Born on the North Side of Chicago, raised on the South Side. He graduated from Harold L. Richards High School back when skinny ties and turned up collars were all the rage. He grew up listening to radio and his favorite personalities on WLS, WCFL, WDHF, WEFM, WMET, WLUP, WXRT, WCKG, and others. He went on to work on-air for a few of those himself! (WCKG, WLUP, and the new version of WCFL). He's also worked in Springfield, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles. Since 2004 he's been heard all over North America and beyond hosting his two syndicated radio shows...the Rockin' 80's and The Rockin' 70's. He's a dad, a sports fan, and a gearhead, and he's the boss here at 95.9 The River.
For brevity sake, I shall call him DDY.
DDY was born and bred on the Southside of Chicago. He, along with the Panozzo Brothers, formed a band that would eventually become STYX. Along the way the added James Young and Tommy Shaw. In the late 90's DDY found himself no longer a lead singer for the group (the most successful rock act Chicago has ever produced!) that he was instrumental in forming in the first place. He went since performed the music of STYX all over the world, including a stop this Saturday Night at the historic Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. It is sure to be a great show!
I had a chat with DDY, in excess of 30 minutes, and talked about all kinds of things...including the fact that we are both southsiders. As always, Dennis is Dennis! A bit cornball with layer of cheese, but an entertaining interview nonetheless. During my show each day this week, I will play a excerpt of my chat with DDY and give you a chance to win a spot on the RIVER guest list for you and a friend to see DDY this Saturday Night. The show is just about sold out, so this may end up being the only place you can get 'em!
I remember the 80's. I do. Each Saturday Night at 10p on 95-9 The River. I also really remember the 80's. What happened when, what songs were released in what year. All of it. OK, most of it. The rest I can look up. A little history on the radio show. Back in 1997 when I was working late nights on WCKG 105.9 in Chicago, I decided to ask my boss if I could play some forgotten tunes of my youth during my radio show. I figured others wanted to hear them too. To my surprise, he said ok! That's where it all began. Well, it all really began in the 80's when I was in high school (Harold L. Richards High School, Oak Lawn, class of 1984). Listening to my favorite radio stations at the time...95 1/2 WMET and the old FM98 (when our own Mitch Michael's was there 'doin the cruise'!). Listening to those stations during my informative years helped shape my future. Fast forward to where my late night 80's show aired on WCKG until 2000. I then brought it over to 103.1 WXXY, The Eighties Channel for awhile. That was a no-brainer. In the fall of 2000, I took a job doing nights at 97-9 The Loop. I re-launched my 80's show on WLUP in the fall of 2002, but management didn't exactly let me play many of the songs/artists that made the show so special in the first place. That's when I decided to create a national show. I called it The Rockin' 80's. This Memorial Day weekend will mark the 9 year anniversary of the show. Not bad for a kid from the southwest suburbs who just wanted to rock a little!
Catch The Rockin' 80's Saturday Nights at 10p on 95-9 the River to hear all the rock you remember, and a few artists and tunes you forgot you even knew!
Mark Zander with his 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix, May of 1986.