Big Bill Collins

"from down in the basement with his giant economy size orange crate"

"Big Bill" Collins was a DJ who had a late night/ early morning show on WNIB in Chicago. The small station played classical music during its normal broadcast schedule, but the overnight hours were sold to local producers who featured jazz, soul, R&B and blues. For more information on WNIB, go to:

Big Bill's show was on from 4:00 to 5:00 AM. He had a style that showed a love of life and attracted a loyal following. This site is dedicated to Big Bill.
"there was this guy- big bill collins- who used to have a radio show off the south side of chicago. i used to play over there a lot in the 80's cause my agent was based there. the station that bill was on was low powered, barely made it to the north side. he came on at 4 in the morning for 1 hour. maybe the best radio show i've ever heard. he'd play great stuff. all the greats plus lots of obscure stuff and even neighborhood stuff. he would dedicate almost every record he played and sometimes would break in while a song was playin' and say stuff. he was cool. i miss him."
-Bo Ramsey
Big Bill belongs to the ages, though I have a special place in my heart for him as he was introduced to me by some dear college buddies. One of them ("Brother Henry, from WNUR, up around Norswestern") made the 1988 tapes. "Henry" was actually Gregory Hinderycxk, a strong r & b saxophonist and writer who died of a congenital heart defect at the age of 30 on Christmas Day in 1994. Greg was very hip, into everything from Bix to Sleepy La Beef to the Psychedelic Furs to below the radar Harlem R & B-you name it.

The 1989 stuff was taped by yours truly on a boombox while living on Waveland and Broadway in the sweltering summer of...'89. Henry probably got his stuff while living on Marshfield Avenue (Chi) and Evanston between aprox. 1981 and 1988. The idea of accessing more Big Bill (and Mr. A and Baby Face George) sounds like the best thing I've heard since Christmas (1994).
-Todd Bryant Weeks
"i have such fond memories of listening to big bill's show.
sometimes me and my band would be playin chicago and we would stay up to catch the show. we'd always call and check in with big bill. then we'd listen to see if he would give us a 'shout out'. he always did. it was
early '80's and we were listening. the rolling stones were playin chicago. he was sayin who checked in. he said, "willie just checked in, james, the rollin stone, jesse just checked in." we knew the stones were listenin. he gave 'em a shout. sounded like he didn't know who they were. too cool for school."
-Bo Ramsey


Do you have recordings of Big Bill Collins...or other WNIB radio shows? 14 Replies

I just uploaded some Big Big clips that Rita sent.  Thanks, Rita!Continue

Started by Chris Carman. Last reply by Learsi Krats Nov 10, 2013.

What a day 5 Replies

I am cleaning out my garage and I see a card from Big Bill Collins.  He was a friend.  I get on  the web site. I leave a message.  The next dat I see that he died.  I FEEL LIKE A PART OF IS WITH…Continue

Started by Ken Dorian. Last reply by Learsi Krats Nov 10, 2013.

No tapes

Sorry to report that years ago my car was burglarized and all my Bill Collins tapes were removed.  Ken Dorian

Started by Ken Dorian Jun 10, 2011.

MY first visit with Bill

When I went down to Rush St. I would walk over to the radio station at 12e Delaware Pl.  I sat next to him and while the music  was on and found Bill so easy to talk to and he had a million dollar…Continue

Started by Ken Dorian Feb 21, 2011.

Scroll down and listen to a couple of clips from the Big Big Collins radio show on WNIB out of Chicago in the 1980s and 90s. The photo of Big Bill shown below was shared by Jim O'Neal. The business cards and other photos are posted on Bob Corritore's great web site at

If you have any recordings of the Big Bill Collins show you'd feel comfortable sharing, there would be other fans who'd love to hear them. The majority of clips curently streamed from this site were recorded by Todd Bryant Week or Greg Hinderycxk and kindly shared by Todd. They can be enjoyed on the site, but are not intended to be downloaded or copied.




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