Thanks so much for all the kind words and messages! It's wonderful to get such a warm welcome from a community full of people who share my love of Christmas!
For those who don't know, I run The Sounds of Christmas, an Internet Christmas radio station on Live 365. 2011 marks our fifth anniversary.
I am a huge fan of Christmas music, and I always have been. Increasingly over the years, I had become more and more disillusioned with the way 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. And now, many of those stations are starting closer to the beginning rather than the end of November (yet still playing the same tired list of songs).
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 (not to mention "The Christmas Shoes").
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.
Like Mannheim Steamroller, for example. They have been big supporters of the Sounds of Christmas, celebrating a brand new Christmas CD almost every year. Each year, those new releases shot up the charts! More than anything, that should show these other stations that people love the new Christmas music as well as the old.
If that doesn't underscore my point, how about Josh Groban? His first 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.
I’ve definitely been on to something, as the Sounds of Christmas quickly became the top new Christmas station on Live365 in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (over hundreds of competing stations, many of which are on year-round).
Note: The Sounds of Christmas is considered a "new" station each year because we don't broadcast all year long, just from November 1 through January 6. And we only start on November 1 so that, whenever you’re ready for Christmas music, we’re there.
We get lots of terrific emails and messages from listeners every year. While many of those are requests, many more are notes of appreciation for the wide variety of Christmas music that we play. We’ve heard from dozens of offices who were glad to have a Christmas station they could listen to at work, without annoying co-workers with the same bunch of songs over and over.
In total, the Sounds of Christmas playlist has now grown to over 6000 tracks (and that's without adding in the new music just released or still to come over the next month or so). As much as I love Bing's "White Christmas", having such a wide and diverse playlist means it doesn't get played every hour on the hour. Besides, Bing has lots of other great Christmas songs. In fact, almost all of the artists that we play have more than just one Christmas song. Even SpongeBob. It seems really short-sighted, and a dis-service to Christmas music fans, to ignore that and just play the same ones over and over.
One of the things I love about the Sounds of Christmas is that it allows me to spend at least a little of the holiday season with so many. This year, I’d like to return the favor, and let the listeners be a part of the Sounds of Christmas, so we can all spend the season together!
I’ve always kept the advertising to a minimum, just enough to get us on the air and keep us going. This year, I'm excited to try something new, and invite all our listeners (and, in fact, everyone that loves Christmas music) to be a part of our broadcast!
I don’t want this to sound like too much of a pitch, as if I’m standing here in the median of the Internet with a bucket, pestering you for change. I just want to make it possible to open up our station to everyone that loves Christmas music and would like to be a part of the Sounds of Christmas (and also keep us on the air).
With that in mind, I've teamed up with a crowd-funding site and come up with a bunch of different incentives, in hopes that you feel like you really are a part of things. I also welcome your suggestions if you can think of more!
If you've read this far and are still with me, you can check out what I'm talking about over here --> http://funds.gofundme.com/SoundsofChristmas
The Sounds of Christmas has never been about the money. It's been a labor of love for me, a chance to share the season with others who love the music, and to give singers and bands the opportunity to have their new Christmas releases heard on the radio, by people who love Christmas music (and are even online and just a couple clicks away from visiting their site and buying their CDs and downloads).
Thanks so much to everyone that already listens and has supported us over the years! And thanks to everyone else for even considering tuning in, at least for a little while, this coming season!
And if you do want to list, you can do it (for free) in just over a week, starting November 1 (http://www.soundsofchristmas.com
And may you always believe in Santa Claus!