WRLL (defunct)

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Real Oldies 1690 WRLL station logo.jpeg
CityBerwyn, Illinois
Broadcast areaChicago market
Branding"Real Oldies 1690"
Frequency1690 (kHz)
First air dateOctober 2003
Power10,000 watts (day)
1,000 watts (night)
Transmitter coordinates41°44′14″N 87°42′04″W / 41.73722°N 87.70111°W / 41.73722; -87.70111Coordinates: 41°44′14″N 87°42′04″W / 41.73722°N 87.70111°W / 41.73722; -87.70111
OwnerClear Channel Communications

WRLL (1690 AM) was an oldies radio station licensed to Berwyn, Illinois, USA, serving the Chicago market. It was owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications. The station began broadcasting in early October 2003,[1] and was displaced on the frequency by WVON on September 18, 2006.[2]

The station's transmitter was located in Chicago's Ashburn neighborhood, near the Evergreen Park, Illinois border, and operated as a diplexed operaration from one of the towers of its sister station, WGCI (now WGRB).[3] The station ran 10,000 watts during the day, and 1,000 watts at night, using a non-directional antenna.[3]


"Real Oldies 1690", as it called itself on the air, played music from the 1950s and early 1960s, featuring pop artists such as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como as well as the rock and roll hits of the period.[4] "Real Oldies" originated at sister station WSAI (now sports/talk "ESPN 1530" WCKY) in Cincinnati and was also carried on WCOL (now talk station WYTS) in Columbus, Ohio; WHNE in Ann Arbor, Michigan, also a Clear Channel station at that time (now Cumulus business-talk station WLBY), also aired a variation of the format identified as "Honey Radio".[5] "Dangerous Dan" Allen created the format initially for WSAI, where he was program director and a weekday afternoon DJ.[6]


The station featured radio legends Larry Lujack and Tommy Edwards in the morning drive,[4] along with news reporter Kathy Worthington.[7][8] Other legendary Chicago area radio personalities from WLS and WCFL followed Tommy Edwards and Larry Lujack on the air, including Scotty Brink middays and "World Famous" Tom Murphy in the evening drive.[9] Chicago radio and television personality Jerry G. Bishop, well known as the original Svengoolie, was the Sunday afternoon DJ on the station.[10]

Oldies radio veteran and music historian Ron Smith was heard weekday evenings & Saturday mornings, and suburban radio mainstay Len O'Kelly was heard overnight weekdays and Saturday afternoon.[2][9][11] Ron Smith's shows included his weekly "Foreign Friday" feature and Saturday morning/Sunday afternoon "Real Oldies Chicago Top 20 Countdown" program, which spotlighted the local hits on a certain week in history.[12]

WVON moves to 1690[edit]

On August 15, 2006, the station's on-air talent left the station as a pending format change was announced.[2] On August 15, it was announced that African-American talk-formatted WVON, would move its format, talk show hosts and call letters from their longtime spot on the dial at 1450 AM to 1690 AM, effective September 18, 2006.[2] WVON signed an agreement with Clear Channel which would allow them to lease the station with an option to buy, and obtain marketing, promotional and production assistance from them as well.[2] The oldies format ended at Midnight CDT on September 16, 2006. On September 18, 2006, the callsign WRLL was moved to 1450 AM, WVON's old frequency.[13]


  1. ^ Feder, Robert (October 3, 2003). "'Real Oldies 1690' sounds ready to get real". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 12, 2015 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ a b c d e Feder, Robert (August 16, 2006). "It's a whole new day for WVON at 1690 AM". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 12, 2015 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ a b Clear Channel Communications, "Engineering Report: Application to Modify Construction Permit", June 2003, fcc.gov. Accessed August 14, 2015
  4. ^ a b Ross, Sean. "First Look: WRLL Chicago — An Interview with Tommy Edwards". Edison Media Research. Archived from the original on October 28, 2006. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Roger LeLievre, "Ann Arbor's WLBY to switch to programming from the Business Talk Radio Network", The Ann Arbor News, March 14, 2009. Accessed August 21, 2015
  6. ^ "WSAI/Cincinnati Returns To Its Roots With 'Real Oldies'", Radio & Records, Issue number 1486, January 10, 2003. p. 3 & 24.
  7. ^ Kathy Worthington, Real Oldies 1690. Internet Archive. Archived December 16, 2004. Accessed August 12, 2015
  8. ^ Gire, Dan (February 23, 2006). "Return of the Oldies and We Ain't Just Talking about Music". Daily Herald. Retrieved August 12, 2015 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  9. ^ a b Schedules, Real Oldies 1690. Internet Archive. Archived January 1, 2005. Accessed August 12, 2015
  10. ^ Lauren Zumbach, "Jerry G. Bishop, 1936-2013: Best known as original 'Svengoolie,' TV, radio host had loyal following", Chicago Tribune, September 18, 2013. Accessed August 12, 2015
  11. ^ Ron Smith, Real Oldies 1690. Internet Archive. Archived December 16, 2004. Accessed August 12, 2015
  12. ^ "Real Oldies Chicago Top 20 Countdown - Week of March 5 & 6, 1957", Real Oldies 1690. Internet Archive. Archived March 8, 2005. Accessed August 12, 2015
  13. ^ Call Sign History, fcc.gov. Accessed August 14, 2015