Hot Air-waves VII

Radio Days

Larry Lujack died last night. He was a giant and one of the reasons I fell in love with radio. Here’s a pic of the WLS lineup in 1969, before Lujack became the king of Chicagoland morning drive.

WLS 1969

Two of the guys pictured were part of WLS’s movement toward the young at the time. Even though WLS did Top 40 and its Silver Dollar Survey listing of big hits was required reading for radio and music geeks like me, most of its on-air personalities were broadcasting lifers who could have slid into Mom & Dad programming in the snap of a finger. Lujack and Kris Stevens were the harbinger of the future. And Stevens was the Davy Jones to Lujack’s Michael Nesmith.

Lujack was an entertainer, a stand-up comedian, a philosopher, a bemused curmudgeon, and a radical departure from the usual golden throated-guys who could give you the time three ways but little else.

He was one of the original “shock jocks” only in the sense that he took the listener on a new, different journey where his ramblings and flights of fancy were the road; the records served only as occasional pit stops. Even the great Dick Biondi before him did little more than crack wise in the short breaks between platters. Lujack was “shocking” in that his voice, his stories, were the draw, not necessarily the songs of the Archies or Stevie Wonder.

Photo © Keith Hale

Titans: (l-r) Jonathon Brandmeier, Lujack, and Dick Biondi in 1983

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to hear the records — most of the time. But each morning, I wanted to see the world through Larry Lujack’s eyes. His word pictures brought me to places I’d never been.

And that is precisely what radio’s supposed to do.

The Voice Of The Vols

Speaking of radio, an all-star cast of trouble-makers noodled over starting up a newsletter for WFHB volunteers and listeners last night. The four, including this semi-pro contrarian, hope to run the thing with the blessings of station management and the Board of Directors but even if we don’t get it, we’ll still publish a regular blat. We just might be more prone to make said deniers of imprimatur a little itchy every time we come out with an issue.

Word’s going around that the Board has had informal chats with a lawyer about whether or not operations like the Friends of WFHB Facebook group can use the station’s logo. This newsletter gang would also like to splatter the dalmatian all over our proposed monthly missive. The WFHB sachems seem to be turning things a little us-versus-them-ish, if you ask me. And perhaps that’s why the community needs an independent voice.


Joe LaMantia’s Spot The Firehouse Dog

I’ll name the other co-conspirators after we meet formally for the first time next week. Stay tuned for more developments.

More, More, More

In case you haven’t heard, the Board named Sheryl Mitchell, Rich Reardon Reardin (MG Note: My apologies to Rich for misspelling his name in the OP), and Louis Malone to fill out the terms of three empty seats until the next general election.

I, frankly, was stunned by the choices. I have nothing against the three lucky (or unlucky) selectees themselves but at least two and perhaps three superior candidates got the raspberry after Monday night’s closed Board session. There are whispers that the three new members struck the Board as — euphemism alert — cooperative.



The Board seems intent on circling its wagons in the wake of the Kevin Culbertson hiring fiasco. Then again, that may be a tad easier to excuse when you consider the fact that certain loudmouths (I’m looking in the mirror) are squawking far and wide that the present Board ought to be swept out.

Obama To Putin: I Got Your Sochi Right Here

Kudos to the Muslim Mole-in-Chief for flashing the digit at Russian prez Vladimir Putin this week.

The Obama Administration announced that lesbian jockettes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow will lead the US delegation in the opening ceremony at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Feb. Putin’s gov’t in recent months has made official statements and sponsored legislation designed to make homosexuals feel as though they are queer — and I’m using the term in the old, pejorative sense.

For all Obama’s writhing on the floor in the heat of passion with Goldman Sachs-type banksters and his administration’s infatuation with spying and information control, there have been occasional moments of laudable progressive-ism during his Kenyan-takeover-plot regime.

“… I’m In Love With The Radio On….”

2 thoughts on “Hot Air-waves VII

  1. David Paglis "Cynicism gives the illusion of understanding." says:

    Good job Mr. President, stick Liberty right in his mug.

  2. Joy Shayne Laughter says:

    I was shocked as well that the most obviously knowledgeable, experienced and perceptive candidate for WFHB Board was passed over — not that the three appointees are inadequate, but still, I had a “Wait – what?” moment.

    I differ in my personal speculations about reasons for the choices. “Cooperativeness” is not in there – more on that in a moment.

    Having sat in on the Board meeting and observed the candidate presentations, I think what’s going on here is not a hunt for “cooperation” but a hunt for “diversity” — something that’s been on the wagging tongues lately as a Board fault.

    Rich Reardin (note correct spelling, dear Blogger) is deeply experienced in radio production and fundraising. He is a white male. The candidate we were expecting to see appointed is also a white male.

    Sheryl Mitchell – WQAX veteran, co-founder of a small educational non-profit, activist parent in her local Head Start program and bubbling with ideas for promoting and marketing WFHB — is a white female.

    Louis Malone – News Department volunteer whose presentation and HR background wowed me — is an African-American male.

    The Board lost its only African-American member when Kevin Jones resigned.

    I think all of these new Board members are going to do just fine. And those not appointed this month now have six months to get their bids in to stand for election to the three Board seats that will open up in June, at WFHB’s Annual meeting.

    As for “cooperation” — well, Mike, you note elsewhere in the post that you perceive an Us vs. Them vibe coming from the Board.

    Are you sure it’s only running one way?

    If you don’t want an Us vs. Them situation, look in the mirror again. Check the motivations for creating the newsletter being discussed. Is it truly for the good of the station as a whole — as a community service to our volunteers, donors and listeners, to facilitate proactive and constructive communication, to promote WFHB to the wider community — or is it to Get the Board Out?

    Cooperation is necessary for any group to survive — this is evolutionary common sense. Adversarial attitudes undermine mission. Holding folks up as suspicious characters just because they are cooperative does not serve the greater good of WFHB, IMHO.

    And the new Board members just got here, hey. Give them a chance to start expressing themselves. You know they will.

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