Night Before With Robert Drake

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The 27th 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!
Merry Fringemas!

Reach Robert on the
Jingle Line
at 215-573-WXPN
Check Out JingleJams

It was 27 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 some highlights from the amazing Home For The Holidays concert, hosted by Helen Leicht. Recorded earlier this month in front of a live audience at World Cafe Live, Helen gathered an amazing round of regional artists to perform classic sounds of the season and I will air some of those performances throughout the hour.

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:

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!

The Night Before on XPN made possible with support from XPN Members and from ...


Make sure to hashtag your posts, pics & tweets... #XPNNightBefore

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


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!

#XPNNightBefore Instagram Photo Gallery

Follow Along on Twitter: #XPNNightBefore
JoeMustKnowJoeMustKnow - It's A Wonderful Life has become my favorite Christmas tradition thanks to #xpnnightbefore & @DJRobertDrake - 01:36AM Dec 25

CrabsncornCrabsncorn - @djrobertdrake After you played the 12 Gifts of Christmas you said that anyone under 10 years old wouldn't understand the gifts. Then my 30 year old son said he doesn't know what most of those gifts are and asked me what a transistor radio is. Lol! #xpnnightbefore - 11:16PM Dec 24

kwkleiner1kwkleiner1 - #xpnnightbefore Robert- you need to light the third bulb@on the menorah- please - 11:00PM Dec 24

ShelleyResslerShelleyRessler - Sequestering myself to wrap gifts, with eggnog and @wxpnfm #xpnnightbefore - 09:19PM Dec 24

sammers_scottsammers_scott - #xpnnightbefore Greetings from Melbourne, FL! We’re happy to be back in Cranbury, NJ and Philly area celebrating with our friends and family! Still keeping our XPN membership strong 1000 miles away. - 04:55PM Dec 24

MaryannMcMitchMaryannMcMitch - Good morning Robert! From mine to yours.. happy Holidays. Looking forward to the Zepplin Mashup! #XPNNightBefore pic.twi... - 12:50PM Dec 24

jpbutlerjpbutler - Merry Christmas @DJRobertDrake — #xpnnightbefore is one of our favorite holiday traditions way up here in Concord, Massachusetts! - 11:16AM Dec 24

janeg2018janeg2018 - A bit of insomnia has me feeling like a kid hiding my transistor radio under my pillow to listen to music. Tonight it’s #XPNnightbefore @DJRobertDrake and a tech upgrade to my iPhone but still childlike wonder. Merry Christmas! - 09:21AM Dec 24

SteveCoarSteveCoar - #xpnnightbefore Mood set pic.twi... - 05:22AM Dec 24

EmorysGirlEmorysGirl - I have never been so glad my kids wouldn’t go to bed so I couldn’t start wrapping until late because this year I get to listen to the kick off of #xpnnightbefore ! Yay @DJRobertDrake !!!! Here’s to a great 24+ hours! - 05:02AM Dec 24

happilyhoppedhappilyhopped - #xpnnightbefore let the festivities begin! - 05:02AM Dec 24

JoeMustKnowJoeMustKnow - #XPNNightBefore this Disney song is trippin me the fudge out. There's a dam spookiness to it. - 05:37AM Dec 25

EmorysGirlEmorysGirl - Nothing like coming out of church to “Yuletide Zeppelin” #XPNnightbefore - 10:05PM Dec 24

EileenCunniffeEileenCunniffe - That was a beautiful thing you just did there, Robert with The Night Before the Night Before Christmas"! #XPNNightBefore @wxpnfm - 07:23PM Dec 24

EmorysGirlEmorysGirl - @DJRobertDrake I want Sy to know his song made my 7 year old dance around the room while “The Night Before the Night Before.” That was lovely. #XPNnightbefore - 07:20PM Dec 24

DavidLeiggiDavidLeiggi - #XPNNightBefore Thank you Robert Drake! My 24th year enjoying The Night Before! - 02:11PM Dec 24

susanmlodziensksusanmlodziensk - @DJRobertDrake you made him smile #XPNnightbefore TY - 12:41PM Dec 24

jpbutlerjpbutler - You should tune to #XPNNightBefore right now and leave it on all day. @DJRobertDrake hosts the best day of music every year! www.xpn... - 11:30AM Dec 24

wxpnfmwxpnfm - . @DJRobertDrake has outdone himself yet again - transforming the WXPN Broadcast studio into a Winter Wonderland for #XPNNightBefore ! Tune in for the next 24 hours. Listen, watch and join the facebook group. www.xpn... pic.twi... - 05:08AM Dec 24

wxpnfmwxpnfm - If you hear the sound of sleigh bells, you're not dreaming -- it's just our @DJRobertDrake , here to take you away for the next 24 hours with the #XPNNightBefore ! For your Christmas eve, it's nothing but holiday music for the next 24 hours. Tune in at pic.twi... - 05:00AM Dec 24