40 Christmases ago in Chicago: The WLS Top Forty-Fives, December 23, 1978

(Above: Clearly, someone was keeping score at home.) Christmas 1978 would have placed me in the fifth grade at Helen Keller Elementary School in Tinley Park, Illinois. The upcoming year would see me start to pretend that I was on a radio station for a class assignment; this career aptitude (or ineptitude) would not be … Continue reading 40 Christmases ago in Chicago: The WLS Top Forty-Fives, December 23, 1978

School’s out for winter: The Billboard Hot 100 for December 15, 1984 (and what we probably listened to instead)

(Above: I was clearly enjoying my junior year of high school and in no hurry to go on break.) Friday, December 14, 1984 was the last day of school before the Christmas break began. If I remember correctly, we got out early from school that day, and a bunch of us went to Dave-we-called-Fritz's house, … Continue reading School’s out for winter: The Billboard Hot 100 for December 15, 1984 (and what we probably listened to instead)

A letter from camp: WLS Top Forty-Fives, June 27, 1981

(Above: The author at Student Council camp, June 1981. This does not look like camping.) "Is the baseball strike over?" That was the first question I had for my parents when I saw them on June 27, 1981.  They had come to pick me up from a week away at camp - the only such … Continue reading A letter from camp: WLS Top Forty-Fives, June 27, 1981

A notable exception: The Doobie Brothers, “Another Park Another Sunday” (1974)

(Above: Even the album title is decent.) I suppose now is as good a time as any for a confession. There are some groups that, try as I have, I just can't get into. Groups that, as a fan of music from a particular period, I am supposed to embrace. We all have a few … Continue reading A notable exception: The Doobie Brothers, “Another Park Another Sunday” (1974)

Forty years ago in Chicago: The WLS Top 45s, April 1, 1978

(Above: No one has ever doubted this claim.) April Fool's Day 1978 would have been at the end of fourth grade for me. By this time I was starting to add my own records into the pile of vinyl that I had inherited from my parents (written about variously here and here, among other places). … Continue reading Forty years ago in Chicago: The WLS Top 45s, April 1, 1978

Forty years ago in Chicago: The WLS Survey, January 28, 1978

(Of course he does.) The last week of January, 1978 saw me as a fourth-grader at Helen Keller School in Tinley Park, Illinois. I was still about a year and a half away from "playing radio" in Mr. Johnston's sixth-grade class.  I would have been about two months away from receiving my first stereo system … Continue reading Forty years ago in Chicago: The WLS Survey, January 28, 1978

Saturday night with a box of records: Part 1, The 1980s

(Above: Charlie Brown gets it.) It's a quiet Saturday night.  Mrs. O has plans with some colleagues tonight.  My plans involve a frozen pizza, a couple beers, and a box of 45s. Over the years I've amassed a pile of records.  Some came from radio stations where I worked (ssh). Some, as I've referred to … Continue reading Saturday night with a box of records: Part 1, The 1980s