Airing: December 22, 2018

Coming Up: Holiday Favorites and Memories

A woman plays the piano in front of a Christmas tree. Credit: Nick Webb.

Holiday Favorites and Memories (December 22, 2018)  

Christmas music this time of year often evokes memories of the past.

Tim Anderson (Old Dominion University) reaches back to the music of his youth during finals week at college in December  during the 80’s and introduces a modern reworking of a Charlie Brown Holiday special classic. Orchestra conductor Kevin Bartram (University of Mary Washington) explains what is that something special, singers like Judy Garland and Tony Bennett bring to the classic songs of the season.  Jacqueline Secoy (Longwood University) remembers the seasonal music around her house and tunes that she first played in an orchestra.

Later in the show: Sister Rosetta Tharpe attained great popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings that were a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and early rock and roll. She became the first superstar of gospel music and was an early influence on Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Johnny Cash. Chris Kjorness (Longwood University) plays some of her groundbreaking recordings and talks about her legacy. Also featured: The Broadway musical has often taken up southern themes, from Show Boat and Porgy and Bess in the first half of the twentieth century to Memphis, which hit the Broadway stage in 2009. For all their popularity, Gary Richards (University of Mary Washington) argues that these musicals nevertheless tend to have a negative view of the South and don’t reflect its diversity today.

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