Time for the Christmas Extravaganza—from 1989!



For many years, this was the only bluegrass Christmas record we had. By 1989 there were a few others, but it remains a fixture to this day.
Buck Owens’s Christmas songs were always highlights of our Extravaganzas. Sinc’s favorite was ‘Christmas Shopping’. Mine was ‘Give Me Everything You Got’.

By 1989 the Christmas Extravaganza was an established tradition for Hillbilly at Harvard, featuring “four hours of the very best, and the very worst, of country Christmas music,” plus a gathering with friends in the country and bluegrass music communities—artists, DJs, promoters, and others. That year WHRB was taking a two-week vacation—maybe for technical reasons—so December 16th was the last Saturday before Christmas, hence an early Extravaganza.

You may know, or remember, some of the guests you’ll hear: John Lincoln Wright, Jimmy Allen, Ed (The Detective) Muller, Evan Riley, Gordy Brown, Mark Burns, George Hauenstein, Bucky Bear, Larry Flint, and Flo Murdock—and maybe more I didn’t note. Sinc and I of course hosted, and had a lot of fun juggling records, guests, and finally the Hillbilly Chorale with a few live carols and songs from Studio A.

The Christmas Extravaganza was of course four hours by then, but since we’ve got only two hours now, I’ve broken the show into two parts: Part 1 this Saturday (December 17th) and Part 2 next Saturday (December 24th—Christmas Eve). I hope you’ll find time to listen both Saturday mornings. You’ll hear a lot of what became HAH standards over the years, and some songs that may be new to you. New to us was Da Yoopers‘ ‘Rusty Chevrolet’, which the late Mark Burns brought down, and which we’ve played every year since.

I always relied on Ed the Detective to bring down one of my favorites, Bill Boyd’s version of ‘Up on the Housetops’. I liked it so much on December 16th, 1989, that I played it twice! I’ll include it below. /CL

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6 Responses to Time for the Christmas Extravaganza—from 1989!

  1. byron says:

    Sounds great!

    Upn on the Housetop(s)? One of my favorites ! What a great

    Happy Reinndeer Feet!

  2. ted smith says:

    Hi, Alway enjoyed the Christmas ’Extravaganza’. I rember the dog barking at the end. Ted


  3. Cindy says:

    So glad you are airing this Extravaganza Cousin Lynn! I always loved this particular show. It was always fun! Thank you and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  4. M. Rhinehart says:

    I enjoyed the show very much today! I wish we could have had all 4 hours.

  5. Glenn Danvers says:

    Enjoyed the 2nd broadcast today Christmas Eve morning -thank you!

  6. Cindy says:

    I also loved the show Cousin Lynn! So much fun and great to hear all the DJ’s I’ve come to love over the years, Ed the Detective and Mark Burns! What a treat! Good times for sure with many happy memories. Good to hear Jimmy Allen and John Lincoln Wright again too! Thanks for taping these shows from the past and replaying them for us during the holidays! Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year!

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