Remember when AM radio was the rage?
One of my favorite hobbies is listening and collecting Old Time Radio shows. It was during one of my downloading sprees that I ran across a “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. This was not the famous Orson Welles broadcast, but one created by the WKBW radio station in 1973.
When the DJ “Shane Brother Shane” started his show, that brought back memories of my own childhood during that time. I do not remember the actual transition from AM to FM or even when we had a radio in the house that would pick up an FM broadcast. My parents owned an old wooden console record player that weighed as much as a small car and was bigger than our TV. The record player had a built in radio but it only picked up AM stations.
In my room I had a white alarm clock radio that was also AM only. It was the type of clock where the numbers would flip down like an old rotary card file. For me and most other kids, there was only one station in our area to listen to. That was WLS Musicradio out of Chicago. I think every school bus in Indiana was tuned into that station.
It was a little over a three hour drive to Chicago from where we lived, but WLS’s 50,000 watt transmitter had no problem reaching us. I was exposed to many of the greats like Tommy Edwards, John Records Landecker and Larry Lujack’s Animal Stories.
Once again it is probably me being nostalgic, but radio today doesn’t seem to have the pizazz as it did back then. The DJs of today are all about rude, shock comedy. It’s like a game seeing how far can they take things before getting into FCC trouble. Back in the 70s I feel it was all about charisma. Their style and personality kept you tuned in and they had a quick on the spot wit about them.
I found a great interview with John Landecker where he talks about how he got started. They filmed the interview while he was working.
And for a couple of other good sites with lots of WLS history for those of you who want to enjoy some fond memories as I did.