John 'Radio' Russell
I was born in Hammond,Indiana in 1949, and have worked at 14 different suburban radio stations beginning in 1966. Part of my early career included serving as a traffic reporter for Chicago stations WLS and the former WMAQ. After many years of taking college courses one at a time, I graduated from Indiana University in 1997 with a BS in Communications. I am also listed in the 2003 edition of Marquis Who's Who in America. I have been a volunteer program host with WDCB for 12 years now. Midwest Ballroom provides a great opportunity for me to play local big band and orchestra music for Chicago area listeners. I love this music! In 2001, my radio program received a broadcast excellence award from the National Ballroom and Entertainment Association. In May 2003, I received a Caring Hearts Award from the Volunteer Center of Northwest Suburban Chicago for my work: producing Midwest Ballroom, saving Lindbergh School (Hoffman Estates), and writing several local history books. In October of 2009, I was given an honorary membership into the Chicago Federation of Musicians, which took place at Willowbrook Ballroom. Most recently, On April 13, 2012, I received a community service award from the Rockford Area Music Industry.
During the summer, I pitch for four softball teams, and have an extensive collection of old records. I have written 11 local history books, including Valley Voices: The History of Local Radio.