This was posted Wednesday, November 22, 2016 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
For the 15th year, Fish 104.7 has gone all Christmas as of 5 p.m. today on Thanksgiving Eve.
The station actually waited a bit longer than it has in the past. Last year, it switched format on Monday before Thanksgiving.
For many years, the station would do the move in the mornings with Kevin and Taylor. But afternoon host Beth Bacall has been given the honors in recent years. At 5 p.m., after playing clips from “Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Fish played the first Christmas song of 2016: “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Johnny Mathis (featured in 1992 film”Home Alone 2.”)
This was followed by Mannheim Steamroller‘s version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (1984); “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” covered by Amy Grant (1992); Burl Ives’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964 from the TV special), Hall & Oates classic “Jingle Bell Rock” (1985) and Matthew West‘s duet with Grant from 2010 “Give This Christmas Away.”
Bacall also brought in the Popovich family from Gwinnett County ostensibly to give them a chance to decorate the studio and pick up tickets to Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier.
Instead, she surprised them with gift cards, money and a wedding ring. The mother Nicole had to recently hock her ring to Gold Buyers of Buford for $1,500 to pay the rent after falling on hard times. Bacall said the original ring had already been melted down so the store owner managed to get a new version for her with a platinum band. Fish used funds raised for its Christmas Wish campaign to pay for it.
Fish’s Christmas music mix tends to blend secular classics by the likes of Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee, Paul McCartney and Andy Williams with covers of both religious and pop Christmas songs by Christian artists.
Star 94.1 earlier this month started Christmas on its HD2 channel. (You can listen here.) Joy 93.3 usually swaps out to Christmas as well at some point. And Sirius/XM has had its Love channel 17 playing Christmas since November 2. (Check here for the rest of the holiday channels as they get added on the network.)
B98.5 stopped going all Christmas in 2012 but will sprinkle in Christmas tunes into the mix throughout the holiday season.