Friday, February 25, 2022

Cubs Birthday Tweet of the Week

Sunday Listening

 Don't miss this interview. Rick Kogan is doing his entire show about it on Sunday night.

Free Kicks--The Champions League Heats Up

The new episode of Free Kicks has been posted.

The first leg of the knockout stage games is discussed and analyzed by Adam and Rick. [Ep146]

Eric Litt


Eckhartz Press author Eric Litt (Oscars Biggest Mistakes) joins the Nick D podcast for a free-wheeling discussion about the movies.

Check it out

Schlachtfest Week

 We made the sausage last night, and tomorrow we'll be handing out the orders for the virtual Schlachtfest. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Eckhartz Everyday

*On this day in 2016, three Eckhartz Press authors appeared on stage at the Chicago Cultural Center in a SAG/AFTRA performance. They performed an old-time radio program...The Lone Ranger! John Landecker (as the narrator), WGN's Roger Badesch (as Tonto), and Joel Daly (as the yodeling cowboy).

Their books, Records Truly Is My Middle Name, The Unplanned Life, and The Daly News are all still available at Eckhartz Press.

*Today is CBS Sports icon James Brown's birthday. He is a big fan of the Eckhartz Press book Behind the Glass by Randy Merkin. Here's what he said about the book...

“While we cherish champions in the world of sports, we cheer louder for champions in the game of life. Character, integrity and honesty matter. That sums up Randy Merkin.”

Thursday, February 24, 2022

RIP Sally Kellerman

Sad to hear about her passing today. She was 84. When I think of her, I think of this...


Len Kasper's band, featuring Matt Spiegel and Dag Juhlin. Not bad.

From the Writing Archives

Today is the birthday of Wilhelm Grimm (1786). He was the younger Grimm brother who produced the immortal "Grimm's Fairy Tales". Anyone who has read "Father Knows Nothing" knows that my parents used to love to tell me these sick, twisted children's stories. This is my favorite excerpt and one of my favorite stories about my dad...

My father loved the story of Hansel and Gretel. He had a boy and a girl at the time (another boy would follow a few years later), so he thought it was a perfect story to tell us. In case you haven’t heard it in a while, it goes like this…

An evil stepmother convinces her husband to leave his children in the woods to die. The father decides to give them a fighting chance at survival, by handing them each a piece of bread. He tells them to leave a trail so they can find their way home. Of course, animals eat the bread, and end all hope for the little boy and girl. Hansel & Gretel become hopelessly lost, and get captured by a cannibal witch, who tries to eat them after fattening them up. They escape by killing her, and somehow find their way home. The happy ending is that the stepmother is dead when they get there.

Beautiful story, no? My father told it to us all the time.

One night my sister and I were fighting, and so he gave us each a piece of rye bread, led us out to the car, and told us he was driving us out in the forest.

“No Dad! No!” we cried. “Please don’t do this. We promise to behave. We promise.”

“You’ve got nothing to worry about. Just leave a rye bread trail.”

“But Dad! The animals will eat the bread!”

We couldn’t believe he was really doing it to us, but we were in a car, and we were clearly going somewhere.

“You’ll never find your way home if you don’t start tossing the rye bread,” he said to us, while looking in the rearview mirror.

I pleaded some more while Cindy rolled down the window and started tossing.

He pulled into a convenience store parking lot, walked inside and bought some cigarettes, got back into the car and drove us home. He had a huge grin on his face when he saw how relieved we were to come back home.

“Will you be fighting any more tonight?” he asked.

“No Dad,” we both promised.

German lesson learned.

Eckhartz Everyday


*On this day in 2017, Award-Winning Eckhartz Press author Pat Colander appeared on WGN Radio to discuss her great book Hugh Hefner's First Funeral with host Dave Hoestra. 

Sadly, Pat passed away just a year later, but her book is still available at Eckhartz Press. It won the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year award. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Signature Shoes

Chicago Radio Ratings

 Strong performances for WGN, WBEZ, and WBBM. Numbers courtesy of Robert Feder's column this morning...

1. (tie) WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.7 (5.6); WVAZ 102.7-FM R&B, 5.7 (5.9)
3. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 5.4 (4.8)
4. WGN 720-AM news talk, 5.2 (3.5)
5. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 5.1 (14.4)
6. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 4.8 (4.8)
7. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.5 (3.7)
8. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 3.4 (2.9)
9. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.2 (2.8)
10. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 3.1 (2.0)
11. (tie) WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.9 (2.5); WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 2.9 (3.1)
13. WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.8 (2.9)
14. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.6 (2.5)
15. WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 2.5 (2.3)
16. (tie) WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.4 (2.3); WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip-hop, 2.4 (2.3)
18. WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 2.2 (1.8)
19. WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 2.1 (2.5)
20. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.0 (1.5)
21. (tie) WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.8 (1.7); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 1.8 (1.8)
23. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 1.6 (1.7)
24. (tie) WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian music, 1.3 (0.8); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.3 (1.1)
26. WPWX 92.3-FM hip-hop, 1.1 (1.1)
27. WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.0 (0.9)
28. (tie) WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 0.9 (0.9); WXLC 102.3-FM hot adult contemporary, 0.9 (0.6)
30. (tie) WDCB 90.9-FM public radio jazz, 0.8 (0.5); WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.8 (0.5)

Studio Walls

 Every week I send my Minutia Men Co-Host Dave Stern a list from our audio archives for this week's Studio Walls feature. These are the possibilities for this week. Which one will he choose?

*February 20, 1980, Survivor releases the song "Rebel Girl". Jim Peterik (who wrote the song) appeared on our show and played "Rebel Girl" for us live in the studio. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*February 20, 1996, Bridget and Rick had their first weekend away from their brand new baby Tommy. John Landecker did a recap of the weekend, with a little game called "How many times did Rick and Bridget Call Home Hi-Low" (Landecker Audio)

*February 21st is comedian Ross Bennett's birthday. He appeared on the show and told us a hilarious story about getting a colonoscopy. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*February 21st is also Adam Greenberg's birthday. Adam has one of the most memorable stories in Chicago Cubs history, and he appeared on our show to talk about it. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*February 22nd is Jonathan Demme's birthday. We've interviewed a few people who worked with the Academy Award winning director, including actor Dan Butler. (Listen to the entire interview here)

Schlachtfest Week

  Before the pandemic I emceed a banquet every year for Green White Soccer Club called "Schlachtfest". It was a celebration of soccer and sausage. We crowned a soccer queen, gave out soccer awards, and ate sausage that we made ourselves. This year the event will be virtual. (We're making the sausage on Thursday night, and handing it out on Saturday).

This is from 2019...

Eckhartz Everyday

*On this day in 2015, I appeared on WBEZ Radio (NPR) to talk about my book Father Knows Nothing. You can listen to that interview here. (Photo: Taken from outside WBEZ window)

*On this day in 2017, Eckhartz Press author Brent Petersen (Truffle Hunt) found a story about fake truffles that mirrored a story-line in his great novel. You can read all about that here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Tweet of the Week

RIP Gary Brooker

The lead singer of Procol Harum passed away over the weekend (February 19). He will always be remembered for this great song...

Got a Book in Ya?

We have new submission guidelines, but we're open for business.

Some News

Bob Boone

 Thanks to everyone who came out to see and support Eckhartz Press author Bob Boone at the Book Stall this weekend! If you didn't get a chance to make it, his great collection of short stories (City U) is still available at Eckhartz Press.

Schlachtfest Week

 Before the pandemic I emceed a banquet every year for Green White Soccer Club called "Schlachtfest". It was a celebration of soccer and sausage. We crowned a soccer queen, gave out soccer awards, and ate sausage that we made ourselves. This year the event will be virtual. (We're making the sausage on Thursday night, and handing it out on Saturday).

This is from 2013...

Eckhartz Everyday


*On this day in 2018, Eckhartz Press author (and Book of the Year finalist) Lee Kingsmill started up his blog. 

If you are a fan of his writing (like I am), you should check it out. He has been pretty good about updating it over the last four years. The blog chronicles his life since the death of his long-time partner. It's called "Me Now" and you can read it here.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Bob Sirott and the Cubs

 From today's Robert Feder column...

Bob Sirott, morning personality at Nexstar Media news/talk WGN 720-AM and lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, will host a series of in-depth conversations with Cubs legends for Marquee Sports Network. Sirott was hired by the Cubs to tape interviews with Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Ron Santo and others in 2010 and 2011, but they’ve never been seen until now. Starting this weekend, they’ll air on Marquee’s “Icons of the Ivy” at 7 p.m. Sundays. First up is Sirott’s two-part interview with Banks. (The Hall of Famer known as “Mr. Cub” died in 2015.) “It’s a special thrill to anchor what will be a permanent record of these Wrigley favorites for generations of Cubs fans to enjoy,” Sirott said. “This even tops being the voice of the Museum of Science and Industry’s coal mine!” Additional interviews with Cubs icons are expected to follow. “We’re sure that Cubs fans will enjoy these previously unaired stories and we’re honored to have this opportunity in partnership with the Cubs organization,” said Mike McCarthy, general manager of Marquee.


Please follow us here. We'll have some fun extra tidbits for you there.

Schlachtfest Week

Before the pandemic I emceed a banquet every year for Green White Soccer Club called "Schlachtfest". It was a celebration of soccer and sausage. We crowned a soccer queen, gave out soccer awards, and ate sausage that we made ourselves. This year the event will be virtual. (We're making the sausage on Thursday night, and handing it out on Saturday).

This is from 2016...

Eckhartz Everyday


*Today is actor William Petersen's birthday. Petersen is best known for his roles in iconic films like To Live and Die in LA, and television series like CSI, but he's also a fan of the Eckhartz Press book The Living Wills. Here's what he said about it on the back cover...

…a hell of an old-fashioned read. It brings to life ‘the city of broad shoulders’ and makes me homesick. I want a Billy Goat cheesborger and a shot of whiskey.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Signature Shoes, The Audio Book


Eckhartz Press in Homewood

 Thanks to everyone who came out to Homewood yesterday to see Randy Merkin and get a copy of his book Behind the Glass.

1969 Cubs

 This is solid gold.