90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Rock Christmas Canon

How rock ‘n roll saved the Christmas song.

CeeLo Green performs at the 80th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 in New York. (AP)

CeeLo Green performs at the 80th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 in New York. (AP)

From Gregorian chants to classic carols to the Messiah to Burl Ives, people have long loved to sing and hear song at Christmas.  Then came rock and roll, announcing – sometimes sweetly, sometimes loudly – that Bing Crosby and Foom Foom Foom would not be the last word.

Motown chimed in.  The Indie world.  And suddenly there was a new continent of song for the holidays.  Some wonderful.  Some whacky.  Some sacred in a new way.

This hour, On Point:  How rock and roll came to Christmas.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Tim Riley, music critic and assistant professor at Emerson College. He’s editor of the “Riley Rock Index” website.

From Tom’s Listening List

Here’s John Lennon’s Happy X-Mas (War is Over).


Chuck Berry rocked with Run, Run Rudolph.

The King of Rock himself with Merry Christmas, Baby.

Here’s The Waitresses with Christmas Wrapping.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment