Published on Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:04
WXRT-FM, as Chicagoans currently know of it, began broadcasting in 1972. The station is now going to begin celebrating its 40th Anniversary with a series of special radio events over the next four months, the first of which will be this weekend. Starting tomorrow morning on 93.1 FM will be the "XRT 4D Flashback Weekend: The 1980s."
For the majority of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 93XRT will be playing music from the 1980s, including some from its original vinyl. Along with the incredible 80s music of various genres, listeners will hear numerous audio essays on the 80s, as delivered by the WXRT-FM on-air personalities, focusing in on some the the most memorable events of the decade. As a special treat for longtime fans, many of the station's 1980s airstaff will also be making a return and heard on the air this weekend.
The "XRT 4D Flashback Weekend: The 1980s" begins tomorrow morning at 9:00am. That will continue on all day until Midnight Friday night. The following morning, from 8:00am-Noon, Wendy Rice will spotlight 1989 on WXRT-FM's acclaimed weekend show, "Saturday Morning Flashback." At Noon, the "XRT 4D Flashback Weekend" begins again and runs until Midnight Saturday night. It begins again on Sunday morning at 10:00am, running until its conclusion at 7:00pm Sunday night.
The 1980s was WXRT-FM's second decade on the air, but it was the one where the station truly came into its own, becoming a fan favorite locally and the trailblazing format that so many radio stations nationwide have since tried to copy. Long before its current format was tagged as AAA (Adult Album Alternative), it was simply known as 'XRT's format in the 80s. The station would play music not heard elsewhere on the Chicago radio dial, as well as the rock artists of the two decades prior to that, who laid the foundation for the 80s music stars. It was seen as both as eclectic as a college radio station, but still presented and made commercially palatable and inclusive for the listening masses. It was the 80s that made WXRT-FM what it is today and is still seen by many as some of its best years. (Although a good argument can be made that WXRT-FM's peak years were the early-mid 90s.)
The WXRT call letters actually began in Chicago back in 1964. WXRT had a various formats and appeared on a few frequencies over the years, including 101.9 (now WTMX-FM). However, it was not until 1972 that the WXRT-FM as it is known today was formed. It launched as a nighttime-only free-form, progressive rock station, that came on after the ethnic daytime programming signed off on 93.1 FM. In 1976, WXRT took over the frequency full-time and began to take shape as the station fans now know. The station played the late 60's to mid-70's progressive rock artists, as well as introduced Chicago to the then-alternative rock acts, including punk & new wave artists coming from New York & England, most of which later became mainstream and are still staples of the station nearly 40 years later.
This weekend's "XRT 4D Flashback Weekend" is the first of four planned special weekends, each focusing on one of the four decades that WXRT-FM has been in existence. Every month over the next three months, 93XRT will have another "XRT 4D Flashback Weekend" focusing on either the 70s, 90s, or 00s.
WXRT-FM plans on celebrating its 40 year legacy with its fans, one decade at a time, beginning tomorrow.