Dick Biondi

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Radio Personality / DJ
Inaugural Class

Dick Biondi  (1932-2023)

Dick Biondi is an American Top 40 and Oldies disc jockey.   Calling himself “The Wild I-tralian,” he was one of the original “screamers,” known for his screaming delivery and wild antics.  He was among the first disc jockeys to play records by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Gene Vincent.

Dick Biondi was born in Endicott, NY.  His lifelong love of radio began at a young age when he read a commercial at WMBO in Auburn, NY.  In the 1950’s he learned the workings of radio behind the scenes with a young Rod Serling at WINR in Binghampton, NY.  A career move took him to WHOT in Youngstown, OH where rock and roll was on the airwaves.  He began doing local appearances with Fabian, Paul Anka, and Bobby Darin.

In 1960, WLS (890 AM) in Chicago hired Dick to be part of its “Bright New Sound.”  The first record he played was “Teddy Bear” by Elvis Presley.  Broadcasting on the powerful 50,000-watt station helped make Biondi the most popular night time disc jockey in the Midwest.  In 1961, Biondi recorded “On Top of a Pizza,” a parody of “On Top of Old Smoky.”  The song became a regional hit.  In 1963, Biondi was credited as the first U.S. disc jockey to play the Beatles’ song “Please Please Me.”

After a contract dispute with WLS, Biondi left Chicago for Los Angeles where he worked for a time at KRLA with legendary radio personalities Bob Eubanks and Casey Kasem.  In 1967, Biondi returned to Chicago’s WCFL where he broadcasted until 1972.

Since 1984, Biondi has been a mainstay on oldies stations in Chicago.

Dick Biondi was honored at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1998.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed May 1, 2010 as Dick Biondi Day in Illinois.  The Chicago City Council named a street in his honor, Dick Biondi Way.

After many years and many frequencies, Dick Biondi closed his shows with the words, “God Bless, bye, bye, Duke.  Thanks a million for dialing our way.”