Nov 3, 2023 - Music

WXRT celebrates 50 years of DJ Terri Hemmert

Terri Hemmert. Photo courtesy of 93XRT.

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of Terri Hemmert's debut at WXRT.

Why it matters: The broadcasting Hall of Famer's deep knowledge of rock music and culture has made her one of the best disc jockeys in Chicago radio history.

What she's saying: "I saw a picture in a teen magazine of Cleveland disc jockey Jim Stagg interviewing Ringo Starr on The Beatles' 1965 tour. I thought if I became a DJ I could meet The Beatles.

  • "Being surrounded by music I love and colleagues who are family while calling Chicago home — that's why I stuck around for 50 years."

What's happening: The modern-rock station will honor Hemmert today from 8am-8pm with special programming. Tomorrow, she'll helm the popular "Saturday Morning Flashback" and play music from '73.

Context: Hemmert's professional broadcasting career began at WGLD in Oak Park. She then headed to Rochester, New York, for a year before landing the WXRT gig.

Fun facts: She was Chicago's first female morning drive personality, starting in 1981.

Zoom out: The run is even more impressive when you consider that the radio station celebrated its own 50th anniversary just last year.

Off the air: Several businesses are commemorating Hemmert's reign with specials, including an "All You Need is Piece and Love" pizza at Piece Pizza in Wicker Park this month.


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