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Iowa Event Will Honor Chicago’s WLS (and Other Musical Legends)

Iowa Rock ’n Roll Music Association celebrates the iconic Chicagoland radio station

What do country rock, boogie blues, swing and the state of Iowa have in common? This year, they’re all part of the Iowa Rock ’n Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame Class of 2022. And an iconic radio station from another state is a big part of the celebration.

The association plans to welcome this year’s honorees during a Hall of Fame Induction Spectacular on Labor Day weekend.

The festival will kick off with a Rock the Roof concert on Sept. 1 followed by a weekend of festivities, including an opening ceremony with a guitar marching band, autograph party, Iowa Rocks talent contest and an inductee meet and greet. The weekend will wrap up with the Iowa Rock ’n Roll Induction Ceremony and Concert on Sept. 4.

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The announcement was made by Executive Director Clay Norris, who noted that this year is the association’s 25th anniversary.

Among the 2022 honorees is WLS(AM). The Cumulus Media-owned station might be based in Chicago, but it has served as a “huge part of the rock music history of the entire Midwest, and it had a profound impact on Iowa,” Norris said.

The Chicago station’s daytime signal can be heard across much of eastern Iowa — where two thirds of the state’s population lives — and at night, it could be heard all over the state, he said. WLS has also played and promoted other Iowa Hall of Fame inductees — bands like The Buckinghams, New Colony Six and Head East.

In the DJ Category, the Iowa Rock ‘’n Roll Hall of Fame will induct Ron Sorenson of KFMG-LP in Des Moines and Bruce Wasenius of KLKK(FM) in Clear Lake, Iowa.

2022 Iowa Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Band Category: Blue Strings, Gray James Band, The Library, The Pendletons, The Unidynes, Zini
  • Individual Category: Dan Bern, Johnnie Bolin, Tommy Bolin, Jen Brucher, Barry Clark, Laurie Haag, Glenn Henriksen, Kelli James, Troy Johnson, Vance Jorgensen, Kris Karr, T. Wilson King, Ralph Kluseman, Tom Nelson, Paul Miller, Heath Pattschull, Jim Poffenberger, Robby Vee
  • Venue Category: The Burlington Capital Theatre
  • Radio Station Category: WLS(AM), Chicago
  • DJ Category: Ron Sorenson, Bruce Wasenius
  • Support Person Category: Bill Monroe, Mark Sampson

Special Achievement Awards

  • Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award: JC Wilson
  • Matousek Lifetime Achievement Award: Tom Pick
  • Spirit Award: Jeremy Ober, Maddie Poppe, Amedeo Rossi
  • John Senn Legacy Award: Naomi Senn