Sound Qualities

Longtime friend, reader, and fellow radio geek Willie checks in with news that another Chicago legend has retired from the broadcasting biz. Unlike Larry Lujack’s departure from Real Oldies 1690, this retirement was voluntary: Newsman Lyle Dean did his last shift on WGN this past Saturday. Dean came to Chicago in the late 60s, and over the course of his long career worked alongside some of Chicago’s most fabled on-air personalities while becoming one himself. As morning news anchor at WLS in the 70s, he served as foil to both Larry Lujack and Fred Winston. After moving to WGN in the early 80s, he anchored news on the Wally Phillips and Bob Collins shows. Outside Chicago, he’s known as the host of “To Your Health,” a short program sold to hospitals and medical clinics across the country and airing on local stations. Dean also possesses one of the ballsiest sets of pipes in the biz, and can be heard doing image liners on WLS airchecks from 1970 (“Hit to hit, back to back!”)–a strange gig for a guy doing news at the same station. While answering the phone at a radio station years ago, The Mrs. once talked to him, and she says it took her about three words to know who he was. (Find a taste of Dean at WLS here. Scroll down a bit.)

Tune of the Day: Either “Nothing But the Water” or “Joey/Joy/Joey” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, taken from a live show unearthed by the Duke of Straw at The Late Greats. On “Joey/Joy/Joey,” Grace incorporates a bit of Lucinda Williams’ “Joy” (one of my favorite tunes from Lucinda’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road album) into her own “Joey” (my favorite tune on Grace’s own Nothing But the Water). Meanwhile, “Nothing But the Water” starts off slow, but it’s a tornado by the end. The show appears along with lots of others at the Live Music Archive section of the Internet Archive–one hell of a site for music fans. The audio quality of the Grace Potter show (as is the case on many archive shows) isn’t the greatest, but Grace and the band rock so hard you’ll barely notice.

4 thoughts on “Sound Qualities

  1. Anonymous

    I’ll miss Lyle. As a big fan of WLS, that voice was always a great one heard with the news on the Big 89.
    Years later, while working for a radio station in the south, I heard the program “To Your Health”. That voice was on my station — too cool!


  2. Anonymous

    I have a tape of Fred Winston and Lyle Dean on WLS on Christmas morning in 1974 tallying up the cost of the “12 Days of Christmas.” A slip of the tongue by Lyle regarding the “8 Maids a milking’ sent both Fred and Lyle into uncontrollable laughter that lasted well over a minute. It’s absolutely hysterical! —Shark

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