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Former Chicago Radio Host Jay Andres Passes Away

Longtime Chicago radio host Jay Andres passed away this morning at his home in Sebastapol, CA. He was 86 years old.

Jay Andres began on Chicago radio on WBBM-AM back in 1953. The CBS station was looking for a local DJ to host the Chicago version of the "Music 'Til Dawn" program, which ran overnights on major stations nationwide, paid for by a generous sponsorship from American Airlines. The deep, velvet voice of Jay Andres fit the bill perfectly, so the station wooed him away from another in Milwaukee. The show mixed classical, show tunes, jazz/torch songs and soft pop. Andres' WBBM show became a late night staple for Chicago radio until the end of the 60's.

American Airlines so enjoyed Jay Andres' voice & delivery, the airlines had him voice their in-flight Classical music programs.

After his almost 20 years at WBBM-AM, Jay Andres joined WGN-AM and did a late night show with similar music, although he did become a little more experimental & adventurous with the musical selections while there. At WGN-AM, the show was called "The Jay Andres Show," "Music 'Til Dawn," and finally, "Great Music from Chicago." Andres parted ways with WGN in the early 80's, taking a job in San Francisco for a few years, before returning to Chicago to become morning host at WNIB-FM/WNIZ-FM in 1985. (Those stations are now the WDRV/WWDV combo.) In the spring of 1990, a bidding war broke out between Chicago's two main Classical stations, WNIB & WFMT, for the services of Jay Andres. WFMT-FM won the battle and Andres moved over to doing mornings at WFMT. Unfortunately, WFMT's laid-back style did not mesh well with Andres' more upbeat style and he was fired a year later, effectively ending his long career in Chicago radio.

(UPDATE: Jay Andres' resume also included a quick stops at Chicago's WDCB-FM & WAIT-AM.)

Jay Andres, whose real first name was Joseph, and his wife Virginia retired to a small town in northern California about five years ago.

Although not heard on the air in Chicago since the early 90's, the dulcet voice of Jay Andres is still fondly remembered by many.

A sample of Jay Andres' work from approximately 1981:

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