HCR’s close connection with WGN

Remember when Huntley was a “small town”?

Now, we have two members of the prestigious WGN Walk of Fame. On May 27, Huntley Community Radio’s Jim Carollo joined Huntley Community Radio Advisory Board Member Orion Samuelson on the “walk” alongside Jack Brickhouse, Bob Collins, Roy Leonard, Judy Markey, Spike O’Dell, Kathy O’Malley, Wally Phillips, Milt Rosenberg, Quin Ryan, Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Johnnie Putman, Franklyn MacCormack, Lou Manfredini, Ward Quaal, Ron Santo, Eddie Schwartz, Max Armstrong, Floyd Brown, Dan Fabian, Marilyn Miller, Tom Petersen, and Dean Richards.

In 2014, WGN Radio celebrated 90 years in Chicago. On June 1, 1924, the Chicago Tribune converted the operations that had formerly been WDAP to WGN, with the new call letters paying homage to the “World’s Greatest Newspaper.” WGN quickly proved itself a pioneer in radio and went on to establish several broadcasting “firsts,” such as the Memorial Day 500 (later known as the Indy 500), the Kentucky Derby, and the live courtroom proceedings of the Scopes Monkey Trial.

(Photos provided)

(Photos provided)

Orion Samuelson has served as Agribusiness Director since 1960, provides market updates for the Steve Cochran Morning Show, and co-hosts the Morning Show with Max Armstrong on Saturday mornings. His life-long commitment to agriculture has been recognized by organizations in all segments of agri-business.

Orion hosted the “WGN Radio Barn Dance” and broke the news to WGN Radio listeners of the JFK assassination. He (and Bob Collins) traveled to Cuba and met Fidel Castro. And he recorded a couple of novelty songs.

Jim Carollo, affectionately known as “JC”, started at WGN in March 1970 and rose through the ranks of board operator, remote engineer, studio maintenance engineer and Chief Engineer. He worked with a roster of station legends the likes of Vince Lloyd, Lou Boudreau, Jack Brickhouse, Irv Kupcinet, Roy Leonard, Franklyn MacCormack, and Bob Collins. JC was instrumental in building WGN’s Michigan Avenue studios, the Showcase Studio and several mobile studios, including designing the radio studio at Walt Disney World in Florida. Posted at Wrigley Field for both Cubs and Bears broadcasts and the 1986 Bears World Championship coverage from New Orleans, guaranteed that work at WGN would always be “interesting, challenging and never dull.”

I was lucky enough to be in attendance this year as the smartest, nicest, most humble man I have met in a long time became a Legend of Chicago Radio history with an unbelievable ceremony. Huntley Community Radio is lucky to be associated with both of these radio legends.

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