The Sleeping Giants

I have a question for every self-respecting radio station DJ, Program Director, and it’s subsequent ownership: are you aware that Chicago (according to is the THIRD largest market in radio? Because if you are, you are complicit in the demise and ruin of radio in my fair city. For that, I say “SHAME! SHAME ON YOU!” History will show at one time Chicago was a major player & influence in rock n’ roll radio. 50,000 watt blowtorches like WLS and WCFL ruled the airwaves, not to mention innovative and downright kick-ass rockers like WKQX, WMET, WDHF and the imitable WLUP set the standard for rock radio. This isn’t a blog about the history of Chicago radio (save it for another day) but it does give a point of reference. What happened to the great personalities and innovative programming for which Chicago radio became famous?

Local music. Original compositions. Innovative rock stylings.

Call it whatever you like, but truth be told, Chicago radio has all but forgotten what makes up the Chicago “sound.” I rarely listen to Chicago radio anymore unless I have to – at work or in the car. Outside of an abundance of “classic rock” radio, there’s a handful of country stations (don’t even get me started on THAT) and a few Top 40/Alternative/Trip Hop/Dubstep EDM stations. There is a place for all of this music, but there is quite a bit missing, too. Local music has been relegated to a lonely hour at best on WXRT, or a short-shift program on the low-end college or high school stations. The Blues, an essential part of rock music, fairs even worse. One only has to go out and explore the local rock or blues or metal scene to see there is a boatload of talented bands & musicians playing some great, innovative new music. It’s exhilarating and big, huge fun! Bands like Donkey Hotel, Black Bear Rodeo, Faith in the Fallen, Blackmarket Democracy, Paragon, The Mike Wheeler Band….the list is a long one. So why isn’t there at least one radio station that will support these artists?
The question is too important to try to answer right here, right now, but goddamn it, you can bet Tommy & Crage are going to a shine a big, fat light on it. It starts with local live shows, the scenes & bands you need to see and where to catch them….stay tune, we’re just getting started!