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5 Questions with...97.1 FM The Drive's Bob Stroud

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5 Questions with...97.1 FM The Drive's Bob Stroud

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of CommunicationsCSNChicago.com Contributor

December 9, 2009

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with a new weekly feature entitled 5 Questions with...

Every Wednesday exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeka true pioneer in Chicagos storied rock n roll radio historyhes been a fixture on the local airwaves for thirty years and his Rock N Roll Roots program continues to entertain both old and new listeners to this dayhe can be heard weekdays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on WDRV 97.1 FM The Drivehere are 5 Questions withBOB STROUD!

BIO: Born in Kalamazoo, MI, Bob Stroud's first radio gig in Chicago was with WMET in 1979. Since then he has truly become a Chicago radio icon, and considered to be the most respected voice of rock & roll in the city.

An acknowledged music junkie, Stroud's non-radio musical past includes playing his grandmother's Perry Como 78's on her Victrola in 1957; buying his first four 45's in 1962; getting his first transistor radio in 1963; buying "Meet the Beatles" in 1964; and fronting an 11-piece rock and R&B band called Rockestra from 1990 2000. In late 2003 Bob was contacted by Cryan' Shames percussionist, Jim Pilster, aka, J.C. Hooke, and invited to become the new lead singer of this legendary Chicago band. When Bob bought his first Cryan' Shames record at 15, he never dreamed he'd join the band at 51.

His understated presentation combined with WDRV's focus on the music has resulted in WDRV being a top ranked station during midday's since the day WDRV launched. In fact, it was Bob's voice that introduced Chicagoan's to 97.1 FM The Drive on April 2, 2001, the day it launched.

In 1980, Stroud created the popular Rock & Roll Roots show. "Roots", as it is commonly referred to, spotlights different artists and groups from 1964 to the early 70's, and has become a radio staple for classic rock fans. It airs on WDRV-FM every Sunday from 7a-10a.

1) CSNChicago.com: Bob, calling you a rock n roll historian would be an understatement to say the least and your Rock N Roll Roots show (Sundays from 7:00-10:00 AM on WDRV) has been a Chicago institution for years. What is it about music from the 60s and 70s that has such a grip on our culture to this day?

Stroud: I don't know that it does, or if it's just gripping to those of us who lived through it in the first place. If you look at ratings, for example, The Drive doesn't have an overwhelming number of 18 to 34 year old listeners. Yet 45 to 64 year old listeners flock to the station. There are some elements of the era that do transcend the ages, like The Beatles. They'll never go out of style, they'll never go out of fashion because, as we like to say at The Drive, their music is timeless. Back to your original question, the music of those decades continues to grip the population who lived it because it's legitimately good music and it carries those oh so important memories that mean as much to us as the music does. Every generation will experience this phenomenon with the music they grew up loving.

2) CSNChicago.com: It was recently announced that The Who will be performing live at halftime of the Super Bowl in February. The bands legendary lead singer Roger Daltrey has been on a solo tour of late to keep his voice in tact for The Whos next project, but its also been reported that Daltrey has struggled a bit on his tour and that his brilliant voice is no where near what it once was. Do you think both he and partner Pete Townshend may be a bit concerned that Daltreys voice come Super Bowl Sunday may become an issue in their performance? Were talking the Super Bowl here with millions of old andpotentially new fans watching.

Stroud: Being a singer of some note myself, I can tell you first hand that vocal chords are a very temperamental instrument. They've got to be babied, coddled and taken care of as much, if not more than any other muscle in your system. It's got to be tough for Daltrey after singing with such intensity for this side of 50 years to come close to sounding like he did in his classic era. Nobody sounds exactly like they did in their 20's. That said, the truly great ones always rise to the occasion and I've got to believe that, one way or another, Daltrey will find a way to pull it off.

3) CSNChicago.com: Youve no doubt been to hundreds and hundreds of concerts in your lifetime. Certainly not an easy question here, but tell us the best concert you have ever seen?

Stroud: Impossibly tough question as I can't begin to remember all the concerts I've seen. Seems like I lived at the Park West in the '80's. In no particular order, here are a few that standout in my memory:

- Paul McCartney at the United Center circa '02: Great staging, spot on sound, and how often are you in the same room with true legends?

- My first Springsteen concert, Orlando, FL circa '77: Wow! I was just so pumped and he just so delivered!

- Roy Orbison at the Riviera circa '88: Huge fan and those songs just kill me. Watching the audience surge towards the stage at the end of every operatic finish and then have Orbison standing there with one hand on his hip soaking in the adulation will forever be imprinted in my mind.

- Raspberries at House of Blues circa '07: Never saw them first time around, but bought all their records. They sounded so good on this reunion tour it was sick. Absolutely sardine-packed house sweating to every last power-pop nugget.

- First Elvis Costello tour of the states with Nick Lowe and Mink Deville in Tampa, FL. circa '78: I was a ravenous fan of all three acts and to see them all on the same bill was a "died and gone to heaven" experience.

4) CSNChicago.com: There have been many debates over the years on whats the best band to ever come out of our fine city. Bands like Cheap Trick, Styx and, of course, Chicago immediately comes to mind. Who would be your personal pick?
Stroud: I have trouble with "best" and "favorite." "Best" is so subjective, so I've got to go with "favorite. I have many and being as old school as I am, I have to start with the 60's era bands that came out of Chicago. As a kid, I bought anything that came out of Chicago...Cryan' Shames, Buckinghams, Ides of March, New Colony Six, Shadows of Knight, American Breed, Mauds, Riddles, Flock, etc. Couldn't get enough of it. I thought the first couple of Chicago albums were revelatory. Some really ingenious stuff. And even though they were miles west of here, I'm a huge fan of Cheap Trick as well.

5) CSNChicago.com: Your popularity, along with The Drives overall popularity, continues to bring in big audiences to the station 247. Do you think thats a factor of a rising older demographic that is attracted to the music of their generation or, is it simply that the music stands the test of time no matter how young or old you may be?

Stroud: Well as I stated earlier, I think our popularity is mainly with the fans that lived the music the first time around. That said, we do receive a good percentage of e-mail from listeners who are teens and 20-somethings who are into the music because they recognize there is a level of musicianship and songwriting that doesn't exist in a lot of today's efforts. That and the fact that they were raised on it because of their parents can also certainly be a factor. And again, there is an element to much of it that does and will stand the test of time.

Weather it's the Beatles or Stones, Motown or Styx, a lot of this will never fade away.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: What is else going on Bob, anything you would like to promote? CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it

Stroud: I'm an animal lover. I give regularly to PAWS (www.paws.org), the no-kill shelter, and I encourage others to look into giving to the organization of their choice. Animals are so often the thread that holds our lives together. Think of them this holiday season when you've got a few extra bucks laying around.

Stroud LINKS:

WDRV 97.1 FM The DriveBob Stroud page

WDRV 97.1 FM The DriveRock N Roll Roots page

Bobs Rock n Roll Roots blog

Bobs Ten at 10 link on WDRV.com

Bobs One 45 at 1:45 link on WDRV.com

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.

Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.

Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.

“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”

Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.

“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”

Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.

Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.

“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”

The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.

“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”

So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?

“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”

In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

The Cubs and their fans may want to invent and use one of those Men In Black neuralyzers because the four-game series in Cincinnati was one to forget.

The Reds finished off a four-game sweep of the Cubs on Sunday with an 8-6 win. The way the Reds won the finale will be especially painful for the Cubs considering they led 6-1 after six innings. Mike Montgomery appeared to tire in the seventh inning and Pedro Strop got rocked out of the bullpen to lead to a seven-run seventh for the hosts.

The Reds have now won seven in a row and 10 of 12, but still sit 13 games under .500. Bizarrely, the Reds also swept the Dodgers, the Cubs’ next opponent, in a four-game series in May. Duane Underwood will start for the Cubs Monday against the Dodgers and make his major league debut.

Here are some other wild facts and figures from the series:

  • The last time the Reds swept the Cubs in a four-game series was back in 1983. That was the first week of the season and three weeks before the infamous Lee Elia rant.
  • One positive for the Cubs from the game was Montgomery’s start. Through six innings he allowed one run on three hits and two walks. However, he gave up a single, a double and a single in the seventh before Strop relieved him. Montgomery had gone six innings and allowed one run in each of his last four outings.
  • Strop was definitely a negative. On his first pitch, Strop gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Jesse Winker, the second home run for a Reds pinch-hitter in the game. Then Strop allowed a single, a walk, a single and a double before getting an out. Strop’s final line: 2/3 inning pitched, four runs, one strikeout, three walks, four hits.
  • The Cubs led in three of the four games this series, including two leads after five innings.
  • The Cubs were 5-for-23 (.217) with runners in scoring position in the series. On the season the Cubs are hitting .233 with RISP, which is 22nd in the majors and fourth-worst in the National League (but ahead of the division-rival Brewers and Cardinals).
  • The Reds outscored the Cubs 31-13 and scored at least six runs in every game. The Reds are now 6-3 against the Cubs this year after going a combined 17-40 against the Cubs from 2015-2017.