As the year winds down, we’ve got music to soundtrack the holidays as well as the last days of 2022 and the first of 2023!
8 p.m.: The 14th annual WXPN Home For The Holidays Concert starring Arthur Thomas & The Funkitorium, Muscle Tough, and Sug Daniels! Watch the video webcast at XPN.org or tune in on your radio to hear it on the XPN Local show!
December 23rd – December 24th
It’s DJ Robert Drake’s 30th Annual edition of The Night Before, so he’s going the extra mile and staying on the radio for 30 straight hours this year! On top of his usual unique seasonal curation of holiday classics and forgotten favorites, here are some highlights to listen for.
12/23, 6 p.m.: The Night Before The Night Before Holiday Party Mix
To kick off my 30-HOUR takeover of WXPN, I present The Night Before The Night Before Holiday Party Mix! A perfect backdrop for whatever holiday gatherings you might have planned on Friday night. Even if you’re chilling at home or stuck at work, I promise to bring extra doses of musical holly and jolly to help make the night bright!
12/24, 4 a.m.: Trans-Siberian Orchestra presents The Ghost of Christmas Eve Radio Show
This special includes exclusive new interviews from Trans-Siberian Orchestra members Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, and Jeff Plate. The three band members shared stories from past tours, the height of their appreciation for their favorite TSO songs, and other interesting nuggets about holiday rock music. Naturally, the unique music of TSO is also featured within the hour.
12/24, noon: Striking 12: The GrooveLily Musical
A funny, touching, uplifting hybrid piece of musical theatre in which the story is sung, played, acted, and dissected on stage by an unusual rock band, GrooveLily. The show runs on three levels: a musical retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl”; the story of a grumpy 30-something whose anti-holiday outlook is changed by a door-to-door saleswoman of holiday lights that combat seasonal affective disorder; and the interaction of the three musicians who frequently interrupt the proceedings. Since 2005, Striking 12 has been an intricate part of The Night Before on XPN, airing each Christmas Eve when the clock ‘strikes twelve’ (noon)!!
12/24, 4 p.m.: The Film Score – Music for the Winter Holidays
This hour-long special is hosted by Michael San Gabino and devoted to holiday and wintertime movie music. In addition to beloved standards (“White Christmas” from “Holiday Inn” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from “Meet Me in St. Louis”), Michael shares an eclectic mix of wintry film scores, ranging from “It Happened in Sun Valley” (from “Sun Valley Serenade”) to Alexandre Desplat’s folk-inspired score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” to Bernard Herrmann’s bracing sleigh ride accompaniment composed for the Orson Welles drama “The Magnificent Ambersons.”
12/24, 7 p.m.: Lux Radio Theatre presents It’s A Wonderful Life
First aired in March of 1947, the annual WXPN broadcast of the Lux Radio Theatre production of “It’s A Wonderful Life” has helped bring the true magic of radio to a new generation of ears. Featuring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in this vintage radio production, it’s the story of a typical American. It might be you – it might be me. He dreams of glory, he lives in hope, he loves and doubts and only providence puts a final value on his service to humanity.
It’s a full day of the music of the season, picking up right after Robert Drake ends The Night Before: here’s what you’ll hear on A Very XPN Christmas.
1 a.m.: Merry Fringemas! with Eric Schuman
It’s another XPN tradition: Merry Fringemas – hosted by Eric Schuman and featuring songs and more from the cutting room floor of The Night Before. Merry Fringemas airs the first hours of Christmas, midnight to 4 a.m. and is designed to keep company all of Santa’s helpers burning that midnight oil.
4 a.m.: The Echoes Solstice special
6 a.m.: A Sleepy Hollow Christmas Pt. 1 with Keith Kelleher
8 a.m.: A Sleepy Hollow Christmas Pt. 2 with Julian Booker
11 a.m.: A holiday edition of Dave’s World with David Dye
1 p.m.: The World Cafe Holiday Show featuring Los Lobos and a mix of the music of the season
3 p.m.: A Christmas-ified edition of The Geator’s Rock & Roll Rhythm and Blues Express
4 p.m.: American Routes presents Sounds of the Solstice and Winter Holidays
It’s the season of cold weather, darkness, solstice, and… holidays. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years ahead. A time of celebration and contemplation, family and friends but also some broken hearts and Christmas blues. From cold weather and cold-hearted blues of Snooky Pryor, Big Maceo and Aretha Franklin to the warm side of the season with Louis Jordan and Ella Fitzgerald, Wille Nelson and Elvis. And Hanukkah sounds from Bela Fleck and Andy Statman. Plus, we explore Santa’s exploits, fallibility, and possibility with songs from Baltimore’s Fat Daddy, Tampa Red and Tennessee Ernie Ford. Merry Xmas and more from American Routes!
8 p.m.: The WXPN Folk Show Holiday Special with Ian Zolitor.
10 p.m.: Christmas Conversations from the World Cafe
7 p.m.: Soundtrack your NYE party and ring in 2023 with WXPN’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve hosted by Dan Reed!
10 a.m.: Listen all New Year’s Day long as we count down WXPN’s Top 100 Most-Played Songs of 2022, hosted by David Dye, Jim McGuinn, Mike Vasilikos, and Bruce Warren.