Chuck Schaden returns to his thrilling days of yesteryear

Chuck Schaden on WLTD (1974)

Chuck Schaden on WLTD (1974)

As Chicago’s preeminent broadcast historian, Chuck Schaden brought listeners back to the golden age of radio every Saturday afternoon for four decades. Now he’s taking a nostalgic journey of his own.

On Friday Schaden will join afternoon host Milt Rosenberg as a guest from 4 to 6 p.m. on Kovas Communications news/talk WCGO AM 1590. They’ll be in the same Evanston studio and on the same frequency where Schaden started “Those Were the Days” in 1970.

Chuck Schaden

Chuck Schaden

“I’ll find out if you can go home again,” Schaden said.

Eager to share his vast collection of old-time radio shows, Schaden launched “Those Were the Days” on May 2, 1970, on what was then WNMP. The call letters changed soon afterward to WLTD and later to WONX. Since 2009 they’ve been WCGO.

In 1990, Schaden compiled a fascinating history of the north suburban station for his Nostalgia Digest, which is still accessible on the website he maintains at speakingofradio.com. His online archive also includes a 1993 on-air reunion of many of the people who worked with Schaden at 1590 in the early ’70s.

Schaden, 81, who was inducted in the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1993, retired in 2009. But the great weekly show he started is still going strong.

Now in its 45th year, “Those Were the Days” is hosted and produced by Steve Darnall from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays on College of DuPage’s WDCB FM 90.9 and on wdcb.org.