St. Louis is home to two of the first radio stations to play all-Christmas music this year. Fresh 102.5 and Oldies 103.3 made the switch last weekend, less than a week after Halloween. As a fan of Christmas music, I tried sampling both stations on Tuesday while settling down for my afternoon nap.
Like most CBS stations, Fresh 102.5 plays easily on my WiFi clock radio. Like most Clear Channel stations, Oldies 103.3 doesn’t show up. I use a website called Reciva.com to find stations and save them as favorites on my device. To me, the omission is glaring. I wish the site listed my favorite Clear Channel stations from Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
In the long run, I’ll be happier listening to my own Christmas music collection. When I checked the playlists for Fresh 102.5 and for Oldies 103.3, I saw the same holiday standards that get trotted out every year. Even in a religious city like St. Louis, the playlists are overwhelmingly populated by secular songs.
I was hoping to hear some of the newly released Christmas music that I’ve seen promoted on Amazon.com. One of the top-selling albums is “Under the Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber. His cover of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is on his own album and on the soundtrack for the upcoming movie “Arthur Christmas.” The digitally animated film is made by Aardman Animations, the studio that is famous for the claymation Wallace & Gromit shorts. Bieber’s music video for the song puts a computer generated version of the singer into scenes from the stop-motion TV special of the same name. Compared to Santa and the other characters, Justin looks too skinny to support his own head.