Chicago

WCBR/WBRO (92.7 Kiss-FM) – suburban Chicago – 11/25/98

In November 1998, pure Mainstream CHR was heard on Chicagoland airwaves (for the first time in many years) with the launch of “92.7 Kiss-FM“ on a pair of suburban signals. This is a sample of the station about a week and a half after its debut (recorded 14 years ago today.) More information on the history of this station can be found at Wikipedia.  

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.

WPNT (100.3 the Point) – Chicago – 1991

This is an “official” sounding composite of WPNT, seemingly aimed at the advertising community, from the early 90’s.  

Beat Radio (on KIDR-AM 740 Phoenix) – 1998

During the mid-90′s, KIDR (740 AM) in Phoenix was one of several radio stations across the U.S. affiliated with the childrens’-targetted “Radio AAHS” network. Ten of these stations were owned by Radio AAHS. By January 1998, with Radio Disney having launched its own competing network, Radio AAHS ceased operations. They put the ten stations up for sale (KIDR had joined this group not long before the sale was announced). Until a buyer was found, the affiliates (both the AAHS-owned and non-owned stations) aired a mix of random music and paid programming for 12 hours (4am-4pm PT), and all-dance “Beat Radio” for the remaining 12 hours (4pm-4am PT). This is a sample of Beat Radio, recorded at some point during its 8-month run from February to October of that year. Much more detailed information c...

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...

WAGO (G106) – Chicago – August 1984 – Laurie Sanders

With Chicago’s Adult Contemporary WCFS (Fresh 105.9) about to become a simulcast of All-News WBBM-AM (Newsradio 780), here’s a flashback to what aired on this frequency nearly 30 years ago.  This is CHR/Top-40 WAGO “G106”. (Check out this TV commercial too.) According to this Wikipedia page, G106 debuted in 1984 and was gone by February 1985.

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.

WKIE/WKIF/WDEK (Energy 92-7 & 5) – suburban Chicago – 1/6/03 – Chris Shebel

This montage represents approximately the final ~50 minutes of suburban Chicago’s Dance CHR, “Energy 92.7 & 5” (WKIE Arlington Heights, WKIF Kankakee, WDEK 92.5 DeKalb). It occurred just a few days before what would have been the station’s two-year anniversary. Included are goodbye announcements from several of the station’s on-air personalities.  Also featured are commercials for soon-to-be-former competitors B96.3 (WBBM-FM) and 103.5 Kiss-FM (WKSC) promoting themselves to Energy’s audience. The audio heard here was recorded from Energy’s webcast.  While the sound quality is less than ideal (but listenable) — it actually represents the sign-off as it was meant to be heard.  After Program Director Chris Shebel said “g...

WSEX 92.7 (Top-10, WSEX) – Arlington Heights, IL – 8/25/87

92.7 FM in Arlington Heights, IL (suburban Chicago) has had many call letters and formats over the years.  In 1987, it was “Top-10, WSEX” — which, according to Wikipedia, meant that the station specialized in “only playing songs from the ’80s that had made Top 10 according to Billboard Magazine.” The most amusing aspect of this aircheck is not the format or musical selection, but the very laid-back manner in which the promos and jingles state the “WSEX” call letters.

WYTZ (Z95) – Chicago – Summer 1990 – Brian Kelly

A sample of Chicago’s Mainstream CHR Z95 (WYTZ 94.7 FM) at the start of the 1990’s.  At least on this aircheck, the station seemed to be leaning towards Adult Contemporary.  Not long after, Z95 went in the other direction, first as Hell 94.7 and then as the Rhythmic, high-energy Hot 94.7 FM.

WZZN (94.7 The Zone) – Chicago – 2000 or 2001 – Jeffrey T. Mason

Jeffrey T. Mason on 80’s-formatted 94.7 the Zone (WZZN Chicago), playing a classic legal ID from the station’s days as CHR WLS-FM in the 80’s.

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