Thanks for the Memories (June 5, 2009)

As I drove to Oakbrook last night, attempting to meet Jen for a 8:00 showing of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” at the Drury Lane Theater, I decided to do a little channel surfing. My usual radio stations were all at commercial or playing something of a crap nature, so I looked around once to make certain I was alone (yep) before turning the dial to my favorite go-to guilty pleasure. That is Chicago “mature adult” staple, WNUA 95.5, Smooth Jazz (not that you hadn’t gathered this from the photo above). During my childhood, my parents occasional patronage of this station was cause for jeers and mockery. “Only OLD people listen to that,” I taunted them.

Well sure enough, I got older too, and while I still turned away from their various elevator music selections, WNUA was never above busting out a Roberta Flack, Whitney Houston or Peabo Bryson lite rock favorite. And don’t try to get between me and Peabo Bryson. When your choice is listening to Jamie Foxx’s criminally retarded “Blame it On the Alcohol” for the 10th time that day, or the refreshing strains of Whitney’s, “All the Man That I Need,” I think you can figure out the decision is an easy one.

So I as killed time on the expressways last evening, I went to 95.5, the home of WNUA for the last 22 years (though I swear it seems longer) to find…spanish music. Now my memory isn’t what it used to be, so for a few minutes I thought I had the wrong frequency. I started to mentally sing their jingle over and over (don’t say it), and kept coming up with the same answer. 95.5 is where WNUA should be.
Vowing to get to the bottom of this skullduggery, I Googled the station this morning. To my horror, this is what I read:

May 22, 2009

Dear WNUA Listeners,

I would like to take a moment to thank you for your loyal support of Smooth Jazz 95.5 WNUA during our 22 years of being a part of the Chicago community. We hope that you have enjoyed listening as much as we have enjoyed serving you. However, recent changes in how stations are evaluated by advertisers has resulted in a significant decline in financial support for WNUA. As a result, we are now faced with a decision that we hoped we would never need to make. Today at 9:55am we will be changing the format on our main frequency of 95.5 FM…

The WNUA On-Air Personalities have put together a photo montage of just some of our memories from the last two decades including Listener Appreciation Parties, Jazz Concerts, Trip-a-Day Destinations and so muchmore. Thank YOU for making all of these memories possible.

On behalf of Ramsey Lewis, Karen Williams, Glenn Cosby, Dave Koz, Scott Adams, and everyone at Smooth Jazz 95.5 WNUA, we sincerely thank you for listening.

Earl Jones

President/Market Manager
Clear Channel Radio Chicago

Not Ramsey Lewis! The soothing, dulcet tones of his voice lulled me during many a post lunch half-sleep. Why God why?! Oh sure, there is still the 93.9 the Lite for Mariah Carey classics, but I am fed up with change. Sometimes there’s just too much progress for Boop, and 2009 seems to be moving faster than I can hold onto it. Is nothing sacred or reliable anymore? Healthy young friends die, financial security suddenly becomes unstable, your career moves in directions you never imagined, and now for God’s sake, even Smooth Jazz in Chicago is not safe. I enjoyed you mostly in the closet WNUA, but I owed it to you to declare my love out loud today. I’ll miss you!


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