Friday, April 26, 2013

Bob Hale Sets The Record Straight

Bob Hale was a colleague of mine back in the WJMK/WJJD days. (I interviewed him about his incredible career for Chicago Radio Spotlight a few years ago.) I'm also his facebook friend, and I loved this post of his today taking issue with an article in Rolling Stone Magazine. Bob was the emcee of Buddy Holly's last concert and is the foremost authority on that night. Here's what he posted on facebook today...

ROLLING STONE Has it wrong! Its recent story on the SURF Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa says that Dion was involved in the coin toss that determined who would ride the bus, and who would fly to Fargo. Dion was NOT present during the one and only coin toss between Tommy and Ritchie Valens! There was only one coin coin toss, period. Dion's version of the facts surfaced decades after the event and after his struggle to live without chemical support. Dion never commented about that night until years later...and cannot report on the coin toss because he was not in the dressing room at the time. Present were Ritchie, Tommy, Buddy, Bopper and me! I was the emcee of the show, and can verify who was involved and who was not. Dion was not!!!! Period. Rolling Stone did not contact those who could have verified the story - namely Tommy and me!

You know, I sometimes forget what a treat it is to personally know all these people in the radio business, particularly those that came before me. They truly did have a front row seat to history!

Kathie Lee Giffords Supports Matt Lauer

Kathie Lee went around to the staff of the Today Show and had them sign a letter of support for Lauer. Her plan was going to take out a full page ad in the New York Time publishing the letter. Lauer asked her not to do it.

The New York Daily News has the story here.

It's nice that Kathie Lee supports Lauer, but I wouldn't presume that everyone who signed that letter does. What were they going to do--refuse to sign it?

A Fine Mess

My latest "A Fine Mess' column for Shore Magazine is about that dramatic moment our car hit the 100,000 mile mark

You can read it here.

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

670 The Score ‏@670TheScore 1m
Hub Arkush reacts after the Kyle Long selection: 'Phil Emery just blew that pick.' Listen to it here: #Bears

Adam Oestmann ‏@adamspeaks 34m
Emery on Long: "He's a very rare athlete for his size—you don't find these guys often. There isn't a movement he doesn't impress you."

Adam Oestmann ‏@adamspeaks 41m
Emery says #Bears use an athletic index to rate players. Long was his highest rated guard (score of 9) going back 12 Draft classes.

Mully And Hanley ‏@mullyhanley 33m
Do you like the Kyle Long pick? Click the link to vote in our poll question! #Bears

@mullyhanley Kyle Long is going to pull up in training camp in the Cheech and Chong van from Nice Dreams, door opens and smoke comes out.

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 46m
Te’o Passed Over in NFL First Round Draft #cheatsheet

steve rosenbloom ‏@steverosenbloom 13m
Manti Te’o: Fake dead girlfriend and fake dead first-round hype.

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM 11m
WATCH: Jon Stewart calls Bush library ‘the Hard Rock Cafe of catastrophic policy decisions’

Breaking News ‏@BreakingNews 33m
US economy accelerates at 2.5% rate in 1st quarter, propelled by consumer spending - @AP

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 45m
Carjacking Victim Describes His Night WIth Boston Bombing Suspects … via @davidtaint

Meet John Records Landecker

John Landecker has a book signing this weekend at Bartlett's in Beverly Shores Indiana. (This is the rescheduled event from a few weeks ago.) John will be there selling and signing copies of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", a book Roe Conn called "The best book about radio I've ever seen", media critic Robert Feder labeled "splendid and thoroughly engaging", and Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune dubbed "a remarkably candid memoir". Come for the book and the autograph--stay for a wonderful meal. The food is incredible at Bartlett's.

Check out the menu on their website.


Landecker's Annette Funicello Interview

When Annette Funicello passed away a few weeks ago we mentioned that John Landecker had a very soft spot in his heart for her, and even wrote about her in "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". When he was working in Canada in the early 80s (CFTR-Toronto), he actually got a chance to talk to her on the phone.

He kept a tape of that interview, and his current producer Tony Lossano posted it on YouTube last night. You can hear it below. Notice the excitement in John's voice. He was beyond thrilled to be speaking to her...

The CD soundtrack of the book will include gems like this. It comes out later this summer.

JRL on National Radio Show Tonight

Tonight John Landecker is appearing on the nationally syndicated Jim Bohannon show from 10-11pm central time. The show airs on 300 radio stations nationwide. Jim was also kind enough to contribute a story to "Records Truly Is My Middle Name".

If you're in a market that doesn't carry Bohannon, you can listen here.

Frank Luntz On Talk Radio

Expect Frank Luntz to get a few angry phone calls and sniping remarks today on conservative talk radio shows around the country. Tom Taylor's NOW column explains why...

GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz has some frank opinions about Limbaugh, Levin, etc. – they’re “problematic” for the party. This wasn’t supposed to go public, but “off-the-record” is almost a quaint notion these days, when everybody’s carrying a pocket video recorder (their smartphone). Republican consultant Frank Luntz told a College Republicans event at the University of Pennsylvania on Monday that Marco Rubio is “getting destroyed by Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh and a few others” in conservative media. Luntz says Rubio’s “trying to find a long-term, effective solution to immigration that isn’t the traditional Republican approach, and talk radio is killing him” for it. According to Mother Jones, Luntz also isn’t happy about conservative talk hosts who talk about birth control and women’s control over their own bodies – which probably traces back to Rush’s comments about Sandra Fluke. (The pushback by progressive activists has cost radio a lot of ad dollars.) Luntz doesn’t want to tangle with Limbaugh in the open – he agreed to talk in detail only when he thought he wouldn’t be quoted.

People wonder why everyone (including apparently Frank Luntz) is so afraid of conservative talk radio hosts. The answer is simple. Rush Limbaugh is on over 600 radio stations nationwide and has a notoriously thin skin. Rip him and he will rip you...and he's not talking to a small group of college Republicans. He's talking to millions of conservatives who aren't exactly known for seeking out their own information to see if Rush is correct or not. They don't call them Dittoheads for nothing. Levin is the same way, and his listeners are just as loyal. If you're an elected official, getting destroyed by Rush could lose you an election. If you're a consultant like Luntz, it could lose you gigs. Power and money. Two things they never want to lose. As long as that's the case, I don't see this situation changing.

AM Radio's Champion

From this morning's Radio Ink...

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has turned into a hero for AM Broadcasters. His desire to save the AM band, stemming from his love for AM radio stations, is exactly what AM broadcasters need at such a crucial time. With interference at an all-time high and so many other ways to consume much clearer content, AM radio might simply die without such an important advocate in such an important position. The question is..Is it too late?

The audio of their interview is here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We Are The Champions

This song was certified a platinum record on this day 35 years ago. Those shorts will come back in style, right?

The New $100 Bill

The new $100 was unveiled today. It will go into circulation later this year. This is only the fourth design for the $100 bill, but three of those redesigns have happened in the past 20 years as counterfeiters have gotten more technologically advanced. I kind of like it. It looks a bit European.

Now if only I was wealthy enough to actually carry a few of these around with me...

Donald Trump's Feuds

In case you are trying to keep track of who Donald Trump is feuding with/or has been feuding with, ChartGirl has come up with a great chart to explain them.

Click on the photo to enlarge it, or see it here at ChartGirl.

More About This Weekend's Book Signing

Thanks again to Pat Colander for mentioning John Landecker's book signing this weekend in Beverly Shores.

"John Records Landecker Autographing at Bartlett's on Sunday: Eckhartz Press' Rick Kaempfer and David Stern will be at Bartlett's this Sunday at noon for the special appearance of the famous WLS DJ John Records Landecker who will be signing copies of his best-selling memoir Records Truly is My Middle Name in Beverly Shores at the bistro and gourmet grill."

It was nice of her to mention that Dave and I would be there too. Pat met Dave for the first time at the last signing, and immediately hit it off with him. After about thirty seconds he was examining her husband's vanishing hairline and giving him a "professional assessment".

Yahoo! Aquires Classic SNL Archives

If you go to Hulu or for classic SNL bits, you'll need to go elsewhere soon. Yahoo! has purchased the entire catalog (1975-2012).

Details in the New York Times.

Amazon's Plan For World Domination Takes Another Step

They are introducing a box for video streaming. Details here.

Here's the money quote from the Bloomberg piece I linked above...

"The device will plug into TVs and give users access to Amazon’s expanding video offerings. Those include its à la carte Video on Demand store, which features newer films and TV shows, and its Instant Video service, which is free for subscribers to the Amazon Prime two-day shipping package. The Amazon set-top box will compete with similar products, such as the Roku, Apple TV, and the Boxee Cloud DVR, along with more versatile devices such as the Playstation 3 and the Xbox. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment."

The spokesperson was too busy rubbing his hands and cackling with glee. "Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haa."

Behind the Scenes at WPWR-TV with Mancow, Mike North, and The Balding Handbook’s David Stern

Mancow used to call his show “Mancow’s Morning Madhouse” and after spending a morning witnessing it in action, it’s easy to see where he came up with that name. The show is really unlike any other show I’ve seen before (and I’ve seen a million of ‘em). There doesn’t seem to be any structure to it at all–just get some guests in the studio, have Mancow pontificate about a subject, see if anyone bites on the subject, and then move on to something entirely different if they don’t.

Yesterday morning the subjects were nearly always political (rave outs against the President), while the guests were not. The guest list was eclectic for sure: a group of young women Mancow was ogling (I must admit I missed their introduction–not sure why they were there), a Polish plastic surgeon, a baldologist/author (Eckhartz Press’ very own David Stern), a pot for pets enthusiast, a sports talk show host (Mike North), and Lindsay Lohan’s father, Michael.

One of the guests (I won’t say who–and if you guess, you’ll probably be wrong) reeked of alcohol.

Did I mention it was 6:00 in the morning when we got there?

It was a little strange sitting in the green room during this mayhem because the monitor was on the fritz, and there was a delay. Nobody told me what was planned or when it was going to occur, so I just waited for a commercial to go in to take pictures.

“So,” I said, making conversation with the pot enthusiast in the meantime, “I just got back from Colorado.”

“You were there on 4/20?” he asked excitedly. “Pot’s legal there.”

“Yup,” I responded.


Yeah. Whoa. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was there for a 50th birthday party. Not exactly 4/20-worthy.

Finally there was a break in the action and I darted into the studio to take some pictures. Mike North, who I have met at least a dozen times (he even offered me a job once), had no memory of me at all. I took his picture with David. Mancow wasn’t in the room when I started snapping pictures, but he strolled in a few moments later.

“Who is this guy?” he asked his producer.

“I’m Dave’s publisher,” I answered. I had interviewed Mancow for my blog Chicago Radio Spotlight just a few years ago. He also had no memory of me.

I zipped back out of the studio and waited for Dave’s segment to end. He had been brought in to argue with the plastic surgeon who had created a new “miracle cure” for hair loss, but the good doctor refused to go along with the bit, so he and Dave just kind of stood there for an hour.

Ever the promoter, Dave did manage to get the website address mentioned a few times and held up his new shirt (available now at Eckhartz Press…go to the merchandise section) while I chatted with Michael Lohan in the green room. Did you know Lohan was an ordained minister? Me neither.

Dave and I were out of there about an hour later.

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it certainly was a memorable morning.

(Photos: Mancow and his producer French during a commercial break, Mancow's board--yellow legal pad with topics listed, a sign on the wall in the green room, the television control room, and Mike North with David Stern)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Edie Brickell and Steve Martin on Letterman

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

ScottDeYager ‏@ScottDeYager 26m
How a Tweet Toppled the US Stock Market in Seconds via @nickcicero

Tommy Edwards ‏@LilTommyEdwards Protected account 4m
It's International Pillow Fight Day. Guess what I forgot to bring to work?

HuffPost Chicago ‏@HuffPostChicago 5m
Daley donating more than $500,000 in campaign funds to charity

Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS 25m
Fox News poll: 72% of Rs, and 77% from gun owning households, back expanded background checks:

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews 23m
Stripper fed-up with people looking down on her flashes earnings for a few hours of work. Guess how much!

John Fisher ‏@heyjohnfisher 25m
Mike Doughty's video tribute to the 10th anniversary of iTunes:

Dylan Matthews ‏@dylanmatt 57m
You're going to watch Stephen Colbert on Reinhart-Rogoff anyway. Why not give me page views while you're at it?

Simon Dumenco ‏@simondumenco 39m
The Entertaining And Cringe-Inducing Ways Urban Outfitters Describes Its Customers To Wall Street

HuffPost Chicago ‏@HuffPostChicago 25m
Cops caught man charged in Wrigleyville shooting because of a Sox facial tattoo

Radio's Link to the Bombings

According to this piece in Buzzfeed, one of the Boston bombers was a listener of Alex Jones' radio show. That show is known for peddling conspiracy theories, and a few of those allegedly contributed to the bomber's radicalism. Alex Jones was interviewed by Buzzfeed about his famous listener, and he was completely unconcerned about this development. He didn't pause for even one second of introspection. Then, of course, he used it as further proof that the government is out to get him. Obviously this whole bombing is a government conspiracy to get people like him to shut up.

Reminds me of the days after the Oklahoma City bombing. If you ever listen to those Timothy McVeigh jailhouse interviews, you'll discover that he was a die-hard listener of right wing conspiracy talk radio, and his concern at the time was that the government was coming to take away his guns. It had to be true--he heard it on the radio. The same was true of that Pittsburgh killer. These are mass-murderers who were influenced to kill people because of what they heard on the radio, and the hosts that said those things were not even disciplined or asked to tone down their rhetoric.

Look, I understand that the First Amendment gives every citizen the right to say whatever he or she chooses to say. It doesn't give them the right to say it on the radio, however.

It's the radio stations that consciously choose to air these shows, and the adverstisers that consciously choose to pay them money, that should be ashamed of themselves. Just because it's legal, doesn't mean that it's right.

The Top Ten Words the Internet Has Given English

I'd like to think I stay on top of these things pretty well, but I'll admit I didn't know two of these words: Cupertinos and Scunthorpe problems

The rest of them really have become a part of our daily lexicon. My favorite on the list is Trolling.

The rest of them are here.

Is Crossfire Coming Back?

This is kind of ironic, really. Crossfire was dispatched to Never-Never-Land by CNN a few years ago because they considered it emblematic of the horrible political polarization of America. The hosts of that show weren't talking to each other, they were talking at each other, and the arguments were like fingernails on a chalkboard. After the show was cancelled, however, people didn't suddenly become less polarized. Instead, they went to media outlets that aired 24-hour political content they agree with (Fox or MSNBC), and which offer no counterpoints at all.

Now, if it's possible, people are even more polarized. They believe even their most insane political arguments, because no one is countering those arguments. We have two political bubbles now.

So what is CNN's possible solution to this problem? Popping the bubbles. They are considering bringing back Crossfire.

American Idol Panic

The Hollywood Reporter has a story today claiming that panic is setting in with the producers of American Idol. The ratings are in a freefall, so they allegedly wanted to get rid of one of their judges, Mariah Carey, so they could replace her with Jennifer Lopez.

Mariah responded by threatening a lawsuit.

I have a tip for the producers. Instead of filming these singer-wanna-be almost-talented contestants, just roll tape backstage. That's where your potential ratings can be found. Subtle title change to "American Diva" and bam, you're good to go.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Signing This Weekend!

John Landecker has a book signing this weekend at Bartlett's in Beverly Shores Indiana. (This is the rescheduled event from a few weeks ago.) John will be there selling and signing copies of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", a book Roe Conn called "The best book about radio I've ever seen", media critic Robert Feder labeled "splendid and thoroughly engaging", and Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune dubbed "a remarkably candid memoir". Come for the book and the autograph--stay for a wonderful meal. The food is incredible at Bartlett's. (Check out the restaurant here)

My co-publisher David Stern and I will be there too. I'll be driving so that Dave doesn't stop at the Horseshoe or Blue Chip or Four Winds Casino on the way there or back.

The Balding Handbook

The Balding Handbook's David Stern is making a return appearance on the Mancow show tomorrow. I'll be there too, chronicling the event for Eckhartz Press. Wakeup time: 5AM.

Tie A Yellow Ribbon

This was the #1 song in the country exactly 40 years ago today: A song about being released from prison and wondering if his love was still waiting for him. I think it's safe to say that 1973 will not be remembered as the pinacle of music history.

Ladies and gentlemen...Tony Orlando & Dawn.

The New York Times Rips Their Own Reporter's Book

I'm going to let a little meta for you.

Here's a piece about the New York Times' review of their own reporter Brian Stelter's book about The Today Show.

They didn't like it.

I love that this is a passive aggressive piece about a passive aggressive newspaper ripping their own young upstart's book about a passive aggressive struggle on the Today Show.

Steve Alexander at the Boston Marathon

I hadn't seen this piece written by Steve Alexander until this morning, but it's definitely worth a read.

Steve, as you may know, is a reporter/anchor for WGN Radio. (I met him when I was there with Landecker for Johnny B's show) He was at the Boston Marathon with his wife, watching his daugher compete. His wife was in the viewing stand directly across the street from the explosion.

A Story Sure To Be Reported Multiple Times

Newspaper reporter is now considered the worst job in America.

To be fair, it was 196th out of 200 already last year.

In case you're wondering, actuary is the best job of 2013.


Pretty darn cool...

20 Words We Owe to William Shakespeare

Cool piece in Mental Floss today about 20 words that William Shakespeare created and popularized. Among them...bedazzled, addiction, eyeball, manager, pagaentry, and one of my favorite words; uncomfortable.

Read about their origins and see the rest of the list here.

RIP Richie Havens

The man who kicked off "Woodstock" passed away yesterday at the age of 72. The RAMP Newsletter paid tribute today...

Folk singer Richie Havens, whose now legendary set at 1969's Woodstock festival made him famous, died yesterday morning, April 22 from a sudden heart attack at the age of 72. According to The New York Daily News, Havens was scheduled to perform a brief opening act to kick off the three-day Woodstock weekend, but at the last minute was asked by the festival's organizers to extend his set to nearly three hour longs in an effort to kill time, since most of the other performers were stuck in a huge traffic jam and had not yet reached the site. Havens nobly rose to the occasion and transfixed the crowd with an inspired performance that included an improvised mash-up of "Motherless Child" mixed with his own song "Freedom" that ended up becoming one of Woodstock's most enduring memories. In 1971, Havens hit the charts with his own distinctive cover of George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun," speeding up the tempo and adding some fierce bongo rhythms. According to Dave Stewart of WCBS-FM/New York, Havens' version, which went to No. 16 on the charts, was a hit before The Beatles released it as a single.

It's a GREAT version of the song, in this Beatle nut's humble opinion...

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

MancowMuller ‏@MancowMuller 6m
Khloe Kardashian has been let go as the host of "The X Factor." Producers say she didn't have that certain um, you know, whats it called...?

Peter King ‏@PeterKingCBS 11m
Regarding the anchor who swore on air. MY 1st lesson in broadcasting; ANY microphone could be on the air at ANY time.

Lisa and Ray US99.5 ‏@LisaandRay995 22m
WHOA!!! Are Miley Cyrus' shorts a little too short? CHECK OUT THE PICS HERE

Al Yellon ‏@bleedcubbieblue 25m
Dale's worried about his job. Maybe the players should be, too. Talk about it in Cub Tracks. #mlb #Cubs

Philip Schwarz ‏@SchwarzABC7 10m
Duluth has seen 50.2" of snow in April making it their snowiest month in history. In comparison we have seen 30.1" of snow all winter.

Bernie Tafoya ‏@ChicagoFile 1m
Sign that we're out of the snow zone: Worker at @salarmychicago just removed the 3' high red/white sticks lining the parking lot. #ilwx

daveweigel ‏@daveweigel 2m
The recession just got real RT @kaysteiger: “The market for castles in upstate New York dried up completely.”

Sam Kim 김혜성 ‏@samkim_ap 39m
South Korean press had a ball with Bill Gates' handshake with President Park Geun-hye.

Eric & Kathy ‏@EricandKathy 45m
Sometimes, a man just has to step back, look at the shows on his DVR, and realize: he's lost his #Manhood.

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire 1h
Elizabeth Colbert Busch now leads Mark Sanford by 9 points in SC-1 special election race …

The Microphone Is Always On

A young new anchor found out this lesson the hard way. He's suspended from his job, but he's a big hit on YouTube. Almost 500,000 hits so far. (Warning: NSFW)

LATE UPDATE: He has now been fired.

A New Ballpark In Chicago

The Just One Bad Century blog continues to feature a story about the Cubs every day. Occasionally I'll re-post some of my favorites here. For instance, today's a major milestone. It's the 99th anniversary of a brand new ballpark in Chicago...

On this day in 1914, one day after the Cubs drew the smallest Opening Day crowd in their history, a new ballpark opened on Addison & Clark. At the time, it was called "Weeghman Park", and the team that played there was in the Federal League.

This is how the Chicago Tribune described that first game: "Chicago took the Federal League to its bosom and claimed it as a mother would claim a long lost child. With more more frills and enthusiasm than had prevailed at a baseball opening here Joe Tinker and his Chifeds made their debut before a throng of fans that filled the new north side park to capacity...It may not have been the largest crowd that ever saw an opening game in Chicago, but conservative estimators placed the attendance at about 21,000. The new park is said to have a seating capacity of 18,000...every seat in the place was taken, a great many were standing up in the back of the grandstand, and more than 2,000 were on the field in the circus seats placed there for the occasion."

Weeghman Park didn't have a second deck yet. That wouldn't come for fifteen years. But it did have one feature that is quite common today...

"The windows and roofs of flat buildings across the way from the park were crowded with spectators. The surface and elevated trains leading to the north side were overhanging with people in the early afternoon and three or four separate and distinct automobile parades unloaded several thousand gaily decked rooters at the gates."

And the Federal League Whales even had a number of players with Cub roots, and a few players that would later play for the Cubs.

Joe Tinker (photo), as the Tribune mentioned, was the manager of the team. He was also the starting shortstop. Tinker was still revered in Chicago for being one third of the Tinker to Evers to Chance double play combination.

The starting pitcher was Claude Hendrix. Hendrix would later pitch for the Cubs in the 1918 World Series, and would then be quietly banned from baseball for allegedly betting on a game in the 1920 season. The investigation of that game would unearth the Black Sox scandal.

Rollie Zeider, the ChiFeds third baseman, would later play for the Cubs too. He has the distinction of having played for three different Chicago teams (he also played for the Sox).

Catcher Art Wilson, and outfielders Dutch Zwilling and Max Flack also played for the Cubs in later seasons. In fact, Flack was the goat in the 1918 World Series against the Red Sox when he dropped an easy fly ball in the ninth inning to lose the game and the series.

But maybe the most important person with Cubs connections was Charles G. Williams. He had served more than twenty-five years in the front office of the Cubs. Williams, and owner Weeghman, had a pretty ingenious plan to attract fans. They went after an audience that heretofore hadn't been so openly courted. They went after the ladies.

The Tribune piece even pointed that out...

“The significant part of the affair to the new owners was the large number of women present."

That remained a marketing quest even after Weeghman bought the Cubs, which he did in 1916

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rick & Bridget

We were in Colorado over the weekend. It's always nice spending time with my wife.

A Free Excerpt from "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" on the Anniversary of the McCarthy Hearings

On this day in 1954, the famous McCarthy hearings began. There's a story in "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" about those famous hearings, and John Records Landecker's personal connection to them through his first wife, Judy...


Judy and I dated all the way through high school. Everybody knew us as a couple; “There go Judy & John!” Leslie Gore had a song called “It’s My Party” about a girl named Judy and a boy named Johnny, and followed it up with “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” and both of those songs were significant to us. They were a big deal in our early romance. All through high school Judy and I were inseparable. We were together all day at school, we were dating and going out at night, and I was hanging out with her family on the weekends.

I really connected with her family; her brother Joe and sister Bambi, and her parents, Angela and Lyndon. I love them to this very day (though, sadly, Angela passed away a few years ago). Judy’s family had an open house every Sunday, and it was always quite a production, with a huge spread of food. Relatives and close friends would come in and out, and I was invited over every week. I was really treated like part of the family from the very beginning.

Judy’s grandfather was the head counsel for the United States Army while it was under investigation by Joseph McCarthy's Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for Communist activities in the 1950s. His name was Joseph Nye Welch and he famously said the line that turned public opinion against McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” He also occasionally hosted a television show called Omnibus. The walls of Judy’s parents’ rec room and bathroom were covered with old Omnibus teleprompter scripts. There was no need to bring along newspapers when nature called, if you know what I mean. Plenty of reading material on the walls.

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

670 The Score ‏@670TheScore 11m
Listen: Ken 'The Hawk' Harrelson calls Boers & Bernstein 'gutless wonders' during yesterday's #WhiteSox game:

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 17m
I plan on celebrating Earth Day by emptying as many Lynfred wine bottles as possible so I can begin recycling them.

Mike ‏@phronk 1h
Doing my part for Planet Earth by WALKING to all the places where I consume more than my fair share of its resources.

RainnWilson ‏@rainnwilson 53m
For #EarthDay, lets get real about the 30 billion TONS of CO2 we dump into the atmosphere each year:

Michael Ian Black ‏@michaelianblack 27m
Doctor just said my physical was "our little secret." Is this a real doctor/patient confidentiality term?

ChicagoNow ‏@ChicagoNow 27m
No Defense For Castro’s Defense … #Cubs

Kim Strickland ‏@acitymom 34m
Would everyone around here quit ^&%*ing losing things?

Darren Marlar ‏@darrenmarlar 46m
A Chicago woman has been arrested 396 times since 1976.

Newsweek ‏@Newsweek 1m
Cover Story: Did al Qaeda ideology inspire the attack or were the two brothers driven by other motivations?

pourmecoffee ‏@pourmecoffee 1h
Today in 1954 Army McCarthy hearings began and ever since no one in US ever again demagogued guilt by association, j/k lol people still do.

Koch Brothers Look Into Buying Tribune

This is the sort of news that sends a chill up the spine of liberals around the country. The Koch Brothers, who spend hundreds of millions of dollars to promote conservative causes through "think tanks" designed to influence media coverage, are looking into buying the Chicago Tribune and a handful of other Tribune-owned newspapers.

Why spend millions trying to convince the media? Eliminate the middle man. Become the media.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Reese Witherspoon & Husband Arrested

Here's a free tip to celebrities across this fair nation of ours. If you're ever pulled over by the cops, this is one thing you should never say: "Do you know who I am?"

Cops don't much appreciate that. Reese Witherspoon and her husband found that out over the weekend.

John Grant interviews John Landecker

John Grant is based in Los Angeles and hosts an internet radio show. He spoke with John Landecker (photo) on Thursday about "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"

F.C.C. Overlooks Big Papi's Expletive

This is the way it should be. If you missed it over the weekend, in Boston's first game back after the bombings, David Ortiz addressed the crowd and called Boston "Our F***** City!"

In years past this would have resulted in a fine to any broadcasting entity who allowed that expletive to go out over the airwaves. I'm glad to see that outgoing F.C.C. Chairman Genochowski overlooked it.

He tweeted..."David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston - Julius"

Rocky Mountain High

I was in Colorado this past weekend. My buddy Stu turned 50 years old, and we flew in from all over the country to surprise him. One of our many activities was a snowshoeing excursion in the Rockies. A good time was had by all.

Barry James

After twenty years as a program director in Chicago (which in radio years is a thousand), Barry James is retiring from the business. From today's RAMP Newsletter...

"After a stellar radio career that spans nearly four decades, Barry James announced he's stepping down as PD of Hubbard Radio's WILV (Rewind 100.3)/Chicago and retiring from the radio industry, effective May 17. That date also happens to mark James' 20th anniversary with Hubbard Radio Chicago (and previous owner Bonneville International Corporation). James was named PD of WTMX (101.9fm The Mix)/Chicago in May of 1993 and went on to serve as PD, VP of Programming and Station Manager of The Mix. He later crossed the hall to WILV as VP/GM, but returned to programming in recent years. James now plans to focus his attention on his other life's passion -- the racing and performance industry. "The stars simply aligned," James tells RAMP. "I've been racing cars and motorcycles since I was old enough to point one down the track, and I've been working with VMP Superchargers/VMP Tuning out of Central Florida, drag racing and doing some R&D for them as a hobby," he explains. "We've managed to do so many great things and now to have a chance to join their team fulltime is just killer. My wife Tiffany and I have discussed this for years, and man -- when you can make a little dough for living out your dream/hobby, it just doesn't get any better," he says..."My time with Hubbard and Bonneville allowed me to spend 20 years contributing to the success of these stations and preparing for a time like this. For this opportunity to come when I could call my 20th anniversary my last day was pretty cool."

His long radio career in Chicago even included an interview in Chicago Radio Spotlight, way back in 2009.