Tag Size: S
Chest - armpit to armpit, lying flat - 17 1/4"
Length - top of shoulder, at neckline to bottom of shirt - 26"
This is an ORIGINAL shirt - NOT a China/Indonesia knock off you see being copied and listed on ebay!!
Get a piece of Chicago & Terrestrial Radio History!!! This listing is for a LOOPFEST Concert T-Shirt as shown in photo. This was an annual event hosted by Chicago Radio Station WLUP best known as "The Loop" and the Rock Station of Chicago for 40+ years. Wlup.com 97.9 The Loop, WLUP-FM, Chicago's Rock Station!
Early years as WEHS/WHFC/WSDM:
97.9 FM signed on in the 1950s as WEHS. Richard Hoffman, owner of WHFC, in the early 1930s bought out two radio stations which shared the 1420 kc. frequency of his station: WEHS and WKBI. He revived the WEHS call letters in the late 1940s for a new FM station. WEHS broadcast background music for National Tea Grocery stores in the Chicago area. When the contract with National ran out in the mid-1950s, WEHS simulcast WHFC's foreign language and black programming for six hours a day, the minimum broadcast time to keep the license. When the Chess Brothers purchased WHFC and changed its call letters to WVON ("The Voice of the Negro"), they changed the WEHS call letters to WHFC-FM. 97.9 then simulcasted WVON 24 hours a day. In the mid-1960s, the station began airing separate programming as WSDM (which stood for "Smack Dab in the Middle", "the middle" meaning the exact middle of the FM radio dial). They also briefly used the term "Stereo Den for Men"; the format featured all female announcers (Yvonne Daniels and Dr. Cody Sweet among others) playing light jazz and instrumental music. This light jazz & instrumental format was similar to the more recent "Smooth Jazz" formats. In the 1970s, WSDM began to mix album rock music with its light jazz. Although WVON was sold to the Potter Palmer family in the late 1960s, the Chess family held on to WSDM, which was being run by Phil Chess' son, Terry Chess.
WSDM was owned by the Chess family of Chess, Checker and Cadet Records fame through their company, L & P Broadcasting. "L" stood for Leonard Chess, who primarily ran the record labels and recording studio, while brother Phil Chess ("P") was president of the radio company. Son Terry Chess was General Manager of WSDM/WLUP through all of the 1970s, up until the time the sale of the station was FCC approved in January 1979. The radio station positioned itself as "jazzed up rock" and the "station with the girls"—a reference to the all-female air talent. Its original program director was Burt Burdeen. Among the disc jockeys were Connie Szerszen, Cindy Morgan (who later left radio, went to Los Angeles and became an actress, her career including roles in such films as Caddyshack and Tron), Danae Alexander, Linda Ellerbee, Yvonne Daniels, Dr. Cody Sweet, Kitty Loewy, Susan Payne, Janice Gears and Glorie June. There were guys on "the station with the girls", too. Announcers such as Russ James (later known as Russ Albums on the LOOP) David Witz (cousin of former WCFL General Manager Lew Witz) and Don Davis (later an air talent on WDAI Chicago and then a Program Director for WWDC in Washington, D.C. and WCKG-FM Chicago) appeared on WSDM in the mid-1970s. Davis made the transition from WSDM to the WLUP airstaff when the format changed in 1977.
The call letters changed to WLUP on March 14, 1977. The station called itself "The Loop FM98" which is what the main business district in Chicago is nicknamed. The first song on "The Loop" was "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens. WLUP programmed a low-key female-friendly AOR format. J. Blackburn was Program Director and Tommy O'Toole served as the station's first morning host and was the first Loop DJ to sign on the air. The original Loop air staff included O'Toole in mornings, William "Captain Billy" Martin in middays, Lester "Crazy Les" Tracy in afternoon drive, Gregory "Greg" Budell evenings, and Don Davis overnights, alongside was WLUP's first ever Rock Girl Lorelei "Pow!" Shark as the official spokesperson and as the face of The Loop in 1978.
Hawaiian Congressman Cecil Heftel purchased the radio station in early 1979, kept the call letters, and "Loop" identifier. Lee Abrams was hired as consultant. The rock format was kept in place, but emphasis was put on harder-edged rock. Lee Abrams became the consultant, and Jesse Bullit the program director. Steve Dahl, who had been unemployed since WDAI (94.7) went to a disco format in December 1978 - and who would become the basis for one of the most infamous promotions in sports history, Disco Demolition Night - was hired for mornings in March 1979. Overnight disc jockey Matthew "Mondo" Meier was teamed with Dahl to do news;and Danielle O'Farell ( Louise Marks, who went on to do mornings at WABX in Detroit) took over the 10 pm to 6 am slot . Mondo would eventually start to use his real first name, "Garry". Garry became Steve's full-time sidekick when Buzz Kilman was hired as the newsman in 1980. Tom Webb was the news director. Kurt Hansen was the Research Director, and Jeff Schwartz was the head of Sales. Additionally, Greg Solk was the Program Director. Chuck Swirsky provided sports reports. Russ Albums was the Production Director. Chicago rock veteran Mitch Michaels held the afternoon shift and his show was known as Mitch "Doin' The Cruise". Sky Daniels hosted evenings from 6p-10p. Matt Bisbee became the Production director. In December 1979 Michaels replaced Jesse Bullit as program director. Steve and Garry were fired in 1981 for "assaulting community standards". A series of morning men including Matt Bisbee, Mark McEwen (who later gained national fame as a CBS network TV weatherman), and the team of R.J. Harris and Pat Still tried their hand until Jonathon "Johnny B." Brandmeier from KZZP was hired in April 1983. Kilman remained as newsman, and Bruce Wolf replaced Swirsky when he went to WGN in 1981. Steve and Garry returned in 1986 to host afternoons.
In 1985, Heftel Broadcasting bought AM 1000 WCFL, which was once a powerful CHR (Top 40) station, but then became a Christian music and teaching station. In April 1987, that station became WLUP as well, making the FM station WLUP-FM. The religious format was dropped from 1000 WLUP and the station simulcasted WLUP-FM overnights. During the day, though, WLUP 1000 ran a full-service rock format while focusing on talk. By 1990, the AM station would evolve to mostly talk with a few rock songs mixed in per hour. In late 1992, Heftel sold WLUP to Evergreen Media, as Heftel sold all of their English language stations in order to focus on their Spanish language properties. By this time, WLUP-FM also began mixing more talk into the format by simulcasting morning and afternoon drive with the AM station. On September 27, 1993, the AM station became a sports station as WMVP. At the same time, WLUP-FM became WLUP again, and switched to a comedy/talk format with a few rock songs mixed in per hour (WLUP's then-sister station WWBZ/WRCX would adopt the rock format full-time).
WLUP was one of the first stations to have the "FM talk" or "hot talk" (comedy/talk) format in the early 1990s. Hosts during this period included Jonathon Brandmeier with "News-man/Blues-man" Buzz Kilman, Kevin Matthews, Danny Bonaduce, Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, Liz Wilde, Ed Schwartz and Seka. In February 1996, sister station WYNY in New York simulcasted WLUP for a day as part of a week-long stunt of simulcasting sister stations nationwide before flipping formats to rhythmic adult contemporary as WKTU. In June 1996, WMVP dropped their sports format and returned to simulcasting WLUP. WLUP switched to a Modern AC format on September 30, 1996. In 1997, Evergreen and Chancellor Media merged. In order to stay under federally-mandated ownership limits, Evergreen opted to sell WLUP to Bonneville in July (which already had a Modern AC outlet in WTMX), and then switched WLUP back to a rock format on July 21 at 5 a.m., after stunting with all-Who songs as part of a Who concert that previous weekend (Chancellor retained AM 1000, which aired a separate talk/sports format before it was sold to ABC Radio in 1998 and became the Chicago affiliate for ESPN Radio). (The first song under the relaunched "Loop" was "Rock and Roll" by Led Zeppelin.) Also that month, Jonathon Brandmeier would be released from the station (a few months later, he would join WCKG as a midday host). In June 1998, WLUP shifted to classic rock and adopted the slogan, "Classic Rock That Really Rocks". During this period, full-time on air personalities included Byrd (now with WDRV Chicago), Steve Downes, Tim Virgin, Eddie Webb, Pete McMurray, Seaver, Cara Carriveau, Scott Loftus, Jimmy Novak, Laura Steele, Sari and Mark Zander.
Emmis Communications traded three of their stations in Phoenix to Bonneville for WLUP-FM and $70 million in 2004. While under Emmis ownership, WLUP slowly evolved into a mainstream rock format, while continuing to lean on classic rock with a harder edge. In 2005, Emmis brought back Jonathon Brandmeier to do mornings on The Loop and hired Zakk Tyler to host afternoon drive. Erin Carmen began hosting middays in 2006. On January 15, 2007, Chicago's NBC owned and operated station, WMAQ-TV channel 5, began a new weekday morning show called Barely Today which airs from 4:30–5 a.m. The new morning show was simulcast on WLUP-FM and hosted by Bruce Wolf, who was the former weekday morning traffic/sports anchor for WMAQ. The show would be cancelled five months later due to poor ratings. On September 8, 2008, Emmis announced a programming partnership with WorldBand Media and used WLUP's HD3 signal to produce programming for the South Asian communities in 3 major cities, including Chicago. The South Asian format, known as HumDesi Radio, became available on the HD-2 signal of alternative-rock sister station WKQX. By 2011, WLUP shifted completely to a classic rock format.
Sale to Merlin Media, Cumulus Media LMA:
On June 21, 2011, Emmis announced that it would sell WKQX, sister station WLUP-FM, and New York's WRXP to Merlin Media, a group headed by former Tribune Company executive Randy Michaels. Emmis, who would retain a minority stake in Merlin Media, would grant Merlin a local marketing agreement to operate WKQX and WLUP-FM from July 15 until the sale to Merlin officially closed on September 1. On May 3, 2012, Merlin added a satellite-fed version of the smooth jazz format on WLUP's HD3 subchannel (97.9-HD3). As of July 2012, the syndicated Broadcast Architecture Smooth Jazz feed has been dropped and replaced with a locally produced, automated Smooth AC format featuring a wide mix of music from Frank Sinatra to The Jackson Five in addition to instrumental contemporary jazz. However, the smooth jazz format can be heard in Chicago on WKSC-FM's HD2 subchannel (103.5-HD2). On January 3, 2014, Merlin Media announced a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Cumulus Media that would see Cumulus take over operations of WLUP-FM and sister station WIQI as well as inherit Merlin's LMA for WKQX-LP. The deal included an option for Cumulus to purchase the stations from Merlin. The deal sees Merlin relinquish operations of its last remaining radio stations; the company had previously sold off single stations in New York City and Philadelphia in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The deal also sees an expansion of Cumulus' Chicago reach; the company already owns and operates news/talk station WLS (890 AM) and classic hits station WLS-FM (94.7). In January 2018, as part of Cumulus Media's bankruptcy proceedings, the company requested that a U.S. Bankruptcy Court release the company from several "extremely unprofitable" contracts, including its LMAs with WLUP and WKQX. Cumulus stated that under the agreement, which carries a monthly fee of $600,000, the company had lost $8.4 million on the two Merlin stations.
Sale to EMF:
On March 5, 2018, it was announced that Merlin Media had decided to sell WLUP to the Educational Media Foundation for $21.5 million, and will convert the station to non commercial status. The sale came about as part of Cumulus Media's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, where it was determined by Cumulus they would not go further with the LMA or a sale of WLUP from Merlin to Cumulus. The move gives EMF its second full-power outlet in Chicago (surrounding translators and lower-power stations are also available in the market). On March 6, 2018, Cumulus ended manned operations on WLUP and the entire air staff were let go; an automated playlist of music continued until March 10th, when EMF took control of the frequency from Merlin under a new LMA and assumed the K-LOVE schedule carried by future sister station WJKL (94.3), which itself is likely to convert to EMF's secondary Air1 network. EMF will also retain the WLUP-FM call sign, planning to warehouse it on an existing station in Starke, Florida (near Gainesville) which currently holds the call letters WCKL; those calls in turn will be transferred to the Chicago 97.9 frequency to stand for Chicago's K-LOVE. Merlin retained the "Loop" intellectual property and related properties, and transitioned that branding to WKQX-HD2 under an automated form.
The sale also killed the annual “Loopfest,” a sponsored event that was planned for August 3, 2018 at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, with Lynyrd Skynyrd to support their final tour with .38 Special and the Marshall Tucker Band. The station informed listeners who bought tickets that it was canceled immediately just after WLUP announced it the previous February, despite leaving the details up on its website or as to who will take over the sponsorship.
Upon hearing the news of the sale, Steve Dahl pointed to WLUP's legacy and heritage, saying "As I look back on my 40 years on the radio in this market, I am reminded almost daily of The Loop's impact not only my career, but also rock and roll history in Chicago, and around the world. They just don't make brave risk-taking local radio stations like that anymore, and that's everybody's loss. I hope the last song they play there is AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell'." On March 9, 2018, Dahl got a chance to let listeners say goodbye to WLUP via a simulcast of his afternoon program on WLS-AM. Dahl also bought back alumni Sky Daniels and Kevin Matthews to help give WLUP a proper send off, while WDRV paid homage to the station with a day long tribute lead by Bob Stroud, another WLUP veteran, with guests and surprises. WGN-AM also announced that a reunion of ex-WLUP DJs, including its afternoon hosts Wendy Snyder and Bill Leff, will pay tribute to its legacy on the station’s March 11, 2018 podcast. The LMA with EMF took effect at midnight on March 10, 2018, at which point "The Loop" switched to K-LOVE. In a last jab at the impending transition to Christian music, WLUP closed by playing "Shout at the Devil" by Mötley Crüe, "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden, and (as Dahl predicted) "Highway to Hell"!