Author: Jim Bartlett

The year was 1981. I was on the air on Thanksgiving Day, finishing up my show, when the phone rang. On the other end of the call was a very irate lady who wanted to know why I hadn’t played any Thanksgiving songs. I responded, “Ma’am, I’d be happy to play one if you can […]

Absentee ballots are going out from city and municipal clerks around the state this week. Lots of people are voting absentee for the first time in 2020. I have regularly voted absentee for years, so here’s some information you might find helpful.  You’ll get a copy of the same ballot you get at the polling […]

Statistics say that about 200,000 Americans and 4.1 million people worldwide are Leap Year babies, born on February 29, the day that comes only once every four years. I am one of them. People ask if it’s weird only having a birthday every four years. But celebrating on the 28th, the not-quite-date, is normal for […]

For most of the last three weeks, I have been in the Indianapolis area working another job I have, so I haven’t been on your radio (and thank you for noticing, if you did). I have not been here the whole time—I drove home for the Badger football game against Michigan, a 700-mile weekend round […]

I do not have anything remotely like a normal job. I do radio things for the stations of Mid-West Family Broadcasting some of the time. I work as a freelance writer some of the time. And I work as a teacher some of the time. (It has been many years since I sat in some […]

In 1983, I applied for a job at a new radio station in Madison called Magic 98. I didn’t get the gig—not until 2008, anyway—but one guy who joined up that year was Pat O’Neill. Since then, he’s become a Madison radio institution, as you know. What you may not know is that as Magic’s […]

It was the summer that Mount St. Helens blew its top, CNN went on the air, Richard Pryor set fire to himself, draft registration was reinstated, Ronald Reagan flirted with naming Gerald Ford as his running mate, the United States skipped the Moscow Olympics, and the shipyard workers struck in Poland. We counted the days […]

I have written before that my wife and I are beer tourists. We’ll take off on a weekend day and visit breweries, new ones and familiar ones, in Madison and elsewhere. Recently we’ve visited two that made a big impression on us. The first one is in Madison: Working Draft Beer Company, which opened in […]

You may not have heard about the recent death of Don Bustany. You may not recognize his name at all—even though he’s mentioned on Magic 98 every weekend. Don Bustany was the co-creator of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. Back in 1970, he and Casey dreamed up the idea of a weekly countdown show […]

Thirty-five years ago this month, Ann and I honeymooned in Chicago, back when we were young and broke. For our anniversary, no longer young and no longer broke, we decided we’d go back for a weekend. We started on Saturday afternoon with lunch at Giordano’s with a big ol’ Chicago-style pizza. From there, we walked […]


Current track

Title

Artist

Have a Say in What We Play!

Rate songs. Earn Rewards.

It’s easy! Rate a song and earn rewards towards dinners, concerts, theater, sporting events, and much more! And also get exclusive offers & invites to special events!
Join the Magic 98 Circle of Friends by clicking here or learn more.