Despite my decision to extend The 2023 PopCult Gift Guide to the end of the month, your humble blogger still managed to crank out a partly-new Radio Free Charleston on The AIR.  In fact, our all-new first hour of  Radio Free Charleston is accompanied by two hours of primo RFC Christmas stuff, one hour from just last week, and the third from 1989. You simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay here, and  listen to the cool embedded player found elsewhere on this page.  

You can hear Radio Free Charleston Tuesdays at 10 AM and 10 PM, with tons of replays throughout the week.

Our first hour opens with “Crimson,” a new tune from Bottle and Bride, and we also have new music from Corduroy Brown, Hello June, Todd Burge, Madness and more.  We also feature a new tune from Catherine Campbell, who comes to us from Chattanooga, via our Chicago pipeline.

Our second hour is the RFC V5 Black Friday Christmas Special, which you can read about HERE. This week we’ll have live links to the artists in the playlist below, but be warned, Clownhole is just now entering the world of the interwebs.

Our third hour is largely comprised of stuff I harvested from the 1989 Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston, as broadcast (over the air!) on 96.1 FM back when it was WVNS. Back in 2014, when I was doing RFC Volume Three for Voices of Appalachia radio, I came across a recording of the 1989 RFC Christmas show, including in-studio guests, specially-recorded Christmas songs, weird bumpers and even the infamous holiday commercial for Budget Tapes and Records where I did all three voices. (Note: This commercial spot is an archival recording, included here purely for historical purposes).

Right before Christmas that year we had a vicious cold snap, and making matters worse, just like this year, Christmas fell on Monday, which meant that my show was airing live, at 2 AM the morning of Christmas Eve. You’ll hear a few arcane references to those events hidden among the mumbling and studio chatter. What was remarkable was that people still managed to show up in the studio between 2 AM and 4 AM on the morning of Christmas Eve in the bitter cold.

Check out the playlist below to see all the goodies we have in store. Live links, where available, will take you to the artist’s pages  so you can find out more about them, buy their music and find out where to see them perform live. Don’t expect that in the third hour, though…

RFC V5 154

hour one
Bottle and Bride “Crimson”
Todd Burge “Pig”
Catherine Campbell “Too Late”
Corduroy Brown“Who I Am For Now”
Ann Magnuson “I Remember You”
Galen and Paul“I’ve Never Had A Good Time In Paris”
Wall of Voodoo “Elvis Bought Dora A Cadillac”
Hello June “Soft Love”
Astrodot “As Far As I Can See”
William Matheny “Late Blooming Forever”
Buni Muni “11:11”
Dr. John “Such A Night (Live, Solo Piano)”
Madness “C’est La Vie”

hour two
Clownhole “Fa La La La La, Deck The Halls”
Mediogres  “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
Brian Diller “Christmas Time of Year”
Audrey Smiley “Peppermint and Innocence”
Speedsuit  “Winter”
The Dollyrots “Christmas Time With You”
Jay Parade“Wonderful Christmastime”
Earth Wind and Fire “Everyday Is Christmas Day”
Sierra Ferrell “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree/Jingle Bell Rock”
Captain Catfeesh “Chistmas In Prison”
Nixon Black “Winter In Kashmir”
The Aquabats “Santa Claus’ Party”
The Cast of Something Rotten “12 Days of a Something Rotten Christmas”
The Beatles “1968 Christmas Greeting”
IDKHOW “Christmas Drag”
Kate Fagan “Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney”

hour three
“Jam theme”-a special rendition of the Radio Free Charleston theme song, recorded at The Charleston Playhouse and featuring most of the Charleston Playhouse Quartet, with the addition of Stephen Beckner, who provides a wintery spoken interlude.
An archival commerical for Budget Tapes & Records where I provide all three voices, including the ghost of Bing Crosby.
Go Van Gogh “Santa Claus Is Back In Town”
Stephen Beckner and John and Tim Rock from Go van Gogh, live interview in the studio.
Go Van Gogh attempts at Christmas carols
Three Bodies (Kris Cormany, Brian Young, Brian Lucas) live interview in the studio
Three Bodies “Three Bodies”
“Why Do We Have To Work Skit”
Clownhole (Sham Voodoo, Flair) Christmas message with the accapella punk “Deck The Halls”
Charleston Playhouse Jam Session “Jingle Bells”
Plugs for “The Last Ride,” the final concert by Brian Diller and the Ride, which happened one week after this show first aired.
Mad Scientist Club “I Saw Santa Claus”
Gary Price Christmas wishes from The Swivels
Hour three opening for the original broadcast
Charleston Playhouse Jam Session interview with John McIntyre leading into “Heaven and Mud/Train Wreck The Halls/Will The Circle Be Unbroken”
Gary Price from The Swivels, pre-taped interview in the production studio
Clownhole in the studio, rambling semi-interview
Go Van Gogh in the studio, going off the rails a bit.
Go Van Gogh “Big Bottom (accapella)”–this was considered appropriate for the holiday for some reason.
Melanie Larch singing “Ave Maria” from 2006.

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Wednesday at 9 AM,  Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 9 AM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can also hear a different classic episode of RFC every weekday at 5 PM, and we bring you a marathon all night long Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Next week, RFC will take the week off as The AIR will present eight days of 24-hour marathons of all of our shows.

I’m also going to  embed a low-fi, mono version of this show right in this post, right here so you can listen on demand.


After RFC, stick around for encores of last week’s episodes of  MIRRORBALL at 1 PM and Curtain Call at 2 PM.

At 3 PM we offer up two recent episodes of The Swing Shift.  You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM and 8 PM and Saturday afternoon, only on The AIR . You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.