WLS (890kHz)is an AM radio station located in Chicago, Illinois. The station broadcasts as a Class A station on a clear-channel frequency with 50 kilowatts (or 50,000 watts) of power.
In the 1920's, Sears, Roebuck and Company was a major mail order company. To target farmers, Sears bought time on radio stations, and then decided to to form their own station.
On April 12, 1924, the station using the call sign WLS (for "World's Largest Store") aired its first National Barn Dance.
In 1960 WLS hired star disc jockey Dick Biondi (a 1998 inductee of the National Radio Hall of Fame) to anchor the station's new Top 40 music radio format that began May 2, 1960.
Notable disc jockeys who worked at WLS include Fred Winston, Art Roberts, Ron "Ringo" Riley, Gene Taylor, Larry Lujack, Dex Card, Clark Weber, Chuck Buell, Kris Erik Stevens, Joel Sebastian, Gary Gears, Jerry Kay, Bob Sirott, John Records Landecker, Yvonne Daniels, Steve Dahl, Garry Meier, Brant Miller, Tom Kent, Steve King, and Tommy Edwards.
In the 1960's WLS was a major force in introducing new music and recording artists.
The first US airplay of a record by The Beatles ("Please Please Me") was on the SLD Dick Biondi show on February 8, 1963. WLS was voted by broadcasters nationally as "The Station of the Year" in 1967, 1968 & 1969 as WLS was estimated attracting 4.2 million listeners weekly by Pulse research.