Friday, June 21, 2024

Media Notebook--6-21-24


A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago.



*Chicago Public Media Unions Call for Immediate Ouster of CEO

=Journalists for WBEZ and the Sun Times are united in this effort after a no-confidence vote. They say CEO Matt Moog must go. You may remember Moog. He’s the one who said he was leaving last year but stayed longer to enact a series of layoffs. According to this article, his own salary has increased 19% since doing so.

*Hubbard Honors Matt Bisbee for 50 Years

=I thought this was a nice gesture by the folks at Hubbard Broadcasting, honoring production genius Matt Bisbee for 50 years in radio. They named the studio after him…

*Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2024

=Once again our Chicago-based nominees were shut out (although Lee Harris did briefly work in Chicago). This is the list of the eight members of the Radio Hall of Fame class of 2024…

·         The Crook & Chase Countdown‘s Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase

·         Lee Harris

·         Phil Hendrie

·         Jaime Jarrin

·         Kraig Kitchin

·         Barry Mayo

·         Mary McCoy

·         Matt Siegel

=The announcement was made earlier this week. 

  =UPDATE: Readers have pointed out Barry Mayo's important role in the creation of WVAZ. Great point. So, we have two with Chicago ties in this current class.

*Willie Mays and Jack Brickhouse

=Sad news this week about the passing of all-time baseball great Willie Mays. This is his obit via the AP. When you read the article, you’ll be reminded of Chicago broadcasting legend Jack Brickhouse’s role in Willie’s career. Jack was at the microphone during Willie’s most famous MLB moment, the over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series. As it turns out, it was also the most famous moment in Brickhouse’s career too. Two Hall of Famers linked together in history forever--the Say Hey Kid and the Hey Hey kid. Jack said: “Willie Mays just brought this crowd to its feet with a catch which must have been an optical illusion to a lot of people.”

*Top Share/Top Cume

=Radio Insight published a list of the top 50 rated stations in the country (by share) and not a single Chicago station cracked the list.

=However, they also posted the top 50 stations in the country by cume, and there Chicago still showed up. Cume just means the total number of people who listen to a station, so obviously the third biggest market should rate a few stations, right? In our case... WLIT (#17), WDRV (#22), WLS-FM (#23), WXRT (#36), WTMX (#37), WBMX (#40), Kiss-FM (#43), and B-96 (#47).

=Still, it’s disappointing. Chicago was once the radio capital of the world. It obviously no longer is.

*Lock it and Store it

=Chicago-based BIN (Black Information Network) has started a new initiative called “Lock it and Store It”. It’s a gun-safety campaign. More information is here.

*Ex-Chicago Radio

=KC Lupp, who was known on the air in Chicago at WGCI as KC White, was laid off from his morning gig in Tulsa this week. (I interviewed him in 2008 for Chicago Radio Spotlight)

*Podcast Corner

=I like this idea. A fake baseball game podcast designed to help you sleep. You know what would be even better? A fake golf tournament.

*Paul Brian Obit

=In case you missed it, here is the obituary in the Sun-Times on Father’s Day for Paul Brian.



(I won’t be posting the next two weeks, so there are a few more than usual)


*June 17—Tom Weinberg birthday

=Tom started out as a print journalist and went on to become a pioneering television documentary and non-fiction producer for PBS and WTTW. He also established the incredibly valuable video archive MediaBurn. In 2017 he wrote a stunning book about one of his memorable television adventures, Chasing the Lost City: Chronicles of Discovery in Honduras. 

*June 17—Eric Zapchenk birthday

=Eric works at Huntley Community Radio and Salem Media Group. He got his start in radio at WJMK.


*June 17—Kristin Tews birthday

=Kristin is the co-founder of Noteworthy Media Network. For 14 years before that she ran Personal Best Media and Networking.


*June 17—Bridget Kaempfer birthday

=Bridget worked in radio at the Loop AM & FM and later at Sporting News Radio before moving into the private equity world. She is currently married to (and has been for 33 years) the editor-in-chief of this column. Of all the birthday celebrants on this week’s list, she is the only one getting a present from me.


*June 18—Roger Ebert birthday

=They say that no-one is irreplaceable, but it turns out that Roger was. He was a Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, but he was also a force of nature. I met Roger many times during my radio days (I ran the board for Siskel & Ebert when they filled in for Steve & Garry), but my favorite Roger story is in John Landecker’s book Records Truly Is My Middle Name.  I added my two cents as well…

Landecker: I invited Roger and his wife over to my house for a party (along with a bunch of other friends). I had just gotten this new plasma television, and asked Roger if he wanted to come in and see it. I put on the film “Wyatt Earp” which had just come out on DVD, because I love that opening scene—the way they use sound is unbelievable. While we were watching that opening scene, with the sound cranked to ear splitting levels, Roger was doing a dissertation on why Val Kilmer should have been nominated for an Academy Award for that role, and Roger’s wife Chaz walked into the room. She looked at what we were doing, sighed, and said. “Oh great. Just like home.”

        Rick:  My three kids, who were all little at the time, were also there. They sat quietly and listened to Roger pontificating about the genre of Westerns, and the acting in some of those old Westerns, and before he was through, a small crowd had formed. All of us were spellbound. When we got in our car to leave later that day, my oldest son Tommy, who was about eight or nine, said to me: “Who was that friend of John’s? Boy, he sure does love movies.

=Channel 32 reporter Dane Placko also told me a great story about Roger on my podcast a few years ago. It’s a great story about the time Dane and Roger got into a car accident on their way home from the Illini Rose Bowl loss. Dane tells it well. 


*June 18—Bruce Dumont birthday

=Bruce was the founder/CEO/President of the Museum of Broadcasting. He also had a long career as a broadcaster, hosting the show Beyond the Beltway. I got a chance to interview him back in 2009.


*June 18—Andy Shaw birthday

=I interviewed Andy for Illinois Entertainer back in 2013 when he was with the BGA. Andy is also a proud papa…

 *June 19—Kate Sullivan birthday

=The former Channel 2 anchor is now the host of the show To Dine For TV, a show for foodies. 


*June 19—Brian Peck birthday

=Brian has worked as a disc jockey for both Hubbard broadcasting and Cumulus but is now a reporter for WBBM-NewsRadio. He also hosts The Catholic Word podcast.


*June 20, 1989

=The Chicago Tribune published an article about a new-fangled machine that was transforming radio shows. It was called the fax machine. I was quoted in the piece. So was Q-101’s Doug Blair and WLS’ Brian Kelly. It was written by Katherine Seigenthaler. 


*June 20—Drew Horowitz birthday

=Drew was an executive with Bonneville during the heyday of the Eric and Kathy years.


*June 21—Erich “Mancow” Muller birthday

=Mancow has had nine lives in Chicago radio, beginning with his first stop at 103.5 FM. He later had a long run at Q-101, but also worked at WLS-AM, and the Loop. He had a television show for a while as well. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2008. 


*June 21—Lou Visconti birthday

=Lou is one of the administrators of the great Facebook page: FM Rock Stations of the 1970s. If you like this column, I’ll bet you’ll like that Facebook page.


*June 23—Alan Cox birthday

=Alan got his start on Brandmeier’s show on the Loop. He went on to host the morning show at Q-101 and is now on the air every afternoon in Cleveland. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2008.


*June 23—Scott Miller birthday

=There were two Scott Millers in Chicago radio. This one hosted the afternoon show on Oldies 104.3 for nearly a decade. Scott is still in radio, working for Townsquare Media in Greenwich, Connecticut.


*June 23—Bob Vorwald birthday

=The legendary sports TV producer worked with Mark Giangreco at Channel 5, before moving over to WGN to produce their live sports broadcasts.


*June 24—Roger Badesch birthday

=Roger was a longtime Chicago radio newsman (most prominently for WGN), but he also worked in the press office for Mayor Byrne and Mayor Washington. In 2020 he published his memoir, The Unplanned Life, via Eckhartz Press.  I interviewed him for Illinois Entertainer in 2016. 

*June 24—Midge “Cheese” Ripoli birthday

=Midge was a long-time producer for Mancow, but currently produces the Sherman and Tingle show at the Drive.

*June 25, 2017

=John Records Landecker was named to the National Radio Hall of Fame. He was inducted by his longtime friend and colleague Bob Sirott.

*June 25—Mark Suppelsa birthday

=I got a chance to interview the Channel 9 anchor a few times before his retirement, including this one from 2009.


*June 25—John Kass birthday

=The former Chicago Tribune columnist and WLS Radio host suffered a heart attack and stroke last year, but he is back to writing a blog. 


*June 27—Jim Wiser birthday

=He is probably most famous for his time as Jonathon Brandmeier’s producer (Jimmy “Bud” Wiser), but Wiser went on to produce Fox Thing in the Morning at WFLD-TV and Spike O’Dell and Greg Jarrett’s morning shows at WGN Radio. I interviewed him in 2013 during his time at the Tribune.


*June 27—Adam Howarth birthday

=Adam is the Director of Coaching for the Illinois Youth Soccer Association, but he’s also the co-host of the Free Kicks podcast about the English Premier League. It’s currently on summer hiatus but will return in August on the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.


*June 27—Doug Buffone birthday

=The Chicago Bears legend was just as beloved in Chicago during his post-playing days, particularly during his days at the Score. He passed away in 2015

 *June 28—Steve Downes birthday

=The former morning man at both the Loop and the Drive is probably better known for his voice over work, especially in the world of video games. I interviewed him about that in 2008.


*June 28—Elon Musk birthday

=The owner of Twitter/X was born in 1971.


*June 29—Chuck Schaden birthday

=Chuck has been keeping old-time radio alive for decades. His show “Those Were the Days” still airs every weekend on WDCB 90.9, although now it is hosted by Steve Darnall. Schaden was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1993.


 *June 29—Craig Sager birthday

=A fixture on NBA basketball television coverage for decades. Sager passed away in 2016. (Photo with Chicago Bulls Radio PBP man Chuck Swirsky).

*June 30—Cristina Ohr birthday

=Cristina was the GM of the Loop during the Bonneville days, and before that was the sales manager at WVAZ. She is now a professional/executive coach.


 *July 1—Shemp DeYoung birthday

=His real first name is Mark, and for many years he was well known to Chicago radio listeners as the producer for Kevin Matthews, Danny Bonaduce, and Steve Dahl. His nickname Shemp was given to him by Kevin. DeYoung currently resides in Texas. (PHOTO: The Loop producers in the late 80s…Wiser, Shemp and me)

*July 1—Karen Hand birthday

=Karen was a newscaster at WLS AM before her star turn as the newsperson on Eddie & Jobo’s show on B-96. I got a chance to interview her for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2008.


*July 3—Connie Szerszen birthday

=Connie was known as the Top Rock Girly Jock back in her days at WIND Radio. I interviewed her for Chicago Radio Spotlight in2009 when her memoir came out.

*July 5--Jim Rose birthday

=The long-time Channel 7 sports anchor retired earlier this year.




*Brad Edwards

=I’ve heard from a few inside sources that Brad Edwards and CBS-2 have parted ways. He is no longer listed on their website. I tried to reach both Edwards and the news director at Channel 2, and nobody has responded to my inquiries.

*The Tony Awards

=I watched it once…the year The Producers was up for every award. But I know many of you are interested. Here’s the recap from Sunday night’s broadcast.

=Here’s the moment that brought me back again…

*Charles Barkley Announces Retirement from Television

=It won’t happen until 2025 (after the TNT rights to the NBA run out), but he made the announcement last Friday.

=Andy Masur writes: Barkley is Simply Irreplaceable


=The new film debuting this week at the Music Box Theater before going nationwide next week is a Chicago-project through and through. Chicago directors. Chicago actors. Chicago setting. And it’s about Chicago theater. WBEZ has more.

*Rodent Men

=It used to be that looking a little like a rat or a mouse wasn’t considered desirable. Not anymore. Now, according to this NY Times article, it’s hot!

*Cable News Corner

=Newsmax lost $42 million last year. And that was before the lawsuits…

=Chicago journalist Jennifer Schulze: “Fox, Sinclair and the RNC are working together to meddle in the election”

*Rest in Peace

=Donald Sutherland

One of the all-time greats. Gone at 88.

 =Anouk Aimee

The "thinking man's sex symbol". She was 92.



*The Summer of Royko

=Chicago Magazine has a piece about the one-man show about Royko, and the tribute to him at the Newberry library.


*John Schulian Remembers Mike Downey

=The sportswriter’s sportswriter remembers another all-time great.



*Surgeon General Asks for Warning Labels on Social Media

=He’s looking for a similar label that tobacco products have had for decades. The AP has the story.

This is the last Media Notebook column until July 12. I'll be covering another big story in Berlin for the next two weeks. Have a great Independence Day!

Thursday, June 20, 2024

20 Years: Father Knows Nothing (Cutting Room Floor)


This year marks my 20th year as a professional writer. Over the course of 2024, I'll be sharing a few of those offerings you may have missed along the way.

For nearly a decade I wrote a weekly column for Lee Publications (NWI Parent, Shore Magazine, NW Indiana Times) about my family called "Father Knows Nothing". Many of my favorite columns were put into book form in 2015 in the Father Knows Nothing book.

Obviously I couldn't include all 400+ columns in the book. Here are a few of my favorites from this week in history that didn't make it into the final book.

June 17th was my wife Bridget's birthday. I wrote this piece about her on my 17th anniversary (we've been married now for 33 years).

This is my lovely wife, Bridget. Today is our 17th anniversary. Even though we dated for three years before we got married, there are quite a few things about her that I couldn’t have known when we said "I do" to each other. In honor of those 17 years of on-the-job training, I thought would tell you 17 things I’ve learned about my bride since our wedding day.

#1: There has never been a more talented baby-entertainer. She could make a fortune touring the country entertaining the 2-and-under crowd.

#2: She is incapable of saying this phrase: "That’s good enough."

#3: She has an 80% chance of coming out of a clothing store without a purchase, and when she does buy something, there’s an 80% chance she will return it.

#4: She can be very funny off-the-cuff, but is completely unable to tell a story or joke without messing up the punchline.

#5: She secretly wants to be a carpenter.

#6: She has two personalities: Regular Bridget and Party Bridget. Both of them can be a lot of fun, but you won’t be able to keep up with one of them. Trust me on this.

#7: When she says the checkbook is balanced, she’s not being approximate. If you haven’t deposited a check she’s given you, she will hunt you down.

#8: Even though she was a cheerleader in high school, she will never ever do one of her old routines again, and no amount of begging will change her mind.

#9: She is a genetically gifted dishwasher-loader. She could fit a mini-van into that thing by twisting and turning it the right way.

#10: Don’t wake her up. Just don’t do it.

#11: If you like to listen to one radio station, don’t let her sit in the front seat of the car with you. If you like to watch more than 30 seconds of a television show, don’t let her touch the remote control.

#12: When she gives you her opinion you can rest assured she’s telling you what she really thinks. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.

#13: She has an unusually high tolerance for physical pain, but a commercial can make her cry.

#14: If she has been somewhere once, she can find it again without directions.

#15: When she tells kids what to do, they do it. Period. And not just her own kids. All kids.

#16: She is very imaginative with her verb usage when driving behind someone who doesn’t drive well. I’m pretty sure some of her suggestions for fellow drivers aren’t physically possible.

#17: She has somehow managed to reverse the aging process. She looks as beautiful today as she did the day I married her.

That was 17  wonderful years ago.

If I could go back in time to my wedding day and talk to that 28-year-old groom nervously sweating through his tuxedo, I know exactly what I would tell him: "Nothing to be nervous about, Rick. This is the best decision of your life."

If Bridget could go back in time to our wedding day and talk to that 24-year-old bride, I know exactly what she would tell her: "Make him get rid of the mullet. It’s going to ruin the wedding album forever."


June 16, 1976 was the date of the uprising in Soweto, South Africa. I got to visit the site of that uprising in 2010, and it had a profound influence on my life. This is the column I wrote about it after I returned.

I’ve always considered myself to be a food adventurer. My motto is this: I will try anything once.

Of course, that’s a much easier motto to live by when I’m in the United States. It really gets tested when I travel overseas. That’s where my palette has been challenged with a whole host of “maybe I better not ask what’s in this” food adventures.

In the process I’ve discovered some incredible dishes, and I’ve identified a few that will forever go on my “Do not order” list, but there was one meal that affected me more than any other. It was a meal I ate when I was in South Africa for the World Cup.

My siblings and I went there together, and though we went primarily to see soccer games, we had our day-time hours free to explore. One day we decided to check out Soweto, the heartbreakingly poor neighborhood in Johannesburg. We drove by an endless array of three-to-five foot huts crammed side by side (each of which housed entire families). We walked through the square where the anti-Apartheid demonstrations took place a generation ago. And then, when we told him we were hungry, our guide took us to a local one-room dining establishment.


The “restaurant” was serving lunch buffet style. None of the food was labeled, and most of it was unidentifiable. There was one dish that came in a shade of yellowish-green that I hadn’t really seen in food before. My brother and I exchanged perplexed expressions, but we were careful not to offend our hosts.


As I always do, I tried a little bit of everything. The yellowish-green dish tasted a bit strong (lots of spices masking whatever the main ingredient was), but I choked it down. I figured the beef dish would help me get the taste out of my mouth, so I saved that for last. When I started chewing it, I realized it wasn’t like any beef dish I had eaten before. The texture was almost indescribable.  It was a bit rubbery, but that’s not quite it. It was softer than that. It was more like a soggy brown chunk of un-chewable matter.


After one bite I knew I was in trouble. It was all I could do to hold it down, but I forced a smile on my face after I swallowed it, because our hosts were proudly watching us.


“Mmm, beef?” I asked.


The woman nodded.


“I wish I could eat more, but I’m absolutely stuffed.”


We effusively praised our hosts as we left the restaurant, got back into our van, and headed back toward the hotel.  As we were rumbling out of the neighborhood, I saw a sight that will never leave my mind.  A man was standing under a tent. He was holding a gigantic butcher knife in one hand, and swatting away flies with his other hand.  On the table in front of him was a cow’s head.


Just the head.


“What’s he doing?” my sister asked.

“He’s butchering the meat,” our guide told us. “This is the only kind of meat we can afford here, and we are so lucky when we get it. The local butchers don’t think it’s edible so they sell it to us for almost nothing, but as you know, it is quite delicious if it’s prepared correctly.”


None of us said a word.


We knew we had just eaten cow’s brain, or eyes, or snout, but that wasn’t at all what we were thinking about. Until that moment, we hadn’t really grasped the reality of daily life in a place like this. We had heard about extreme poverty, and we had seen it, but until our lunch in Soweto, we had never tasted it.


That’s a meal you can’t possibly forget.


On June 21, 2011, a tornado ripped through my hometown of Mt. Prospect. This is the column I wrote after that memorable event.

The Cubs-Sox game was getting exciting when the groundskeeper ran out to the umpire and said that the game had to be stopped immediately.

I thought to myself, “Yeah sure, now that the Cubs are coming back, there’s some sort of a weather emergency. Right.”

While the crew put the tarp on the field, my wife called me from the backyard. “Will you come here and help me for a second?”

When I went out to the backyard, she was in the process of putting all of our deck furniture in the garage. She told me that the neighbor said it was supposed to get pretty windy. So, even though I thought she (and the Sox’s groundskeeper) were overreacting, I helped get anything that could be blown away into the garage. The only thing we left on the deck was a little kiddie picnic table that the boys never used anymore.

“Boys, let’s go in the basement,” Bridget said. “There’s a big storm coming.”

I went along with it, but I have to admit, I thought she was going a little overboard.

No more than a minute or two later we heard a loud boom that sounded like thunder, it suddenly got very dark, and poof, the power went out. That was followed by the simultaneous violent opening of our front and back door at the same time (both were closed tight) and the unmistakable sound of a vicious storm raging outside.

Suddenly it didn’t seem like such a bad idea to be in the basement.

A minute or two later it was over.

I went upstairs to close the back door when I saw the wreckage. Our neighbor’s old tree had been decimated, huge limbs were scattered all over her backyard and our driveway. The little table I left on the deck had been blown into the fence and smashed to pieces.

When I went to close the front door, I saw wreckage that was even more pronounced. Entire trees had been uprooted, and were strewn across the street, making it impassible. Still other trees landed on top of garages and houses, causing major damage. Patio umbrellas were jammed into the ground like spears. The whole neighborhood was outside. We couldn’t believe our eyes. Our street looked like it had been bombed.

It wasn’t until the next day that we discovered an actual tornado had touched down, and we had been right in the path of it.

When I walked my dog through the neighborhood over the next few days and saw the extent of the damage, I couldn’t help but think that someone must have been watching out for us. A tornado went right down our street and somehow nobody was hurt. Not one person.

Our power finally returned on Friday night. Our phone, cable, and internet came back on Saturday night. The village tells us the tree limbs will be picked up by Monday.

And all we really lost were a few tree limbs and a few hundred dollars worth of groceries.

I’ve never felt so lucky in my life.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Studio Walls--June 19, 2024


A weekly update/preview of my latest podcasts, and a look back at some of my previous audio work from this week in history over the past 40+ years.

This is the latest episode...

Here are a few from the archives...

June 16--Kerry Wood birthday

=I told the story of my brush with the great Cubs hurler  this episode of Minutia Men.  


June 18—Roger Ebert birthday.

=I met the great Chicago movie critic many times during my radio career, but none of my stories about him are anywhere near as entertaining at this Roger Ebert story told to us by Fox-32 reporter Dane Placko. It's a story for the ages.

June 18--Paul McCartney birthday

=I have my own Paul McCartney story that I told in this episode of Minutia Men. The radio legend Bob Stroud also told us his Paul McCartney story in this episode of Minutia Men Celebrity Interview.


June 19—Dirk Nowitzki birthday

=Former Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told us how he felt about the NBA Hall of Famer in this episode of  Minutia Men Celebrity Interview

June 19, 1990—North Pier opens. 

=Stan Lawrence was on our show and told us a memorable story about the treatment he received in a club that no longer exists at North Pier. You can hear that story here.

June 20, 1953—Hottest day ever at Wrigley Field

=When it's hot at Wrigley Field it's very hot. We have audio of Pat Hughes and Ron Santo talking about the heat, and it's solid gold. Will we play it this week? 


June 22--Todd Rundgren birthday

=Todd is known as being difficult in the recording studio, but Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad was on our show and had a slightly different take on the Rock and Roll great. Listen to it here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Publishing Portal--June 18, 2024

The latest news from Eckhartz Press, and a chance to peek into some of the great previous offerings from our humble little publishing company.

Happy Birthday!

=Eckhartz Press author Tom Weinberg (Chasing the Lost City) celebrated a birthday this week (June 17). Tom's book came out during the holiday season of 2017. It's the fascinating true story of his quest to find the ruins of a lost city in Honduras. Great story, great pictures. Happy birthday Tom!

New Book Announcement!

=Available for pre-order beginning this week, To the Men I've Loved, by Patricia Motto. She writes her love-life memoir with great humor and skill. This is the book synopsis...

    The course of true love may never run smooth, but seldom has it hit quite as many bumps, potholes and land mines as it does in Patricia Motto’s journey to find the meaning of that all important four letter word. Love. Beginning with the beautiful eyes of a kindergarten boy at nap time and continuing to the man for whom she did not get off the plane, there are stops along the way for, among others, a first kiss boyfriend, the American League’s Most Valuable Player and a twice convicted armed robber. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, the trip is never dull.

Last Comiskey

=During the flurry of media surrounding the book launch party of our latest book, Last Comiskey, we neglected to mention a few of author Ken Smoller's media appearances. For instance, this interview on WGN Radio with Steve Dale and this interview on WCIU-TV with Kenny McReynolds. 

=Ken is coming back to town. He will be at Blue Island Brewing on June 29 selling and signing his book from 2-4pm, and then he'll be at the Windy City Thunderbolts game that same night at 6:05.

Ken Korber 

=Our children's author extraordinaire released two different books this week in history. June 20, 2020 was the release date for Grace's Musical Haiku Adventures, and June 21 was the day the second book of his four seasons of musical tales was released, Grace and the Musical Willow Tree, A Summer Adventure. That book is also still available at Eckhartz Press

We Have Company

 =This is a big week for rock and roll star birthdays, which means it's a big week for Bobby Skafish's book of rock and roll interviews, We Have Company. Each of these June 22nd birthday boys (Steve Page/Bare Naked Ladies, Don Henley/Eagles, Todd Rundgren, and Mike Edwards/Jesus Jones) rate an entire chapter in Bobby's book. Mike Edwards also rates a photo. This was taken at Bill Wyman's Sticky Fingers restaurant in London.



 =This week in 2019, Rick Kaempfer appeared at a Book Club in Naperville to promote the book EveryCubEver.

=Two prominent Cubs featured in the book were born this week. Lou Brock (June 18) and Wayland Dean (June 20). Both of their entries are memorable. Dean lived a very short and troubled life, and Brock later played for another team. Not sure which one, or what happened to him.

The Unplanned Life

=Eckhartz Press author Roger Badesch will be performing on stage in July. Mark your calendars. He notes: It’s been a ‘Covid-minute’ since I had the honor and pleasure of joining my fellow SAG-AFTRA Chicago Radio Players in a live performance of classic old-time-radio (OTR) programs. So I’m happy to announce that we’re on stage again at the Chicago Cultural Center (old main Chicago library) downtown July 14th at 1:30pm. Two shows FREE - Call Northside 777 (I’m the narrator) and My Favorite Husband. Make plans now!

Surviving Sue

=Last week Surviving Sue celebrated it's one year anniversary. Author Vicki Atkinson wrote about that milestone on her blog. You can read that here.

=Also coming soon, mark your calendars, Vicki has an event in July in Woodstock.

Randy Richardson

=Randy has published three books with Eckhartz Press, Cheeseland, Lost in the Ivy, and Cubsessions. Christine Sneed is a Chicago treasure, even though she lives out west now.

Recalled to Life

=This week in 2013, Dan Burns held a book release party for his debut novel, Recalled to Life. The party was held at a fancy boutique in LaGrange, Illinois.

Transatlantic Passage

=One of the subjects of study in Paul Banks' book about American players playing in Europe, and European teams playing exhibition games in America, is the recently retired coach of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp. He's celebrating a birthday this week (June 16)

Back in the DDR

=This week in 1995, Frankfurt American Junior High School officially closed (June 16) in Germany. That school is featured in the pages of Rick Kaempfer's novel Back in the DDR.


Wicker Park Wishes

 =This week in 2021 (June 16), Margaret Larkin appeared on the John Landecker show on WGN to discuss her debut novel Wicker Park Wishes.  You can still hear that interview here.

=Former ABC-7 news reporter Andy Shaw is celebrating a birthday this week (June 18). Andy is a big fan of the Eckhartz Press novel $everance. Here's what he said about it when it originally came out in 2007...

  • “Severance is a black comedy that would be funnier if its darkness weren’t so true. And it crackles with the insights and cynicism that made Network and Broadcast News the seminal cinematic treatments of today’s dumbed-down news business. Move over Christopher Buckley—-Rick Kaempfer is in town!”

    Andy Shaw, ABC-TV

The Balding Handbook

=Talk about an exciting day. It was exactly ten years ago today (June 18, 2014) that Balding Handbook author David Stern got the unofficial endorsement of his book from fellow famous Bald, Mr. Peanut.

Ann Wilson

=The lead singer of Heart (June 18 birthday)  is featured in three different Eckhartz Press books. John Landecker has a great story about her in Records Truly Is My Middle Name. Bobby Skafish devotes an entire chapter to her in his interview book We Have Company, and can you guess which book about a radio station also features the lovely Ms. Wilson?

Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars

 =Bill Paige interviewed hundreds of rock stars during his Illinois Entertainer days, and one of them now plays lead guitar in Bruce Springsteen's band. This week's birthday boy (June 21) Nils Lofgren is featured in Paige's excellent book.

The Living Wills

=Author Mark Leepson is celebrating a birthday this week as well (June 20). Leepson is a Vietnam veteran, so Eckhartz Press authors Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer sent their novel The Living Wills to him to see what he thought of it. The Living Wills features a main character who is a Vietnam Vet. Here's what he said...

  • You have to give credit to Rick Kaempfer and Brendan Sullivan, the two authors of “The Living Wills”. The authors have come up with a cast of realistic, non-sensationalized Vietnam veterans living out their lives in the early 21st century–no Nam vet stereotypes here. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

    Marc Leepsen, Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine


Signature Shoes

 =Most people don't even realized that Chuck Taylor, the man they named the shoes after, was a real life basketball star. His shoe remains perhaps the most famous Signature Shoe, and gets the appropriate attention from author Ryan Trembath in his book about the celebrity shoe craze. Taylor was born this week in 1901 (June 21).