Chicago radio legend gets name on street sign

June 29, 2010 4:26:52 PM PDT
A special ceremony Tuesday honored long-time Chicago disc jockey Dick Biondi.

The guest list included members of Chicago rock bands from the past, including the Ides of March, the Buckinghams and the New Colony Six.

ABC 7's Theresa Gutierrez was there for the ceremony.

They all turned out to see radio legend Dick Biondi get his name on a street sign at the northwest corner of East Lake Street and North Garland Court.

"Thank you for the many years of service to the City of Chicago," said Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd Ward.

"What a great honor. Starting here in 1960, who knew that we'd still be here being honored in the greatest city in the whole world?" Biondi said.

Biondi gained national attention in the 1950s and 60s as the first disc jockey to play the Beatles and as a leading personality on AM radio stations throughout the country. He was called "the Wild Italian" and was known for his screaming delivery as well as his wild antics on the air and off.

"As a co-worker I recognized what an honor it is just to say that you worked with Dick Biondi," said Michael Damsky, WLS-FM president.

Biondi can be heard weeknights from 7 to 11 on 94.7 WLS-FM.

On May 2 of this year he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first Chicago broadcast. He started his career in New York, and moved to Chicago to work for WLS, and was considered the nation's No. 1 disc jockey.

"There is no other city in the US where the people are as loyal and as nice, and it's just so hard to say thank you enough for all the wonderful times they've given me" said Biondi.

Many have tried to copy him, but Biondi is an original. He is kind, gracious and humble, and also takes the time to make his fans feel important.

"I may have whatever it is they like, but without them there's nothing," said Biondi.

"I think it's long overdue. The guy's a staple," said Jean Mikota, a Biondi fan.

Biondi, a pioneer and a member of the Radio Hall of fame, was also inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1998 . He also wrote and recorded the novelty song "On Top of a Pizza.

Biondi, still going strong and a mainstay, promoting the oldies in the city where he earned his reputation.


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