WGN Radio’s special holiday programming on Christmas and New Year’s Eve includes Steve and Johnnie; ‘WGN Radio Theatre with Carl Amari’ returns

WGN Insider

Beginning December 12, “WGN Radio Theatre with Carl Amari” returns to Sunday nights, 7pm-9pm

WGN Radio will broadcast special holiday programming on Christmas with 27-hours of “Christmas Radio Theatre” hosted by Carl Amari and a New Year’s Extravaganza with hosts Steve and Johnnie and John Landecker.

On Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24, “A Swingin’ Christmas with Dave Plier” airs 5pm to 7pm. Host Dave Plier will play holiday favorites from Andy Williams, Ray Conniff, Johnny Mathis, Percy Faith and His Orchestra, holiday arrangements by the legendary Jackie Gleason and more. Holiday stories with special guests Johnny Mathis and Deana Martin will also be heard during the show!

This leads into a 27-hour marathon of “Christmas Radio Theatre” from 7pm on Friday, December 24 through 10pm on Saturday, December 25. Host Carl Amari has curated half-hour holiday themed selections from old-time radio programs including Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, The Bing Crosby Show, The Burns & Allen Show, Gunsmoke, Our Miss Brooks, The Great Gildersleeve, Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, and more.

In addition to the 27-hour marathon, WGN Radio has added “WGN Radio Theatre with Carl Amari” to its weekend program schedule, airing Sundays 7pm to 9pm beginning December 12.  The show will feature programs from radio’s golden age. In the first few weeks, episodes from The Jack Benny Program, Gunsmoke, My Favorite Husband starring Lucille Ball, Suspense, and Fibber McGee and Molly will be featured.  

“I’m so excited to be back in a regular time slot and airing two episodes from radio’s golden age on WGN Radio Theatre on Sunday nights,” said host Carl Amari.

Amari has spent decades licensing and preserving classic radio broadcasts from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, is the curator of the Classic Radio Club, and board member of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.  

On Friday, December 31, WGN Radio’s New Year’s Extravaganza features Steve King and Johnnie Putman hosting from 3pm to 7pm, followed by John Landecker who will lead the countdown to 2022.

Steve and Johnnie were heard overnights on WGN Radio for 27 years. As Chicago’s #1 overnight radio show before they signed off in 2011, the husband-and-wife hosting duo featured subjects from the whimsical to the serious and often spotlighted musicians and music. Guitar legend Les Paul was a longtime friend and frequent on-air guest.  

John Landecker can currently be heard Mondays through Thursdays, 7pm to 10pm, on WGN Radio.

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