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WKMS Celebrates the 2021 Holiday Season

WKMS presents a wide variety of holiday programming starting Thursday, November 25th, 2021.

WKMS celebrates the 2021 holiday season with a wide variety of seasonal programs. Get festive with Sounds Good, Cafe Jazz, Left of the Dial, and many more local and national shows.

See the full holiday program schedule below:

Thursday, December 16th

11 am
All Songs Considered for the Holiday Extravaganza
Bob Boilen is like a child this time of year, his eyes and ears full of wonder, as he traipses through the NPR Music offices, vigorously jingling his collection of sleigh bells. He believes in his heart that he's truly getting everyone in the spirit of the holiday season. But it's always a steady source of irritation for Robin, so he tries to escape but ends up on a steam engine headed to the North Pole.

12 pm
The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special
Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, the Polyphonic Spree, and more! Hosted by NPR frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

Friday, December 17th

11 am
Sounds Good Holiday Special
Join Tracy Ross for two hours of eclectic music for the season on the Sounds Good Holiday Special on Friday, December 17th, from 11-1. Hear classic recordings, covers of holiday favorites by contemporary artists, and a few modern additions to the Christmas music canon.

Sunday, December 19th

Paducah Symphony Orchestra Christmas Celebration (performed December 11, 2021)
Join us for a broadcast of last week's performance by the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, the annual Christmas Celebration. The annual concert features the Paducah Symphony Orchestra and Choruses performing holiday songs in a Paducah tradition.

Also the PSO Performance can be heard Sunday at 11 am, Monday at 7 am, and Thursday at 4 pm on WKMS All-Classical.

2 pm
The Kitchen Sink Christmas (WKMS)
With Rick Nance, programming TBD.

Monday, December 20th

11 am
A Christmas Gift For You
The inside story behind this 1963 album featuring performances by The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love, and more, that raised the bar for pop/rock arrangements of classic holiday songs.

12 noon
Soul Christmas!
Featuring Otis Redding, James Brown, The Ronettes, and more.

9 pm
Cafe Jazz Christmas (WKMS)
With George Eldred.

Tuesday, December 21st

11 am
Jazz Piano Christmas 37
Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music, captured live in concert with a small audience. The all-star lineup includes Patrice Rushen, Gerald Clayton, and Eric Reed. Felix Contreras hosts.

12 noon
Jazz Night In America: A Holiday Celebration
This holiday, Jazz Night in America will present popular jazz artists sharing their seasonal music from forthcoming holiday albums. Enjoy first-person stories and memories from the musicians and hear festive originals. Christian McBride hosts.

7 pm
A World Cafe Holiday
World Cafe is celebrating 30 years by revisiting special holiday performances from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Los Lobos, Andrew Bird, and more. Hosted by Raina Douris, this musical gift will provide a full hour of hip holiday cheer.

8 pm
A Paul Winter Solstice
Celebrate the return of the sun—and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter's Winter Solstice celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear a performance of The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. John Schaefer hosts.

9 pm
Black Cat's Jump Christmas Special (WKMS)
With Todd Hill.

Wednesday, December 22nd

11 am
Hollywood Holiday
Lynne Warfel, host of Saturday Cinema, takes listeners on a one-hour musical retrospective of some of Hollywood's most cherished Christmas-themed movies.

12 noon
Welcome Christmas
Welcome Christmas is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world's premiere choral groups, conducted by Phillip Brunelle. This program presents an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

9 pm
Cafe Jazz Christmas (WKMS)
With Brian Clardy.

Thursday, December 23rd

11 am
Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square
The sounds of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square floated into many homes during the holidays in the 60s and 70s on Goodyear and Firestone albums, bringing lush renditions of favorite Christmas carols. Those warm memories and feelings come right back again in this holiday special.

12 noon
Holidays From Murray State University 2021 (MSU)
Featuring the MSU Department of Music, programming TBD.

Friday, December 24th

9 am
A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols presents the audience with an opportunity to share in a live, worldwide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal Classical music. This special will be presented by one of the world's foremost choirs of men and boys performed in the 500-year-old Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, England.

11 am
St. Olaf Christmas Festival
APM's distribution of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival is a chance for listeners across the country and around the world to participate in one of the nation's most treasured holiday celebrations.

9 pm
Left of the Dial Christmas (WKMS)
With John Null, programming TBD.

11 pm
Alien Lanes Christmas (WKMS)
With Melanie Davis and Tim Peyton, programming TBD.

Saturday, December 25th

10 am
Front Porch Christmas (WKMS)

9 pm
A Beyond The Edge Christmas (WKMS)
With Tracy Ross, programming TBD.

Tune into WKMS' special holiday programming on-air at 91.3, 90.9 Madisonville/Owensboro, or 89.5 Martin/Union City, TN. You can also listen online at, on the NPR One app, or by asking your smart speaker to "play WKMS."

Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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