Celebrating Christmas on the Radio

WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS Playlist for December 20, 2015

Since 1980, I have produced a Christmas radio special on WFDU-FM, a folk music Christmas program. I started doing this show because I had grown tired of hearing the airwaves filled with the same recordings from Bing Crosby, Barbara Streisand and the rest. Not that there is anything wrong with those great songs, but I always felt that in addition to the religious significance,  Christmas was also a “folk” holiday, and the artists that we hear each week on TRADITIONS had great recordings that need to be shared. So, every Sunday before Christmas, I put together a 3 hour special featuring our recordings from artists of the folk community – people like Pete Seeger and the Weavers, Odetta, Joan Baez, and others that I could find.

Since that first show, our Christmas music library has grown considerably. There are hundreds of CDs of folk music that is fitting for the holiday, from traditional carols and folksongs to more contemporary folk music.

This year’s show ran the gamut – old wax cylinder recordings from 1916 to MP3 recordings made just days before the show aired. All carried various messages for this holiday season, and also spoke of the traditions that are celebrated.

This year I received messages from people listening in Maine, Florida,and places in between. Some were trimming their trees as they listened, others were wrapping presents. It is a special time of year, and a very special show that I look forward to producing. I thank everyone who made this show a part of their own traditions! Happy holidays!

(Tune in to WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS every Sunday from 2pm to 5pm Eastern Time over WFDU-FM 89.1 in the NYC/Northern New Jersey area, or on the web at www.wfdu.fm or iHeartRadio.com. On-demand streams of shows, including this one, are archived for two weeks by clicking HERE. A Sing Out! Radio Partner.)

ARTIST “Tune / Song”
ALBUM Label – Website

Theme: HARVEY REID “Jingle Bells”
Heart of A Minstrel on Christmas Day Woodpecker Records – www.woodpecker.com
Voices of Christmas Yesteryear: Turn of the Century Wax Cylindar Recordings Old Time Radio Catalog – www.otrcat.com

JOEL MABUS “Let’s Do Christmas Right”
How Like the Holly Fossil Records – www.joelmabus.com
NO FUSS AND FEATHERS “Quiet Christmas”
Traveling Circus self – www.nofusandfeathers.com
ERIC FRANDSEN “Christmas in Brooklyn”
Just One Angel Yellow Tail Records – www.yellowtailrecords.com

JOE JENCKS “The Longest Night of the Year”
Hudson Harding Happy Holidays Vol 10 Hudson Harding – www.facebook.com/hudsonharding
LOWEN AND NAVARRO “The Meaning of Christmas”
Decembersongs Red Hen – www.decembersongs.com
KARYN OLIVER & ADAM ROTHBERG “In the Bleak Midwinter”
This Time and Place self – www.whereforearts.com

GATHERING TIME “Deck the Halls”
This Time & Place self – www.whereforearts.com
Out Under the Sky self – www.theearlymays.com
Mountain Snow and Mistletoe 2 Hudson River Company – www.chrisandbridget.com

DAVE CARTER AND TRACY GRAMMER “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella”
American Noel Signature Sounds – www.signaturesounds.com , www.daveandtracy.com
Bidding You Joy Golden Hind – www.goldenhindmusic.com
COOPE BOYES & SIMPSON “The Coventry Carol”
A Garland of Carols No Masters – www.thebeesknees.com

MARA LEVINE with JOE JENCKS “Straw Against the Chill”
Jewels and Harmony self – www.maralevine.com
American Noel Signature Sounds – www.signaturesounds.com , www.daveandtracy.com
MAGPIE “The Huron Carol”
Last Month of the Year Sliced Bread Records – www.slicedbread.com , www.magpiemusic.com

PAT WICTOR “Simple Christmas”
Hudson Harding Sampler Vol. 3 Hudson Harding – www.patwictor.com
ERIK BALKEY “Christmastime on Mission Street”
Hudson Harding Sampler Volume 5 Hudson Harding – www.facebook.com/hudsonharding
ZOE MULFORD “Answer the Knock at the Door”
Hudson Hardin Happy Holidays Vol. 8 Hudson Harding – www.facebook.com/hudsonharding

KEN WHITELY “Go Tell It On The Mountain”
The Light of Christmas Pyramid Records – www.kenwhitely.com
THE KINGSTON TRIO “The Last Month of the Year”
The Last Month of the Year Capitol – www.kingstontrio.com
A Folk Song Christmas American Melody – www.americanmelody.com
ODETTA “Children Go Where I Send Thee”
Christmas Spirituals Vanguard Records –

MARK GILSTON “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow”
Christmas With Dulcimers self – www.markgilston.com
LINDA RUSSELL & COMPANIE “The Friendly Beasts”
A Colonial Folk Christmas Polygram – www.lindarussell.com

TOM PAXTON “My Christmas Guitar”
Just One Angel Vol. 2 Yellow Tail Records – www.yellowtailrecords.com
MARK E. HUMPHREY “The Night Before Christmas”
Voices of Christmas Yesteryear: Turn of the Century Wax Cylinder Recordings Old Time Radio Catalog – www.otrcat.com
DOUGLAS CLEGG “Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer”
Noel Clegg Yolk Music –
CHUCK E. COSTA “O Christmas Tree”
Hudson Harding Happy Holidays Vol. 2 Hudson Harding – www.facebook.com/hudsonharding

ERIK DARLING “Walk Right In, Santa”
Revenge of the Christmas Tree self – www.erikdarling.com
Memories of Christmas self – www.rondstadtgenerations.com
ATWATER-DONNELLY “Christmas Is A-Comin”
When Winter Calls self –

RUNA “Don Oiche Udi mBeithil”
MP3 self – www.runamusic.com
CATHIE RYAN “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”
Narada Presents The Best of Celtic Christmas Narada – www.narada.com
NOEL PAUL STOOKEY “Away in a Manger”
Hudson Harding Happy Holidays Vol. 10 Hudson Harding – www.facebook.com/hudsonharding

TOM PRASADA-RAO “Christmas in the Ashram”
Christmas in the Ashram self –
JAMES DURST “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
Hudson Harding Sampler Vol. 1 Hudson Harding – www.facebook.com/hudsonharding

DANNY QUINN “Hark the Herald Angels”
A Danny Quinn Christmas self – www.dannyquinn.com
FRED GILLEN JR. “O Holy Night”
Hudson Harding Sampler Vol. 10 Hudson Harding – www.facebook.com/hudsonharding
VARIOUS “Silent Night”
On This Day the Earth Shall Ring Flying Fish – www.rounder.com
THE WEAVERS “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”
We Wish You A Merry Christmas MCA –

Ron Olesko
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

click here for Traditions Archive
click here for Ron’s Soundcloud page

About Ron Olesko

For over 40 years, Ron has been a radio programmer with WFDU-FM in Teaneck, New Jersey. He created WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS in 1980, a show that he continues to host and produce every Sunday afternoon from 3 to 6pm Eastern Time. He's the president of and booker for the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and is a regular contributor to Sing Out! as well as the host of the Folk Music Notebook blog on this site. Ron can also be found emceeing concerts and festivals around the NYC/NJ area. A lifelong Mets fan and a rabid soccer geek, Ron is a Red Bull season ticket holder since their inception and will most likely be in his seat when not in the studio.

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