Steve King was long time overnight hosts. He was first heard on WGN on Christmas Eve 1984, and was first joined on the air by his then new bride Johnnie Putman on Valentine’s Day 1985.
Steve & Johnnie broadcast their 6,207th and final show on December 9, 2011.
Steve King Biography
A native of Chicago’s south side, Steve King’s initial career path did not include radio. Instead, he used his musical talent to establish himself as a singer/songwriter and musician winning a Downbeat magazine jazz contest and recording as a rock singer/guitarist for various labels including one of the industry giants, Mercury Records. Along the way, Steve counted among his band members now famed chamber/blues composer Corky Siegel, Peter Cetera and Marty Grebb. Peter later went on to gain fame with the group Chicago and as a solo artist, Marty became well-known for his work with the Buckinghams and artists like Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Nicks. After ten years in recording studios and on the road, Steve decided it was time for a change in direction.In 1966, having taken a course at Midwestern Broadcasting School in Chicago, Steve joined WJOB-AM in Hammond, IN. One year later he moved to WLTH-AM in Gary, IN, eventually becoming that station’s Afternoon Drive Personality and Program Director. Next, he moved to Indianapolis where he joined the staff of the flagship station of the worldwide Indianapolis 500 Race, WIBC-AM/WNAP-FM. After two years in “naptown,” having added the responsibilities of FM music director to his on-air duties, Steve returned home to do afternoon drive at Chicago’s WBBM-FM.
In 1973, Steve’s commanding lead with the FM afternoon drive audience brought him to the attention of WLS-AM who hired him away for a five year run as their 10pm-2am personality. In 1978, Steve got into talk radio when he joined WIND-AM. After a short stint with WDAI-FM, where he did first afternoon drive and then morning drive, Steve returned to WIND and talk radio until 1984. While at WIND one of Steve’s favorite “subjects” soon became Johnnie Putman. The duo was thrown together a lot for station promotions culminating with the ultimate “promotion”… their wedding.
In 1985, Johnnie joined Steve on WGN and their pairing resulted in “The Steve & Johnnie Show.”
King’s broadcast experience is not limited to radio alone. For three years, he hosted the program, “Chicago,” which aired on WFLD-TV. During Steve’s final season as host (with Johnnie producing), the show received an Emmy nomination. Steve and Johnnie have co-hosted WGN-TV’s MDA Telethon, and in 1987 hosted WGN-TV’s eleven hour salute to Elvis Presley (which they also co-wrote). Steve and Johnnie have also been featured on NBC-TV’s “Today,” as well as providing their voices for an episode of NBC-TV’s “ER.”
Steve and Johnnie quite frequently find themselves on stage or doing a special project to help raise money for a worthy cause like The WGN Neediest Kids Fund. Hosting the “Street Carols” Christmas concerts and the sales of their “Life After Dark” CD (featuring live performances from Steve and Johnnie’s show) raised thousands of dollars for the fund. They were also honored to be asked to host and perform on the stage of the legendary Ryman Auditorium, in Nashville, TN to benefit the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame Foundation.
In addition, on a more personal level, since being diagnosed with Celiac Sprue (a complete intolerance to gluten) Steve has become very involved with local and national Celiac organizations in educating and helping others with the disease.
Off the air, Steve’s interests (other than Johnnie) include guitars, writing, computers, comic books, cars, and not surprisingly, music.