All Ages Radio History

The story of All Ages Radio is much like one that you would read in your favorite book of worship, but this time, you don’t have to pretend to read it to please your parents. If you even have parents.

The current edition of the show would not have been possible if it were not for the solid foundation poured by the individuals you are about to meet. Without these people, you would have no idea how you even landed on this site, yet alone why it is that you tune your radio to 89.1 FM WONC in Chicago, or log onto the internet every Friday night. It is a tale much like the Vietnam War, except we are winning.

Over 7 years ago, a young African American lad - Big Black - collaborated with a sweet flower child - Amber Payne - and recognized the gaping hole and desperate need for a punk rock radio outlet. Black and Amber truly laid the framework from the ground up, amassing legions of loyal listeners who were hungry for commercial free, punk rock. The Chicago scene soon after, began to take notice.

With countless interviews and live on-air performances with the bands the listeners demanded, both national and local, the show felt it needed to expand. A third voice was added to the mix - Devin 'the white boy' Johnson - and provided some serious, comic relief. Devin fit his 'whipping boy' role well and soon became a permanent Friday night fixture. Devin's inter-scene connections only added to the array of bands that appeared on the program, and his creative head bred new and innovative features.

As Black and Amber decided that they had said what they had to say, they stepped back and passed the controls to Devin for a shot at a solo stint hosting the show for nearly a year. With this change came the young and eager talent of a Mr. Ryan Manno and the two took the revolution a step further. More new features were popping up weekly, as the fan base of punk rockers grew steadily by the hour. It is from here that the current state of All Ages Radio was fertilized and planted and ready for mutation.

As Devin realized his efforts could not keep up with the high energy of punk rockers in Chicago, he signed off of All Ages Radio one last time. Ryan hit him in the ass with the door, and turned a page in the history book. As he experimented with weekly features that added colorful character to the blistering punk rock playlists, Ryan continued to build on the All Ages Radio foundation. From here the show became more than punk rock on the radio, it became entertainment, a lifestyle, and most of all a pyramid, get-rich quick scheme. Sadly the money was lost in a dirty game of dice.

In the fall of 2001, Ryan was paired with a new duo of eager, young punksters - Kevin and Gordon. The trio immediately fit like a tight condom, as they embarked on an entirely new era of All Ages Radio. The three of them triple-handedly revolutionized the art of punk rock radio, by adding special celebrity interviews, sketch comedy-esque segments, phone pranks, band interviews, live sets and other various punk-as-hell features. Not only did they entertain the listeners but became each other’s biggest fans in the face of a crazy industry and a demanding scene. All Ages Radio began to be a low-income, household name.
In the spring of 2002, the radio superpowers in Chicago opened their arms to the father figure of All Ages Radio, and Ryan said his goodbyes during his star-studded, emotional, final broadcast of the show featuring the three point stance of Ryan, Kevin, and Gordon. It was at this moment, that All Ages Radio changed forever.
The work began for Kevin and Gordon, hours after Ryan’s departure as they decided to make an entirely new mark in the world of punk rock radio. With the loss of one of the show’s most well-recognized names, it was unsure of the new show’s reception among the demanding audience. Their fears were proven wrong as the solid scene and community embraced a fresh start and buckled-in for the ride, pulling in a new audience along with the experienced. Kevin and Gordon took what made All Ages Radio different from every other show on the air, and decided to take on radio as whole, not just locally, but nationally.
With help of the internet, the show now has strong followings across the country, as well as Canada, truly unexpected by all parties involved. They opened up the boundaries that restrained the playlist of the show, welcoming in more diversity than they could possibly handle, and expanding the expectations of even the most loyal listeners. Now with a voice larger than ever, All Ages Radio is becoming a stopping point for national tours, and attention, all without a dime of income.
The All Ages Radio in which you hear today is the result of over 7 years of dedication, love, and desire to give a voice to those without a voice. Today, it is not just a show, but a revolution to make right what is wrong with radio, and you are part of it.
This is All Ages Radio