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Dick Biondi (born September 13, 1932, Endicott, New York, United States) is a Radio Hall of Fame Top 40 and Oldies disc jockey.[1]

Biondi gained national attention in the 1950s and 1960s as a disc jockey on leading AM radio stations in Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California. Besides being among the first to play Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, and other early rhythm and blues artists, he was one of the original "screamers," known for his screaming delivery as well as his wild antics on the air and off.[2] Since 1984, Biondi has been a mainstay on Oldies stations in the city where he first earned his reputation, Chicago.[3]

Biondi is credited as the first U.S. disc jockey to play the Beatles, on Chicago's WLS 890 AM in February 1963, with the song "Please Please Me".[3] Later, while working at KRLA 1110 AM in Los Angeles, he introduced the Beatles and Rolling Stones at their Hollywood Bowl concerts.[1]

In 1995, Biondi was honored in an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with other legendary disc jockeys.[2] He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1998.[1]

Career

Biondi began his career in radio on WCBA 1350 AM in Corning, New York. He was picked up in 1958 by WKBW 1520 AM in Buffalo, and in 1960 gained fame on Chicago's 50,000 watt WLS, which covered most of the United States east of the Continental Divide. In 1963, Biondi left WLS and moved to KRLA, the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles.[1] At KRLA, Biondi was in good company working with other legendary radio personalities, including Bob Eubanks, Casey Kasem, Charlie O'Donnell and Dave Hull. In 1964-65, between being fired and re-hired by KRLA, he hosted a nationally syndicated show carried by 125 stations on the Mutual Broadcasting System.[2]

Biondi returned to Chicago on WCFL 1000 AM in 1967. In 1973 he left Chicago once again for a decade-long stint on WNMB in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.[2] Biondi returned to Chicago in 1983 and was briefly on WBBM 96.3 FM. In 1984 he was the signature voice for the launch of the new Oldies station WJMK 104.3 FM, where he was heard until the station switched formats in June 2005. Biondi, along with the Oldies format, was kept on a digital subcarrier HD2, but he was released in July 2006. In November of that year, Biondi started on WLS 94.7 FM, where he hosts "True Oldies on 94.7" from 7-11 p.m. (Central Time) .[4]

A recreated example of Mr. Biondi's program on WKBW can be found on Ron Jacobs' Cruisin' 1960 (Increase Records INCR 5-2005). This re-creation includes several classic rock and pop songs of that era, contemporary commercials, and DJ patter.

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Inductees: Dick Biondi". Radio Hall of Fame. http://www.museum.tv/rhofsection.php?page=173. Retrieved 2008-09-29.  
  2. ^ a b c d Browne, Ray Broadus; Browne, Pat, eds. (2001), The Guide to United States Popular Culture, Chicago: Popular Press, pp. 93, ISBN 0879728213, http://books.google.com/books?id=U3rJxPYT32MC&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=dick-biondi+rock-and-roll+hall-of-fame+chicago-sun-times&source=web&ots=oo9fe5tvMT&sig=tSPSxMlx8ys9jjR8aelTBrsrxsk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result, retrieved 2008-09-29  
  3. ^ a b Feder, Robert (November 2, 2006). "DJ Dick Biondi is Back". Chicago Sun-Times (Rockabilly Hall of Fame Website). http://www.talentondisplay.com/TakeNote/185.html. Retrieved 2008-09-29.  
  4. ^ "Dick Biondi, The Wild Eye-talian is Back". WLS-FM 94.7 Official Web Site. http://www.947trueoldies.com/Article.asp?id=502643&spid=19432. Retrieved 2008-09-29.  

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