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Record #: R2013-368   
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Intro date: 4/10/2013 Current Controlling Legislative Body:
Final action: 4/10/2013
Title: Congratulations extended to WLS-AM on 89 years of broadcasting excellence
Sponsors: Fioretti, Bob
Attachments: 1. R2013-368.pdf
WHEREAS, WLS-AM officially went on-the-air on April 12, 1924. The call letters stood for World's Largest Store, a moniker the station's originator, giant retailer and catalogue merchant Sears-Roebuck & Company, had gained from their West Side Headquarters on Homan Avenue; and
WHEREAS, By the winter of 1923, Sears had made the decision to develop their own broadcasting station. At the dawning era of radio, Sears executives realized they could get in on the ground floor by not only selling radios as well as tubes and other accessories using the "WLS" brand, but providing programming and farm service as well. The station's slogan became "Bringing The World To The Farm"; and
WHEREAS, On April 19th, 1924 the station aired the first National Barn Dance program, a four-hour cavalcade of music, comedy and entertainment including an aggregation of old-time fiddlers and singers with well-known songs from the past. The program became one of the most popular and longest running country-and-western shows in history, second only to The Grand Old Opry. By 1932, the National Barn Dance program was trimmed down to two hours and broadcast live, originating from the Eighth Street Theater in the South Loop; and ,
WHEREAS, Throughout the years, WLS-AM radio has undergone as many transformations as there have been decades in its enduring and illustrious history. On April 1, 1954, WLS became an affiliate of the ABC Radio Network broadcasting on a 50,000 watt signal at 890 on the AM dial; and
WHEREAS, The 1960s saw America change from a rural to an ever-increasing urban society and with that change came rock & roll music. WLS-AM was now the Bright New Sound. Among the host of young "disc jockeys" came a hotshot named Dick Biondi, whose screaming and singing "On Top Of A Pizza" made him an instant Chicago celebrity along with Clark Weber, Dex Card, Art Roberts, Gene Taylor and, yet another Chicago radio legend, Larry Lujack; and
WHEREAS, The 1970s b...

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