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Christmas 2022

Strange to you but back in early days of Rock 'n Roll Radio, most stations didn't add Christmas music until the week before the day. Hard to believe, eh? For one thing, there weren't a whole bunch of Christmas Pop/Rock records that would fit. Think about it. Bing Crosby/White Christmas. And a few minutes later, Chuck Berry/Run, Rudolph Run. They didn't belong in the same room. But then, Top 40 playlists were very broad. There was a lot of old people sap on playlists at the same time as Jerry Lee Lewis was blowing old people's minds, and not in a good way.

The young rockers began to give us some great holiday songs. Brenda Lee and Elvis both released classic Christmas records in the late 50's. Then in 1963, Phil Spector's Christmas Album blew out the doors. Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes. Frosty The Snowman neck deep in the Wall of Sound. Wow! The earth shifted. But, Kennedy was killed a month before Christmas and the utter joy expressed in Phil's album of songs felt out of place. Music radio played mostly the somber, spiritual songs that year.

Brian Wilson loved Spector's album and in the '64 season, The Beach Boys released their own Christmas collection, adding two budding new classics that remain on a lot of playlists to this day. From then on a new Christmas Classic song came out at least every other year or two. Lennon/Happy Christmas. Carpenters/Merry Christmas Darling, Springsteen/Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Eagles/Please Come Home For Christmas on down to Taylor Swift.

Moving on into the 70's, we had about twenty solid, familiar holiday Hits to use each year, enough to work into a 'power' rotation. CHR stations began launching the jolly just after Thanksgiving/USA, that's the last Thursday in November. For many years, I'd hit with three an hour during Thanksgiving weekend, drop it to one an hour for the next week. Two an hour the week after and then three Christmas songs an hour until six pm Christmas Eve when we'd switch to All Christmas Music for the next 30 hours. On the 26th, I'd run one, sometimes two holiday songs an hour until the 31st.

Now this was in the years before it became fashionable for low-rated FM stations to go All Christmas in November. That changed the terrain. Today, in some situations it may be a better course to stay fully what you are and play no holiday music at all. For myself, I'd have a hard time not jumping into the season with gusto.


Formatting Christmas with Music 1 -Click Here