The Art Roberts Show
Art mailed over 100,000 of these postcards.

The Supremes and Art Roberts
Art Roberts with
The Supremes.

Milton Berle with Art Roberts
Uncle Miltie with
Art Roberts.

Andy Williams with Mrs. Roberts and Art
Andy Williams with
Bobbi and Art Roberts.

Art, Kenny Rogers and Wayne and Bobbi Roberts
Art, Kenny Rogers and
Wayne and Bobbi Roberts

The Hall of Art

Introduction by John Rook,
from his forthcoming book, Passing Thru

Art Roberts could adlib a commercial better than anybody I knew. Often his believability would take a listener through a commercial without knowing it was a commercial.

In those days, live copy was requested by agencies interested in being endorsed by the air personality. Disc jockeys were stars, not announcers and clients paid dearly for these personal sales pitches. Art asked to have all copy well before his show and on his own often visited the client without any one requesting it. He wanted to experience the product and because of this was able to imply an endorsement like no one else.

Art Roberts was born in New York City and passed away March 6, 2002 in Reno, Nevada, following a stroke. He was 70.
Art was also one of the best music ears I have ever known. I named him music director at WLS within weeks of my arrival and the list is long of the hits he personally broke for the entire nation thanks to WLS's giant night time signal. He had a great ear, one of the best.

He was also a wonderful father and husband. Art Roberts became my friend upon my arrival at WLS and continued to be until he died.

We talked regularly and I'll never forget his compassion for others. Few are more upbeat on life and yet down to earth more than him. Paralyzed in his last year, he lifted my spirits with his steadfast determination to succeed in accomplishing ways to provide for himself.

He fueled my fire. A great human being, that Art Roberts!

— John Rook          

The Repository thanks everyone who shared airchecks of Art Roberts

[Descriptions by Uncle Ricky, unless otherwise indicated]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20 Kbps (8.5 Khz)
Art Roberts, WLS Chicago August 25, 1967 (55:09)

If you don't have 55 minutes to enjoy all of this unscoped treasure, spend two minutes and thirteen seconds to PLAY this excerpt of the longest WLS news closer you've ever heard, and Art's introduction to Reflections. It's Psychedelic! Otherwise, please remember that REELRADIO pays music licensing fees to bring you unscoped airchecks.
. . . That cat sure was psychedelic . . .

Of all the airchecks of Art Roberts we've been privileged to hear, Art sounds like he is having the most fun on this one.

It was August 1967, and this is the "old line" Gene Taylor-programmed WLS, featuring a few of the Anita Kerr jingles. There's also a complete locally-produced newscast with Dick Harley in this evening show, as well as a headline news report and a bountiful selection of commercial announcements.

Many presentation elements were overdue for an upgrade, but the music selection is marvelously Mid-American. And even though it sounds like there was a fan running in the studio every time Art's microphone was on, it's easy to hear why Roberts had such a long and successful run on this legendary radio station. He's having fun, and so did his audience.
[Thanks to The Aircheck Factory]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 64 Kbps (20 Khz)
Art Roberts WLS Jingles (1:42)

. . . Art Roberts, Eighty Nine W L S . . .

This is a composite of Art Roberts WLS jingles, by PAMS. Both acapella and orchestrated cuts are featured. There are a few drop-outs at the beginning, but otherwise, the fidelity is very good. [Thanks to Man from Mars Productions]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20 Kbps (10 Khz)
Art Roberts WLS Chicago December 27 1968 (12:59)

. . . The Top 89 of 1968 in Review . . .

WLS and ABC News from Charles Scott and Lyle Dean report the landing of Apollo Eight. But if that's not enough, Art Roberts is featuring The Top 89 of 1968 In Review on this evening program from December 27, 1968. (It's not a Countdown - it's a Review!)

This mostly excellent 'scoped recording provides a great overview of the immensely successful John Rook format that re-claimed the Top40 championship for WLS. Very tight, unforgettable PAMS acapellas, and great Dean-voiced formatic elements, all executed (nearly) flawlessly, all pounding forth from a big 50KW clear channel narrowband AM radio station that was savored and studied thousands of miles away. The original Night of the Living Dead spot is notable.

And Art is fabulous. He is The Star of a great, formatted, polished radio presentation, and his natural warmth, energy and sense of humor shines through. [Thanks to California Aircheck]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20 Kbps (10 Khz)
Art Roberts WCFL Chicago June 8 1971 (27:45)

. . . Watch a man make a monkey out of himself . . .

Here's Art Roberts (unscoped) in morning drive on WCFL, from June 8, 1971. Until I heard this aircheck, I didn't know that Art had worked at WCFL. I asked John Rook for some background.

"Shortly after I left WLS to become president of Bill Drake's company, Art called me saying he had just been let go from a job of more than ten years, for no reason, by the new WLS PD, Mike McCormick. But Art was excited about doing mornings at WCFL and asked if I would call someone I had never met, Lew Witz, manager at WCFL, on his behalf. I did, Art got the job and that call from me to Lew Witz opened the door for me to consult SuperCFL later on."

Howie Roberts, Rick James, Fred W. Barton, Carmen Holliman, Bob Christopher and Mike Rounds are also heard with an unusual WCFL Newscast.
[Thanks to The Aircheck Factory]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44 Kbps (16 Khz)
Art Roberts WKQX-FM Chicago September 1979 (57:50)

. . . it's costing him more today to take off the weight than what he paid to put on all that fat . . .

The phase and alignment problems on this cassette contribution become somewhat less unpleasant after the first three minutes, so jump in the for the long haul and enjoy. This is an unscoped exhibit of Art Roberts on WKQX-FM (Chicago 101), from Thursday, September 13, 1979.

In his book, Thinkin' Out Loud, Art wrote that he created his "most meaningful feature" (Thinkin' Out Loud) while working with Bill Stedman, Program Director at WKQX. This aircheck (unfortunately) doesn't include that feature, but it surely is a real-time sample of this young adult radio station - or is it an "Oldies" format? Listen for the NBC signature that opens the Barbara Schleck newscasts — and there are interesting "unknown" jingles.

We believe that Art's self-contributed 1981 WKQX aircheck is a better example of what Art did at WKQX, but it's wonderful to hear Art sounding so great in 1979. The comparisons between his 1967 WLS presentation and this 1979 WKQX presentation are very interesting. He sounds just as real, comfortable and relaxed in 1979 as he did in 1967.
[Thanks to The Aircheck Factory]

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The Hall of Art is a Work In Progress...

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