Wherever You Turn The Dial This Weekend, A Holiday Ambience Rules

Posted: December 23, 1994

Deck the radio airwaves with a sleighful of holiday programming this weekend, beginning today.

Traditional carols and other forms of seasonally correct music, from classical to jazz, can be heard, along with children's narratives and humorous commentary from such celebrities as comedian Jonathan Winters, actress Meryl Streep, and singer Tony Bennett.

If you're looking for some ambience for your holiday celebration, here's what's ahead on the radio dials today; tomorrow, Christmas Eve; and Sunday, Christmas Day.

Christmas Facets will feature the words of three writers - Bill Pronzini, Langston Hughes and Rudolfo Anaya - providing perspectives on the holiday season at 1 p.m. today on WHYY-FM (90.9). At 9 tonight on the station, The Imagination Workshop will present seasonal humorous skits. The program will also air at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, recorded by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, will air on the classical music station WFLN-FM (95.7) during its Evening Concert segment, which runs tonight from 8 until 11.

WYSP-FM's (94.1) All-Request Christmas Weekend will begin today, interspersed with regular programming, including what many deem will be an unholy end to the Philadelphia Eagles' sad football season when they meet the host Cincinnati Bengals at 1 p.m. tomorrow. The NFL battle is widely expected to be coach Rich Kotite's final appearance with the team. Merrill Reese and Stan Walters will provide the play-by-play and color commentary, as always.

A Big Band Christmas will air at 1 p.m. today on WRTI-FM (90.1), while jazz fan and humorist Steve Allen will host Christmas Music: That Jazz Feeling at 8 tonight, also on WRTI.

WHYY will have a variety of programming on Christmas Eve tomorrow, beginning with A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College in Cambridge, England, at 10 a.m.

At 11:30 a.m. on WHYY, Christine Sweet will read a chapter from Ben Logan's book, The Lord Remembers.

Comedian Jonathan Winters will offer his version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol at 2 p.m., while Crazy College Christmas will feature some of the best holiday laughs at 3 p.m. Both programs are on WHYY.

Actress Meryl Streep will read The Night Before Christmas while singer Amy Grant will read The Gingham Dog and Calico Cat on the Mel Gibson-hosted Rabbit Ears Radio, for kids, at 4 p.m. on WHYY.

Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion at 6 p.m. on WHYY will feature past holiday highlights, while singer Tony Bennett will be featured on Jazz

Piano Christmas at 8 p.m. and at 10 p.m. on WHYY.

WHYY will stay in the jazz mood at 9 p.m. with A Jazz Guitar Christmas, featuring Harold Alden and Kenny Burrell, among others. Joy to the World - A Jazz Celebration of Christmas with Bob Thompson and friends will air at 11 p.m., also on WHYY.

WFLN's classical Christmas Eve offering will begin with Nativitas, American Christmas carols, at 6 p.m., followed by A Brass Christmas with music by the Canadian Brass at 7 p.m. A Christmas Eve Special begins at 8 p.m. and continues through the night.

Earlier in the day tomorrow, the station will present its weekly Metropolitan Opera broadcast, at 1:30 p.m. The production will be Mozart's Don

Giovanni.

If Santa Claus doesn't fulfill your wishes on Sunday, then call Harry Kalish on his Ninety Forum at 8 a.m. on Christmas Day on WYSP and tell him what presents you desired but didn't receive.

WFLN's Christmas Day highlights will include performances by the Boston Pops and Cincinnati Pops at 9 a.m., followed at 10 a.m. by Noel, a show of Christmas music from France.

Christmas in Leipzig at 11 a.m. on WFLN will feature The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Pa.

The weekly Philadelphia Orchestra concert at 2:05 p.m. on WFLN will offer a special broadcast, while A Song for Christmas, carols from the world's favorite opera stars, will air at 5 p.m. on the same station. Surely the broadcast wouldn't be complete without the famed three tenors, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras.

Carols from the Old and New Worlds will be played on Theater of Voices at 6 p.m. on WFLN.

Meanwhile, WHYY will offer music from opera great Enrico Caruso and conductor Leopold Stokowski on Collector's Corner at 6 a.m. Sunday. St. Paul Sunday Morning at noon on 'HYY will feature seasonal sounds, while the weekly opera at 1:30 p.m. will be Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.

The African American celebration of Kwanzaa will air at 8, Sunday night.

The second part of Ovations hosted by Warren Cooper and Cyndy Williams with seasonal gospel music will air at 6 a.m. Sunday on WRTI, while the station will offer part two of Tom Cullen's Shades of Blue, as in Christmas blues, at 5 p.m.

Al Raymond and his son Craig will host a Big Band Holiday Show at 1 p.m., Sunday, on WPEN-AM (950).

Finally, the other stations in town will all present a holiday theme as part of their respective broadcasting formats.

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