Doo-Wop-Shop, drove to New Jersey.  And the radio was on WCBS all week.

 WCBS-FM can be found   here

 And here  are  a  few  airchecks from WCBS:


WCBS 061196 Cousin Brucie 1900-2000

WCBS 110203 Harry Harrison Randy Davis 0820-0915

WCBS 160598 Dan Daniel 1100-1200

WCBS 160598 Ed Baer 1200-1226

WCBS Bobby Jay 171096 2327-0019


In the mid-1970s, the NIS broadcast "The Sound of America," a program presented by Felix Meurders, that featured an image of Radio in the US. Among other things, you heard  this  beautiful  jingle during that  program. One of the stations that was covered there was KRTH, "K-Earth one-o-one," from Los Angeles.  When I was on vacation in L.A. in the summer of 2000, I stopped by their place.  I liked that the station technician knew about the existence of Radio Caroline and that it was broadcast from a ship.  I was given a tour of the radio station  and was given a few postcards from the DJs as a souvenir:

(I still listen to Shotgun Tom Kelly every single day on Sirius / XM!  lol - kk)

During the tour, I was told by the program compilers that they use listening groups, which help to put together the playlist once every three  months, a playlist of about 500 records.  The compilers program the playlist every day, including the texts for the DJs, for the day after. DJs were only allowed to come up with their own lyrics once an hour.  Such a DJ sat there together with a technician, two people who were quite bored.  L  I was not impressed with KRTH too much … well-known music, which was repeated regularly.  Still, I did record a few things. Here you can listen to an hour of "Shotgun Tom" Kelly. This  is an hour of  Brian  Beirne, and  here  and  here, another  two  hours. This  was  their hour starter.  Nowadays, Sky does it in a similar way.

I hope you have enjoyed our little journey thru Radioland this morning.  So many of these great names and radio stations mentioned above are part of Chicago's radio legacy.  It is SO cool to be able to present them with a totally fresh and new perspective provided by a visitor from The Netherlands who fell in love with this music just the same way we all did way back when.  (kk)