Cumulus Chicago’s WLS-AM to be inducted into the 2022 Class of the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame

The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association announced today that it will induct Cumulus Media’s legendary Chicago radio station WLS-AM into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame on Labor Day, September 4, 2022. The Induction Ceremony and Concert are part of the Association’s Hall of Fame Induction Spectacular Festival held throughout Labor Day weekend. WLS Musicradio 89, “The Big 89” was programmed as a Top 40 radio station from 1960-1989, when WLS became a News/Talk station. It airs today as WLS-AM 890 (News/Talk) and streams at: WLS-AM was founded in 1924 by Sears, Roebuck and Company, with the call letters standing for Sears’ “World’s Largest Store” slogan.

Clay Norris, Executive Director, the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association, commented: “WLS is a huge part of the rock music history of the entire Midwest, and it had a profound impact on Iowa. As you may be aware, even the AM station’s daytime signal can be heard in much of eastern Iowa where 2/3 of the population lives. At night, it was heard all over the state. The Buckinghams, New Colony Six and Head East are all inductees of the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame and a big reason for their popularity was due to WLS. Other Chicago and Illinois-based groups like The Ides of March, Styx and Cheap Trick all played at the ballrooms and college campuses in Iowa and were promoted heavily by WLS Musicradio. We are very pleased to honor WLS-AM as an Inductee in the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame.”

Norris also noted that due to the fact that many local AM stations had to sign off of the air after sunset, WLS (and other 50,000-watt clear channel AM rock stations like KOMA and KAAY) became the rock stations at night for years until FM took over the rock music scene. The entire Midwest listened to John Records Landecker, Steve King, Yvonne Daniels, and more.

The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s press release follows:

For Immediate Release

January 11, 2022

Media Contact:
Clay Norris, Executive Director

The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association announces 2022 Iowa Rock Hall of Fame Inductees

The Class of 2022 will be inducted Labor Day Weekend in Arnolds Park

(Arnolds Park, IA) – The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association is pleased to announce the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 that will be honored during the Hall of Fame Induction Spectacular on Labor Day weekend, September 1-4.

Executive Director Clay Norris stated, “We’re excited to present this wonderful class of inductees and award winners during the 25th anniversary of our association. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Arnolds Park during the induction celebration planned for Labor Day weekend.”

The festival kicks off with a Rock the Roof Concert on Thursday evening, September 1st. The weekend festivities include the Opening Ceremony and Guitar Marching Band, Autograph Party, Iowa Rocks Talent Contest and Inductee Meet & Greet. The weekend culminates with the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Induction Ceremony and Concert on Sunday, September 4th.

2022 Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Inductees:

Band Category: Blue Strings, Gray James Band, The Library, The Pendletons, The Unidynes, Zini.

Individual Category: Dan Bern, Johnnie Bolin, Tommy Bolin, Jen Brucher, Barry Clark, Laurie Haag, Glenn Henriksen, Kelli James, Troy Johnson, Vance Jorgensen, Kris Karr, T. Wilson King, Ralph Kluseman, Tom Nelson, Paul Miller, Heath Pattschull, Jim Poffenberger, Robby Vee.

Venue Category: The Burlington Capital Theatre.

Radio Station Category: WLS-AM, Chicago.

DJ Category: Ron Sorenson, Bruce Wasenius.

Support Person Category: Bill Monroe, Mark Sampson.

Special Achievement Awards:

Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award: JC Wilson.

Matousek Lifetime Achievement Award: Tom Pick.

Spirit Award: Jeremy Ober, Maddie Poppe, Amedeo Rossi.

John Senn Legacy Award: Naomi Senn.

​The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association annually inducts musicians, bands, DJs, ballrooms and others who have significantly contributed to rock and roll music in the State of Iowa.  Since incorporation in 1997, more than 450 entities and over 1,900 individuals have had the honor of being inducted. Inductees must have a minimum of 25 years of experience in the music industry.

The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association welcomes nominations through the website Nominations that have been brought forward on or before September 2022 will be considered for the Induction Class of 2023.

Details on the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame Induction Spectacular Weekend schedule and ticket information will be forthcoming at


The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth, and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, as an 501(c)(3) non- profit statewide organization.