Goodbye to you, “Jack”; Hello “K-Hits”

The JACK FM era in Chicago ended around 12:35 p.m. with a whimper as WJMK-FM played the rather bland “Goodbye to You”, a forgettable chart hit by the 1980’s band Scandal instead of Ray Charles “Hit The Road Jack”, as in JACK FM.

Forgettable is what you can describe JACK FM’s six-year tenure in the Chicago market.

Today was the day WJMK made its switch from rock-leading Variety Hits to Classic Hits format “K-Hits”, with the moniker “Chicago’s Greatest Hits of the ‘60’s, ‘70’s. and ‘80’s”, playing classic pop and rock hits from the mid-1960’s to the late 1980’s. WJMK’s “K-Hits” is a primary competitor to Citadel/Cumulus’ WLS-FM and a secondary competitor to WILV-FM (100.3, minus the 1960’s-early 1970’s hits.)

Prior to “Goodbye to You” here’s what WJMK played, all in ascending order: R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World And We Know It (And I Feel Fine); REO Speedwagon’s “Time For Me To Fly”; and Sheryl Crow’s “A Change Will Do You Good”, the last 1990’s song played on the frequency.

Notice a theme here?

From 12:44 p.m. to 1:04 p.m., WJMK aired a montage of music, news-making sound bites, and pop culture ditties – similar to what WCBS-FM in New York City did when it flipped from JACK FM to Classic Hits on July 12, 2007, albeit with a few differences – the WJMK montage did not include the years 1964 and 1965 and the WJMK montage focused on every year of the 1980’s. (To here the WCBS-FM montage from 2007, click here. To hear today’s flip at WJMK, click here.)

The first song WJMK played under its new format at 1:04 p.m. was “Beginnings” by Chicago, then new morning personalities Eddie & JoBo welcomed listeners to their new music home. That was followed up by Rolling Stones’ top five 1981 hit “Start Me Up” and Maxine Nightingale’s “Back Were We Started From”.

Eddie & JoBo’s first full day will be tomorrow morning.

But what’s that? You miss JACK FM? No problem, your old buddy T Dog has you covered. Click this link and you’ll be taken to a map where you can find online streams of many JACK FM stations from around the United states, Canada, and Europe – some are localized; others air a nationally syndicated format distributed by Dial Global.

JACK FM’s origins date back to 2000 to an Internet radio stream created by Bob Perry. The first terrestrial JACK FM radio station was Vancouver’s CKLG-FM in 2002; the first U.S. radio station to use the name was KJAC-FM in April 2004.

The last major format switch in Chicago took place on May 22, 2009, when WNUA-FM dropped its Smooth Jazz format of 22 years and became “Mega 95.5”, with a pop-leaning Spanish music format.