Killer Bee Party Radio B96 Chicago 1990s
updated about 1 month ago
Retrospective of Chicago's top 40 radio station WBBM 96.3 FM, better known as B96, during the time period when the station was a dance-heavy rhythmic CHR from the late 1980s through the end of the 1990s. B96 was just another top 40 station throughout much of the 1980s but towards the very end of the decade started playing more dance-based pop rather than rock-based pop. The shift towards a rhythmic-leaning format began sometime in the fall of 1986, but it did not become more noticeable until 1989. B96 likely continued where 102.7 WBMX left off after the latter became Urban AC V103 and no longer played mixes in October 1988.
The time period presented here is roughly 1987 to 2000, although by then the station had stopped playing EDM songs (outside the mixshows) and became a hip hop-based Rhythmic top 40, in addition to playing all that teeneybopper stuff (Britney Spears, N Sync, Backstreet Boys, etc) that was popular at the time. Anything the station played after 2000 is not included here as I’m not interested in what the station was playing after that point since the station had gone downhill. By 2001, B96 was a hip hop-heavy Rhythmic Top 40 station and continue this path until late 2008 when it started to shift back towards a mainstream Top 40 format.
Featured in the list are nearly all the house, techno, Latin freestyle, euro-dance, booty bass, hip hop, R&B, synthpop, and upbeat pop tunes that were being played on B96 between from the late 80s through the year 2000. Songs are listed in order based on the year they came out or when B96 started to play them. I left out most of the ballads/slow jams, most of the AC stuff, and the few rock-leaning pop songs the station had played at the time as I want to focus of the "Party Radio" sound the station had been known for when it shifted to dance-leaning top 40 format. As a result, I left out the pop/rock & A/C stuff (Huey Lewis, Chicago, Phil Collins/Genesis, etc) the station actually played during the late 80s. Also included tracks that were featured in the B96 mix show sets but not on rotation (and in the case of some, were featured on playlist rotation on other significant Rhythmic Top 40 stations of the period like Hot 97 NY, Power 106 LA, KMEL San Francisco, Power 96 Miami and so on)
After B96 had stopped playing dance music regularly (outside the mixshows) in the late 1990s, dance moved on, although very briefly, through Energy 92.7 and 92.5 from January 2001 to January 2003.