"Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" - The Beatles Song You Never Hear At Christmas

"Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" - The Beatles Song You Never Hear At Christmas

If you complain about traditional ("terrestrial") radio so much that you never listen, mainly because of too many commercials and/or the same songs being played over and over again, you'd think Christmas time would be different.  If a station can go from giving us Whitney Houston and Lady Gaga 11 months of the year to Perry Como and Bing Crosby, you'd think their variety would be off the charts.  Proof of that fallacy is "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" by The Beatles.  Ever heard it?  Why not?  It's only 46 years old!

"Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" - The Beatles Song You Never Hear At Christmas

Here's the song.  More ranting comes right after it.

Radio exists for one reason (which they wouldn't deny) - to sell advertising/make money.  That's it.  TV is the same way.  The movies too.  Oh, and the music industry.  I guess all entertainment, when you think about it, ultimately exists to make money.  We all need to eat, so that's not really an evil thing.

But what about when an opportunity to do better comes along and one of the above ignores it?  

Case in point: The Beatles.  This band was the biggest musical outfit of all-time.  Bigger than Mozart and Elvis and Ylvis and The Grateful Dead.  The Beatles have been the most influential group of the Rock era.  Yes, they were influenced by Blues and Country and Motown and Classical (and even Bing & Perry Como).  But The Beatles took all of it and did more for music than any of those genres combined.  Seriously.  Mozart died young.  Yeah, his influence continues today, 222 years after he died.  [A good project for somebody someday would be to see if data can confirm who was the bigger influence economically, Mozart or The Beatles.  But that's for another day.]  But I would propose that the Beatles are bigger than Mozart (but not Jesus Christ, right Mr. Lennon?)

Bottom Line: The Beatles are the biggest band ever.  There.  It's out there.  It's true.  99% of people would agree.  So, why can't this song, "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" get played on the radio?

1.  Is it considered too much of a novelty song and people won't take it seriously?

2.  Tell that to Elmo & Patsy and "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."  Or Bob & Doug McKenzie of "Twelve Days of Christmas" fame (and SCTV) or Bob Rivers and "The Twelve Pains Of Christmas."  You know each of these and hear these every season.  So #1 isn't true.

3.  Is there too much "Beatles" influence on radio playlists, with Lennon/Yoko "Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)" and Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime"?

4.  Tell that to Michael Buble.

You're looking at #4 and saying, "Vhat?"  Yes, the V is intended.  It's supposed to be "What?" but with a slight German accent (post-Cold War).

Buble is a monster when it comes to Christmas music nowadays.  Did you see THIS ARTICLE (thanks for sending it to me, Matt Manning)?  On the Spotify chart of Christmas songs, Buble owns 9 of the Top 10 spots.  See below:

Michael Bublé – "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas"
Mariah Carey – "All I Want for Christmas Is You"
Michael Bublé – "All I Want For Christmas Is You"
Michael Bublé – "White Christmas" - Duet With Shania Twain
Michael Bublé – "Jingle Bells" - feat. The Puppini Sisters
Michael Bublé – "Holly Jolly Christmas"
Michael Bublé – "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
Michael Bublé – "Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]"
Michael Bublé – "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
Michael Bublé – "Cold December Night"
Michael Bublé – "Santa Baby"

Of the edited (by Spotify) slightly unleaded Buble chart, he still has two songs:

Mariah Carey - "All I Want for Christmas Is You"
Michael Bublé - "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas"
Bing Crosby - "White Christmas"
Michael Bublé - "All I Want For Christmas Is You"
Nat King Cole - "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)"
Elvis Presley - "Blue Christmas"
Andy Williams - "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
Wham! - "Last Christmas" - Single Version
N Sync - "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays"

It's fair to say The Beatles aren't on these two charts, based on actual streams by Americans of songs that allegedly wanna hear, because The Beatles aren't on Spotfy yet.  "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" is still The Beatles Song You Never Hear At Christmas.  But, look at Casey Kasem's Top 30 All-Time Christmas chart below.  That list includes it, right?  Nope.  No Beatles there, and Casey is one guy who should know better.

THE TOP 30 ALL-TIME CHRISTMAS HITS 

(As aired on Sunday, November 24, 2013)

01. THE CHRISTMAS SONG-Nat King Cole

02. WHITE CHRISTMAS-Bing Crosby

03. IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR-Andy Williams

04. SLEIGH RIDE-Ronettes

05. MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING-Carpenters

06. HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS-Kenny Loggins

07. IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS-Johnny Mathis

08. HAPPY XMAS (War Is Over)-John Lennon & Yoko Ono

09. PEACE ON EARTH/LITTLE DRUMMER BOY-David Bowie/Bing Crosby

10. HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS-Burl Ives

11. O HOLY NIGHT-Celine Dion

12. LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!-Harry Connick, Jr.

13. DECK THE HALLS-Mannheim Steamroller

14. CAROL OF THE BELLS-David Foster

15. FELIZ NAVIDAD-Jose Feliciano

16. BLUE CHRISTMAS-Elvis Presley

17. LAST CHRISTMAS-Wham!

18. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN-Bruce Springsteen

19. WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME-Paul McCartney

20. ROCKIN' AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE-Brenda Lee

21. HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS-Pretenders

22. JINGLE BELL ROCK-Bobby Helms

23. DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS (Feed The World)-Band Aid

24. WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS-Percy Faith Orchestra

25. PLEASE COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS-Eagles

26. THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY-Harry Simeone Chorale

27. DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR-Whitney Houston

28. FROSTY THE SNOWMAN-Leon Redbone and Dr. John

29. RUN RUDOLPH RUN-Chuck Berry

30. SLEIGH RIDE-Johnny Mathis

Source: Premiere Radio Networks, distributor of American Top 40 - The 70s

Based upon #3 in our list above, Casey probably thought that there's a John (& Yoko) song and a Paul song, no need to include The Beatles.  But I'd axe Casey this if he were standing in front of me: "How the hell can Kenny Loggins be Number 6?  And you put that in before anything by The Beatles?"

Then Casey Kasem would shudder and slip away just before I asked for an autograph.

So what's the deal?  Basically, radio and charts treat the Christmas season the same way as the non-Christmas season.  Why break what's been working for years?  If people want a mix of Wham! (exclamation mark theirs), Jose Feliciano, Elvis, Bobby Helms, and maybe some Ronnie Spector or Darlene Love (if you're on the Rock side), then why get crazy and add in some semi-obscure Beatles song?  Your Soft Rock or Holiday Classics station never played it before.  Why should they start now?  Nobody's complaining (except me).  The advertising dollars are still coming in.  Let's just leave it.

Christmas Radio is the same as Top 40/Restricted Playlist Radio.  "The same songs, over and over again until you die!"  That's what they're thinking.  They won't step out.  Yes, they'll add one or two new songs a year, like Kelly Clarkson this year and Taylor Swift last year.  But The Beatles?  Well, they don't play any Beatles during the rest of the year and, quite frankly, they don't want to take off that Andy Williams or Carpenters song.  And if they only have 25 or 30 slots, they'd have to do that.

That's where we are.  The sounds are different from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but the reasoning and style is the same.  A limited number of songs guaranteed, based upon past success, to drive the greatest amount of revenue.  There's no room for stepping out.  There's no room for trial and error.

And that is why "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" will remain The Beatles Song You Never Hear At Christmas for the rest of our Christmases here on Earth.  Amen.

Dave Philp is Assistant Professor of Music Management at William Paterson University and Chief Organizer Guy of YouChoose, a live events music fundraising and social media company that has raised many, many thousands of dollars for non-profit causes. Join the good fight and help change your corner of the world by visiting YouChoose now: http://myyouchoose.com/. To sign up for our email newsletter, click HERE. Mmkay?