As you all know by now, music has been a major part of my life from a very early age. I started playing guitar before I was 10, picked up trumpet at 10, messed around with piano in high school, and decided to learn bass as a junior in college. Clearly, it’s something I like to do, but before actually playing music, I was listening constantly.
Growing up, it seemed like WLS was playing in the background at our house all day long. When they would play the Beatles A-Z over the course of a weekend, the radio would be on and turned up. This was back in The Big 89 and The Rock of Chicago days when WLS was the station for Rock & Roll in Chicago. I even had WLS covers for my school books!
As my music tastes changed moving into the ’90s, I began listening more and more to WXRT. The music overall was more progressive, but they played a great mix of old and new artists that I definitely was not hearing on WLS especially after WLS turned to talk and became completely uncool. I still listen to XRT today thanks to streaming.
Music was, of course, the main reason I enjoyed listening to radio, but there were also some of the best DJs on WLS and XRT over the years. My two favorites were Larry Lujack on WLS and Lin Brehmer on XRT.
These two guys were personable, funny, relatable, and most importantly, picked great music to play during their shows. You could always tell who was spinning the records when these guys were on the air. They told the best stories and made you feel like you really knew them. These guys were different. Lujack really did feel like Uncle Lar, and Brehmer really did feel like your best friend in the whole world.
Both of these radio giants are gone now. We lost Lin recently after a long battle with cancer. His voice is missed. Radio isn’t quite the same. But looking on the bright side as he always did, this one’s for you, Lin.
It’s Friday! It’s great to be alive!