It’s really hard to believe that it has been 30 years since Dave Jackson and I kicked off the original Smorgasbord Radio Show at Downers Grove North High School radio station, WDGC 88.3 FM. Dave and I had a unique chemistry that made the show special. Sadly, at the pressure of parents who wanted me to amount to something, I never pursued a professional radio career, so there was a 25-year gap between my last radio show at my college station and the time that I brought the Smorgasbord show back in podcast form in early 2010.
Over the past 82 episodes, I have been blessed to have another fantastic partner by my side for this new adventure – my daughter, Ally. If you listen to the shows that have been recorded over the span of the past three years, you can hear how she has grown into a strong partner. The SmorgShow Podcast has been a great hobby for Ally and me as it has created a bond and special memories between us that will forever last. It’s also allowed me to get the creative juices flowing again after two long decades of an office career. Thanks to 21st century technological advances, we have been able to take the show to a level that was not possible when Dave and I did the original show back in the 80’s. For the most part, Ally and I have tried to make the new show our own rather than try and recreate what Dave and I did 30 years ago. But on this particular anniversary episode, we could not let the milestone occasion pass without looking back and celebrating what we did all those years ago.
I think we created something special with episode 82. Those with an acute attention to detail will notice that the anniversary show where we look back on 1982 actually falls on episode #82. Coincidence? Of course, it would not be a complete celebration if we did not have one of the original co-founders of the Smorgasbord Show, Dave Jackson, present for the event. On this particular occasion, we chose to return to our original stomping grounds and host the event at the fabulous Carlisle Banquets in Lombard, IL. This is where Dave and I hosted “The Taste of the Smorg, 1984” (a nod to Taste of Chicago where local restaurants set up their stands and sell samples of their menu items). We were able to line up quite a variety of food vendors this time around. In addition to sampling some of the great foods from around the country, we couldn’t resist the urge to dust off some of the old Smorgasbord Show recordings and give them a spin. Admittedly, some stood the test of time better than others.
This episode is nearly 3 hours long because in addition to going down memory lane, we booked a list of great entertainers who performed live on two different stages at the Carlisle. On the Oakbrook Room Stage: Hawaii’s David Kamakahi & Ikaika Brown, Iceland’s Sjonni’s Friends, the SmorgShow’s very own Phillip Donald, and Ally performs her brand new ballad, “Untold Stories” to an adoring crowd. Also, we are very excited that our good friend from Cheltenham, England – Jordan Martyn – came all the way to Chicago for our show and decided to debut two brand new songs never heard before tonight. Finally, on the Butterfield Room Stage, we are entertained by the sounds of Richard Cheese and his band ‘Lounge Against the Machine’.
I’d like to thank everyone who has been with us on this journey. Whether you listened to us during the original run or just recently stumbled upon us, we really appreciate our audience. I hope we can provide additional entertainment value to you for many years to come.