Kids, this is what a disc jockey used to look like...
"Records" truly IS his middle name. Honest.
John Landecker is a legendary Chicago disc jockey who is putting pen to paper about his career, one that continues as we speak on the Windy City's WLS-FM. It was on the AM side that Landecker pounded his way into the consciousness of folks my age who spun the dial to 890 AM. Landecker owned the nights, playing Top 40 hits on a 50,000 watt blowtorch that could be heard throughout the Midwest, his success peaking in the 70's.
And, "Records" truly IS his middle name, just like he said time after time on the air. It's his mother's maiden name.
His sounds to be the typical story of big city, disco-era broadcast over-indulgence. Time Out Chicago's Robert Feder spills that, and other fascinating details in his recent review. The book isn't out yet, but when it is, I'm first in line.
If you remember John Landecker, don't have the book but need a fix about his life on the air, here's part one of a documentary done in-studio at WLS in the 70's.
The music is dated, and so is the approach but at the time, "Records" was the coolest, hippest thing around. If I was in my car at night and if the ionosphere was right, WLS would boom into Sheboygan like a local station. And, I'd hang on every word.
Big radio. Huge personality. A magical time, when music was still played on AM radio and announcers, at least in Landecker's case, were more than button-pushing liner-reading hit-monkeys.
He's what a disc jockey looks like.