At 6pm on December 24, radio legend Oedipus will pour a single glass of wine, light a candle in the WGBH radio studios, and let the mood of the night determine his 6-hour playlist before handing off the airwaves to Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at midnight on Christmas Day.
His show, "Christmas Eve with Oedipus," is such a cherished local tradition that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has proclaimed December 24, 2018, “Christmas Eve with Oedipus Day” in Boston.
One of the most influential rock radio programmers in the country, Oedipus packs his show with the Christmas music you’ve never heard, including rare tracks from rock, hip hop, classical, spoken word, ethereal, and more. In fact, Oedipus was the first DJ to put The Waitress’ “Christmas Wrapping” on the air. He vets hundreds of Christmas songs throughout the year—but doesn’t determine what he’s spinning until Christmas Eve arrives.
Oedipus has long been a pioneer in the music space, gaining notoriety for hosting the first punk radio program in the country. While heading up programming at Boston’s pioneering rock radio station WBCN, he helped the station introduce local audiences to bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Police, and U2.
It was always a challenge for Oedipus to staff WBCN on Christmas Eve, so he began to host the holiday shift himself in the 1970s, a tradition that continued until the station’s demise in 1999. The program was carried by WFNX and RadioBDC before Oedipus brought his talents to WGBH in 2015. In addition to this year's Mayoral Proclamation, Oedipus has been recognized as the Best Program Director of the Year by multiple publications including several times by Billboard.
We asked Oedipus for some of his holiday favorites from over the years. Check out his holiday playlist below, along with his recent appearance on Greater Boston with Jim Braude, and listen to "Christmas Eve with Oedipus" at 6pm on Monday, December 24 on 89.7 WGBH or stream it live at WGBH.org.