Just the cover photo alone -- showing an incredibly young Bob Sirott and Larry Lujack -- is well worth the price of a new book about WLS-AM (890).
Due out Oct. 20 by Arcadia Publishing, Chicago's WLS Radio is Scott Childers' long-awaited history of the 50,000-watt giant from its founding in 1923 by Sears-Roebuck (inspiring the call letters for "World's Largest Store") to its current identity as a Citadel Broadcasting news/talk station.
While the book pays proper homage to Herb Morrison's Hindenburg broadcast ("Oh, the humanity!") and the "National Barn Dance" days of the old Prairie Farmer station, the real emotional draw is to the Top 40 heyday of WLS as "The Rock of Chicago."
Childers is one of millions who grew up transfixed by "The Big 89." But in his case, he turned his interest into vocations as a Chicago radio personality and the unofficial historian of the station. His WLSHistory.com Web site led directly to his writing the book.
Enhancing hundreds of rare and riveting photos are Childers' authoritative captions. It includes an introduction by Jeff Davis, the longtime WLS jock and voice of the station.