WLS-AM 890 Chicago IL Jeff Davis Final Exam 1978

Growing up in the Twin Cities, “Musicradio WLS” was a regular listen for me.  At night, they were as strong as any 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.  One year ago, 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.  And 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.  So, 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 probably 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 a 10 speed bike was a HUGE prize for a kid back in 1978!

I received this from Apple Valley, MN, using a Sears portable cassette recorder with built in AM/FM radio.  A Woolworth Audition 60 minute tape was used to make the aircheck. 

WLS_Final_Exam_May_1978

3 thoughts on “WLS-AM 890 Chicago IL Jeff Davis Final Exam 1978

  1. Tim

    Love your site and especially enjoyed the WLS aircheck of Jeff Davis from 1978. My question is…Do you have more of that aircheck available for a possible trade?

  2. Drew Post author

    Hi Tim,

    The tape this clip was taken from contains 2 partial Jeff Davis shows, recorded within a few days of each other. 30 minutes each side. For the most part, I just let it roll. I’d love to post the entire thing. But as you probably know, unscoped airchecks with music are a no-no.

    There is another “WLS Final Exam” on the other side of the tape. Plus more sweepers/jingles and of course Jeff Davis himself. Great stuff, all of it. I’m not set up right now to trade off-site, but I will try to post more WLS clips in the future.

    Thanks for listening 🙂

  3. Virtual Private Server

    As time passed, a de-facto standard was agreed upon, but it was already too late for AM stereo to take hold, although a great deal of stations still broadcast in stereo today, including WLS. After a wonderful one-hour retrospective produced by Jeff Davis and Tommy Edwards, the station celebrated with a private party at newly opened Ed Debevic’s.

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