Chicago

WCBR (Cyber Radio 92-7) – Arlington Heights/Chicago, IL – 6/7/97 – Magic Juan

“Broadcasting from Chicago to the world…” Cyber Radio 92-7 was a brokered Dance CHR format that aired on weekends from approximately May to September 1997 on the suburban WCBR signal. According to this message board posting, it was the first radio station in the Chicago area to broadcast on the Internet. Cyber Radio debuted around the same time that longtime heritage Rhythmic CHR WBBM 96.3 FM “B96” shifted its focus from Dance music to a more traditional Rhythmic CHR approach, yet continued to position itself as “Chicago’s Dance Beat”. Cyber Radio poked fun at its competitor, featuring liners such as “This is a dance beat…(insert dance song)…this is not (insert R&B song)” and “We’ve Got the Beat”....

WYTZ – Chicago’s Hot 94-7 – 4/17/91 – Greg Thunder

Chicago’s Hot 94-7 FM represented the high-energy, but short-lived aftermath of “Hell 94.7”, and the final (as of this writing) attempt of this frequency to compete with heritage Rhythmic CHR WBBM-FM (B96). Please visit this page (scroll about halfway down) for more details.

WLUP (The Loop 97.9) – Chicago – 2/17/97 – Tim Virgin

  Recorded a little over 20 years ago, this is a sample of Chicago’s longtime Rocker. Based on information posted at Wikipedia, the station had recently dropped a hybrid talk/comedy/rock format — several sweepers heard here emphasize the station’s focus on the music. It seems that the station was evolving from Modern AC to Classic Rock at this time.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 1/27/96 – Coco Cortez

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.

WXXY/WYXX (103.1 WXXY) – Chicago – 1/17/00 – Jeffrey Mason

Summary contributed by Jeffrey T. Mason: I think I am qualified to give a summary of the 80’s Channel/Chicago sign-on, seeing that I was one of the folks who orchestrated it! Contrary to popular belief, Big City Radio – not Chancellor Media – was the first company to debut a “Jammin’ Oldies” type format. It was not called “Jammin’ Oldies,” but “103.1FM, Chicago’s Heart & Soul.” They purchased WVVX/Highland Park and WJDK/Morris, both at 103.1 to create the simulcast. Call letters were changed to WXXY and WYXX. Due to a poor signal, and some bad judgment in their outdoor campaign (billboards placed in areas that could NOT receive the station), “Chicago’s Heart & Soul” didn’t see much success. It was definitely a valiant effort, however…with BCR hiring market veterans like Robert Murp...

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 12/31/97 (TOP 96 OF 1997) – Roxanne & Brian Middleton

During a significant portion of the 1990′s, Chicago’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. However, as reflected on this aircheck, by 1997 the station became more of a broad-based Rhythmic CHR, featuring less Dance hits and more R&B, hip-hop, and pop selections. Even a handful of rock-oriented tunes more common to Modern AC stations were featured on B96’s playlist.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 12/24/96 – Brian Middleton

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 was recorded on Christmas Eve 1996 and features both regular and (midday) mixshow programming, all under the label of “The At Work Dance Party”.

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – Nov ’96 – DJ Markski

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 in the midst of that era (on a couple of Friday/Saturday nights in November 1996),is a great example of why dance radio fanatics held the station in such high regard. It focuses on the Eurodance genre (arguably at its peak) via mixes from DJ Markski. Please note that this montage is more music-heavy than what you’ll normally find on the site; this was done intentionally to highlight the depth of the musical selections, and also because – as is the norm with mix shows – there was minimal non-music material.

WCRX 88.1 – Chicago – 8/22/97

This is a montage of Columbia College Chicago’s longtime campus radio station from late summer 1997. Per Wikipedia – the station was property of the University of Chicago until sometime in the 1980’s.  

WLUW (Energy 88.7) – Chicago – 8/22/97 – Jammin’Down JD

“Club Jam” was a Friday night 8-hour dance music program that made its debut on Loyola University’s WLUW (Energy 88.7) in 1993.  Please visit the archived JamTraxx Media Website for more information about the history of this program. My apologies for the fair amount of static that is present throughout the first half of this aircheck.

WXXY/WYXX (103.1 WXXY) – Chicago – 8/6/99 (FIRST DAY)

On August 6, 1999, Big City Radio debuted one of the first radio stations in the U.S. focused exclusively on classic hits from the 1980’s. The station’s outstanding presentation made it stand out among the countless others that attempted to clone it in the years that followed. The actual sign-on (along with the stunting that preceded it, and a detailed synopsis) can be heard on our sister site, The Format Change Archive. The very brief aircheck posted here represents a little more of the first hour.

WLUW (Energy 88.7) – Chicago – 12/27/97 – Jammin’Down JD

“Club Jam” was a dance music program that made its debut on Loyola University’s WLUW (Energy 88.7) in 1993. This is a sample airing of the program, recorded 18 years ago tonight.  Please visit the archived JamTraxx Media Website for more information about the history of this show.

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