If you are not of a certain age and you did not grow up in the Chicago area, the name of Larry Lujack probably doesn’t mean much to you. But if you listened to top 40 radio in the late 1960s, 1970s or 1980s, you listened to Larry Lujack. He was like no top 40 deejay that had come before. He was cynical, sarcastic, and very, very funny. He made no pretense of liking all of the songs he was playing and was often little more than tolerant. But he was my favorite disc jockey, by far, and when I went on to my own radio career, his attitudes influenced me way more than I used to admit.
He was best known for “Animal Stories,” and he and Li’l Snot-nosed Tommy (Tommy Edwards, whose air shift followed Larry’s), would go over the various animal stories in the news that day. (During one period, I used to send in stories regularly, and I even became the LaSalle County Bureau Chief). He started out presenting the “Clunk Letter of the Day,” and as his popularity grew, he gradually added other features, including “The Cheap Trashy Showbiz Report,” but “Animal Stories” remained the one for which he is best known.
He retired many years ago, and died this week, but he left behind a lot of laughter. Check back shortly for the story of the drooling horse and the biker.