Thursday, November 08, 2007

Not from KAAY, but one of my favorites

Jim Stagg passed away on Tuesday, one of the guys I came
rushing home
from high school to listen to on KYW, Cleveland back in the
sixties. Cleveland's in the groove again, on the Stagg
Cleveland's on the move again, on the Stagg line. And
here's your
million dollar music man to start the show.....
Obituaries |Jimmy Pearson Staggs: 1935 - 2007

Longtime Chicago radio deejay

By Trevor Jensen | Tribune staff reporter
November 8, 2007

Jimmy Pearson Staggs was known as Jim Stagg to teenagers
tuned in to
WCFL-AM during afternoons in the 1960s and 1970s. A disc
jockey who
toured with the Beatles in the mid-1960s, bringing
listeners hourly
updates on the Fab Four, Mr. Staggs signed off in 1975 as
AM rock
radio was dying out and started a chain of record stores in
northern suburbs.

Mr. Staggs, 72, died Tuesday, Nov. 6, at his Lake Forest
home of
complications from esophageal cancer, said his daughter
Kara Drumke.

At WCFL, Chicago's longtime "Voice of Labor," later known
as "Super
CFL" during its battles with WLS for teen listeners, Mr.
Staggs held
down afternoons with the "Stagg Line" and "Stagg Starbeat."

WCFL program director Ken Draper recruited Mr. Staggs and
other disc jockeys from KYW in Cleveland to Chicago in the
said Jerry G. Bishop, who was also among Draper's hires. At
stations, Mr. Staggs was often the one who lined up the
play list,
Bishop said.

"He was the music guy. He picked the music," Bishop said.
"He was
pretty connected to the record guys."

Bishop and Mr. Staggs were among about a dozen reporters
who traveled
on the Beatles' private plane during the band's 1964 U.S.
tour. The
reporters had tags connecting them to the tour and
sometimes found
themselves running through screaming hordes of teenage
girls right
along with the beloved Liverpudlians, Bishop said.

"There was amazing hysteria," Bishop said. "[But] I had no
idea it
was history, and he didn't either."

During the Beatles' 1965 tour, Mr. Staggs broadcast hourly
updates to
a rapt WCFL audience. This tour was much more heavily
covered, and
Mr. Staggs and other media were relegated to a second
plane, his
daughter said.

Mr. Staggs had a rich voice and a relatively straight
delivery for
the era, Bishop said. "Jim was more of a workmanlike guy,
not a
performer," Bishop said.

After leaving radio in 1975, Mr. Staggs opened a record
store called
"Record City," which eventually became a chain with
locations in Lake
Zurich, Skokie, Glenview and Northbrook, with another
outlet in
Orlando, Fla. The last Record City closed two years ago,
Drumke said.

Mr. Staggs also got into real estate, working with Keller
Realty in Libertyville, and started a business that
people's lives through video montages and interviews.

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mr. Staggs worked
in radio
in Birmingham, Ala., Philadelphia, San Francisco and
Milwaukee before
landing at KYW.

Mr. Staggs is also survived by his wife, Valene; a son,
Patrick; two
more daughters, Lisa Henderson and Dina Jaske; a sister,
JoAnn Terry;
and five grandchildren.

Visitation is set for 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, and 3 to 5 p.m.
at N.H. Scott & Hanekamp Funeral Home, 1240 Waukegan Rd.,
Glenview. A
5 p.m. service will follow the visitation on Saturday.


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