The 1982 WLS Rock Hall Of Fame

WLS was my most favorite radio station of all-time. I listened to it constantly from shortly after our family moved to Rantoul, Illinois, in 1975 until we moved away in August 1981. Constantly that is except for the Summers when I was whisked out of state by my grandparents. My Dingo Boots box of cherished WLS music surveys collected during that time mysteriously disappeared during that move in 1981 but I've recently acquired a few of those old surveys including some from 1982 the greatest year in music when I wasn't even a WLS listener. I discovered The 1982 Rock Hall Of Fame was printed on the back of ten of those surveys, running from June to August 1982. I'm guessing this was the station's annual Memorial Day Weekend feature as it features songs from throughout the history of Rock N Roll, from the Fifties up into the Eighties. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers listening to it or knows more about it. It's all old but it's all new to me you know what I mean?
The only other instance of a WLS Top 500
I could find online was this one from 1986.
Thank you and good night!


  1. I had the top two tunes picked just from the title of the post, but for some reason I was expecting "Mack the Knife" to be nearer to the top of the list, too. I was pleasantly surprised to see the mostly forgotten 1979 Styx single "Why Me" at #429. It's one of my favorite Styx tunes and the only Styx 45 I ever purchased.

    1. Surprisingly, "Why Me" never made it into Top 20 on WLS's Weekly Survey yet got enough votes to end up in what appears to be an eight-way tie with seven other songs whose titles begin with a W.

      The whole list is an odd blend of oldies (as Dad called them) and more contemporary songs. I had originally written a running commentary for each portion of the countdown and was gonna spread them out over the course of five days but when I went back to proof-read what I wrote, it was basically the same paragraph repeated ten times. I was using a lot of words to write and re-write the first sentence of this paragraph.

  2. There are so, so many relatively recent songs on that list. What did the ballot look like? Did it ask for new and old songs, or just "favorite songs of all time," etc.? "Ebony and Ivory" was released that spring, for example, and though I'm in the minority and like it, I can't imagine anyone citing it as an all-time favorite. It's also the only such countdown that I've seen to include not one, not two, but four ONJ songs.

    1. I have every single survey from 1982 and there are only two ballots among them - for the annual year-end awards. Thinking this may have been a write your Top 3 or Top 5 or Top 10 on a postcard or back of an envelope and send it in kind of thing.

      In looking back through the surveys from 1981, I found that year's HOF results. REO Speedwagon had four of the Top 26 spots thanks to huge success of Hi Infidelity. May do a compare and contrast post with the results from 1982. Looking back through the surveys from 1980, I found that there was a Hall Of Fame countdown that year but the results were not printed on the back of the surveys. Instead, there were two or three ads for sending in a small amount of cash to cover postage for a limited edition ("only first 1500 requests will be granted") poster featuring all 500 songs. Haven't seen any Hall of Fame stuff in remaining cache of surveys from 1976-1979.

      As far as the results, I think two types of people voted: older and younger, with some crossover i.e. old who think young and young who think old. The older realize the big picture and could list their favorite songs of all-time while the younger only voted for the songs from the last 2-5 years, the only songs they remember. Flawed theory I know.