Larry Lujack: You never knew this, but you steered me toward radio. Thanks, Superjock

The greatest disc jockey the business of radio will ever see died yesterday.  The media writer Bob Feder is right; Larry Lujack would hate people thinking that about him.  Tough tatas, Superjock.  Not only is it true, Larry Lujack is one of the reasons I fell in love with radio, and this from someone who has only been to Chicago one time in his life.

Larry had been retired almost a decade when I heard his voice initially.  It was at the first station where I did news for a living, WGMZ in Gadsden, Alabama (I would provide a link, but the station is a cheap, tawdry shell of it’s former self).  Jess Smith, my dear friend and then-Program Director of the station, was the resident radiophile – when the Gadsden Times profiled a 15-year-old Jess in 1982, he practically confessed to illegally operating a pirate station at his house in Rainbow City.   Jess also collected, in that pre-internet era, cassette tapes of airchecks, samples of work from radio disc jockeys from around the country.  One day, after interrupting a conversation for the 74th time with a 47-second collage of old WLS jingles, Jess gave me a tape containing the work of some of their old jocks – WLS was a news/talk station by then.  The first voice on the tape was God.

Larry Lujack wasn’t the fast-talking disc jockeys I had heard before, trying stupidly to rhyme words, affecting a phony baloney voice and using catchphrases marketed as original but that were, like most things in media, stolen. Larry Lujack was real. It sounds like too simple a formula to be the best your business has ever seen and, since radio as we know it is dying a slow death, ever will see. But Larry was himself, whether the

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