CHUCK SCHADEN, who retired on June 27, 2009, is a broadcaster/historian who created and produced and hosted Those Were The Days since 1970 and has been nationally recognized for his efforts. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993, the only radio fan to be so honored.
A former newspaper editor and marketing executive, he turned his hobby into a vocation and drew from a collection of more than 50,000 vintage broadcasts to prepare his programs.
He was the founding editor and publisher of the Nostalgia Digest; author of WBBM Radio: Yesterday and Today, a history of station WBBM, Chicago; and author of Speaking of Radio – Chuck Schaden’s conversations with the stars of the Golden Age of Radio, published by his Nostalgia Digest Press.
From October, 2006 thru September, 2007 he hosted the nationally syndicated old-time-radio series When Radio Was, replacing Stan Freberg. The program was heard in more than 200 markets from coast-to-coast.
A founding member of the Board of Directors of Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communication, he is the Midwest’s leading radio historian and a resource for public libraries, metropolitan daily and community newspapers, and colleges and universities throughout the country. He has provided archive materials to the Library of American Broadcasting at the University of Maryland and the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
Hello... I Must Be Going
BY CHUCK SCHADEN
In 1959,after being released from the Army, I became a full-time member of the staff of Northwest Federal Savings in Chicago.
Shortly after I began, someone from the personnel department gave me information about the company’s retirement program, my "official" retirement date was determined and I was told how soon the company and I would start contributing to my pension.
My official retirement date was June 29, 1999 -- my 65th birthday.
1999! Do you know how far away that date was, especially from 1959? Forty years! Retirement was not on my mind in those days.
Time marches on.
In 1964 I left the S&L and became editor of a group of community newspapers on Chicago’s Northwest Side. A few years later, in 1970, I began hosting a radio program called Those Were The Days on WLTD, a small station in Evanston, Illinois.
In 1975 TWTD moved to WNIB in Chicago and in 1977 I was invited to rejoin the staff of North West Federal. I did, continuing with the radio program while a part of North West’s marketing department.
In 1982, during a time of many mergers and consolidations in the S&L industry, I decided to leave NWF and concentrate on my broadcast career.
In 2001 WNIB was sold and Those Were The Days moved to WDCB, the public radio station at College of DuPage.
Did you notice how June 29, 1999 came and went during this time?
How did this happen?
All of a sudden, it seemed, I turned around and hit my "official" retirement date! I wasn’t ready for retirement, although I did try to cut back a bit on some of my broadcast and related activities, seeking some "personal" time after all the years.
But Those Were The Days continued without missing a beat.
Recently, I turned around again and found myself staring at June 29, 2009 -- ten years after my "official" retirement date. That date is coming up quickly now, and I will have completed 39 years of broadcasting and have marked more than 2,000 Saturday programs when it gets here. And I will be celebrating my 75th birthday.
It’s now time to retire.
It’s time for my wife Ellen and me to take the time we’ve actually been seeking for a number of years. A time when we have no other obligations except to ourselves and our family.
So my new "official" retirement date is the end of June, 2009 and my last Those Were The Days program will be Saturday, June 27. WDCB is hosting my retirement party and you’re invited to tune in or drop in during the show.
I’m happy and proud to say that Those Were The Days will continue.
Beginning July 4, the four-hour Saturday show on WDCB will be hosted by Steve Darnall, who has been editor and publisher of Nostalgia Digest Magazine for the past four years.
Steve is a talented man with a radio background who grew up listening to our broadcasts of old-time radio. (He interviewed me for a high school radio station in 1978!) He will join Ken Alexander and our regulars to bring you all the great vintage programs you’re used to hearing, plus the usual information and features every week.
Special thanks to WDCB for their willingness to continue carrying the program for the thousands and thousands of listeners out there in Radioland.
And thanks to you for giving me a wonderful career in radio.
I have enjoyed every minute of it and I will miss being with you on Saturdays, but you can be sure I’ll be tuning in.
I’ve said this many times, but never before does it mean as much as it does now:
Thanks for listening.