By Jim Fusco:
By this time of the season, most people are actually getting a bit sick of Christmas music. And, really, how can you blame them? At work, we have the local radio station, Light 100.5 WRCH, playing all day. And I heard that Mariah Carey song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, literally five times in an 8-hour span. And I tell you- that’s way too much. I know most people don’t listen to the radio for eight hours at a time, so they want to hit the morning and rush-hour crowds with the same popular songs. But, as we here at the Laptop Sessions have tried to prove, there are TONS of Christmas songs that never get played on the radio. And these are great songs that would provide some variety throughout the day.
Which brings me to my topic for this evening: WCJM Free Internet Radio!
You see, WCJM is an amateur internet radio station that I started (well, let’s just say “continued”) with my brother and some friends back in late middle-school. The best part, for me, is that it still lives on today! Even though many members of the cast (which ballooned-up to seven) have either moved-on with their lives or have changed in many ways, I still listen back to all of the shows online and remember the “good old days”. Ah, to have all my friends back the way they were in 2001…
Of course, Christmas for me is always about nostalgia. I just love reminiscing about past Christmases and always going through our traditions on a yearly basis. I think my parents can see very well that my wife and I have really made a duplicate of their Christmastime house out of our new home. And that’s the way I always want it to be. I’m a fan of consistency, folks, as if you haven’t guessed that already.
Anyway, so each year, I bust out the Christmas radio shows (which are now on my iPod) and listen to them at least two or three times apiece. Here’s a rundown of the shows and what they feature:
The Everything Is Christmas Show: This radio show is a very important one for WCJM Free Internet Radio, because it has the debut of Alberto Distefano, probably my closest all-time friend. We were all so young during this show- it was 1999 and I was 15 (with my brother being only 13 at the time). But, it’s a really cute show and there’s a lot of great music. There’s also some pretty good “early” comedy from my brother Mike, including his all-time famous line: “Updates on Parcels- they just pulled the plug on him…yes, he’s breathing by himself.” Gets me every time. And now ten years old, this show is the ultimate trip down memory lane.
The Comedy Christmas Jam: How do I know that the “Everything Is Christmas Show” was a success? Well, that’s because we had such a great time that we did another show a week later! I remember it so well- we all went home on my bus route (I was a Sophomore in high school) and we just had the best time. This show is a little more disorganized, yet more professional because we had a practice round the week before. This show features both some really classic Christmas songs (like Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) and comedy songs, too. I remember laughing so hard at Weird Al’s “Christmas At Ground Zero” that I hit the table and the CD skipped.
The Rock’n’Roll Christmas Show: For some reason, this show always seemed “hesitant” to me. It’s not as laugh-out-loud as the others, but still a classic. It’s actually the live on-air debut of another one of my oldest friends, Jeff Copperthite (who called me today- it was great to finally catch up and I’m glad all is going well with his new family!). This show has some unique rock Christmas music, and some skits, but this was only 2000, so we were still getting the hang of doing these shows.
The Best Original Christmas Song Show: This show is truly a classic (done in 2003)- a Christmas countdown with many people voting on their favorite Christmas songs. I was the only one who knew the results, so it was exciting for the rest of the cast. And this one has almost all seven cast members (plus my girlfriend turned-wife, Becky, too!). This show is hilarious, with some ridiculous Dr. K material (Don’t know who Dr. K is? Click HERE to find out!) and plenty of skits and promos.
The Christmas Vacation Show: This was our reunion show in 2006, as we hadn’t done a show for three years prior to it! It was great to get the entire cast together after all that time. We had a great time and played an even different array of Christmas songs, new and old. The music is really fantastic on this show, but if comedy is your thing (my personal favorite parts of these shows) then we have you covered here- all of our classic characters made appearances (including Stuffy D. Bear) and there were many promos, as well.
In closing, you should really check-out these radio shows if you’re at work or just hanging out online. They’re really great ways to make you laugh, get you in the Christmas spirit, and save you from the same loop of overplayed Christmas songs on the radio! So, how do you listen to it?