Show TimesTimezone: EDT [UTC-4]
11:00 pm - 11:59 pm
12:00 am - 12:59 am
About the Show
Folk music and farce, show tunes and satire, madness and escape–that’s The Midnight Special! Original and offbeat, this two-hour Friday night romp from Chicago’s WFMT Radio Network presents fresh new singer-songwriters alongside well-known artists who have played at Chicago area clubs, concert venues, festivals, and on the comedy scene. Inclusive, high-energy, and always entertaining, The Midnight Special offers listeners a lively potpourri of folk songs, ballads and blues, showtunes, spoken word, and hilarious novelty routines. Escape into the stories, experience the emotions, and let loose with a good guffaw whenever you tune in.
Hosted for many years by Beaver Island Seasonal resident Rich Warren, the The Midnight Special is now hosted by Marilyn Rea Beyer. She got onboard the show by listening to WFMT as a teenager in Lansing, Illinois. Concerts at Orchestra Hall, the Earl of Old Town, and Navy Pier fueled her passion for folk music. Meanwhile, her lifelong love of musical theatre grew while studying performance at Purdue and Northwestern. After moving to New England, Marilyn spent many years as on-air folk radio host and music director at Boston’s WUMB and served on the board of legendary Club Passim. Her varied professions include education, high-tech, and PR. In 2019, she returned to Chicago and was tapped to take over from Rich Warren as host of The Midnight Special in 2020. You might see Marilyn emceeing a folk show, biking the Lakefront Trail, or doing live poetry and storytelling.
The Midnight Special is one of the most enduring syndicated folk music radio programs on the air. The show was established in Chicago on 98.7 WFMT-FM in 1953 with Mike Nichols as host, and went national in 1971. It has stayed current through decades of change, rich in tradition and history while retaining its timeliness, delighting listeners throughout the world with gentle irreverence or touching them with candid observation.
View The Midnight Special archived playlists.