John "Radio" Russel

Midwest Ballroom is hosted by John "Radio" Russell and airs Saturdays from 5-7 P.M. over WDCB 90.9 FM and worldwide at The show maybe contacted at P.O. Box 1073 Dundee, IL 60118 or at midwestballroom This is the start of our 18th volunteer year. Older reruns of the show air on WTPB LP in Rockford nightly. The program features area dance bands, local performers and lots of old vinyl.

Radio Schedule


March 2020

March 7 New Releases

March 14 Easy Listening Favorites

March 21 Spring Songs

March 28 Spring Dance Party

Midwest Ballroom is hosted by John "Radio" Russell and airs Saturdays from 5-7 P.M. on WDCB 90.9 FM and worldwide at The show maybe contacted at or at P.O. Box 1073 Dundee, IL 60118. Older reruns of the show air in Rockford at WTPB LP.


Hello Listeners,

February is always a special month for our Midwest Ballroom radio program. This time it marks the start of our 20th volunteer year on WDCB! Not very many people know about this, but it is no secret. In this day and age when our vintage music does not attract too much attention, the only way to keep it on the air is to volunteer to play it on a public radio station that offers the air time. We also work hard for WDCB helping out on pledge drives and producing a nice music show each week. The mail has always been good and over the years we have helped promote many local bands and performers by playing their fine music on our shows. The late and great Art Hellyer always said that he just wanted to play nice music for nice people and that is the purpose of our weekly program. It seems strange that after over fifty years on radio working at many stations that no longer exist, my destiny in life is to volunteer to do radio programs for free just to stay on the air. However, I have had a wonderful career that has included being a traffic reporter for Chicago stations WLS and WMAQ, as well as working for many local stations around the Chicago suburbs and Northwest Indiana. I also had a short career as a booth announcer for WCAE-TV in St. John, Indiana. Most of my time has been spent playing good music all night on various stations. At a few other ones, I was a news reporter, chasing fire trucks and reporting from town board meetings and city incidents. I was also the director of the Tradewinds Radio Reading Service that used volunteers to read newspapers over the air in Gary, Indiana. One year I did play by play baseball for the Senior League World Series. When I worked for the state, I did all of the voice over work for public meeting presentations and was the computer voice for the state’s low power traffic radio stations. I was known as the “Voice of IDOT” back then. Over the years, some new honors and awards have come my way including an honorary lifetime membership in the American Federation of Musicians and a RAMI, Rockford Area Music Industry award for community service. I have written 25 history books and one of them helped me earn my broadcasting degree from Indiana University. Today the business has changed greatly. Computers, downloads and satellite feeds program most radio stations today. Hence, there are fewer jobs now in the industry. But each week I still enjoy sitting down with boxes of CD’s and records at a computer and put together a weekly program of good music. The show is done for the listeners without any thought of any financial gain or publicity. It is a pleasant time consuming activity that brings joy to lots of people who still enjoy hearing the good music that was once heard on the radio many years ago. We even slow down the last half hour of the show to play dance music that our listener’s say that they enjoy to dance at home with. So we will keep going for as long as we can and we thank you for listening each week. Sincerely, John “Radio” Russell Midwest Ballroom WDCB 90.9 FM Saturdays 5-7 PM and worldwide at WDCB now has an archive button on its website to enable listeners to hear two weeks of programs. Reruns also air on WTPB LP 99.3 FM in Rockford nightly at 8 PM. City radio stations that I have been heard on in the past include Hammond, Gary, Crown Point, Lowell, Indiana, Beecher, Illinois, Geneva, Illinois, Elgin, Illinois, Rockford, Illinois and many others. 50 years on the radio and still going! Thanks to you!