Mar 2000                                                                                                     

Web Master Wanderings
By Curt Potsic, Space Coast PC Users Group

Home Page

Current Issue

The Space Coast PC Journal 

SCPCUG Web Master Curt Potsic

In mid-January the latest version of RealNetworks ( RealPlayer turned gold. The free version is called RealPlayer 7 Basic and available at ( For those of you new to the world of computers, turning "gold" means the current version of the program is out of beta testing and now in its final released form. During beta testing there could be some bugs in the program. Ideally the final released version should have no bugs but with the complexity of today's programs that may be more of a goal than reality. We have only to look at the Windows 95/98 operating systems for examples of non-bug free environments. The term "final release" is also somewhat tentative now-a-days. Companies are continually pushing the technology envelope and of course trying to make a profit. To keep ahead of the competition work starts on a new and improved version (called an "update") immediately after and very likely before final release of the current version. Thus the cycle is continually repeated. With the advent of the Internet this product development cycle has been greatly accelerated. But I digress. I started talking about RealPlayer 7.

Don't know why RealNetworks keeps changing the RealPlayer designation. We had RealPlayer 5, then went to RealPlayer G2, and now we are back to numbers with RealPlayer 7. In any case it works fine. I did not see any really dramatic changes other than a flashier, more mod looking skin. There is a Take 5 feature which alerts you each day to 5 media downloads they think you might want to view. An icon with a "Gleam" as they call it appears in your System Tray indicating Flash news. They claim RealPlayer 7 has been streamlined to start playing 40% faster and is easier to use with back and forward buttons and a favorites folder for saving and organizing clips. RealPlayer 7 also has 100 Live Stations from around the world already bookmarked for you. It is almost a mini browser. In fact I found you could just drag and drop a GIF or JPEG file into RealPlayer 7 and it would be displayed.

In trying out RealPlayer 7 I decided to do a little searching around the net for media content. I had been thinking about all the wonderful advances on the Internet and in this computerized world we now live in. Curt (on right) at WLS Aug 1962As so often happens my mind began to wander (they don't call me the wanderer for nothing). I began thinking about some of the past events in my life and how I got to where I am today. I remembered my college days and how on weekends I worked for WLS radio in Chicago as a receptionist. (I'm the guy on the right in this picture from August 1962. The guy on the left was another part time receptionist.) Now this was back in the early 60's when the "in" radio format was Top 40, i.e. the days of the Beatles, Elvis, The Four Seasons, etc. I usually worked on Saturday afternoons or evenings and sometimes on Friday evenings. On Saturdays I would give studio tours between noon and 2 pm. It was always a full house with kids coming up to see the DJ's behind the glass partition. During "Newsbreaks" the DJ's would come out to sign autographs and chat with the kids. Among this chaos I opened and sorted mail and answered the telephone. It was really a fun time in my life and one I remember fondly.

Two of the DJ's I remember most were Art Roberts and Dick Biondi. Art Roberts was "middle of the road" and what you typically picture a DJ to be. He was straight forward with a little bit of humor tossed in. Dick Biondi on the other hand was "the rebel". He was known as the "wild Itralian" (that's not a typo). Dick had the evening shift and he would certainly keep me busy. He took phone requests for songs and "hello's". It was my job to answer the phone, type up all the requests, and when the page was full rush it into the studio for Dick to read on the air. We had something like 10 incoming phone lines and they were usually filled, the phone lights blinking away with people on hold waiting for me to take their requests. This went on for three hours. Dick also loved to order pizza with anchovies so we usually had some snacks.

So with this in mind, I wondered what had happened to these DJ's I had worked with in the early 1960's. Where was Art Roberts and Dick Biondi today? Well the Internet is the world's largest repository of information. Why not check it out? Surely there must be some sound clips somewhere and most likely they would be in RealPlayer format.

Curt working at WLS Feb 1963The logical starting place would be a search for WLS. I immediately found WLS at But WLS today is far different from when I worked there. (Here is a picture of me working the phone calls back in February 1963.) WLS is now a Newstalk radio station. If you have RealPlayer installed you can listen to WLS NewsTalk 89 live online by clicking on the "Listen To" icon at

WLS may now be Newstalk radio but oh what a rich history as a Top 40 station. A search of the WLS website lead me to Jeff Roteman's WLS Website at Wow, was this a bonanza of nostalgia! Even if you don't have a personal curiosity about WLS radio history as I do, I think you will enjoy this site. Under "WLS Jingles & Airchecks" I found many links to all kinds of RealPlayer sound clips including some at the Reel Top 40 Radio Repository ( If you are at all interested in radio history be sure to also checkout Jeff Roteman's Radioville at

Jeff Roteman's WLS Website also lead me to Scott Childers Online page, WLS The Bright Sound of Chicago at which wonderfully describes WLS history in the 1960's. Graphics and photos of the time are included. This page brought back many memories of my days working for WLS. As a tribute to WLS Radio's 75th Anniversary, Scott actually has online "A Comprehensive Look Back at the Big 89 from 1924 to Today!" (

Much to my surprise there is a lot of nostalgic radio from yesteryears on the Internet. Go to Reel Top 40 Radio Repository's Find AIRCHECKS search engine at On my search I typed in "Biondi" and sure enough it came up with a RealPlayer sound clip "Dick Biondi on WLS, Chicago, WLS DJ Dick Biondi 19631963". You can hear this 11 min 39 sec clip from a May 2, 1963 show at

Another of my searches for "Biondi" yielded "WBEZ's Ken Davis on 'Studio A' Interview with Rick Sklar and Dick Biondi" at This is an extremely interesting 53 min interview recorded Jan 15, 1990 on Public radio station WBEZ in Chicago. They discuss the huge impact of the AM Top 40 radio stations in the late 50's and early 60's, the freedom disc jockeys had in those days, Payola, Alan Freed, the 1959 "DJ Convention", and how radio was changing by 1990. Deregulation and clear channel AM radio stations and their impact is also discussed. This interview makes clear that Top 40 radio in the late 50's and 60's was a completely different era from radio as we know it today.

I found that Dick Biondi is still working in radio. He is now at WJMK, Oldies 104.3 in Chicago ( You can read about Dick Biondi's current activities and history at Dick is currently on the air weekday evenings, 7PM - 12 Midnight and on Saturdays, 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Unfortunately WJMK does not broadcast on the Internet.

WLS DJ Art Roberts 1963Among the several RealPlayer sound clips I found for Art Roberts were two that lasted 51 min 27 sec each. The clips are Art Roberts on WLS, January 1, 1966, Parts 1 and 2 available at Another 6 min 34 sec clip is Art Roberts, WLS, Chicago, 4/16/67 at

I found Art Roberts has his own website, Art Roberts Communications, at If you are looking for radio related information be sure to check out Art's Top 135 Communication Links at Some good stuff here! Art apparently is in semi retirement in Reno, Nevada.

Finally, in my searching I came across a comprehensive list of 4300 U.S. FM Radio Stations on the Internet at Along with Call Letters, Frequency, City & State, it indicates which have "live" Internet broadcasts. For a similar list of 797 U.S. AM Radio Stations go to The AM list is a bit dated as it says "as of 6/11/98". There is no "as of" date on the FM list.

Note: Web Master Wanderings articles contain links to external web sites. Web addresses are constantly changing. There is no guarantee that the information links provided in this article will remain unbroken or up-to-date beyond the date that this article is originally published.