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----- Chicagoland
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Children's TV Shows
Video Center
Chicagoland TV
1985 Chicago Bears
page 2

Chicago Radio Legends
Famous People
Chicago Places
Amusement Parks

Chicago Radio Legends

Larry Lujack, Dick Biondi, John you realize that some of the best radio personalities in the country have worked in Chicago? How lucky we are!

Aircheck Collections

Fire up your old transistor radio, and let's check out....

Reel Radio Repository -search the database for classic airchecks featuring Larry Lujack, John Landecker, old jingles and Boogie Checks

These collections at Reel Radio Repository have
quite a bit of Chicago content:
Windy City Collection
Mark Heleniak Collection
Tom McMurray Collection

What Radio Was
The Lost Tapes
Dan O'Day Sample Audio
WLS, The Rock Of Chicago
History & Information

Radio Broadcasting History: Illinois Stations
Chicago Radio Time Capsule
Chicagoland Radio Call-Sign History
Dick Biondi

The History of WLS Radio
Jeff Roteman's WLS Website

Remember those great radio surveys?

WLS-FM is playing music! Now known as 94.7 WLS Chicago's Classic Hits, the station is once again home to such Chicago luminaries as John Landecker and Dick Biondi.

Be sure to visit the Video Center for YouTube channels and playlists that feature our radio heroes!
Animal Stories
"...this is your charming and delightful old Uncle Lar, and with me, in person, is little snot-nosed Tommy....hi Tommy!"

Animal Stories with Larry Lujack and Tommy Edwards:
Animal Stories CD
WLS History: Animal Stories
WLS: Animal Stories

Animal Stories was a hilarious and very popular segment on Larry Lujack's show in the 1970s and 1980s. Between 2004 and 2006, Uncle Lar and Little Tommy could be heard doing new shows at 1690 WRLL-AM Real Oldies. As of 2012, Tommy Edwards is doing the midday show at 104.3 K-Hits, which some of you might remember as the former WJMK oldies station.

UPDATE: Sad news! Larry Lujack passed away on December 18, 2013 at the age of 73. You can read more about it at the Chicago Tribune.
Kevin Matthews

Kevin Matthews began his Chicago radio career in 1986. I was a regular listener to his morning show, which made me a Kevhead. Between April 2002 and March 2005, he did the mid-day shift on WCKG.

Kev is a true radio artist. If you didn't know better, you'd swear he has an entire ensemble of actors in the studio with him. Especially appealing is his "sportscaster," Jim Shorts...he's an alter-ego who has definitely taken on a life of his own!

Between 2005 and 2011, Kevin Matthews did the morning show at WLAV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In November 2011, Kevin was forced out when the station was purchased by new owners. In December 2011, he joined Steve Dahl's subscription podcast network. -Kev's official website
Jonathon Brandmeier

Johnny B was a windy city radio favorite from the day he burst onto the Chicago airwaves in 1983 until his show left the air in 2001. He came to Chicago following a very successful stint at KZZP in Phoenix.

With the help of people like Buzz Kilman, Piranha Man, Jimmy "Bud" Wiser and his back-up band, the Leisure Suits, he created a morning atmosphere that was nothing short of crazy.

From 1983 to 1997, Johnny did the morning show on WLUP. His parody songs and classic telephone bits (like Celebrity Wake-Up Calls, Answering Machine Olympics and the Shove-It Line) were a great way to start the day. His listeners were always a big part of the show, which added to his popularity. His live performances, especially his 1988 show at Poplar Creek, were legendary.

Johnny relocated to California in 1997, where his show was broadcast on both WCKG in Chicago and KLSX in Los Angeles. His contract expired in January 2001. Between April 2004 and March 2005, he did the morning program at Arrow 93.1 in Los Angeles. He was taken off the air when the station switched to a controversial Jack FM format.

Amid much hoopla, Jonathon Brandmeier returned to Chicago in November 2005. He did the morning program at WLUP between 2005 and 2009, when he was fired just three months before the end of his contract. In December 2011, he joined WGN as their new morning man. In September 2013, WGN moved Johnny B to their new experimental Internet station, WGN-FM. As of December 2013, WGN is in the process of purchasing an FM station, at which time Johnny B will return to the traditional airwaves.

Johnny's WGN Page
Brandmeier Show Online
Loon Flashback: KZZP Clips
Steve & Garry

Steve Dahl and Garry Meier were an outrageous radio team back in the 1980s, first on WLUP and then on WLS. They spoke their minds and made fun of everything, which is why I enjoyed listening to them.

They had a falling-out in 1993 and went their separate ways. For a long time, Steve did the afternoon program at WCKG. Between 1996 and 2004, Garry was at WLS with Roe Conn.

In August 2006, Steve and Garry had an impromptu reunion during Steve's broadcast from the Air & Water Show. The duo were in great form, and fans were happy to see them together again. In April 2007, Garry Meier took over the late-morning shift at WCKG.

Things changed in October 2007. Steve became the morning host at WJMK Jack-FM, and a format change at WCKG meant that Garry was once again out of a job.

In April 2009, Garry joined the team at WGN as their new afternoon host. Steve left WJMK in December 2008 because of low ratings, and in September 2009 he began doing daily podcasts from his home and other remote locations. Beginning in August 2011, listeners can access his podcasts by subscription only.

The Insane Coho Lips
Steve Dahl's Website
Steve & Garry Notebook
Garry's Page at WGN
Steve Dahl at Wikipedia

Some S & G memories....
*"Would ye like a pickle on a stick?" --it was hilarious when the boys made fun of King Richard's Faire (now known as the Bristol Renaissance Faire)

*A daily phone call from a listener grew into the elaborate and very popular All My Children Update

*Their merciless attacks on the likes of Neil Diamond, Joanie Loves Chachi, Tom Skilling ("Tommy Skillet-head"), Wally Phillips and WGN's very own Cliff Mercer

*Steve's parody & novelty songs, including "Do You Think I'm Disco" and "I'm A Wimp" ("I have really greasy hair and skidmarked underwear...I'm a wimp")

*Ordering pizzas to be delivered to the Ayatollah

*Some names from the past: Dan Fields and Leslie Kiling ("Lane Closure") doing traffic...Maggie Brock doing the news...Les Grobstein & Bruce Wolf on sports...Marcus Palmer & Dan Falato producing...

Cheesebooger, Cheesebooger
.....No Coke, Pepsi
People and things that are "uniquely Chicago"....

Chicago Vocabulary
Chicago's Commuter Railroads In The 1970s
The Walter & Connie Payton Foundation
Holy Cow! It's Harry Caray!
A Tribute To Harry Caray
Mildred's House Of Signage
Chicago's Seven Lost Wonders

Famous People

Jane Byrne: Chicago's mayor from 1979 to 1983.

Fahey Flynn: the newsman with the bow-tie.

Harry Caray: Holy Cow! The voice of the White Sox from 1971 to 1981, and the Cubs from 1982 to 1997.

Jack Brickhouse: Hey Hey! Sportscaster extraordinaire from 1948 to 1981.

Ernie Banks: also known as "Mr. Cub," he played in Chicago from 1953 to 1971. A statue of Banks was unveiled at Wrigley Field on Opening Day in 2008.

John Coleman: former weather guru who went on to create the Weather Channel in 1981.

Jan Gabriel: the announcer and racing enthusiast who gave us the "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!" drag racing commercials in the 1970s.
UPDATE: Mr. Gabriel passed away on January 10, 2010....fittingly, on a Sunday. Visit his website for more information, or see this YouTube video featuring his classic "Sunday" slogan.

"Spider Dan" Goodwin: the 25-year-old Maine native who used suction cups and other devices to scale the Sears Tower and John Hancock Building in 1981, only to be arrested when he reached the top. Dressed in a Spiderman costume, his goal was to bring attention to the need for rescue strategies in our nation's skyscrapers. He is still working towards that cause today.

Channel 7 news team in the early 1970s....John Drury, Fahey Flynn, Joel Daly, John Coleman, Bill Frink

Hey, it's the Empire Carpet Guy!
Lots of visitors to Lisa's Nostalgia Cafe want to learn more about the man we all know as the "Empire Carpet Guy." He is Lynn Hauldren, and he has been portraying the "man in blue" for over 30 years.

Empire Carpet opened in Chicago in the late 1950s. Contrary to popular belief, Hauldren is not an Empire employee, but an advertising copywriter. In 1977, he created a "spokesman" character for the company, and legend has it that when a suitable actor couldn't be found, Hauldren stepped in to take the role. When Empire Carpet opened branches in other cities beginning in the late 1990s, our beloved Empire Carpet Guy became an advertising icon all over the country. The jingle that we all know and love ("588-2300....Empire!") was also written by Hauldren and has become well known all over the U.S.

Mr. Hauldren is a World War II veteran, and has also appeared in some award-winning barbershop quartets. I had the pleasure of meeting him in 1985 when we sang in the same barbershop show. His most famous quartets were Chicago Natural Gas and Chordiac Arrest.

UPDATE: Lynn Hauldren passed away on April 26, 2011 at the age of 89. Chicagoland TV won't be the same without him!

588-2300....Empire! (Empire Carpet)

HUdson 3-2700 (Boushelle Carpet Cleaners)

Weil Olds in Libertyville, a beautiful place in the country!

When you're thinkin' Lincoln Lincoln
Better Carpeting For Less,
Call NAtional 2-9000, NAtional 2-9000!

(Lincoln Carpets)...submitted by Helga!

Rock-a-bye your baby...
(Harry Schmerler, your singing Ford dealer)
...submitted by "Waz!"

Extra! Extra!
Timmy, the annoying "newsboy" from Long Chevrolet. (Remember when he got that surprise pie in the face? Ha Ha!)

Where you always save more money!
(Celozzi-Ettleson Chevrolet)
Some GOOD ACTING there, folks!

Nickey, Nickey, Nickey, Nickey, Nickey Chevrolet with the backwards K
....submitted by Ken!

Come to fifty-seven twenty-seven South Ashland Avenue, to Ferrel Hicks, to Ferrel Hicks!
....submitted by Ken!

MOhawk 4-4100, C.E.T. for television
....submitted by Pat!

Be sure to visit the Video Center for YouTube channels and playlists that feature many of these commercials!

"That old car may be worth money!"
....the Victory Auto Wreckers commercial
that has been airing virtually unchanged since 1981.

Nelson loves me,
Nelson loves me,
Nelson Brothers loves me,
Oh they love me so,
And they'll love you, too.
Everything from rugs on the floor to pictures on the wall.
And Nelson Brothers wouldn't THINK of charging you for delivery!

(Nelson Brothers furniture)
....submitted by Bob and Lauren!

Aronson, home of the credit connection, Aronson!
(Aronson furniture)
....also submitted by Lauren!

Get a monster of a deal at Fencl-Tufo Chevy City
(monster puppets advertising Chevys in Glendale Heights)

Townhouse TV & Appliances....Milwaukee and Oakton!

There were originally three Magikist "lips"
signs in Chicago. The last one was torn
down in 2003

Chicago Places

Poplar Creek Music Theater: an outdoor concert venue located in Hoffman Estates. Visit my Poplar Creek site for more information!

US 30 Drag Strip: located in Hobart, Indiana, this popular drag racing site was open from 1957 to 1984. In the 1970s, it wasn't summer until you heard Jan Gabriel on the radio screaming "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! At the smokin' US 30 Drag Strip!"

Santa Fe Speedway: a car and motorcycle track in Hinsdale, Illinois, open from the late 1950s to 1987.

Olson Rug: a Chicago rug manufacturer, famous for the beautiful 22-acre park and waterfall located on the grounds from 1935 to the 1970s.


Some of these places may not be exclusive to Chicagoland, but they're fun to remember just the same!
retro restaurants

Jack In The Box
Chicken Unlimited
Mister Donut
Burger Chef
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Cal's Roast Beef
Howard Johnson's
Golden Bear
Prince Castle
The Ground Round
retro shopping

W.T. Grant's
Robert Hall Village
Lakehurst Mall
Dixie Square Mall
Western Auto
Crystal Point Mall
Polk Brothers
Chas. A. Stevens
Wax Trax
Community Discount

Gone But Not Forgotten -want to remember more cool places from the past? Check out Eric Zorn's enormous message board!

Amusement Parks

Originally known as Sharpshooter's Park, Riverview adopted its new name in 1904. The park was a Chicago institution until it closed in 1967.

Riverview Riverview

Old Chicago
Old Chicago opened in Bolingbrook in 1975. It was the world's first indoor amusement park...a collection of rides and attractions under a domed roof, surrounded by a shopping mall. The ride area closed in 1980 and the shopping area closed in 1981. The building was torn down in 1986.

Old Chicago Amusement Park
Negative-G Old Chicago
Santa's Village
Santa's Village opened in 1959 as one of three Santa-themed parks in the United States. 2005 was the park's last season of operation. All rides were auctioned off in October 2006. The last time I passed by the property, it looked the same (minus the rides), and the sign was still out front.

UPDATE! New proprietors have taken over the park and will be reopening a portion of it as the Santa's Village AZoosment Park. There will be a petting zoo, paintball area and kiddie rides. The grand opening will be May 27, 2011.

Santa's Village Photos
Santa's Village Website
Santa's Village AZoosment Park

Other Parks
White City
Dispensa's Kiddie Kingdom & Castle Of Toys
Dispensa's Kiddie Kingdom Official Site

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