A Christmas Present From Us To You!

Here is a little Christmas present from us to you.

It’s an original song Steve just recorded at Jim Peterik‘s World Stage studio called “Christmas From The Roots Of Rock & Roll.”  This song has taken a long time to get from idea … to song … to studio … to you.

How long?

The idea for the song first popped up in the late 90’s when we hosted the “Street Carols” concerts at the Star Plaza Theatre, in Merrillville, Indiana.  The promotional tag line for the concerts was “Christmas From The Roots Of Rock & Roll.”  At the time Steve thought it was a great song title.  Morphing from song title to completed song did not happen quickly.  Anyone who has written a song knows they don’t always come easy.  Proving the point, it was over a decade later that the final verse found it’s way to the song.

It became an annual event around our house to hear the phrase “This year that song will get recorded and be available in time for Christmas.”  “This year” would turn into “next year” and “someday” soon became the norm.  Well, “someday” turned back into “this year” when, while going over specifics for our hosting The Ides Of March 50th anniversary Christmas concert, at the Arcada Theater, in St. Charles, Jim Peterik told us that he had a small hole in his World Stage studio time.  We quickly realized that, if it was going to happen, “someday” needed to turn into NOW.

This past Monday, it did.

Steve recording at Jim Peterik's World Stage studio.

Steve recording at Jim Peterik’s World Stage studio.

Another member of The Ides Of March, Larry Millas, deserves special mention for, along with his musical ability, bringing his significant talents as an engineer to the session. Other than drums, Steve played all the instruments you hear on the recording.  It was such a good vibe and enjoyable experience that, after we finish the book we’re writing about Les Paul (Did we tell you we’ve signed with a publisher?) we plan on blocking out more time at World Stage studio to give birth to the album of original songs Steve has been threatening to unleash on the unsuspecting public.

But, that project is in the future and this is NOW.

And right NOW we’ve made “Christmas From The Roots Of Rock & Roll” available as a free download on WGN radio’s Steve and Johnnie page.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the song and Santa will recover from the trauma.

While you can listen to the song and download it free, we would ask that you consider making a donation to the WGN Neediest Kids Fund.

Thank you.

Merry Christmas!!

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2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Video Road Test

Our Video Road Test, the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited, has just been posted on Consumer Guide Automotive’s Daily Drive website.  Just click the link, take it for a spin and see what you think.

And don’t forget, if you want to check some of our previous road tests and some of the other goodies we’ve been pouring into the Daily Drive tank, just point your browser right here.

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We’re on WGN Radio Thanksgiving and Black Friday!!

For those of you who don’t follow us on Facebook or Twitter, just a quick heads up that, once again, we’re coming home for the holidays.  We’ll be back on WGN Radio starting at Noon Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday as we fill in for Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano.

On Thanksgiving Day, we’ll have a live in-studio performance from guitar great Muriel Anderson, holiday computer gift ideas and safe shopping tips from Cybersquad Chief, Patrick Crispen, check in with Country music’s legendary Suzy Bogguss and MUCH more.

Black Friday we’ve got a lot of surprises planed, but we can tell you that we’ll have an in-studio performance from Jim Peterik!!!

Hope you’ll join us.

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Mazda3 Video Road Test

Our Video Road Test, of the 2014 Mazda3, has just been posted on Consumer Guide Automotive’s Daily Drive website.  Click on the link, take a spin and see if you agree with us.

And don’t forget, if you want to check some of our previous road tests and some of the other goodies we’ve been pouring into the Daily Drive tank, just point your browser right here.

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We’ve Resurrected Our Halloween Poem

As you get ready to scare up some fun for Halloween, remember you can add our Halloween poem to your bag of tricks for your little people.

For the uninitiated, this is a poem which, in one form or another, we’ve been presenting on radio and the Internet for several decades.  Honestly, we don’t know the origin of the poem. A listener sent it to Steve many years ago in a galaxy far, far away in the days before him n her became HimNHer.  The positive response to the poem and the fun it can provide, particularly for kids, at a Halloween party resulted in it becoming one of our annual traditions.  And, as Steve’s Dad always said, “Tradition is a fine thing as long as it doesn’t become a habit.”

But, we digress …

OK, here is how it works.  If you’re having some young children over for Halloween, just get them in a dark room and read them this story of a young man who went to school to learn to be a first-class ghoul.  As you’re reading the story, in the dim light, you pass out items that are supposed to be body parts.  Johnnie has put together a list of things you can use to simulate the body parts.  To make the story even scarier, you can play the audio of Steve’s voice reading the poem.

stevejohnniehalloweenpoemheader

To read and hear the Halloween poem just click on this link.

We have to say a huge THANK YOU to Dave Marzullo, one of the hardest working SPIRITS at WGN Radio for jumping through more Internet hoops than you’ll ever know to make our Halloween poem and it’s audio available.

Even in this high-tech world, each year we hear from a lot of people telling stories of the fun they had with the kids and this old school Halloween poem.  Hopefully, you’ll be one of them.

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2014 Kia Soul + Road Test

Our Video Road Test, of the 2014 Kia Soul +, has just been posted on Consumer Guide Automotive’s Daily Drive website.  We think it’s a surprisingly good “bang for the buck” vehicle.  Click on the link and see if you agree with us.

And don’t forget, if you want to check some of our previous road tests and some of the other goodies we’ve been pouring into the Daily Drive tank, just point your browser right here.

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Labor Day Show Reflections, A Thank You or 4 & A Photo or 5

WOW!  Who knew 5 hours could go so fast?

It took just a few minutes and then we just relaxed and it felt like we were just talking to and hanging out with old friends.

Because, we were.

We have to say a HUGE thank you to our producer, Brian Jones, for going above and beyond to help us get reacquainted with the studio and keeping us from veering too far off course.

Also, thank you to Patrick Crispen for waking up at 5 AM, California time, to join us with some great computer tips.

And, thanks to Dean Richards for getting up early to join us on a day he didn’t have to.

Tommy Emmanuel (“Tigger”) bounced his way through an interview with us and let us give out some tickets to his upcoming concert, Sept. 20, at Dominican University’s Lund Auditorium, in River Forest.  We’ll be introducing Tommy that night and hope to see you there.

We reconnected with some old friends, met some new ones and reaffirmed the value of fresh coffee and Johnnie’s homemade coffee cake while watching the city come alive from the WGN Showcase Studio.

Steve had fun!

Steve in the WGN Showcase Studio

Steve in the WGN Showcase Studio

Johnnie had fun!

Johnnie in the WGN Showcase Studio

Johnnie in the WGN Showcase Studio

Andy Masur was a little fuzzy, but thinks he had fun!

Andy Masur in the WGN Showcase Studio

Andy Masur in the WGN Showcase Studio

Listeners on Michigan Ave. had fun! (Boy, did they ever!)

Listeners outside the WGN Showcase Studio

Listeners outside the WGN Showcase Studio

Michigan Avenue looked like it was having fun.

Michigan Ave. seen through the WGN Showcase Studio window

Michigan Ave. seen through the WGN Showcase Studio window

And, we hope you did, too.

If you missed the show and/or would like to listen again to parts or all of it, the podcast is now available on the Steve & Johnnie page at WGN Radio.  To listen, just click on this link.

As always, thanks for hanging out with us online and on the air.

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