Are you tired of Christmas music on the radio yet?

I’m not. And the ratings when they come out will suggest most people aren’t.

What I am tired of is the same 15-20 songs over and over and over and over again.

How do stations choose what to play? Last year Forbes offered an answer:

While new Christmas music is created all the time, the most popular songs are still those from days gone by, according to Nielsen. New entrants pop up every year, with current acts looking to get into the game, but radio programmers favor those tracks that have stood the test of time over just-released singles, which is almost the exact opposite of thinking at most top 40 stations. Apparently, the favorites are from the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s, decades which did produce some of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time. Since those tracks are favored highly above newer cuts, many of them receive exceptionally high levels of attention, being spun up to ten times a day. To put that figure into perspective, it is rare for a new smash hit to receive that many plays on today’s radio. So, it is highly possible that a Burl Ives classic might get more spins than Taylor Swift or Adele, at least on some stations in December.

The choices baffle me.

We can’t hear the angelic voice of Karen Carpenter doing “Silent Night,” but by God we’re subjected to Steve Nicks butchering it.

No Boston Pops or Henry Mancini, but that goofy hippopotamus junk will do.

This year it seems the most inescapable is Paul McCartney’s nauseating “Wonderful Christmastime.” I swear I hear that every Time I turn on the radio.

During the Beatle days John Lennon reportedly had songwriting battles with Sir Paul because he found McCartney too often to be so sappy and syrupy. This “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime” is ample proof John was right.

Here are, in my view, the five worst Christmas songs played on the radio that I could do without:

5) The Little Drummer Boy by the Harry Simeone Chorale. This is the original. Slow and dull. Dull and slow. An absolute dirge. Yes, I know, it’s a classic and the story and meaning behind the song are sacred. I love other takes on it, but not this one.

4) War is Over by John Lennon. Irving Berlin it’s not. And I’m a Lennon and Beatles fan.

3) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by the Pretenders. The vocal is dreadful, the music funeral parlor-like. How to murder a classic.

2) Same auld lang syne by Dan Fogelberg

“Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I Stole behind her in the frozen foods
and I touched her on the sleeve
She didn’t recognize the face at first
but then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
and we laughed until we cried
We Took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
as the conversation dragged
Went to have ourselves a drink or two
but couldn’t find an open bar
Bought a six-pack at the liquor store
and we drank it in her car”

What garbage.

And the worst Christmas song.

Ever!

1) The Christmas Shoes by Newsong

Just the kind of holiday song I want to hear, one about death.

This one never makes it through the first line on my radio. I’ll switch to anything else. I know people like it, even call in and request. Why? It’s so morbid. A God-awful recording.

“Christmas Shoes” is a song based on an urban legend about a boy who lacks the money to buy a pair of new shoes for his dying mother. The song’s narrator supplies the extra money so the boy’s mother can wear the shoes, “if Mama meets Jesus tonight.”

Jennifer Rutherford, a California collector of terrible holiday songs (she owns more than 600), says the “audience is intended to actually like it and find it touching. However, in most people it provokes a divine rage, gasps of horror.”

I’ve noted in the past I’m not big on “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Please, can it just end? However, versions that are a bit different? Those I like.

This week marked the 101st birthday of Frank Sinatra.

Years ago many radio stations around the country including WOKY in Milwaukee ran  a syndicated weekly program called, “Frank and Friends.” During one year’s Christmas program that I captured on tape, a clip of Frank Sinatra was broadcast where he told a live audience about an unusual gift he got one year from his mother, Dolly Sinatra:

“I got a mother that’s a character of all time. For Christmas she gave me a blackjack. I swear to God. In a little package, I thought it was a cigar when I saw it. It’s a little blackjack that my old man had, may he rest in peace, and she gave it to me.

I said, you know it’s peace on Earth, good will to men? And she said something I can’t repeat here.

She said somebody’s liable to hurt you so you keep that.

She also gave me six one dollar bills in a Christmas card in an envelope. And at the dinner table about two hours later she said to me, ‘Alright, you had the six bucks long enough, give it back to me.’”

Here’s the Chairman of the Board with the kids, Nancy, Tina, and Frank, Jr.

Make sure to check out my Friday night music blogs for great Christmas music I guarantee  you won’t be hearing on your FM station.

One thought on “Are you tired of Christmas music on the radio yet?

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (12/19/16) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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