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Appointment Radio: Chicago’s 97.9 The Loop goes ’90s this weekend, pays tribute to Q101

Starting today at 5pm central time, Chicago’s 97.9 The Loop puts their usual classic rock format on hold for a special weekend of programming dubbed “The Sons Of Classic Rock.”  Current Loop DJ, and former member of Chicago-based group Stabbing Westward, Walter Flakus made the announcement on the station’s website:

As you may know, I spent most of the 90’s in my band Stabbing Westward. We had a great ride! I got to tour the world, play rock and roll every night and I ended up with 2 Gold records! So I convinced Pete, Pat and Byrd that we should dig into the 90’s this weekend! There’s been some great rock tunes in the past 20 years. So this weekend, it’s the “Sons of Classic Rock.” It starts Friday at 5pm. Plus, we’ve got a special tribute to Q101 planned for Saturday night at 9pm, with a special guest host. I hope you’ll check it out!!

Turns out the special guest host is none other than James VanOsdol, who worked at Q101 from 1993-2000, 2006-07, and 2010-11.  VanOsdol is currently writing a book chronicling the station titled We Appreciate Your Enthusiasm: The Oral History of Q101 (for an explanation of the title check out JVO’s blog entry on the subject). The station, whose frequency was sold earlier this year and flipped to a female-geared news/talk format, continues to broadcast online at Q101.com.  VanOsdol commented:

I swear I’m done with radio, and have no plans to return in a part- or full-time capacity again. I am, however, open to the idea of popping on the air every now and then, just for fun.

This Saturday night, I’ll be doing just that. The Loop is focusing on the 90s all weekend, and wanted to address Q101′s demise in some way. They asked me to host three hours of “alty” hits, and share memories about the artists I’ll be playing. If nothing else, it’ll be a curious distraction from Led Zeppelin and Rush for the station.

Everything’s been prerecorded (taken care of on my lunchbreak today, in fact), but hopefully it will still have that awkward “live” feel you’ve come to love over the years.

Interested parties can listen online via The Loop’s online player.

Boston’s WFNX recently turned back the clock for a weekend of programming devoted to the station’s nearly 30 years of broadcasting – former DJs, imaging, and music included.  Unfortunately, the content has yet to be added to the station’s OnDemand player, but you can check out some vintage FNX commercials and sweepers at ex-WFNX DJ Boy Troy’s SoundCloud page.   I wrote about the history of WFNX in an earlier Radio Survivor post.


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3 Responses to Appointment Radio: Chicago’s 97.9 The Loop goes ’90s this weekend, pays tribute to Q101

  1. Paul Riismandel December 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Very interesting. Thanks for posting about this Brendan. I hadn’t heard about this before.

    I’ll probably tune in a bit this weekend. I was never a huge Q101 fan, though by the time I actually moved to Chicago in 2008 the station was more a shadow of its former self. I did tune in during the 90s when I made occasional journey’s to the big city from home in downstate Champaign.

    I am amused that the special programming is nevertheless voicetracked, as revealed by the fact that it was prerecorded over his lunch break. That part will certainly be different from Q101’s 1990s heyday.

  2. jeff December 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    I’m loving what you guys are doing for q101 tribute I just wish you would get harder play some shit we wanna hear don’t be a pussy

  3. Chicago Ranter December 19, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    We miss Q101. Chicago really needs an alt rock station. We have to crappy classic rock stations, but nothing contemporary! An interesting bit I wrote for the occasion:

    http://chicagorants.com/97-9-the-loop-admits-failure-puts-chicagos-q101-back-on-the-air-for-one-night/

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