“Deck The Airwaves” – A Christmas Radio Special on CKCU 93.1FM

“Deck The Airwaves” – A Christmas Radio Special on CKCU 93.1FM

Hosted by Clara Charron & Trish Bolechowsky on Monday, December 25th 2017 at 7am EST.

Replay online on the CKCU 93.1 FM website.

Original Article by Clara Charron.

Clara’s Original Written Plan

7:00-7:05 – BBC News Broadcast

SONG: “Dear Santa (Bring Me A Man This Christmas)” by The Weather Girls – 4:00

  • If you’re only going to have one hit, you might as well make a Christmas version of it. Yes, those were the same The Weather Girls from “It’s Raining Men, Hallelujah!”
  • Welcome to Deck The Airwaves on CKCU, a Christmas radio special where we’ll be exploring the Holiday music industry in North America.
  • [Introductions Here]
  • During the next hour and a bit, we’ll be answering the important questions we all ask ourselves every December – including, but not limited to…

-Why is Christmas the only mainstream, annual Western holiday with lots of famous, respected, accompanying music?

– Why do so many popular artists release Holiday albums?

– Who on Earth gets filled with Christmas joy when the same ten Holiday songs play over and over on loop from October until New Year on retail loud speakers?

  • Historical beginnings of Christmas
    • There are Holidays in North America that are bigger than Christmas (Easter for Christians and Thanksgiving for Americans)
    • December 25th is celebrated at Jesus’ birthday by Christians, making it annual for our calendar
    • Cultural celebration of gifts + story of Babushka
    • Easy to adapt for an increasingly secular and materialistic society (adaptions such as “Greensleeves” into “What Child Is This?”)

– But we’re going to play you something a little bit more wholesome next.

SONG: “The Little Drummer Boy” by The Harry Simeone Chorale – 3:30

7:20’ish – Ad Break #1

– Fast forward to the mid-20th century, Christmas music began to really take its current form. Here is the a song that was #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 weekly charts for four weeks, during Christmas 1958. To this day, it is still the only Holiday song to ever reach #1.

SONG: “The Chipmunk Song” by The Chipmunks feat. David Seville – 2:30

Fun Facts about “The Chipmunk Song”

– The chipmunks, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, are named after the record label executives who green light this project (we gave the music industry so much money back then…).

– This song won 3 Grammy Awards, and was nominated for Record of The Year.

– Ross Bag-da-sarian Sr. who plays the human on the recording, also voiced the chipmunks by recording the tape at a slower speed, and then speeding it up after, making the pitch higher. He worked on the production mostly unsupervised, but with a little help implementing these pioneering recording techniques from musician Les Paul, who also designed the iconic Gibson electric guitar.

– In the song, Alvin sings about wanting a hula-hoop for Christmas. It might seem random to us now, but hula-hoops were the hot new toy that year.

  • Next up, we’ve got a Christmas classic that has surpassed a million digital downloads, and lands on Billboard’s weekly charts year after year. It’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.”

SONG: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee – 2:00

  • [Talk about Billboard data over the decades]
    • Lots of songs in 1958
    • Not much of a splash until the late 90’s
    • Pop acts in the 2000’s
    • A genre renaissance in the last few years

– This was another big song to make it on Billboard’s weekly charts in their first year. From Rock n’ Roll legend, Chuck Berry, here is “Run Rudolf Run.”

SONG: “Run Rudolf Run” by Chuck Berry – 3:00

– And here is a song that charted pretty high just last year, despite being from the same era.

SONG: “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms  – 2:00

  • Trivia Question: What is the bestselling Holiday song of all time? The answer will be hinted at in the weather forecast.
  • [Weather Forecast]

– So, what is the bestselling Holiday song of all time? If you guessed Bing Crosby’s 1945 “White Christmas,” you are correct. Please congratulate yourself while listening to this one commercial. We’ll be right back to explain in great depth why every pop star feels the need to record a Christmas album.

7:45’ish – Ad Break #2

  • Does it seem like every year, a new bunch of big name artists release albums of Holiday music Well, there are two big reasons why the music industry isn’t going to stop flooding us with new Christmas albums anytime soon.
  • The first reason is that it’s an economically safe investment…
  • The second reason is one that benefits the artists who are miserable and stuck in multiple album deals…
  • Now, I mentioned earlier in the show that, the Holiday music genre went through a long period of pop culture stagnation….
  • But, in 1994, a new Christmas classic blew the floodgates wide open again. Jingle bells and whistle notes in three…two…one…

SONG: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey – 4:00

8:00-8:05 – BBC News Broadcast

  • Mariah Carey’s jolly Holiday masterpiece signalled a new era of innovation in the genre.
  • It is still the biggest hit of Mariah Carey’s career, and continues to land on various Billboard charts every year since its release (due to some now-dissolved rules on eligibility for the Hot 100, it wasn’t allowed to be counted there until 2012 onwards). Almost every mainstream artist’s Christmas album since Mariah’s contains a heavily marketed original new single.

– The rest of the album is filled, of course, with covers of old classics. Here is a Christmas single by Maroon 5.

SONG: “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by Maroon 5 – 3:30

  • [Local Show Listings]
  • We kicked off the show this morning with a Christmas version of the only hit from an 80’s pop duo. They are nowhere close to being the only ones to do this with their only big song. In 1996, “The Macarena” was the taking music listeners by storm. Naturally, the band crafted a Christmas remix in time for the Holidays. Both of these songs charted at the same time.

SONG: “Macarena Christmas” by Los Del Rio – 4:00 (We can fade out early if we need to)

  • Quick! We need to play a song that won’t scare the local wildlife…

SONG: “Ave Maria” by Leona Lewis – 4:00

  • So, we are currently living in the Christmas music renaissance. Not since the mid-20th century has there been so many new songs been written, albums being recorded, and chart positions being occupied by this very specific niche of music. Other than Mariah, what gives?
  • Another huge factor is the change in listening format on a corporate level.
    • Retail playlists
    • How chart points work
    • Christmas music has been brought back by the sheer force of repetition
  • [good-byes, where to find us online]

– And we’ll be closing out with the best selling Christmas song of all time… Here is Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

SONG: “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby – 3:00

8:30 – End

 

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