This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Goodnight everyone, and have a Windy City Christmas weekend!


In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’

Dave Barry

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year.
 Victor Borge

The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.
Joan Rivers

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

This week the latest entries into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced. Rock group Chicago wasn’t on the list. The snub is mystifying given the band’s body of work that stretches over 40 years. In my book, they’re beyond deserving.

Tonight, we continue the sounds of the season. In 1998, Chicago released its first Christmas album. A few years ago, another was produced. It’s good stuff: holiday tunes done Chicago style.

Let’s begin with a rousing opening.


Children ride sleds down a hill as the first snowfall of the season hits Brussels, Belgium on Dec. 2. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

Have you ever heard a cooler version of Let It Snow?

Here’s another live version of a track from Chicago 25.

A man walks at a park during a snowfall in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria, on Dec. 11. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

Billboard charts indicate Chicago is second only to the Beach Boys among American bands in sales of singles and albums. But no membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Why not? A possible explanation in a bit.

Next, recorded live at the House of Blues in Hollywood...


OK. Why no Hall of Fame honors for Chicago? The website might have some insight:

“Chicago has been singularly underrated since the beginning of its long career, both because of its musical ambitions (to the musicians, rock is only one of several styles of music to be used and blended, along with classical, jazz, R&B, and pop) and because of its refusal to emphasize celebrity over the music. The result has been that many critics have consistently failed to appreciate its music and that its media profile has always been low. “

If that’s the case, pretty weak reasoning to leave Chicago out.

Up next, the band’s take on a Peanuts classic.


Choristers from Winchester Cathedral don ice-skates to enjoy the artificial rink set up beside the cathedral on December 11, 2012 in Winchester, England. Getty Images.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Chicago’s manager played football at a famous university. The band has paid some visits to the school.  We close with one of those visits during a pre-game ceremony with that school’s band.


Merry Christmas.


The South Bend Tribune reports, “The band's manager, (Peter) Schivarelli played football at Notre Dame in the 1960s and early '70s for Ara Parseghian. 
A native of Chicago, Schivarelli knew the band before such songs as '25 or 6 to 4' made its members famous and says this won't be the first time they have watched a Notre Dame game from the sidelines. Schivarelli got Chicago on the sidelines for the 1974 game against Southern California, when Trojan halfback Anthony Davis scored six second-half touchdowns…(The band's connection to Notre Dame football, however, runs deeper than the occasional view from the sidelines. Chicago donates a portion of every ticket it sells…to the Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, which is seeking a cure to Neimann-Pick Type C, a disease that afflicts children.)”

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