Sunday, December 24, 2017


I will not be doing a podcast for Christmas. I should do a podcast since I paid for a whole year of service and haven't use very much of it. Time and lack of my own equipment are major factors. There is another factor in this possible decision...I'm hearing more and more people say they hate Christmas music.

Now, before someone tries to give some talk radio/Fox News/alt-Right explanation, I have the answer. I'm biting the hand that feeds me by saying this, but the blame should go to radio.

You see, once upon a time, Christmas music didn't saturate the radio airwaves. As a matter of fact, I remember several 80s Christmas songs that we are now sick off, being played maybe once or not at all on local radio. I remember hearing the Bruce Springsteen "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" about twice. However, "Thank God It's Christmas," "Christmas Wrapping Paper," and "Last Christmas" were not heard. The only place you heard "Do They Know It's Christmas" could only be heard on the syndicated Rock Over London radio show. You only heard "Wonderful Christmas Time" on an American Top 10 Christmas Special.  John Lennon was assassinated in December of 1980, but no radio stations played "Happy Xmas (The War Is Over)" at all that Christmas. You might hear "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" once and wow be unto the kid, who made the mistake of calling the radio station to request that song (It was apparently okay for DJs to cuss out kids back then).

This wasn't just the 80s. A colleague of mine tells about a later, well-know media figure in Springfield, announcing he was going to doing "some special" on his radio show on Christmas eve. He played Gene Autry's "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer."

The only time you heard Christmas music on the radio when I was a kid was ON CHRISTMAS DAY. Usually, it was instrumental versions of Christmas songs or one of the those giveaway Christmas records.

The all Christmas programming came about after 9-11-2001. After that radio stations began changing to all Christmas even before Halloween. One year in Springfield, Missouri there were three radio stations doing all Christmas.

The problem is radio only uses the Christmas songs that "test well" or have high recognition, then they play those same few over and over in heavy rotation. We are beaten to death with the same songs for about two months.

Then there is the radio industries dirty little secret about the all Christmas hides the fact that the radio station is "downsizing" staff.

In recent years, I have become more of a fan of that older, easy listening, instrumental style of Christmas music, made famous on YouTube by the tape of Kmart's in-store Christmas music from 1974. I like to listen to Christmas music, but on my own terms.

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