WLS Evening News with Grayson T. Chappell (Bill Johnson) - 1969

Bill Johnson serving Fettucini Alfredo to Deane Johnson during a lighter moment in 1973.

Bill Johnson was one of the most talented and awesomely dramatic newsmen ever created. On WLS, he used the name Grayson T. Chappell. Other stations he did news for were KLIF, KVIL, KFWB, KEWB, KMBZ and WHB. He later went into sales, management and ownership before passing away in 1996.

This air check from WLS was probably made around 1970. He is obviously hampered by the rigid and conservative top 40 format of WLS, and his real ability to ad-lib dramatic events doesn't show up. The News Director of WLS at the time was Bob Benson, who, previous to that, was News Director of KOIL. On the news staff of WLS at that time was Lyle Dean, also a KOIL alumni.

WLS was the only station where he used the name Grayson Chappell. From that time forward, however, his close friends such as Charlie Van Dyke, called him "Gracie".

Deane Johnson
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