Tag Archives: john howell

The John Howell Christmas Song Playlist

The following is a partial list of the Holiday Songs from my private stash that you might have heard this season on WLS-AM 890.  I recommend all of them. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays! -John Howell

*Christmas In Killarney/Al Jarreau (Super talent)

*Let It Be Christmas/Alan Jackson (Nice original tune)

*Yule Swing/Anna Wilson (Great swinging chart)

*The Christmas Song/Arthur Blythe Quartet (Spirited)

*Jingle Bells/Arturo Sandoval (Best import from Cuba since cigars)

*Xmas In Jail/Asleep At The Wheel  (Very funny; somewhat sad)

*Merry Christmas Baby/B.B. King (Smoking)

*Linus & Lucy/Béla Fleck & The Flecktones (So good)

*Feliz Navidad/Billy Joe Shaver  (Billy Joe was an American treasure)

*Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo/Billy May (Billy was a genius LA arranger, very funny)

*The Christmas Waltz/Brecker Brothers w/Steve Kahn (Very hip, of course)

*You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch/Brian Setzer Orchestra  (Very strong)

*Bach’s Bell/Canadian Brass  (Classy)

*Christmas Time Is Here/Canadian Brass (Makes me want to drink)

*It`s Bad To Have The Blues (At Christmas Time)/Charlie Daniels  (Charlie was a political nutjob, but one of my favorites musically)

*White Christmas/Charlie Parker (Pure genius)

*Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow/Dave McKenna (Used to watch Dave play in Boston dive bars)

*The Christmas Song/Dexter Gordon (My favorite tenor player)

*March of the Toys/Doc Severinsen (This is why I watched Carson)

*Jingle Bells/Duke Ellington  (Duke: The greatest, period.)

*Santa Claus Is Back In Town/Dwight Yoakam (Tex-Mex Elvis)

*Santa Baby/Eartha Kitt (Madonna wishes she had this talent)

*The Secret of Christmas/Ella Fitzgerald (So great)

*Christmas Time Is Here/Eric Marienthal (I played with Eric at Berklee, he doesn’t remember me)

*For Christ’s Sake, It’s Christmas/George Strait (Great title)

*The Happy Elf/Harry Connick Jr. (Goofy, but cool)

*Happy Hanukkah My Friend/Grady Tate & Houston Person (Nice ballad)

*Brazilian Sleigh Bells/Harry James (I must have been drinking…not great)

*Deck The Halls/Herbie Hancock  (Chicago’s own)​​

*Winter Wonderland/Huey Lewis (Very strong)

*We Wish You A Merry Christmas/Jerry Jeff Walker (Gonzo)

*Greensleeves/John Coltrane (Don’t be scared…just enjoy)

*Winter Wonderland/John Anderson (Such a voice, gifted)

*I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus/John Mellencamp (Stupid song, smart singer)

*Christmas In Prison/John Prine  (Real pick me upper)

*Cool Yule/Kurt Elling (Chicago’s own)

*God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Lou Rawls (So cool)

*Zat You Santa Claus?/Louis Armstrong (Pops!!)

*Even Santa Claus Gets The Blues/Marty Stuart (Guy’s totally underrated)

*Christmas Medley/Maynard Ferguson (The Boss!!)

*I’ll Be Home For Christmas/McCoy Tyner (Creative…and then some)

*If We Make It Through December/Merle Haggard (Spoiler alert: The marriage didn’t survive)

*Santa Claus Is Comin to Town/Ray Charles (Brother Ray. Enough said)

*Winter Wonderland/Ray Charles  (Great chart)

*Sleigh Ride/Richie Cole & Art Pepper Quintet (Self indulgent, but who cares?)

*O Come All Ye Faithful/Ricky Skaggs (Just beautiful)

*Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow/Ricochet (Nice, concise)

*My Favorite Things/Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass (Tribute to Coltrane)

*Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas/Roomful Of Blues (The entire album swings)

*Deck the Halls/Singers Unlimited (Chicago studio legends)

*Jazz Musician’s Christmas/Jack Sheldon w/The Tom Kubis Big Band (Very funny)

*The Twelve Days of Christmas (My Agent Gave to Me)/Jack Sheldon w/The Tom Kubis Big Band 

*I’ll Be Home for Christmas/Tony Bennett  (With Basie Band)

*Run Rudolph Run/Tractors (Earthy)

*Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy/Travis Tritt (Loads of talent)

*Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!/Wynton Marsalis (He’s better than me)

Merry Christmas, listen to something new, aim higher. 


We have a limited number of foursomes available that will be joined by Chris Plante to be your caddy for a minimum of 3 holes. If you’re a fan of Plante, then here’s your chance to hang with him personally at the outing, at no extra charge over ticket price!

Gift bags for all ticket holders valued at $75 (half our ticket fee).

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS, especially the Chris Plante Caddy Foursomes… those will NOT LAST LONG!

Join Chris Plante and John Howell, along with Bruce St. James and Judy Pielach out on one of Chicagoland’s most esteemed golf courses for one of the coolest golf outings of the summer, The WLS-AM 890 Links & Drinks Open at Klein Creek Golf Club!



WHEN: MONDAY, JULY 26th (7:30am registration / 8am Shotgun start)

About this event:

Join Chris Plante, John Howell, Bruce St. James and Judy Pielach on the fairways for the Links & Drinks Open! Get golf tips and rub shoulders with the team, win prizes, play hooky on a Monday and play in the coolest golf outing you’ll see this summer!

Come solo or bring a group of friends and challenge yourself in this Best Ball Scramble format. Whether you are a scratch golfer or an occasional golfer, this event is for you! Klein Creek is a premium 18-hole semi-private course centrally located in the western suburbs. Each hole is designed to create a lasting golfing memory.

We’ll keep you busy as you navigate yourself around the course with Longest Drive contests, Closest to the Pin and much more with an opportunity to win great prizes like trips, money and tons of concerts, listed below. We’ll wrap up the day with a drink at the “19th Hole,” and then collect your prizes and winnings at the awards banquet with a delicious lunch and entertaining live DJ.

For (1) entry fee, you will receive a gift bag, breakfast, lunch, 18-holes of golf in a scramble format, seat at our post-tourney awards banquet. Each foursome will be provided a golf cart.

Due to high demand, please register today. We don’t want you to lose your spot in the fun and sun!

Sponsored by Apple Vacations and RIU Hotels & Resorts

We’ll also have a silent and live auction to benefit the Ride Janie Ride Foundation.

The mission of the Ride Janie Ride Foundation is to provide direct financial assistance to Chicagoland area individuals facing financial hardship resulting from ongoing medical treatment for various types of cancer.


Catered lunch provided by Aurelio’s Pizza of Wheaton-Winfield!



Some of the concert tickets you could win!!!!!!!!!!!

  • James Taylor and Jackson Browne – United Center – July 29
  • 3 Doors Down – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – August 5
  • The Black Crowes – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – August 7
  • Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman – Allstate Arena – August 14
  • Kings of Leon – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – August 20
  • Daryl Hall and John Oates – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – August 26
  • Rise Against – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island – August 28
  • The Doobie Brothers – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – August 29
  • Greta Van Fleet – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island – September 3
  • KISS – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – September 4
  • 311 – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island – September 10
  • Alanis Morissette – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – September 11
  • The Struts – Riviera Theatre – September 14
  • Guns N’ Roses – Wrigley Field – September 16
  • Dead and Company – Wrigley Field – September 17 and September 18
  • PRIMUS – A Tribute To Kings – The Chicago Theatre September 21
  • Alice Cooper – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island – September 24
  • New Order – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island – October 1
  • Des Rocs – Beat Kitchen – October 1
  • Dashboard Confessional – Riviera Theatre – October 7
  • Tame Impala – United Center – October 7
  • Porter Robinson – Navy Pier – October 9
  • Ministry – Riviera Theatre – October 10
  • Jukebox The Ghost – House of Blues – October 21
  • Bleachers – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom – October 28
  • COIN – House of Blues – October 29
  • The Driver Era – Vic Theatre – November 17
  • CHVRCHES – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom – November 19
  • girl in red – Metro – March 24 and March 25, 2022
  • The Flaming Lips – Riviera Theatre – April 6, 2022
  • The Revivalists – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom – April 8, 2022
  • The Airborne Toxic Event – Vic Theatre – April 14, 2022
  • KALEO – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom – April 30, 2022
  • Ashe – Metro – May 6 and 7, 2022
  • AJR – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – June 3, 2022
  • Steely Dan and Steve Winwood – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – June 19, 2022
  • Santana and Earth, Wind and Fire – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – July 2, 2022
  • Def Leppard and Motley Crue – Wrigley Field – July 8, 2022
  • Rage Against The Machine – Alpine Valley Music Theatre – July 9, 2022
  • Rage Against The Machine – United Center – July 11, 2022
  • Rod Stewart and Cheap Trick – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – July 16, 2022
  • Chris Stapleton – Wrigley Field – July 23, 2022
  • Roger Waters- United Center – July 26, 2022
  • Matchbox Twenty – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – August 7, 2022

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Volunteer shot while canvassing for 15th Ward candidate Joseph Williams

A campaign worker was recovering Monday after being shot in the leg while campaigning for 15th Ward aldermanic candidate Joseph Williams on Sunday.

Maxwell Little was going door to door to garner support for Williams when the shooting occurred at about 1:45 p.m. in the 6600 block of South Marshfield Avenue in the city’s West Englewood neighbourhood.

Little was on the sidewalk and streaming on Facebook Live when a man wearing a red mask shot him. The video shuts off just as he was shot in the leg.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez called the shooting “the same type of mindless gun violence we have seen in other neighbourhoods,” and said gun violence in the area “must be confronted and addressed directly and without excuses.”

11-year-old gets inspired by the movie ‘A Christmas Story’ and puts his tongue on a frozen pole.

11-year-old Spencer Kline from Sandwich Illinois decided to like a frozen pole while sledding. Friends of Kline called for help but he was able to pry himself off the pole before emergency crews arrived.

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray just want to make sure that you shouldn’t try everything you see in the movies.

PAWS Pet of the Week: Helena!

Are you on the search for an active, attentive pal who is full of energy? Then Helena may be the girl for you! She is playful and affectionate and loves to play fetch and snacking on treats! This one-year-old Terrier Mix would be a great walking partner because she can go for miles! She loves to give her owner kisses and to be close to wherever you are. Helena doesn’t like when her humans are gone most of the day. She aims to please, so she’d like a home where she will receive continued training. Helena has most recently been working on crate training and enjoys that! Helena is a strong pup who is looking for an experienced owner. She prefers to be the only dog in the home and would also do best with family members 15 and older.

Helena will be available for adoption tomorrow, Saturday, December 1st at a special suburban dog adoption event at the Walter E. Smithe Oak Brook Showroom, located at 1501 16th Street. PAWS will be bringing larger dogs like Helena, and some puppies who are in need of homes and space to run and play. Stop in from 12-3pm to meet the dogs, talk with PAWS, and take home your new best friend!

Ald. Matt O’Shea: 10th annual Beverly Hills Turkey Trot 5K

The 10th Annual Beverly Hills Turkey Trot 5K Run and Family Walk will be held on Saturday, November 24, 2018. Proceeds will benefit the 19th Ward Youth Foundation and the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Alderman Matt O’Shea talks about why you should join and how you’d be helping the community with Big John and Lauren Cohn. Plus they dive into Chicago politics a bit, specifically the mayoral race.

What did we learn today with Big John and Ramblin’ Ray? (10-26-18)

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray teach us about a house in Fresno California that got some serious fire damage in the fight to kill a spider.

Also learn about Ariana Grande’s love for her pet pig, Megan Kelly’s controversial comments, and the move for Halloween to always be on a Saturday.

Bill Cameron: “We’re in the divided states of America”

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined by Bill Cameron, from Connected to Chicago, where they talk about the upcoming elections and the divided between Republican’s and Democrats.


This weeks guest on Connected to Chicago is Mayoral candidate Amara Enyia listen in Sunday night at 7 pm.


PAWS Pet of the week: Caramel!



Want a sweet treat? Look no further than Caramel! She is a one-year-old Catahoula Leopard dog mix who is looking for an owner who loves to run or walk daily to help her exercise some of her excess energy! Caramel can be a little shy at first but once she warms up, she will be your best buddy for life! She would do best in a moderately active home with adults and no other pets so that she can be the center of attention.  Her dream home would have a yard she can play in!  Caramel would thrive in the hands of an experienced owner who will continue training.

Meet Caramel today at the PAWS Chicago Lincoln Park Adoption Center, located at 1997 N. Clybourn Avenue in Chicago. For more information, visit pawschicago.org or call 773-935-PAWS.

Join PAWS Chicago for a “sweet” Halloween adoption event at Dylan’s Candy Bar this Sunday, October 28 from 12-3pm. Meet adoptable puppies and dogs at 633 N. Michigan Avenue!

What did we learn today with Big John and Ramblin’ Ray? (10-25-18)

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray teach us about an Elmhurst musician, who was hitchhiking in Australia, and gets unexpected helicopter lift from ‘Thor’ actor Chris Hemsworth.

Plus, learn how it’s trout season and that 2 more bombs have been mailed today, one to Robert De Niro another to Vice President Mike Pence.

Michael Goodwin on Andrew Cuomo’s bomb false alarm, plus his appearance on CNN

Big John, Ramblin’ Ray, and NY Post author Michael Goodwin discusses the latest news stories. With the bombs that are being found addressed to political leaders, and the insensitive comments that have been made comparing it to 9-11. Plus his latest article in the New York Post, Liberals won’t admit Trump was right about migrant caravans.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray express the importance of ending Alzheimer’s. They’re joined by Dani Jachino, a participant for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s® – Chicago, she gives her story on why she walks and encourages others to get involved to help end Alzheimer’s.

My Mother lived the last year and a half of her life in a dementia unit.  My Dad’s brother and sister died of Alzheimer’s, as did another aunt and uncle.  Friends’ parents had the disease.  Friend’s spouses have the disease. I do not want it and I want an end for future generations.

Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.

Interested in donating or getting involved? Check out Dani Jachino’s page and donate towards her walk, or register and get yourself walking Sunday, October 28th.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2018 Winter Tour with Al Pitrelli

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray have Music Director Al Pitrelli, from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, describe what’s in store for audience members this holiday season.

‘The Ghost of Christmas Eve’ tour will be playing the best of TSO and more.
You’ll have two chances to see them on December 28th at the Allstate Arena. Grab your tickets for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra this holiday season!

What did we learn today with Big John and Ramblin’ Ray? (10-24-18)

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray give the latest location of the caravan heading towards the U.S. border and what we should prepare ourselves for.

Plus what have we learned today? The shows ‘crack staff’ learned about the mega millions winner, how Rainbow cone will be staying open all winter long, and the hotel strikers who are suing the city. Also, learn about how you can own Walter Payton’s 1979 Porche!

Mecum Auctions 2018 at the Schaumburg Convention Center, Oct. 25th-27th

Big John, Ramblin’ Ray, and former professional gridiron football running back Jarrett Payton discuss the 2018 Mecum Auctions. Jarrett Payton is the son of NFL Legend Walter Payton, and he’s put up his father’s 1970 PORSCHE 930 TURBO up for auction.

Check out what’s up for auction for the 2018 Mecum Auctions in Chicago.
Then head over to the Schaumburg Convention Center at 1551 Thoreau Dr N to place your bid. Plus keep an out for Jarrett Payton and his family as they will be there this weekend from October 25th to 27th.

Chris Plante on the Caravan: Who does it benefit come election day?

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined by mid-day host Chris Plante in talking about the caravan making it’s way to the U.S, where Chris Plante explains how he thinks it will affect the polls. Why Plante thinks the Democrats will use this as a reason to make President Trump look terrible, and how the Republicans can use this to prove that we need stricter border laws.

Gov. Bruce Rauner: “I believe we’re gonna win again because we’re fighting for what’s right”

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined in studio with Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss the importance of this election along with everything he’s done to help Illinois and how much more he plans to get done if re-elected.

“This is a labor of love, this is our home, Illinois is home, Chicago areas are home. We have to protect our home from these crooks, we have to create a better future for our children and our grandchildren in our home, that’s all I care about, my ego is not in this.”

As a reminder to everyone, get out and vote! 


The latest political ad that John and Ray bring up with Gov Rauner: