Partnering with local radio station KNDY, the Marshall County Arts Cooperative plans to bring back the Golden Age of American radio with a weekly Christmas program, Home for the Holidays. The first episode will broadcast Thursday, December 10, at 6 p.m. on AM 1570/FM 94.1; it will stream on KNDY’s website kndyradio.com. Other episodes will be December 17 and 24 at 6 p.m.; there will be a special broadcast Christmas Day.
Old-time radio was especially popular from 1930 throughout the 1940s providing entertainment to American citizens who, at that time, were struggling with economic depression and war.
“Although it’s a different struggle, this Christmas season is certainly challenging,” said Liberty Price-Obley, a board member for the arts cooperative. “Even though the pandemic has stripped our ability to gather in comfort, MCAC is providing a way for people to get in the holiday spirit by tuning into the radio and enjoying favorite songs and stories in a safe manner.”
Home for the Holidays is an original radio show featuring music, stories, and Christmas memories.
“It’s almost like a variety show highlighting the talents of our community members,” Price-Obley added.
The cooperative invited locals to share their talents by reading Christmas stories and poems or performing Christmas songs for the broadcast. Thirty-seven people participated allowing the cooperative to produce four episodes.
“We were so pleased with the response,” said Sally Oliver, one of the cooperative’s board members. “There were participants from several communities in Marshall County and Washington County, and people of all ages helped us out, too.”
Some of the musicians include Julie Popejoy, Blue Rapids, singing “Let It Snow;” Jerry Horton, Manhattan, singing “Blue Christmas;” Ava Sedlacek, Greenleaf, singing “Mary, Did You Know?;” and Kim Stewart, Frankfort, singing “O Holy Night.”
“It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs,” Stewart said. “The lyrics ring true year after year. After the struggles of this year, though, they just echo through me with the thrill of hope.”
The readings range from Linda Swim, Marysville, reading an excerpt from David Sedaris’ humorous short-story collection, “Holidays on Ice;” Janelle Price, Marysville, reliving Christmas traditions from her childhood growing up on Park Place in north Marysville; Susan Hickey, Frankfort, reading Beatrix Potter’s “The Tailor of Gloucester;” and Marilyn Sweet, Oketo, reading Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Christmas Bells.”
Longfellow’s poem provides the lyrics to the popular Christmas carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”
“The poem was written when our country was going through the Civil War,” Sweet explained. “The idea of peace seems like it could never again be possible — and yet when the bells peal out on Christmas morning, it was peace they were proclaiming. Pretty good to remember that this year.”
A schedule of performers is on the arts cooperative’s Facebook page or on their website, marshallcountyarts.org.
- Wayne Kruse – Home for the Holidays
- Pat Breeding – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
- Janelle Price shares memories from North Park
- Liberty Price-Obley gives us the background of minced pies
- Clara Kee and Allison Fincham perform Silver Bells and Boughs of Holly
- Jim Swim reads How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Cindy Voet plays a medley of Greensleeves and Carol of the Bells
- Liberty Price-Obley shares the tradition of the Christmas pickle
- Gina Miller and Salyer Schwartz perform Gesu, Bambino and The Christmas Song
- Barb Buck tells the legend of the evergreen tree
- Ava Sedlacek sings Mary, Did You Know
- Maria Ketter sings Silent Night
- Liberty Price-Obley tells the history of eggnog
- Rachel Massoth sings I’ll Be Home for Christmas