The 28th annual edition of 24 Nonstop Hours on the 24th Day of December! All day, all night December 24th!Robert Drake here – excited to once again host The Night Before on XPN!
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It was 28 years ago when WXPN came to me, with those puppy-dog eyes, hoping that I'd fill in on December 24. Seems no one was available, and in those days before digital, you needed a body to oversee any programming. So, I agreed - as long as they gave me complete freedom to spin an aural web of sounds of the season - direct from my collection of holiday tunes.
What they didn't know was that I had already developed a fascination for Christmas songs. Not the burnt cookies anyone can hear up and down the dial in December. My collection was chock-full of unique nuggets - some not given the light of day for decades.
So, they agreed to give me three hours and I delivered. The three hours went to four - which went to six and then to twelve, to celebrate twelve years of tradition! The following year management asked what I planned to do to top my 12-hour marathon. I said, how 'bout 24 hours?! After checking my pulse and temperature - just to be sure I wasn't babbling under some illness - they agreed. Ever since, I've been on the air for 24-nonstop hours every Christmas Eve.
And now I am doing it all again!
Within my 24 hour radio takeover on December 24, I will air some special programming that have become traditions within the tradition! Every Christmas Eve morning at 10am, I replay Home For The Holidays hosted by Helen Leicht. An amazing selection of regional artists perform classic sounds of the season.
At noon it's my annual broadcast of STRIKING TWELVE - a wonderful and creative retelling of "The Little Match Girl", a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen and performed here by GroveLily! If you want to own this performance, visit this link: groovelily.bandcamp.com
Later in the evening at 7pm, I broadcast It's A Wonderful Life - the 1947 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed ... a perfect way to showcase the magic of radio on this most magical of nights!
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To better explain The Night Before on XPN with Robert Drake, check out this 'timeless classic' about my annual aural tradition, written and performed by Philly's own Bah & The Humbugs to celebrate my (then) 20th anniversary of The Night Before The Night Before
A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU
XPN hosts Eric Schuman and Robert Drake took a deep dive into the seminal 1963 holiday release from Phil Spector - track by track. Sure, you might know the songs, but chances are you don't know the backstory! This is required listening for any fan of Christmas music!Phil Spector Christmas Special
On behalf of all of us at WXPN, I want to thank you for being valuable part of the experiment that is Member-Supported Radio! Without your support, a program like The Night Before on XPN would be impossible to produce year after year. To show our thanks, feel free to submit a brief holiday greeting to your loved ones for possible inclusion on the 26th annual edition of The Night Before on XPN! I'll do my best to read as many greetings as possible during my 24-hours on air, Thursday, December 24!
If you're not already a member of WXPN, consider changing that today - click here for details!
Happy Holidays! – Robert Drake
***Please Note: Submission does not guarantee greeting will be read on air.