(Above: Clearly Mom wanted the records in the basement. That's usually where they end up.) In the last post I explained that I received my first record player 45 years ago, and started rifling through my parents' records. This past weekend I went through a few thousand 45s, found the original records I inherited, and … Continue reading The gift that kept on giving: My first 45s, 45 years later (Part 2)
(Above: The box of records that used to belong to my parents. I've had it for 45 years.) Think back to when you were a kid. What was the one gift that you received that you remember more than any of the others? The one that, though you didn't know it at the time, changed … Continue reading The gift that kept on giving: My first 45s, 45 years later (Part 1)
Word spread rapidly this morning that Merlin Media, who had been trying to sell Chicago's WLUP, finally found a buyer: the Educational Media Foundation. EMF serves the contemporary Christian format over satellite to its affiliates. The format, called "K-Love," has been on the air on a signal out of suburban Elgin for some time, but … Continue reading So long, WLUP: Songs I learned from “The Loop”
(Above: The One Good Reason LP) One of the things that gold-based formats consistently get wrong is an over-reliance on the same songs over and over. I know I've ranted about the "decades" channels on Sirius XM before, but they serve as a perfect example of "not going deep enough." Deeper lists equal low cumulative … Continue reading Great lost hit: Paul Carrack, “Don’t Shed a Tear” (1987)
(Above: The author, right around the time that this show aired. His fashion sense is only marginally better.) February 23, 1988 was a Tuesday. I had just gotten back from a vacation with my family to New Orleans to take part in the Mardi Gras festivities - my first time ever visiting the Crescent City. … Continue reading One night in college radio: The Tuesday Night Classics, WLRA-FM, February 23, 1988
(Above: The song at Number One, as I remember it looking....) Fifty years ago this week Paul Mauriat's "Love Is Blue" was the number one song in the country. About three years after that it became my earliest memory of a phonograph. I've shared a picture before of my mother holding me next to our … Continue reading “L’amour est bleu” and other mellow sounds: The Billboard Hot 100, February 17, 1968
Yesterday's post about the songs likely played at the school dances right around this time was a bit of a bummer. It's not because school dances themselves are sad - certainly not so many years later - but because the songs on the list were, frankly, a downer. They're also not the things I would … Continue reading Rockin’ the suburbs: The Billboard Top Rock Tracks, February 12, 1983
(Above: A high school dance, circa 2018) The power of Twitter: I learned that my old high school, Victor J. Andrew HS, is holding a dance tonight. It's called "Just Dance." It comes at the end of Spirit Week, which had a variety of activities to bolster pride in the school. Tickets for Just Dance … Continue reading Hearts and dances: Billboard Adult Contemporary hits of February 1983-1986
Normally we only do music on this blog. But, I’ve talked about John Landecker here before, and was honored to be a part of this event today. Congrats, John – well-deserved.
John Records Landecker discusses his book with Assistant Professor Len O’Kelly in the Pere Marquette River Room on February 8. (Photo: Eric Harvey)
For a time in the 1970s, John Records Landecker was among the most listened-to voices in the country. As the nighttime DJ for Chicago radio station WLS, Landecker’s voice was broadcast over a 50,000-watt clear channel signal to millions across the country.
Landecker was 25 years old, and his career was just getting started. WLS was one of the premiere Top 40 stations in the country during Landecker’s tenure, and he was named “Radio Personality of the Year” by Billboard magazine three times during the 1970s.
Landecker was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November 2017.
On Thursday afternoon, Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism Len O’Kelly, himself a veteran radio broadcaster, brought Landecker to Grand Valley’s Allendale campus to discuss his career.
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(Of course he does.) The last week of January, 1978 saw me as a fourth-grader at Helen Keller School in Tinley Park, Illinois. I was still about a year and a half away from "playing radio" in Mr. Johnston's sixth-grade class. I would have been about two months away from receiving my first stereo system … Continue reading Forty years ago in Chicago: The WLS Survey, January 28, 1978