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
Aug 5, 2015
Landon Kimich, 2, sleeps as he receives a chemotherapy treatment for neuroblastoma at Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center on Friday, May 22, 2015. (AP)

After the diagnosis of cancer, another blow – the often-crippling costs of treatment. We look at the soaring price of cancer drugs.

Aug 5, 2015
It can be hard to accept failure. (Flickr / Blacksheep of Omaha)

“Fail fast, fail often” goes the zeitgeist . But should we have such optimism for failure?

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 4, 2015
Jason Segel as author David Foster Wallace in the new film, "The End of the Tour." (Courtesy A24 Films)

Comedic actor Jason Segel gets serious and takes on author David Foster Wallace in the new film, “The End of the Tour. ” He’s with us.

 
Aug 4, 2015
In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. President Barack Obama on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, will unveil the final version of his unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions from existing U.S. power plants. (AP)

Tough new carbon restrictions. What the president is proposing, Germany’s already doing. Will the American people buy in?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 31, 2015
Friday, Jul 31, 2015

A regular reminder that RTs are not endorsements, links have specific authorship and patience is a virtue.

More »
3 Comments
 
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment