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Gary Gears, WLS Chicago, April 1, 1971 (56:16)
[Description by Uncle Ricky]
The late Gary Gears was working overnights on WLS in April of 1971 - he got a better shift later on (and rightfully so!) Where else but Chicago (that wonderful town) and an iron-core modulated monster like 'LS would you hear such an exceptional talent in the overnight shift? Not to mention such a heavy spot load, and live spots and tags? This is why radio was considered a "profession" at the time.
There's a marketing beer battle underway between Budweiser and Blue Ribbon, both well-represented in this hour. Tech note: This exhibit runs a little fast toward the end.
The "All Kinds of People" PSA in the newscast (near the end of both scoped and unscoped exhibits) is similar to what was heard on WBT in Charlotte about the same time. WLS Says A Lot for Chicago (WBT - We care about Charlotte, and you) is the kind of big, friendly image that only a few very special radio stations learned to use effectively.
Newsman Ben Tipton had a custom news intro, but he didn't really sound ready for WLS. ("Pack-is-stine?") The newscast aside, during this period, WLS was very exciting formatically. There are lots of new jingles and dynamic production. Coupled with Gears and his smoothly casual style, what a station! The best talent, the greatest voices and jingles, the most powerful and polished station and commercial production and the best board-ops - THIS was award-winning Top40 radio overnight in the Windy City, 1971.
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