Wednesday, June 21, 2006

REMEMBER LARRY LUJACK?

In the black-and-white days, when broadcasters actually had power and personality, a jock named Larry Lujack ruled on WLS-AM in Chicago.

Today, Lujack is close to the sunset. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder writes about the death of "real oldies" in Chicagoland:
Of all the stations on Chicago radio's "watch list" (if there were such a list, that is), the one in most critical condition has to be Clear Channel Radio's "Real Oldies" WRLL-AM (1690).

Nothing is official, but insiders say it could be only a matter of weeks before Clear Channel bosses pull the plug on the format and a talent lineup that includes such personalities as Larry Lujack, Tommy Edwards, Scotty Brink, Tom Murphy and Ron Smith.

Plagued from its inception in 2003 with a substandard signal that barely covers the metropolitan area, "Real Oldies" has languished at the bottom of the ratings all along. Arbitrends released Tuesday show the station tied for 36th place with a 0.5 percent share and with a cumulative weekly audience of 116,200.

Any hopes of growth were dashed when ABC turned its WZZN-FM (94.7) from active rock to "True Oldies" last fall. Despite its lackluster lineup and promotion, WZZN wins by default with its superior signal.
Lujack goes the way of Charlie Tuna and the Real Don Steele. Who needs personality on radio?

15 comments:

wuddog said...

I remember fondly back in my kid-hood 65 miles outside of St. Louis, laying in bed at night listening to the only station playing what I thought was decent music, WLS-AM out of Chicago. Night time was the only time I could get this signal from 300 miles away. WLS introduced me to Peter Frampton and Bob Seger. Listening to "Night Moves" was the best way to fall asleep. The guy who brought me those tunes was Larry Lujack. He was truly a radio star back then.

DocLarry said...

I grew up listening to WLS with its 50,000-watt clear channel AM signal (not the company, the FCC designation). Lujack was great, but my favorite was John "Records is truly my middle name" Landecker and his "60-second Boogie Check." Sigh. I miss good radio.

wuddog said...

OH YEAH! I totally forgot about him. Maybe that's who I was thinking of. I believe that during the "boogie check", they played a Frampton song and recorded some Chicago high school shouting out their name.
WOW, that was cool - when stations had their own individual, unique sound!

Randy said...

For me, it was always WHB in the daytime with Johnny Dolan, Phil Jay, Rock Robbins, Jeff Roberts, etc., then WLS at night when WHB's signal faded out. The music was great and the disc jockeys were entertaining. Those were the days.

Ron Davis said...

And please, while we're loving old AM radio, let's give a nod to KAAY, Little Rock -- the Mighty Ten-Ninety.

DocLarry said...

KAAY was a late-night tune-in to listen to "Beaker Street." Also liked to listen to WLW out of Cincinnati in the wee small hours. Signal skip was great.

The Libertarian Guy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MrsThurstonHowell said...

Larry Lujack-was he the personality with Little Snot Nose Tommy? Animal stories??

Fondest memories...

MrsThurstonHowell said...

Anyone remember Ken Nordine (The Voice) of the "Now Nordine" show? Used to listen to him on NPR during the wee hours early '80's.

Charlie said...

I'm 52yo now, and I remember lying in bed at night with my little AM radio listening to Larry Lujack, Krunk Letter of the Day, Animal Stories, Little Snot Nosed Tommy, and just laughing out loud! Great radio back then, great personalities, good music...fantastic memories! I grew up in Grand Rapids , Michigan and WLS was/is in Chicago. I also recall cruising in my '69 Firebird convertible listening to Larry's show as I was driving to the beach on Lake Michigan. Cool days!!!!

The Old School said...

So let us not forget The Cheap Trashy Show Biz Report....Used to listen to Uncle Lar' in the morning and on the way to high school. Truly one of the greats. Thanks fer the memories.

Billy von said...

I remember growing up in Upstate Massena, N.Y. Listening in the basement late at night, what a signal. WLS 1700 miles away and a clear signal, put me to sleep with the music and Larry Lujack. The Good old days indeed. Miss you lots Uncle Lar and Tommy...

Rick said...

I listed to SuperJock since his WCFL days. I followed him to WLS and listened to him all throughout the 70s and 80s. John 'Records' Landecker came to my High School my freshman year because we were going downstate to the football playoffs. I remember when WLS went AM/FM and when Steve Dahl got fired from the Loop and came over...Lujack didn't like that.

Dennis said...

I grew up in northern Indiana, went to high school in the 70's, and nobody was better than Larry Lujack, Tommy Edwards, and John Landecker. WLS was THE place for great music!

Thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

Now 47, I as well grew up in the great town of Chicago!!
and there was nothing like: "W~L~S, Chicago", Uncle Lar and Little snot nose Tommy and it's time for Animal Stories!!"
I have 3 LP's of the best of animal stoires, and from time to time, listen to them today!
Now, retired from the Army, and still working for the DOD, I have found only "The Big Show with JohnBoy and Billy", who use to listen to WLS, comes close....
Thx
Robin D
Toano, VA