Tuesday was an absolutely beautiful day driving in to downtown Chicago.
And when we got to WGN radio’s 18th floor studios, the view from there didn’t disappoint, either.
But, we did force ourselves to look away from the windows long enough to have some pretty interesting conversations with some pretty interesting people. Podcasts have now been posted and we thought they should be shared with the class, so we are.
On a day this beautiful, we wondered just how many more we might be treated to. So, of course, we turned to our long time friend, WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling, for the answers. To hear what he had to say about that and a whole lot more, just click here.
Another long-time friend, Spike O’Dell joined us with news about how he’s donating one of his paintings to raise funds for charities including the Field of Big Dreams charity and Cubs Charities. You’ll find that conversation right here.
And we had a follow up conversation with “Chicago’s Picture Poet,” Barry Butler about helping to save the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse and how you can help. To listen in, just point your browser here.
Those are just some of the goodies from Tuesday’s adventures in your speakers but, if you’d like to hear the whole show, just take a listen right here.
Our Monday fill-in for Lisa Dent on WGN Radio covered a lot of territory. Here are some links to just a few of the places we went.
During the show, we got the sad news that we lost Olivia Newton-John. We contacted our friend Skip Griparis, who played guitar in Olivia’s band and he was nice enough to share some memories of his friend. To hear that conversation, just click on this link.
We talked with Consumer Guide’s Publisher, Tom Appel about all things automotive and, in particular, what happens when your OnStar button stops working. If you’d like to find out, just point your browser here.
Anne Fogel’s brother, Marc, is in a Moscow prison with a sentence of 14 years of hard labor for having medical marijuana, and being convicted of drug smuggling and drug possession. Unlike basketball star Brittney Griner, you probably haven’t heard much about Marc. Well, now you can with this podcast link.
Legendary sports broadcaster, Vin Scully, who passed away at the age of 94, cast a long shadow over the broadcast industry and the memories of his fans. WGN Radio sports anchor Andy Masur was among them and joined us to share some thoughts about Vin’s life and legacy. You’ll find that podcast right here.
Those were just some of our Monday adventures.
Hope you’ll tune in to 720 AM to see what Tuesday has to offer. And, of course, if you’re not in the Chicago area, you can still listen just by clicking this link to WGN Radio’s live stream.
Consumer Guide Automotive‘s Publisher, Tom Appel, will share his thoughts on some of the new vehicles he’s been testing and help us explain what hundreds of thousands of drivers should expect a few months from now when their OnStar buttons no longer work.
Oh we’ve got a lot more planned, but you’ll just have to tune in to 720 AM to hear how it all plays out.
Any excuse to spend some time with Josh Solomon and Erika Brett from The Empty Pockets. is always a good thing as far as we’re concerned. They’ve got a new album coming out and they were nice enough to share some of their new and old creations in live performances with us.
They always sound good and, boy, did they ever. If you want to hear just how good, just click here.
We’ve been fortunate enough to know legendary roadhouse party pianist, songwriter, and vocalist Marcia Ball for many years. When we found out that she was coming back to perform in the Chicago area, we had to get her on the show. We did and it was fun! You can join in the fun just by clicking right here.
As we said at the outset, it ended too soon. So, maybe we’ll have to do it again sometime. If and when that’s gonna happen, you’ll be the second to know.
As always, thanks to Dave Plier for inviting us back into his space.
And, of course, thank you for hanging out with us.
6PM-10PM (Central) — Dave Plier is taking another night off and, since we didn’t trash the studio too badly the last time, he asked if we’d like to hang out in his space again. So, once again, we’ll be sliding back into your speakers from the main deck of the Mighty 720, WGN Radio.
Among our guests will be the man who has been called “Chicago’s Picture Poet,” our friend, Barry Butler, the internationally published landscape and cityscape photographer. We can’t wait to see how that conversation “develops” (Sorry, couldn’t resist!).
It’s been much too long since we spent time with legendary roadhouse party pianist, songwriter, and vocalist Marcia Ball. Fortunately, the planets have aligned and so have our schedules, which means she’ll be joining us Friday night.
Of course, this is all just part of the game plan so, you’ll have to listen to see what other surprises we have in store and how it all plays out.
It was back in March when we first introduced you to Lyudmila Dulenko. We were doing several days of shows filling in for Lisa Dent on WGN Radio and a part of each day’s show was spent documenting the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine.
While doing some research, we came across a Facebook post from Lyudmila Dulenko, a woman who was posting pictures from her front window which happened to look out on Kyiv. We contacted Lyudmila and, after a few back and forth messages, she agreed to join us and share her story on the air.
If you’d like to hear that conversation with Lyudmila, just click this link.
She and her husband, Vitaly, like many in Ukraine, are extraordinarily brave people. We continue staying in touch with them.
We had to share this most recent post from Lyudmila with you. However your day starts out, we doubt it begins … or continues … anything like this.
Here is what Lyudmila wrote.
There is no fear. Waking up to the howling of the sirens for the second time. Unlocking the smartphone, the war is watching me from the screen, whispering “explosions in Kyiv “. Going to the balcony – over the right bank there is a black cloud of smoke.
There’s no fear, not even hate, nothing’s inside, just emptiness. And out of this wasteland comes the voice of my autopilot, which turned on in the morning of February 24. He says go and do it.
And I go into the kitchen to pick the morning crop of pastillas that I put out to dry yesterday before bed. Taking thin elastic bands out of the dryer that smell of jam and summer and thinking about this pastila going to the front. This is what I can do, this is my control zone, this is my answer to missiles – thin strawberry pastillas.
Then I mix dry soups. They will also go to the front. This is also my answer to rockets – little bags full of flavor, color and aroma, lunch or dinner for those standing between me and death.
Next, I’m rolling cans of canned pickles according to my mom’s recipe. I made them yesterday, and by all rules, I left them to grow until the morning under a warm pillow. And this too is my tiny glass shield from Russian missiles – my connection to my childhood, my way not to lose myself forever.
In the photo – my district, filled with hot evening rays from the right bank of Kiev. From the shore that I look at every night from the balcony across the river, enjoying the sunset. Where did the Russian rockets fly today. Where the black cloud of smoke hung today.
There was a cloud of smoke over the buildings in the picture, too, three weeks ago, when I woke up to the explosions.
“Go and do it,” says my autopilot.
Going and getting it done. · ·
The gift of Lyudmila and Vitaly’s friendship has been one of the positive results of social media communication. Please keep them and the incredibly brave people of Ukraine in your hearts.
We always enjoy getting the chance to play radio with our friends at WKGC. The pandemic curtailed our trips to Florida and our visits to their studios but, now that we’re starting to make the Chicago to Panama City Beach trek on a more regular basis, we were really looking forward to getting reacquainted with some old friends and meeting some new faces.
Last Friday we traveled over the Hathaway bridge from Panama City Beach to WKGC’s studios in the Advanced Technology Center on Gulf Coast State College’s Panama City campus. When we arrived, we met Dana Erskine, who now hosts The Morning Mix.
We’d had a phone conversation with Dana the previous day, after we’d been introduced by our friend Tom Hoots, but this was our first time meeting her, in person, and she couldn’t have been more delightful.
As most of you can probably understand, with the loss of Johnnie’s Dad, John, still fresh in our minds, this Father’s Day has been tough. Firsts always are. We’ve spent the weekend going through boxes of pictures of both of our Dads and bringing back hundreds of memories.
Thank goodness for old photos! We were flooded with some wonderful memories and laughs.
We’d like to share just a few.
The photo of the 3 of us was taken at Hamilton’s restaurant, in Panama City Beach, In August of 1983. On that trip, my Dad met Johnnie for the first time. I have a lot of reasons to believe it was love at first sight for both of them.
The first time Daddy met this beautiful Cocker Spaniel (Cinnamon) she jumped into his lap. It was her favorite place to be. One time when we drove him back to PCB from a Chicago visit and went to pick her up at the Animal Hospital, she jumped across a counter into his arms.
If you look to the living room wall you’ll see some of his collection of treasures from Africa, The Middle East, England, South America and other far-flung places that included a medieval mace and crossbow, a shuttle O-ring and more.
To me, “The Most Interesting Man in the World” was my Dad. He, also, just happened to be my best friend.
Oh how I miss this sweet, funny, loving, smart, goofy, clothes-horse!
Every year John looked forward to leading a caravan to the Wisconsin State Fair.
In the 10 months he’s been gone I thank God everyday I got to show him and tell him how much I love him while he was here.
If you’re lucky enough to still have your dad, call him and try to make a memory today.
It’s been a while since we’ve had the chance to hang out with our friends at WKGC-FM (90.7-FM), in Panama City.
Since we’re back in Panama City Beach, FL., for a couple of weeks, this Friday we’ll travel over the Hathaway bridge to Panama City and at 9AM (Central) and check in with Dana Erskine and our friends on The Morning Mix.
Dana is a real talent and we’re looking forward to sliding back into your radio speakers with her.
If you’re not in the Panama City area, you can listen just by clicking this link to WKGC’s live stream.
You’ve heard us say it before, but that’s only because it’s true. Each time we step back into WGN’s 18th floor Studio A for another “radio drive-by” it seems the show is over before we know it and June 3rd continued that tradition.
Fortunately, we live in a world with podcasts, so we can rewind and answer the question “Did we really say that?”
So, to answer that question and for those of you who either missed the show or would like to listen again, we’ll share the podcasts with you in this space.
But, before we get to the show itself, we’d like to take a second or three to thank a few of our, mostly, unheard and unseen friends who were nice enough to set the table for us as we slid back into your speakers.
Two long time friends from WGN radio’s engineering department, Krista Flores and Adam Phillips, along with helping us remember which buttons to push, were hard at work keeping the big plug in place and making sure we didn’t knock the station off the air. Our producer, Ben Anderson, who was fresh off editing the 40th Anniversary broadcast of WGN Radio for it’s 100th Anniversary replay and is one of the best we’ve worked with, made sure we didn’t veer too far off course during our 4 hour journey.
They deserve a HUGE round of applause.
The views from WGN radio’s studio A are always spectacular so, along with the podcasts, here’s a bit of a look at what we were looking at.
Now then, about those podcasts …
If you’d like to hear our report on Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee from “Chicago’s Royal Watcher” and multiple Emmy Award winner, Fred Weintraub, just click this link.
We had so much fun talking with Chicago’s incendiary blues queen, Joanna Connor, about headlining this years Chicago Blues Fest, her terrific new album and a whole lot more. If you’d like to listen, just click here.
Ron Romero, Founder & Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 previewed the museum’s 2nd Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. You’ll find that link right here.
One of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees for the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum, the man behind The Ides Of March and many other incredible musical adventures, the multi-talented, Grammy winning, Jim Peterik shared his thoughts on being inducted. Our conversation with Jimbo is linked here.
Consumer Guide Automotive’s Publisher, Tom Appel joined us with a recap of some of the best new vehicles he sampled at the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s spring rally. Point your browser right here to hear that conversation, which includes much more than you ever thought you’d find out about The Beatles and Cadillac horns.