A Very Code Switch Christmas TV Special

Dec 22, 2014

It's that time around Christmas, when all we can see
is the same set of specials on network TV.
Frosty , and Charlie , and Ralphie , and Kevin
But not too much brown in this mostly white canon.
Oh, is there a famous South Asian Kriss Kringle?
A Latino noel that's more than a jingle?
We know they're quite rare, but there is the reason
To trust in TV this holiday season.
No, not the standards,...

Sweets this time of year take on all kinds of whimsical shapes: cookies cut into stars, stockings and gingerbread men, candy canes, peanut butter balls ... or logs covered in frosting. Yes, really — logs. Not real logs, of course — these are holiday cakes, rolled and frosted to look like a yule log and known as buche de Noel. Sometimes the cakes are dotted with little meringue mushrooms or edible holly leaves. While the cake may not be on every American's baking list, cookbook... Once a pop artist has been working long enough, the Christmas album feels like an inevitability. Soul singer Anthony Hamilton wanted to try it out, but he was wary of falling into cliché and repeating the formulas that have shaped holiday records for years. "The mundane songs that have been recorded over and over again, I really didn't want to do that," he says. "I didn't want it to be so sterile that you couldn't feel the personality. And I wanted... John Schneider and Tom Wopat have been friends ever since they met in the late 1970s as costars on The Dukes of Hazzard . Now, the men who played mischievous cousins Bo and Luke Duke have reunited — but not for a new season of the show. As Wopat explains, the pair has long nurtured a different creative partnership that never played out onscreen. "As soon as we met, we were singing together," Wopat says. "We spent so much time in that car,...

Oh my! The tears still flow, tears of joy tinged with sadness, as I prepare for yet another broadcast of "The Carols of Alfred Burt : A Legacy of Love." I first produced this program in 1997, prompted by my good friend Bill Ginn , who had been familiar with the 15 contemporary carols by Alfred Burt for a number of years. Bill had arranged several of these precious carols for both brass and woodwind quintets that I played with. "Tell me more about this music," I asked of Bill. Better than that...