Growing up in the Twin Cities, “Musicradio WLS” was a regular listen for me. At night, they were as strong as many of my local stations.
I fell in love with The Big 89 by about 1978. You see, I had wanted to be a radio DJ since I was 4 years old. I was now 13, and my local stations of influence were literally dying all around me! Two years earlier, the infamous U-100 was sold and fell silent. In September, 1977, WDGY-1130 flipped to Country after more than 2 decades as a Top 40 outlet. 15/KSTP was gradually adopting more of an “adult” sound. KDWB was doing that AWFUL “less talk” approach under Doubleday. Legendary jocks like the Treu Don Bleu were relegated to giving the time, reading station positioners (“Stereo KDWB…FM-101 and AM-63”), and weren’t allowed to say much of anything else. When the sun went down, I flipped over to WLS and rocked out with John “Records” Landecker from 6-10PM. At 10, Jeff Davis took over until 2AM. This was pure, unadulterated Top 40 nighttime radio, the likes of which will never be heard again.
Each year in May, WLS would present their “Final Exam.” During the first hour of Jeff Davis’ show, a lucky caller would be asked a question about Science, English, or American History (their choice.) If the caller answered correctly, he or she would be given a brand new 10 speed bike! This may not sound like much today, but in 1978, a 10 speed bike was a HUGE prize for a kid!
I received this from Apple Valley, Minnesota, using a Sears portable cassette recorder with built in AM/FM radio. A Woolworth Audition 60 minute tape was used to save the aircheck.