WGBH's Henry Santoro Interviews Former Boston DJ/Radio Program Director Oedipus about his Christmas Music Special on WGBH Radio from 6-12 a.m. Christmas Eve.
Henry Santoro: On Christmas Eve one year ago WGBH radio started a new tradition that continues tonight. It's called Christmas Eve with Oedipus and it’s six hours of live radio hosted by the legendary Boston deejay and program director. What's it like? Well let me just say he plays some of the best music you've never heard. And joining me now on Henry In The Hub is Hall of Fame broadcaster Oedipus with a little background on tonight's broadcast. Welcome.
Oedius: Hello Henry.
HS: For someone who is known for his punk rock background, which is you, Christmas Eve with Oedipus really offers something for everybody.
O: Absolutely. It does fit a bit with punk because of Elvis Costello. He wrote a song called, “ What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding,” and that sort of sums up Christmas Eve for me. Peace love and understanding …it's that time of year when we just are all together and we just think about peace and love and understanding for all of us and everyone we care about.
HS: So let's set the stage. You're all alone in the studio. There's barely a soul here. It is Christmas Eve and you pulled down the shades, you dim the lights, you light a candle that you have at your disposal. All of this amazing Christmas music that you've collected over the years. Why did you choose to do it?
O: To begin with… a long-time ago as a part time deejay… I'd work any shift, anytime. No one wanted to work Christmas Eve, so I did and I discovered that the radio station I was in at that time didn't have enough Christmas music and I was trying to play everything I could find.
I said well we’ll have to do something about this. Especially appropriate Christmas music …not the Christmas music that you've heard innumerable times that if you heard one more time you'd shoot the deejay or smash the radio.
So I had to explore and dig deep through record bins and collect this music over the years and I've done that and I really enjoy sharing it. So on Christmas Eve I'm alone in the studio. It's only me with my candle and I play it really loud because this is the one time of year I get to hear this music… and I get to share this music with the person on the other side of the radio. And I've known for over the years that there are different people doing different things on Christmas Eve. There's this one woman who every year reads her Dickens to the music I'm playing. This is her tradition. Other people have parties and I'm the soundtrack for their party. Other people wrap their presents they wrap their presents under the tree. And this year we're also going to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. And I've got some really cool unique Hanukkah songs that I can play.
HS: And Christmas Eve being a Saturday means that Christmas is falling into a Sunday which is even more that makes it much more spectacular, more special. You have been doing this show for over 20 years… first at WBCN where you were deejay and program director then you took it to FNX then you took it online. Now you're here at WGBH. What was listener feedback like last year your first year here?
O: The scope of this radio station is immense. I heard from people not only all over Boston all over Massachusetts, then all over New England and then around the country and even other countries. It was amazing the feedback and how many people loved hearing this music on Christmas. It was really a privilege… that is really an honor and this radio station really knows how to do it.
HS: It's Christmas Eve with Oedipus from 6 to midnight only here on 89. WGBH. And of course online and be heard all over the world when it happens. Thank you very much. And a very Merry Christmas to you
O: You are welcome. Henry.