Deck the halls – it’s time for Christmas music on the radio
By Jim Schuh
We’ve come to the time when Christmas music is making its debut for 2017.
I have mixed feelings about Christmas music – I like some of the old standards but don’t much care for some of the more modern holiday tunes.
Christmas music is still a big deal for broadcasters – some radio stations began playing it before Thanksgiving. That’s too early, I think. Others either started playing it right after Thanksgiving or will be doing it soon.
When I was in radio, we always worked to figure out an appropriate date to start broadcasting Christmas tunes. As I recall, we started slowly around the beginning of December and then gradually increased the number of Christmas songs each hour as the month wore on until a day or two before the 25th when we played nothing but Christmas music.
I also recall playing mostly non-religious Christmas songs early in the month and adding religious music closer to Christmas Day. We usually dropped Christmas music altogether the day after the holiday because we felt people had their fill of it by then.
Maybe we were wrong. The popular song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” tells the story of gift-giving during the days between Christmas and the Epiphany – Jan. 6. So, it might have been more appropriate to broadcast Christmas music during that period rather than before December 25. Of course, our station would have sounded strange – playing holiday tunes out of sync with all the other stations. And we’d have been at odds with the custom of celebrating leading up to the big holiday.
One secular song that always generated requests was “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Every time we played the song, we got more requests to play it again. The disc jockeys hated the song, and turned down the studio speakers and took off their headphones when they had to play it, so they didn’t have to listen to it. Novelty songs like that get to you very quickly.
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