A note popped up in my Facebook memories today from 2009. I thought it was worth sharing, well, after a significant update.
At the time, I was getting ready to put the Sounds of Christmas back on the air for what was our upcoming third season. At that time, the Sounds of Christmas went live at some point in October, and then ended on January 7 (after Epiphany).
I started by thanking the thousands that had connected to us on social media (mostly MySpace, but Twitter and Facebook were starting to build). And while the numbers (and platforms) have changed, the sentiment is the same.
Most of the listeners to the Sounds of Christmas are not connected to our social media sites. To be honest, I'm not even sure how they stay connected. Maybe it's as simple as having the Sounds of Christmas bookmarked on their computer or device, or maybe they just use our app. Or maybe it's something else I'm not aware of.
Whatever the case, I am very grateful. It's an honor and a privilege to spend at least part of the season with so many all over the globe. While we're not on MySpace any more, we are on Instagram, and we recently joined Threads, Post and Bluesky. So if you'd like to be connected, you have a bunch of options. If you're interested, just click on CONNECT up above and you'll get links to all the social media sites that we're on.
In this note from 2009, I also explained what the Sounds of Christmas is, and maybe I shouldn't take it for granted that you already know that. So just in case, here's what I wrote back then...
For those who don't know, The Sounds of Christmas is an Internet Christmas radio station. For those who haven't discovered Internet radio, yet, it simply means it's like a radio station, but available online instead of through a traditional radio. And as far as I'm concerned, it's a lot better.
I am a huge fan of Christmas music, and I always have been. Increasingly over the years, I became more and more disillusioned with the way those traditional radio stations went about playing Christmas music.
Year after year, they seem to roll out the same 100 songs right around Thanksgiving, and play them all over and over until Christmas Day. It's no wonder that so many people groan when this begins each November.
There are tons of great Christmas CDs out there, and most seem to get ignored, while Bing's "White Christmas" and Nat's "Christmas Song" get featured seemingly every hour.
Don't get me wrong, I love Bing Crosby and Nat "King" Cole. I love Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, Johnny Mathis and the Chipmunks, too. But there's a lot more than just those standards, and I can't be the only one that loves all the rest of the Christmas music.
Then, I thanked Mannheim Steamroller. They had sponsored the first two seasons of the Sounds of Christmas, celebrating a brand new Christmas CD each year. And each year, both releases shot up the charts! More than anything, that should have shown these other "traditional radio stations" that people love the new Christmas music as well as the old.
If that didn't underscore my point, I also brought up Josh Groban. His Christmas CD, which debuted in 2007, sold so well it broke records held by Elvis Presley! In fact, it went on to become the best-selling CD of the year! Not just the best-selling "Christmas" CD, but the best-selling CD, period.
In 2009, I pointed out that listeners to the Sounds of Christmas the previous year got to hear new holiday music from singers and bands as diverse as Los Lonely Boys, Harry Connick Jr., Tommy James, Aretha Franklin, Weezer, Billy Bob Thornton, Carrie Underwood, the Archies, the Pretenders, Celtic Woman, Enya, Faith Hill, Greg London, Julianne Hough, Katy Perry, Neil Sedaka, Lorenna McKennitt, Kristin Chenoweth, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Plain White T's, Sarah Brightman, Roy Holliday, Spyro Gyra, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Sixpence None the Richer, Tony Bennett, U2, Straight No Chaser and the Archies.
In 2022, listeners to the Sounds of Christmas were treated to new music from Alanis Morissette, Harry Connick Jr., Alicia Keys, Ingrid Michaelson & A Great Big World, Blane Howard, Jim Brickman, Bob Sirois, Jimmy Barnes, Andrea Bocelli, Cliff Beach, Joss Stone, Grant Maloy Smith, Jane Monheit, the Backstreet Boys, Joyce Cooling, Blake Shelton, Lindsey Stirling, Macy Gray, Bryan Adams, Nora Jones, Olivia Rox, Kristin Amarie, David Lanz, the Offspring, Chris Isaak, Laurie Berkner, Pentatonix, Straight No Chaser, Michael Sinatra, Switchfoot, Cliff Richard, David Foster & Katharine McPhee, Paul Kelly, Rhonda Burchmore, Debbie Gibson, A Girl Named Tom, Sarah Partridge and Gloria Estefan. Just to name a few.
In 2009, the Sounds of Christmas playlist was well over 3000 tracks. In 2023, it's more than five times that.
I explained that, while I love Bing's "White Christmas", having such a wide and diverse playlist meant that it didn't get played every hour on the hour. Besides, Bing has lots of other great Christmas songs. In fact, all the artists I've mentioned have more than just one Christmas "hit". It seemed really short-sighted, and a dis-service to Christmas music fans, to ignore that and just play the same ones over and over.
And it still does.
This station was something I had wanted to do for a long time, and thanks to Mannheim Steamroller's sponsorship during those first few year, I was able to make it happen.
At the writing of this original note, i was getting ready to do start it up again. Now, while the station is on, I'm getting ready for an all-new season, which will begin on November 1.
From there, I went into a pitch about advertising, or buying things from our online store. This year, as I type this, I'm just about sold out of advertising spots, and we no longer have an online store.
That means I'm not asking you to buy or pay for anything. The best way you can support us is by listening!
The Sounds of Christmas is on right now, so as we roll through September, any time you need a little musical Christmas Spirit, stop by!
On October 1, the Sounds of Christmas becomes the Sounds of Halloween, and for the entire month, you'll only hear Halloween music here.
And then, on November 1, the new season begins, with thousands of great Christmas songs, including new holiday music from David Arkenstone, Tommee Profitt, Cher, Pentatonix, Johnny Mathis, David Foster & Katharine McPhee, Jon Pardi, Kate Rusby and Creed's Mark Tremonti (among many, many more)!
Thanks again for your continued support!
And may you always believe in Santa Claus!