90.5 is happy to offer you the best in public radio programming this holiday season.
Essential Pittsburgh brings you year-end Pittsburgh specials on December 23rd, 26th, 27th, 30th, and 31st. Tune in for the best of 2013 sports, music, public radio personalities and more.
Tuesday, December 24th
9am – 1pm Kevin Gavin All-Request Holiday Music Special
90.5 WESA’s Kevin Gavin will host an all-request holiday music program on Christmas Eve marking Gavin’s 37th year of this holiday tradition.
Call the station during that time at 412.697.2955 to make requests or year-end donations or come on down to the Community Broadcast Center during Gavin’s holiday broadcast for an open house including tours, holiday treats and meeting the staffs of WESA and WYEP. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request now!
8pm (repeated at 3pm Dec. 25th) Backstory w/the American History Guys: Naughty & Nice: The History of the Holiday Season
Christmas may be the Big Kahuna of American holy days… but it wasn’t always so. For many centuries, it was a time of drunken rowdiness, when the poor would aggressively demand food and money from the rich. Little surprise, then, that the Puritans banned Christmas altogether. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1820s that the holiday was re-invented as the peaceful, family-oriented, and yes, consumeristic ritual we celebrate today.
Wednesday, December 25th
9am Jazz Piano Xmas XXIX
NPR Music brings you another great concert from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Andy Bey, Stanley Cowell, Sullivan Fortner and Michele Rosewoman perform their favorite holiday songs.
10am Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites
This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.
11am Tinsel Tales 2
NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.
12pm; repeated at 8pm A Christmas Gift to You
The inside story behind this 1963 album featuring performances by The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans that raised the bar for pop/rock arrangements of classic holiday songs. The All Music Guide says, “This is the Christmas album by which all later holiday releases had to be judged,” and Rolling Stone lists it as one of the best albums ever made. Includes interviews with singers Darlene Love and LaLa Brooks, musicians Nino Tempo, Don Randi and Hal Blaine. Hosted by Anthony DeCurtis.
1pm Sound Opinions Holiday Special 2013
Sound Opinions presents a Christmas special like none other. Holiday music collector and expert Andy Cirzan is back with “Rock 'n' Pop Xmas”—Selections from XTC, The Band, The Kinks, The Beatles and more.
2pm All Songs Considered for the Holidays
It's the fifth edition of the wonky holiday tradition from NPR Music. Host Bob Boilen and friends trade holiday cheer and snarky barbs while bringing you the best holiday songs from new and emerging breakout bands. Hear renditions of great holiday music you'll never hear at the mall
9pm Christmas with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs
One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This encore presentation features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.
Thursday, December 26th
9pm A Season’s Griot 2013
A Season's Griot, public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program, is hosted for nearly 20 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson. This annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples.
This year’s program will celebrate Family with special guests Elisha Minter, AKA Mother Minter, the show’s poet laureate, Beverly Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family. Familiar and favorite elements of Griot will also be in place with plenty of music in this, the 2013 edition of A Season's Griot.
Tuesday, December 31st
7pm Capitol Steps
Help roast 2013 to a crisp with the Capitol Steps and their annual year-in-review awards ceremony. It's all in our hour-long special, "Politics Takes a Holiday!" This year will feature all-new awards, such as:
- "Best Moment in Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour Filibuster"
- "Most 'icky' Tweet from Carlos Danger"
- "Best Thigh-Reducing Exercises to do While Waiting for Healthcare.gov" and, of course
- "Best Reason to Spy On the American Public — Because You Can!"
9pm-5am Toast of the Nation 2013-14
Toast of the Nation 2013-14 will make New Year's Eve stops in Boston, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Denver and the Monterey Jazz Festival!
An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve, Toast of the Nation is perfect for the occasion. It's jazz that you can party to, all night from coast to coast, with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations and contributing something new to the musical feast.
Wednesday, January 1st
12pm-4pm Radiolab Marathon
A cure-all for your holiday exhaustion, our Radiolab marathon will jumpstart your brain for 2014. Radiolab explores the blurring boundaries between science, philosophy and human experience. Curiosity is king as Radiolab investigates the world and shakes up the way you think.
7pm - 11pm Bullseye with Jesse Thorn Marathon
From the man behind Maximum Fun.org and The Sound of Young America, Bullseye is a public radio show about what's good in popular culture. With a keen editorial eye, Bullseye sifts the wheat from the chaff, and brings you hot culture picks, in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary creative people and irreverent original comedy.
Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is part of 90.5 WESA's After Hours Friday night block of new, innovative and cool programs.