Jul 3, 2023 - News

Legendary disc jockey Dick Biondi dies at 90

Dick Biondi. Photo courtesy of Scott Miller/Cumulus

Chicago legend Dick Biondi has died. He was 90.

Driving the news: The longtime disc jockey started spinning records in the 1950s and is credited as the first to play the Beatles on American radio.

  • Biondi's radio career spanned 67 years, working at stations WLS-AM, WCFL and most recently 94.7 FM.

Flashback: Biondi made his name in the early 1960s while helming nights at WLS-AM, where he pulled in remarkable ratings and created mob scenes at public appearances.

  • He was nicknamed "The Screamer" because of his enthusiastic delivery.
  • He penned the novelty record "On Top of a Pizza,” which was a parody of "On Top of Old Smoky."
  • Billboard magazine named Biondi the #1 disc jockey in America.

Context: The top 40 jock crisscrossed the country throughout his career, taking jobs in markets including LA and South Carolina.

Yes, but: Biondi always found his way back to Chicago, rekindling his brilliant career at "Magic 104" (104.3 FM) in the 1980s.

  • Biondi became the voice of the "golden oldie," guiding the oldies format with his distinct perspective and professional delivery.

State of play: He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1998.

  • Biondi left radio in 2017.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Chicago.

More Chicago stories