Four Chicago radio stations with programming that’s perfect for older adults

By Patricia LaCroix

According to most historians, the “Golden Age of Radio” ended in the late 1950s. But for a lot of older adults, radio lives on as a favorite way to be entertained and informed.

Radio relies solely on our sense of hearing — leaving the imagination free to create its own visions within the mind — which is something many older people not only appreciate but can also use to help keep their brains more active.

Radio also creates a warm and fuzzy feeling of nostalgia, as many seniors grew up in the days before television and remember old radio shows like “The Adventures of Sam Spade,” “Fibber McGee and Molly,” and “The Shadow” quite fondly.

Moreover, some older adults can hear better than they can see, and for them, listening to the radio is a much better option than trying to watch TV.

Today, broadcasts can be enjoyed via an actual radio receiver (as in the old days) or, thanks to modern technology, via live streams over the Internet. Whether it’s thanks to Hi-Fi or Wi-Fi, you or your older loved one would probably enjoy listening to the content of the following specific local Chicago-area radio stations. Check out these four Chicago radio stations with programming that’s perfect for older adults!

MeTV FM (WRME-LP) — 87.7 FM

If you or your loved one enjoys listening to popular music, then you’ll want to turn the radio dial to 87.7 FM — also known as MeTV FM. Much like the TV station of the same name, MeTV’s radio station caters to older adults who enjoy the sounds they listened to at a younger age.

MeTV FM maintains an “oldie” format, playing songs that were popular in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. The music is described by the station as “timeless and memorable,” and tends to be on the softer side. Included in its playlists are songs performed by artists such as The Lettermen, Dusty Springfield, Carly Simon, Neil Diamond, Jim Croce, and Simon & Garfunkel.

Click HERE to listen to MeTV FM on the Internet! You can also listen to this station via Comcast cable TV on channel 877.

WBBM Newsradio — 780 AM and
105.9 FM

Many older adults enjoy knowing what’s going on in the world, especially if getting outside and conversing with others is difficult. WBBM Newsradio is Chicago’s all-news station. The information keeps seniors “in the know” regarding local, national, and worldwide events.

Due to its weather reporting, the station is an extremely important resource during hazardous weather, such as thunderstorm or tornado warnings. Having a battery-operated radio handy at all time, alway tuned to WBBM, is a good safety practice for seniors in case of an emergency.

Beyond its news reporting, WBBM also broadcasts Chicago Bears games, provides simulcasts of the TV show “60 Minutes” on Sunday, and — for those night owls — airs old time radio shows at midnight on weekdays via the program, “When Radio Was.”

Click HERE to listen to WBBM Newsradio on the Internet!

WFMT— 98.7 FM

Many seniors enjoy the soothing, restful sounds of classical music. WFMT at 98.7 FM delivers classics by composers such as Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel, and Schubert.

The station also offers live broadcasts of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and at 8 p.m. on Sundays, it presents performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The station also broadcasts folk music, including Latin American music via its Fiesta program on Saturdays at 7 p.m.

Click HERE to listen to WFMT on the Internet!

WDCR — 90.9 FM and 90.7 FM

Many older adults grew up listening to the jazz sounds of Dave Brubeck, Herb Albert, and

Dizzy Gillespie. So they’ll be quick to recognize the tunes played on Chicago’s only jazz station, WDCR.

Primarily a contemporary jazz station during the week, WDCR also broadcasts old-time ragtime and “Big Band” sounds, along with folk, bluegrass, blues, and Latin jazz and mambo over the weekend. Tune it on a Saturday or Sunday for the more eclectic mix!

Broadcasting out of the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, the radio station has a weaker signal and in the past, it was not always picked up as well by radio receivers in the city as it is in the suburbs. However, people in the city can now tune into it’s Downtown West Loop location via 90.7 FM, which should offer better reception.  And it can always be listened to live on the Internet.

Click HERE to listen to WDCR on the Internet!