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Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association to Induct WLS/Chicago


Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association
Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association

Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association will induct Cumulus Media's legendary WLS-AM/Chicago into the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association's Hall of Fame on Labor Day, September 4. The induction ceremony and concert are part of the Association's Hall of Fame Induction Spectacular Festival held throughout Labor Day weekend. WLS Musicradio 89, "The Big 89" was programmed as a Top 40 radio station from 1960-1989, when WLS became a News/Talk station. It airs today as News/Talk WLS-AM 890. The station was founded in 1924 by Sears, Roebuck and Company, with the call letters standing for Sears' "World's Largest Store" slogan.

Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Executive Director Clay Norris commented, "WLS is a huge part of the rock music history of the entire Midwest, and it had a profound impact on Iowa. As you may be aware, even the AM station's daytime signal can be heard in much of eastern Iowa where 2/3 of the population lives. At night, it was heard all over the state. The Buckinghams, New Colony Six and Head East are all inductees of the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association's Hall of Fame and a big reason for their popularity was due to WLS."

He added, "Other Chicago and Illinois-based groups like The Ides of March, Styx and Cheap Trick all played at the ballrooms and college campuses in Iowa and were promoted heavily by WLS Musicradio. We are very pleased to honor WLS-AM as an Inductee in the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association's Hall of Fame."

Norris also noted that due to the fact that many local AM stations had to sign off of the air after sunset, WLS (and other 50,000-watt clear channel AM rock stations like KOMA and KAAY) became the rock stations at night for years until FM took over the rock music scene. The entire Midwest listened to John Records Landecker, Steve King, Yvonne Daniels and more.

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