Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem
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Chris Murphy Contact Chris Murphy

Pay close attention to this bio, you may need it on Jeopardy someday. I was born in a foreign country, Brunswick, Georgia. Fortunately it was on a Naval base, so I can still make my run for President in 2016. I grew up in Minnesota, went to high school in Wisconsin, so I guess I'm a Minnesconsinite. Or a Wisasotan. Whatever. I came to Springfield and WNNS in 1995 as a part-time host and moved up the ladder. In 2006, I left for stops in Madison at Magic 98, and then Minneapolis at KS-95. But eventually, I missed the smell of burnt soybeans wafting in from Decatur and had to come back in 2010. My favorite part of my busy day is being on the morning show with Deb and you. Thanks for listening and making mornings so fun!

Cheap Trick, Night Ranger Rock

I’ll call it two for two with this year’s State Fair concerts I was at, and that’s a rarity for me.


I was in the crowd Friday night for the Georgia Satellites, Blue Oyster Cult, Night Ranger, Cheap Trick show.  First off, I arrived late so I missed the 80’s one hit wonder from the peach and peanut state, but my friend Jerry said they were great.  He’s a good judge of shows, so we’ll give them a thumb’s up.


Blue Oyster Cult was the low point of the show.  The sound was bad even by State Fair standards, and they just muddled through their biggest hits without much energy or enthusiasm.  I had seen BOC as part of that Foghat show a few years back, so I really wasn’t expecting much.


Night Ranger was a much different story.  They were the pleasant surprise of the night, as the 80’s hit makers rocked the house with a decent size catalogue of hits.  The band didn’t miss any of the touches either, as iconic guitars and familiar 80’s video poses by the band fit the nostalgia hungry crowd perfectly.  The weird part was lead singer Jack Blades’ 10 minute talk that dealt with everything from 80’s reminiscing to comments on Springfield and the crowd.  It was also then that Blades revealed that one of the bands signature songs, “You Can Still Rock In America” was written after their 1983 State Fair show.  Umm..OK..sure.  But it was a nice touch, and the crowd bought it.


Cheap Trick was MUCH better than an earlier show I saw at Milwaukee’s Summerfest.  The energy and enthusiasm of being back in their home state showed, as Rick Nielsen was amazing on guitar, not just above average like in Milwaukee.  Nielsen may have given a clue to the lackluster performance by telling the crowd, “We’ve been touring all summer with Aerosmith.  They’re not here tonight, and who needs them?”  Good point.  Robin Zander was amazing as a vocalist, as like Pat Monahan of Train Wednesday night, nailed every note.  The biggest hits at the end of the night left the crowd rocking.


I may be thinking way too much about Neilsen’s Aerosmith comment, but I can’t help but feel it’s got to be frustrating for Cheap Trick to open for Aerosmith when Neilsen is arguably a better guitar player than Joe Perry, and Zander an arguably better singer at this stage of his carrer than Steven Tyler.  There’s a lot to be said for great songwriting and being a stellar front man like Tyler.  I wonder too if spending a lot of time touring Japan hurt the bands popularity.


Let’s not take away from what was a good show at the Fair.  Night Ranger and Cheap Trick can “still Rock In America”.

Great to be back home! Most of my vacation was spent with family, but I did manage to sneak out to catch Aerosmith along with 22,000 fellow Cheeseheads at Summerfest in Milwaukee. Cheap Trick opened, and was a major disappointment. No show, no real enthusiasm. I don’t know if they thought they were still in front of a reserved Japanese crowd, but they played like it. Aerosmith hit the stage and opened with “Draw The Line”. Steven Tyler showed why he’s one of the greatest front men of all time, as he came out smoking, and made sure he peppered the crowd with F-bombs between the songs. At one point Tyler told all of us, “How you doing Milwaukee, are you F-Ing ready to F-Ing Rock and Roll? F-yeah it’s F-ing great to be at an F-ing Rock and Roll Party!”. Looks like Tyler is ready to lose any cleaning of his image that Idol gave him! The show started out smoking, with Tyler’s vocals dead on, and Joe Perry every bit the guitar player he once was. But the show bogged down a bit with the universal 10 minute drum solo, followed by a mash of new material and deeper album cuts. There was only one encore, that featured Tyler at the piano hammering out “Dream On”, and that was worth the price of admission alone. Curiously, they didn’t play “Rag Doll” or probably their best known hit, “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”. It was a great show, and everyone of those 22,000 fans got the message loud and clear. Steven Tyler is no longer a TV star, he’s back to Rock and Roll. And he’d probably say F-Yeah!

Welcome to the new site!

I want to welcome you to the all-new!  The site has been about three months in the making, and has mainly been Deb West making graphics and links, and me saying, "yeah it looks good!". 


Our goal of the new site is to keep you even more in touch with the radio station and what's going on here in Central Illinois.  The new site features more events and calendars, more information about your favorite 98.7 WNNS artists and links to their sites, and more winning!  We hope you spend a little time clicking on the links when the boss isn't looking.


This site is for you, so please e-mail me any suggestions you have for it at  Enjoy and thanks for listening to Springfield's 80's, 90's and Now station..98.7-WNNS.


-Chris Murphy

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