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WLUW (Energy 88.7) – Chicago – 11/22/96 – Jammin’Down JD & DJ Revel

“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.  

WCBR/WBRO (92.7 Kiss-FM) – suburban Chicago – 11/14/98 (FIRST DAY)

In November 1998, pure Mainstream CHR was heard on Chicagoland airwaves (for the first time in many years) with the arrival of “92 Kiss-FM” on a pair of suburban signals. You can hear the station’s launch (along with the stunting that preceded it) at our sister site, Formatchange.com.  Posted here is a montage of the 30 minutes or so that followed. More information on the history of this station can be found at Wikipedia.

WGCI (107.5) – Chicago – 8/21/98 – Armando Rivera & Scott Smokin’ Silz

This is a sample of Friday night “Club 107.5” mixshow programming on Chicago’s heritage Urban Contemporary station, WGCI. It was hosted by Armando Rivera with mixes provided by Scott Smokin’ Silz – both of whom worked at the legendary WBMX (102.7) during the 1980’s. At this time, the station (or at least the Club 107.5 mixshow) employed an outstanding high-energy voice talent in Pat Garrett. More information about the history of WBMX (specifically, the “Hot Mix 5” of which Scott Smokin’ Silz was a member) can be found HERE.  

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 8/13/97 – Terry Foxx

Musically, 1997 was a year of transition for B96. In comparison to previous years, the station began phasing out much of the Dance music that had defined its sound over the prior decade or so. Yet, at this time, B96 still positioned itself as “Chicago’s Dance Beat”, fueling the launch of a suburban competitor earlier in the summer.  

WCBR (Cyber Radio 92-7) – Arlington Heights/Chicago, IL – 6/13 & 6/14/97 – Tony Ortega, Magic Juan (Part 1 of 2)

“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”. Also from the aforementioned message board posting, legal issues took Cyber Radio off 92....

WBBM-FM (B96) – Chicago – 3/16/97 – Julian Perez, Tim Schommer, Candi

During the 1990’s, Chicago’s B96 was one of the most unique Rhythmic CHRs in the U.S. This is a montage of the broad-based, personality-heavy “Street Flava” program.  

WZZN (94.7 The Zone) – Chicago – 2002 – Matt Wright

94.7 FM in Chicago has held many formats over the years. In the early 2000’s, it was known as “94.7 The Zone”, which began as a rock-leaning 80’s station but quickly evolved to the Alternative format heard on this montage. NOTE: The aircheck begins with an unnamed personality; Matt Wright takes over as host shortly thereafter.

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”....

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.

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 – 12/24/96 – 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.

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