Friday, December 05, 2014

Christmas Version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"

This is beautiful...

JRL Special

Dave has been busy at Eckhartz Press. There are all sorts of deals if you're looking for memorable Christmas presents. For instance, here's one...

85 Funniest Tweets

This one made laugh out loud...

There are a few more funny ones here.

When Roger Daltry Just Happens To Show Up To Your Wedding

This really happened. The wedding band didn't really know any Who songs, but they figured out "Can't Explain" and Roger sang it. How cool is that?

More Love for Father Knows Nothing

From this morning's RAMP (Radio and Music Pros) Newsletter. Thanks so much for the pub...

Early in his career, Rick Kaempfer worked in radio, producing Hall of Famers John Records Landecker and Steve Dahl & Garry Meier. He's also the author of The Radio Producer's Handbook, $everance, and his 2013 collaboration with Landecker, Records Truly Is My Middle Name. Kaempfer just finished his latest book, which, unlike his previous works, isn't technically a radio book, but it does have a radio sensibility -- Father Knows Nothing is a humorous look at parenting. "It's not a how-to-book -- it's more of a how-not-to book," says Kaempfer, who says there are some radio stories in the book, which is based on his weekly award-winning "Father Knows Nothing" column he wrote from 2005-2013. The book is available in trade paperback right now at and, and is also on sale as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple iBooks.

Actually, I just checked this morning, and the e-book is still not posted on those sites (It's out of my hands--they have it, just haven't posted it yet). I'll let you know when it's out there. Thanks again for all the support. The video from WGN yesterday went viral, and we sold tons of copies of the book.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten

My latest Illinois Entertainer media column has been posted. This month I feature three of my all-time favorites who we lost in the last year...Larry Lujack, Roy Leonard, and Cindy Gatziolis

You can read it here.

Father Knows Nothing on TV

I had a great time this morning on the WGN-TV Morning News...

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

A few more photos from Museum of Broadcasting appearance

Father Knows Nothing on the Radio

I spent the morning at WLS AM 890 today with Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft and had a wonderful time. No politics, just chatting about my book "Father Knows Nothing." Bruce actually read the book, which made it easier to talk about. Below is the video. Tomorrow I'll be on WGN-TV Morning News around 9:15am. Be sure to tune in...

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

What Can Happen When Your Business Partner Is Too Close of a Friend

Dave wants to do tour t-shirts for the Father Knows Nothing publicity tour. Very respectful, don't you think?

Behind the Curtains

I just read this entire Chris Rock interview from start to finish and it's amazing.

Incredible insight.

I love reading how the great creatives of the world think.

I was talking to my son about this on Friday night while we watched Foo Fighters Sonic Highways on HBO (Great friggin show). There's something about watching a creative person tell you or show you how they get from point A to point Z that is spellbinding. As a creative person myself, I learn something new every time. I'm not a comedian, but reading how one of the bravest and most accomplished comedians thinks, is an incredible gift. I'm not a musician, but watching how a great band creates their music, is incredibly inspiring. I feel the same way listening to actors talking to other actors. It's not exactly turn on the lights and pretend, is it?

I don't get the same thrill listening to writers because I already think like they do. Don't get me wrong, I'll still get sucked in to C-SPAN's book club shows, but really only when they have writers that write different genres than I do. Then I can't turn it off. Mystery writers. That's interesting. I might like to try that some day. Historians and Biographers. Wow, talk about dedication to a subject. Do I have that in me? Probably not, but you never know. I love hearing playwrights talking about rewriting sections that don't seem to be resonating with an audience, or screenwriters talking about using only dialog to progress a story line.

OK, I take it back. I love listening to all writers talk about writing. In fact, I can't get enough of it.

The sheer excitement I feel when I read or hear or watch this stuff just lets me know that I'm finally doing what I was put on this earth to do. It may have taken me 40 years to figure it out, but I'm so happy that I did before it was too late.

Creative Vandalism

Thanks "BR" for this one...

Welcome Back Jon Stewart

A smackdown of Fox News coverage of Ferguson...

Dog About Town

Thanks to "PC" for this one...

Employee Buyouts at the New York Times

The New York Times is having moderate to severe financial problems, and offered up to 100 employees a buyout. They had until yesterday to accept. Among those that did, Times TV reporter Bill Carter--the best in the business. has a list of some of the others.

WGCI Fires Morning Co-Hosts & PD

From Robert Feder's column yesterday afternoon...

Morning personalities Tony Sculfield and Nina Chantele were forced out Monday in a programming shakeup at urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5. Sole survivor of the morning team is Leon Rogers, who will stay on with soon-to-be-named new hosts. Until then, Rogers will co-host mornings with weekend personality Rob Nice. Also out after nine months as program director of WGCI is Kenard Karter. His duties will be assumed by Derrick Brown, director of urban programming for iHeartMedia Chicago.

I met Tony at Windy City Live when I was there with Joel Daly earlier this year, and he was a very nice guy. I asked if I could feature him in my Illinois Entertainer column and he said yes, but said I had to get permission from the cluster's PR person. That's not too unusual, but it's normally just a formality. When I e-mailed and called the PR person, she didn't get back to me for weeks (remember--this is about giving FREE PUB to one of their morning shows), and when she did, she said she had to have the questions in advance, AND she had to listen in on the interview.

I declined.

In case you're wondering why Clear Channel (now iHeart radio) personalities don't get any pub in this town, wonder no further.

Casey Kasem Update

From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

The Casey Kasem elder-abuse case is turned over to the D.A.’s office in Los Angeles. TMZ says the LAPD not only submitted the investigation to the district attorney’s office, “it targets Casey’s widow, Jean.” But – TMZ hears that “it’s unlikely the D.A. will file charges against Jean because there’s not enough available evidence.” You already know one major reason why, and it’s that Jean transported Casey’s body first to Canada and now to Norway, where it hasn’t been embalmed or buried. “Countdown King” Casey Kasem died on June 15.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Dick Biondi

I took this picture of Dick next to his Radio Hall of Fame plaque on Saturday. Tony Lossano also tweeted a picture of Dick and me on the air together. I'm too much of a moron to figure out how to link to that, but if you look at my Twitter feed, it's on there.

I'm trying to talk Dick into doing a book. If you talk to him, tell him what a good idea that is, and why I should be the guy to help him.


This is an incredible video about Heino, one of my mom's favorite singers. If you've never heard of him, you've never been to Germany, or you don't know any Germans over 60. Heino has sold more records in Germany than Elvis or the Beatles. Stan Lawrence and I used to play Heino records on our show Ebony & Ivory (as a joke, of course).

The Heino phenomenon is impossible to explain, but this video does about as good a job as possible. Among the people talking about Heino...Dead Kennedy's lead singer Jello Biafra. He used to play Heino before Dead Kennedy's gigs to incite the crowd. Incredible. I also had no idea that these folk songs he made into hits were hits during the Nazi era too.

Watch the video. Heino (the man himself) is interviewed, and so are several Heino impersonators. (I told you he was big). It's well worth your time.

Father Knows Nothing (on the radio)

I began my publicity blitz for Father Knows Nothing over the weekend.

I appeared on the Lossano & Friends podcast along with WLS-Radio's Dick Biondi, WGN-TV's Larry Potash, and the Red Eye's Tracy Swartz. That was a fun hour at the Museum of Broadcasting. I spent most of the time there (off the air) trying to talk Dick Biondi into writing his memoir. I'm going to keep pushing it. That would be an incredible book.

Here's the podcast.

I also appeared on WRJN with Ted Ehlen. That interview can be heard here. That was fun too. Ted played the entire Twas the Night Before Parent's Christmas bit, and did a nice interview. It's fun talking to someone who is well-prepped. It doesn't happen often.

This week I'll be on WLS radio with Bruce Wolf on Wednesday (8:35am), and WGN-TV Morning News on Thursday (9:15am). I'm doing a Book Expo on Saturday at Columbia College (all day). And my Book Launch party is Sunday.

That's just the beginning. Here we go.

By the way, for those of you who pre-ordered, it ships today. You should have it this week. Thanks again for your support! When you read it, be sure to let me know what you think.

How Chicago Neighborhoods Got Their Names

This is a very interesting piece in Mental Floss.

I had heard many of these stories, but I found out a few new nuggets. For instance, my old neighborhood (Jefferson Park) used to be it's own town. It wasn't annexed until 1889. And it really was named after Thomas Jefferson.

Cindy Gatz

The Tribune finally ran an obit of my good pal Cindy Gatziolis yesterday.

It was nicely written by Bob Goldsborough. Love the quote by Bobby Skafish. Summed her up beautifully.

(Photo: Cindy and Buzz Kilman)

Carcillo's Royal Wave

I can't watch the Bears, and I don't watch the Bulls, but the Blackhawks have been entertaining again this year. Watch Dan Carcillo on the way off the rink after starting a fight. He gives the crowd a royal wave...