ROGERS PARK — The first benefit for the "Live From The Heartland Radio Show" will be an afternoon packed full of music, conversation and friends at Red Line Tap on Sunday.
From 3-7 p.m., people are invited to bring a $25 suggested donation (but all are welcome) to check out more than two dozen musical guests playing the "Carry Onward Benefit" at the 7006 N. Glenwood Ave. pub — with the proceeds going to the radio show.
Thom Clark, a co-host and producer of the show, said money raised during the event will pay for their studio engineer for another year, as well as some new equipment.
The show is well-known across the city, especially on the North Side where it began over 20 years ago, and appears weekly on WLUW, 88.7 FM.
The format, which ranges from interviews to debates to live musical performances, is meant to "provide a weekly mix of lively conversation on current events, culture and music to faithful listeners in Rogers Park and throughout the Heartland on the Fresh Coast of Chicago."
Initially getting its start through Loyola University Affairs, "Live From The Heartland" at first struggled to find its voice, and recognize the voice of its community.
After several hosts rotated through, Michael James came on permanently — followed by Katy Hogan and Clark. Their music is produced by Lynn Orman.
For the majority of its run, the show has broadcasted live from the Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park, as you may have guessed, which was founded in part by James and Hogan nearly 40 years ago.
In recent years the restaurant and shop has undergone changes that's made it difficult for the show to continue at its old digs — the same place were people from President Barak Obama, Ald. Joe Moore (49th), Studs Terkel, and many other influential figures have been interviewed.
The show primarily broadcasts from Loyola's Downtown campus, with Hogan, Clark and James speaking with activists, performers, journalists, and politicians about life in Chicago.
Clark said he's grateful for the many guests the show has had over the years, and hopes to expand "Heartland's" presence online with the help of benefit funds.
It's an important radio show not only in its content, but in its function in the modern age when podcasts and other media are widely available.
"In an era of Spotify, Pandora and computer-generated music mixes, FM music radio is slowly dying like other parts of broadcast media," Clark said. "But news, sports and community-oriented original programming like that featured on WLUW still has an audience because it's local and current."
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