We’ve noticed it year after year, the older the recording of a Christmas tune is (and the ‘deader’ the artist is), it’s more popular – even with the young crowd. Take Bing Crosby or Burl Ives for instance – both are on the air more during November and December than any other time during the year. Terry Hazlett of the Observer-Reporter says that nearly all of the theories surrounding this phenomemon connect in some way to childhood memories. And while most would think that these memories would change by age group, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The surveys done by the 200 or so stations in the US who flip to all-Christmas at this time of year show that people prefer the Christmas classics. The older songs “sound like Christmas”. New Christmas albums are coming out in droves, but stations often ignore them. The most recent success was James Taylor’s album last year, but it remains to be seen if Der Bingle will still beat out Taylor for airplay this year.
One sore point for listeners, except for a couple of what could be considered “hits”, most stations opt to play the actual Christmas Carols (O Come All Ye Faithful; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing) closer to Christmas day.
Well, at least they do something right…most stations forget that Christmas is only beginning when they put the music away on December 26.