Celebrating The Holidays With Special Programming On BPR

Dec 16, 2019

Join Blue Ridge Public Radio as we close out 2019 and ring in 2020 with special holiday programming!  It's a mix of old favorites and newcomers to our holiday schedule starting December 23rd.  Thanks for listening all year long and we look forward to the journey in 2020 on BPR!

MONDAY DECEMBER 23rd

Noon (simulcast) – Hanukkah Lights 2019 - The NPR favorite returns with all new Hanukkah stories.  Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

8 pm (BPR News) – Hanukkah Lights 2019 - The NPR favorite returns with all new Hanukkah stories. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

TUESDAY DECEMBER 24TH (Christmas Eve)

10 am – Noon (BPR Classic) – A Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols - An annual and beloved Christmas tradition, “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” is an extraordinary and memorable live service of word and music from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.

Audiences will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal music (anthems a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns), presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.

Noon (simulcast) – Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites - This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Featured Stories:

  • Dad 'n' Sam (Jay Allison)
  • Homeless Christmas (Lee Stringer)
  • Christmas Morning, 1949 (Sylvia Seymour/Paul Auster)
  • Low-Glamour Christmas Party (Bailey White)
  • Doing it in the Closet (John McIlwraith)
  • Christopher (Jay O'Callahan)
  • Ode to Christmas (Chuck Kramer)
  • Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris)
  • Modern Day Joseph and Mary (Scott Simon)
  • John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story (John Henry Faulk)

8 pm (BPR News) – Johnathan Winters’ A Christmas Carol - An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. From NPR and KCRW.

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 25TH (Christmas Day)

9 am (BPR Classic) – Tinsel Tales 2: More NPR Christmas Favorites - NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Featured Stories:

  • Santa Claus, Private Eye (Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco)
  • Pass The Fois Gras: Christmas Menu Hard To Digest (Firoozeh Dumas)
  • A 'Silent Night' That Brought Healing (Steve Banko)
  • The Christmas Club (Bill Harley)
  • All I Wanted For Christmas (NPR staffers)
  • Christmas Gift Records (The Ban-Smo Label)
  • The Night Before Christmas, Latin Style (Read by NPR's Claudio Sanchez)
  • The Designated Celebrator (Melinda Shoaf)
  • Christmas Truce (Historian Douglas Brinkley)
  • Wolf Christmas (Daniel Pinkwater)

10 am (BPR Classic) – Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites - In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the third collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places.

Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg and other voices from NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time. Hosted by Lynn Neary

Featured Stories:

  • December's Soundtrack (Amy Dickinson)
  • Christmas With UPS (Loree Gold)
  • Merry Stressmas: It's That Time Of The Year (Kevin Kling)
  • Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree (Ken Harbaugh)
  • Stealing Hemlock (Bailey White)
  • Christmas Lights Tour (Bill Harley)
  • Christmas With The Totenbergs (Nina Totenberg)
  • The Gift Of The Magi (O. Henry, read by NPR's Audie Cornish)
  • Christmas For Cows (Baxter Black)
  • Christmas Pudding (Marialisa Calta)
  • Caroling In The Cold (Julie Zickefoose)
  • Christmas Magic (Joseph C. Phillips)
  • Grinch's True End (John Moe)

11 am (BPR Classic) – Tinsel Tales 4: So Much More NPR: Christmas Favorites - In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the fourth collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places. NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Noon (simulcast) – Jazz Piano Christmas - Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music.  Felix Contreras hosts. 

1 -3 pm (BPR Classic) - St. Olaf Christmas Festival - This service in song and word has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs, and the St. Olaf Orchestra. Valerie Kahler shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.

8 pm (BPR News) – Hollywood Holiday - Join Lynne Warfel, host of APM’s Saturday Cinema and Flicks in Five, for a festive one-hour musical retrospective of some of Hollywood's most cherished films inspired by Dickens’ classic character, Ebenezer Scrooge.

THURSDAY DECEMBER 26TH

Noon (simulcast) – All Songs Considered For The Holidays: Bob & Robin’s Holiday Cruise To Bermuda - This year, All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton decide to get away from it all with a holiday cruise to Bermuda. Along the way they meet a few special guests aboard the ship, including John Legend, Aloe Blacc, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, William Shatner, Lucius, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees and Rodney Crowell, who all try to share their own good cheer for the holidays. But nature inevitably runs its course and the gang finds itself stuck in the swirling vortex of the mystical Bermuda Triangle, desperate for some sort of passage back home. It all unfolds like a bad high school play in this regular, seasonal spoof from NPR Music.

FRIDAY DECEMBER 27TH

Noon (simulcast) – Living The Star Wars - Living The Star Wars details the making of the film from original conception in 1973, through to shooting in England in 1976, to its anxious last hours as a depressed George Lucas and an exhausted special effects crew finally transferred their project into cinemas. Mark Burman draws on his own interviews – including George Lucas, Mark Hamill and John Williams – gathered over the past 20 years, from many key people who have long since passed away.

SATURDAY DECEMBER 28TH

3 pm (BPR Classic) – Hygge Holiday: Cozy Classics – Join host Elena See as she plays a mix of wintry and nostalgic classical pieces designed to accompany listeners as they enjoy cozy wintertime activities.

MONDAY DECEMBER 30TH

Noon (simulcast) – The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special - Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

TUESDAY DECEMBER 31ST (NEW YEAR'S EVE)

Noon (simulcast) – Capitol Steps New Year’s Special -  Has it been a rough year? Did you put all of your savings into Bill De Blasio's presidential campaign? Did you get a haircut from Boris Johnson's barber? Did you take a job as a public relations spokesperson for Rudy Guiliani?

Then you may feel the need to laugh at 2019, and the Capitol Steps could not agree more! So tune in to the Capitol Steps' New Year's edition of "Politics Takes a Holiday," featuring songs from their latest album, The Lyin' Kings.

What better time to laugh at politics than now, with election season gearing up? After all, the Capitol Steps won't tell you any actual useful information, but they will tell you what rhymes with Pete Buttigieg.

9 pm – 1 am (BPR Classic) – Toast Of The Nation - An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It's festive jazz you can party to, all night long. This year we are featuring some of the best jazz collectives playing today. We'll hear the Baltimore Collective recorded live at The Keystone Korner, The Michael Leonhart Orchestra at The Jazz Standard, The SFJAZZ Collective in San Francisco and The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York City.

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 1ST (NEW YEAR'S DAY)

11 am – 1 pm (BPR Classic) Live From Vienna - The Vienna Philharmonic presents its ever popular annual New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a great way to start off the New Year.

Noon (BPR News) Uprooted: The 1950’s Plan To Erase Indian Country - In the 1950s, the U.S. government launched a campaign to assimilate Native Americans by eliminating reservations, terminating tribal governments, and persuading Native people to move to cities. Hundreds of thousands of Native people relocated to distant cities.  This documentary presents the voices of people who survived a devastating plan to solve "the Indian problem."