96.3 WBBM-FM – B96

WBBM-FM (B96) & WSMK (99.1 The Fox) – Chicago, IL & South Bend, IN – June 1998

Recorded 16 years ago this month, this montage begins with a sweeper from Chicago’s longtime Rhythmic CHR, B96, during weekend mixshow programming, voiced by the legendary Mitch Craig. What follows is a sample of the eccentric WSMK, which had conflicting positioning statements (“Continuous Hit Music” and “Michiana’s Dance Beat”), yet offered a format that sounded more like Mainstream Urban (for the most part) and a moniker (“99.1 The Fox”) that was more reminiscent of a Classic Hits/Rock station.

Chicago/Milwaukee Bandscan – 1986/1987 – Various Personalities

This montage includes snippets of the following Chicago and Milwaukee stations from the mid-80’s: [Chicago] WBBM-FM (B96), 95.5 WRXR, 94.7 WYTZ (Z95), 106.7 WZRC (Z-Rock), [Milwaukee] 100.7 WHBT (Heartbeat 101)

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 1/4/95 – George McFly

During a significant portion of the 1990’s, B96 offered a dance music-heavy format focused on currents — making it one of the very few major market, full signal commercial stations in the U.S. to find success with that formula during that decade. This aircheck, recorded at the peak of that era, is a great example of why dance radio fanatics held the station in such high regard. It’s hosted by longtime station personality George McFly and (partially) voiced by the legendary Mitch Craig.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 1/6/97 – Roxanne

This is a montage of Chicago’s longtime Rhythmic CHR on a Monday night in early 1997. It’s hosted by Roxanne (Roxanne Steele), who at the time had just joined the station after being on the air at Phoenix’s Power 92 (KKFR). She enjoyed a 12-year run at B96 before moving to sister station WCFS (Fresh 105.9) for a brief period and then onto her current home — 96.3 WDVD in Detroit. At this time, B96 was heavily promoting the return of Eddie and Jobo, who had been on the station previously from 1984 to 1994.  More information can be found on Wikipedia. The aircheck was made near the end of an era in which B96 placed a heavy emphasis on Dance music; it actually begins with a sample of the “10 O’Clock Remix” hosted by DJ Markski. In the months that follo...

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 1989 – José Solis

Chicago’s heritage from 1989 (most likely Fall or Winter). The station was seemingly in the process of evolving to full-fledged Rhythmic CHR at this time.

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