Friday, January 15, 2021

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Free Kicks

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Gone but not forgotten

 Posted today on the Eckhartz Press "Studio Walls" blog...

Some beloved Chicago media figures have passed away during the month of January over the past decade. Eckhartz Press co-publisher Rick Kaempfer is also the media scribe for Illinois Entertainer, and in that role, he’s been lucky enough to interview some of these greats who are no longer with us. Today we present a few of those interviews. They may be gone, but they are not forgotten.


Barry Keefe was the morning newsman at WTMX for thirty years. For the last decade or so of that time, he was part of the Eric and Kathy show. He left the show in April of 2008, and he passed away in January of 2016. In his interview with Rick, which was posted his last day on the air, he reflected on his time with the show that would later be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame…

I told our then-PD Barry James on the Friday of Eric’s first week that this thing was going to blast off. I still remember walking into the traffic office and seeing him and making sure he knew that. When Eric arrived, he and Kathy ignited the phones. And the targeting of women over and above what people had ever imagined before! What the hell did your average radio programmer out there THINK women talked about everyday? Purses, lipstick, cosmetic surgery, celebs and goofy domestic stuff. That’s especially true pre-parenting. As for memorable highlights? I once had a lot of attractive nurses dine on my belly ala some famous French café. Yes – the guy serves food on his massive torso to women willing to pay for it. We completed the stunt, live on the air…with me doing the news on my back. 60 minutes later, in walks Bruce Reese, the Bonneville CEO. I had no idea he was even in town. He touched me on the shoulder and said ‘Barry…THAT was ‘taking one for the team!’ I also enjoyed Melissa giving me a spray tan. Everyone should be spray-tanned by Melissa.

Read the entire interview here.


Ron Smith was a legendary music programmer for Oldies stations in Chicago including Magic 104.3 and Real Oldies AM 1690. He was also the author of several great reference books “Chicago Top 40 Charts 1960-1969”, “Chicago Top 40 Charts 1970-1979”, “Chicago Top 40 Charts 1980-1990”, “WCFL Top 40 Charts 1965-1976” and “Eight Days a Week”. He passed away in January 2020. Rick interviewed him in 2011, and asked him why he was so passionate about the Oldies.

Obviously, the music’s been groundbreaking. The rock revolution of the mid-‘50s and the British Invasion of the mid-‘60s were earth-shattering sociologically as well as musically. And the personality radio of the times had a lot to do with it. The two were intertwined and synergistic (am I getting too intellectual here?). Most of all, though, it was “our music.” We went out and bought those 45s and made them hits with our hard-earned allowances. Nowadays, stations play the latest tunes the record labels are “working” and the audience has little say in the matter. Often they can’t even buy the tunes. There’s nothing “timeless” about music you’re force-fed.

You can read the entire interview here.


Jim Edwards/Jake Hartford was a producer for Walter Jacobsen at WBBM-TV, and later became a talk show host at WLS-AM and WCPT-AM. He passed away in January of 2013. His name was Jim Edwards in television, and Jake Hartford in radio. Rick interviewed him in 2009 and asked why he had two different names in the same market…

I was at Channel 2 and Roe Conn was there at the time too. When WLS went to talk, Roe was doing stuff for them part time, and he asked me to come over and do a few shows with him. This was at a time when networks were really protective of their staffs, and didn’t like the idea of their people working for two different networks, even if one was radio, and the other one was television. The WLS GM Tom Traddup and the PD Drew Hayes were OK with it, but they thought that WLS-TV people might be upset, so I used a family name on the air as my pseudonym. It was only supposed to be a couple of times, radio was supposed to be a lark, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Plus, I later found out that I couldn’t be Jim Edwards because there was another one at AFTRA. So, anyway, they started liking what I did there, and they asked me to do more and more, and by then people at WLS knew me as Jake Hartford, so I had to retain that brand. I mean, eventually people at Channel 2 found out about it, and they didn’t care. It seems the only ones that did were the WLS-TV people.

You can read the entire interview here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Twitter's Q-Anon Purge

 Twitter announced that they are removing all accounts associated with Q-Anon, one of the leaders of the insurrection against America. They deleted upwards of 70,000 accounts so far.

Here are the details.

What I find humorous about this is the number of conservatives on Twitter who are complaining about the many followers they lost this week. Let's see here, who were they purging again? Oh, people who were encouraging an insurrection against America.

I lost zero followers.

Monday, January 11, 2021

When is Minutia Men coming back?

I got several e-mails over the weekend asking why we didn't post a new episode of Minutia Men the last two weeks. Well, the first week we took off for a holiday, and last week we were scheduled to record the show, but didn't because an armed insurrection was underway at the U.S. Capitol. It didn't feel like a good time to be wacky.

Barring another armed insurrection this week, we'll post a new episode this coming Saturday.
On the other hand...