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Playlist: New Year's and Holiday Spoken Word 2020

Compiled By: PRX Editors

Caption: PRX default Playlist image
Curated Playlist

New or updated for 2020.

You can always find more options by using our search.

A Shortcut Through 2020

From Peter Bochan | Part of the Shortcuts series | 59:09

A final look at an impossible year, 12 months of incredible drama, played out over the world stage in an hour long retrospective

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Remembering the most incredible and isolating time of our lives with sounds, emotions and music pulled from the past year,  A Shortcut Through 2020  celebrates those we've lost and what we all went through with Adam Driver, Alex Trebek, Anderson Cooper, Annie Murphy, Annika Pergament, Barbara Walters, Ben Folds, Bernie Sanders, Bob Dylan, Bill Deblasio, Bill Withers, Buck Henry, Carl Reiner, Catherine O'Hara,  Chadwick Boseman, Casey Abrams & Cyndi Lauper, Cheap Cuts, Daniel and Eugene Levy, Dave Chappell, David Dinkins, David Letterman, David 'Squiggy' Landers, Dimitri Tiomkin, Donald Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Ed Bradley, Elvis Presley, Ennio Morricone, Eric Idle, Fred Hersch, Fred Willard, George Floyd, Glass Animals, Graham Chapman, Groucho Marx, Hal Willner, Harold Budd, Honor Blackman, Hugh Downs, James Cordon, Jamie XX, Jerry Stiller, Jimmy Kimmell, Joe Biden, John LeCarre, John Lewis, John Mulvaney, John Oliver, John Prine, Johnny Nash, Johnny Depp, Jorja Smith, Joyce Gordon (The Telephone Lady), Kamala Harris, Kenny Rogers, Kirk Douglas, Kobe Bryant, Leonard Cohen, Little Richard, Lynn Kellogg, Marc Maron, Mel Brooks, MFSB feat. The Three Degrees, Michael Richards, Mike Pence, New Orleans High Society, Patricia Arquette, Pat Kiernan, Pete Hamill, Peter Green, Prince Harry, Phil Proctor & David Ossman, Rudy Giuliani, Queen Elizabeth II, Rachel Maddow, Ramid DJawadi, Regis Philbin, Ricky Gervais, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sam Gendel, Sean Connery, The Seven Dwarves, Shemekia Copeland, Stephen Colbert, Sufjan Stevens, Terry Jones, The Kingston Trio (Bob Shane), Tom Seaver, Toots Hibbert, Trevor Noah, Wolf Blitzer, The Who, Wendell 'Windy' Craig and so many more

"Gotta Feeling '21 Is Gonna Be A Good Year..."

The Keepers: Archiving the Now with Host Frances McDormand

From The Kitchen Sisters | Part of the The Keepers series | 54:25

The Keepers: Archiving the Now — a new hour-long special from The Kitchen Sisters and PRX with host, Academy Award-winner Frances McDormand. Stories of can-do people. Must-do people. Get-it-done people. People who are grappling with the now, with where we are and where we’ve got to get to. As the world we all knew unravels and communities begin to re-shape themselves, The Kitchen Sisters have been gleaning, looking for those who have something to offer during these uncharted times. People who rebuild, restore, reinvent. Nobody showed them the path, they cut it themselves. Striking stories of grit, hope and possibility.

Frances-mcdormand-by-alison-rosa_small The Keepers: Archiving the Now — a new hour-long special from The Kitchen Sisters and PRX with host, Academy Award-winner Frances McDormand. Stories of can-do people. Must-do people. Get-it-done people. People who are grappling with the now, with where we are and where we’ve got to get to. As the world we all knew unravels and communities begin to re-shape themselves The Kitchen Sisters have been gleaning, looking for those who have something to offer during these uncharted times. People who rebuild, restore, reinvent. Like Gert McMullin, one of the first people to put a stitch on the AIDS Memorial Quilt, who is now sewing masks for healthcare workers fighting Covid, using leftover fabric from the quilt. The Climate Underground, former Vice President Al Gore and food activist Alice Waters convene a gathering of farmers, scientists, soil visionaries, chefs, students, activists and policymakers on Al Gore’s farm in Tennessee contemplating the role of soil, food and regenerative agriculture in combatting the climate crisis. Youth on Fire: The International Congress of Youth Voices, founded by writer Dave Eggers — 137 youth activists from 37 countries coming together to form a global network of young visionaries. Louis Jones: Detroit Field Archivist, who has been building and caring for the largest labor archive in North America. And host Frances McDormand speaks of her new film, Nomadland, about the new nomads — itinerant workers living in DIY vans, moving across America. Striking stories of grit, hope and possibility.


Frances McDormand Keepers Bio

Frances McDormand, the Academy, Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress, hosts The Keepers: Archiving the Now, a new radio special from The Kitchen Sisters. McDormand, whose new film Nomadland received the top prize at the Venice Film Festival and will be released in December 2020, has received two Best Actress Academy Awards for her performances in Fargo and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and was a Producer of the Emmy Award-winning HBO mini-series, Olive Kitteridge for which she received an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress. Frances has appeared in some six Coen Brothers films as well as the films of Wes Anderson, Cameron Crowe, Lisa Cholodenko among others. This is Frances' fifth collaboration with The Kitchen Sisters.  

Musicians' Memorial 2020 - Two Hour Compilation Program

From Paul Ingles | 01:57:59

Music documentarian Paul Ingles hosts this two- hour Musicians Memorial 2020 program remembering some of the top musicians who passed away in 2020. This music mix in HOUR 1 includes John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joe Shaver, Bill Withers, Justin Townes Earle, Eddie Van Halen, Neal Peart (Rush), Little Richard, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), jazz players Bucky Pizarelli, Ellis Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Tony Allen, and pop stars Kenny Rogers, Helen Reddy and Charley Pride. HOUR 2 has many more notables who passed.

[NOTE: 4 OTHER GENRE-SPECIFIC SPECIALS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE NOW AT PRX. THEY FEATURE POP MUSICIANS, ROCK 'n' ROLL MUSICIANS, SINGER/SONGWRITERS and JAZZ / R+B ARTISTS. THERE IS ALSO A ONE-HOUR PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTING THE TOP NAMES FROM EACH OF THE 4 GENRES, IF THAT'S ALL YOU CAN CLEAR.]

Mm-musicmemorialall_small Music documentarian Paul Ingles hosts this two- hour Musicians Memorial 2020 program remembering some of the top musicians who passed away in 2020. This music mix in HOUR 1 includes John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joe Shaver, Bill Withers, Justin Townes Earle, Eddie Van Halen, Neal Peart (Rush), Little Richard, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), jazz players Bucky Pizarelli, Ellis Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Wallace Roney, Tony Allen, and pop stars Kenny Rogers, Helen Reddy and Charley Pride.  HOUR 2 has many more notables who passed.  

PLAYLIST 

HOUR ONE

Miss Otis Regrets - Ellis Marsalis (excerpt)
I Remember Everything - John Prine
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - Bucky Pizzarelli
God Only Knows - Helen Reddy
Oh Well, Part 1 - Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green)
I Love Rock N Roll - The Arrows (Allen Merrill)
It's Gonna Be Easy Now - Kenny Rogers
Inception - McCoy Tyner
Harlem River Blues - Justin Townes Earle
Obama Shuffle Strut Blues - Tony Allen / Hugh Masakela
Roll On Mississippi - Charley Pride
Use Me (live) - Bill Withers
Let's Stay Together - Wallace Roney (NOT IN 53:00 VERSION)
Mr. Bojangles - Jerry Jeff Walker
Live Forever - Billie Joe Shaver
Eruption - Van Halen (Eddie Van Halen)
The Spirit of Radio - Rush (Neil Peart)
Tutti Fruitti - Little Richard

HOUR TWO

Kool and the Gang - Kool and the Gang
Tossing' and Turnin' - Bobbie Lewis
Clean Up Woman - Betty Wright
Treat Her Right - Roy Head
I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash
Pressure Drop - Toots & The Maytals
The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band
Hearts Are Gonna Roll - Hal Ketchum
Bigger Then The Beatles - Joe Diffie
Deeper Well - David Olney
Texas, Texas - Eric Taylor
Ozark - Pet Metheny Group (Lyle Mays) (NOT IN 53:00 VERSION)
Soul Makossa - Manu DiBango
Don't It Drive You Crazy - Pointer Sisters (Bonnie Pointer)
In The Ghetto - Mac Davis
Walk Away Renee - Left Banke (Steve Martin Caro)
Walking Through My Dreams at Night - The Pretty Things (Phil May)
Hot Tin Roof - Brian Howe
Easy Livin' - Uriah Heep (Ken Hensley)
Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne (Adam Schlesinger)
Don't Want You No More - Spencer Davis Group

Best Albums of 2020

From Sound Opinions | Part of the Sound Opinions Specials series | 54:00

The hosts of Sound Opinions Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot count down their favorite albums released in 2020.

Lo_ve_small The hosts of Sound Opinions Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot count down their favorite albums released in 2020.

Holiday Special: Thomas Middleditch & Ben Schwartz, Atsuko Okatsuka, and Amythyst Kiah

From Live Wire! Radio | Part of the Live Wire Holiday Specials series | 59:00

This "Best of 2020" holiday episode features masters of improv Thomas Middleditch & Ben Schwartz, comedian Atsuko Okatsuka, and music from neo-folk performer Amythyst Kiah.

Ep In this "Best of 2020" holiday special, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello confess to being both naughty and nice this year; actors Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz discuss the secrets behind creating their long-form improv comedy series; comedian Atsuko Okatsuka shares a gut-busting anecdote about getting too close to a stranger's dog; and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah performs "Firewater."

A Season's Griot

From WHQR | 58:58

One-hour Kwanzaa celebration in story and song

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A Season's Griot is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program.  Hosted for 25 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. The show’s poet laureate, Beverly Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family return with familiar and favorite elements of Griot. 

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Cozy Stories for the Holidays

From Podcast Playlist from CBC Radio | Part of the Podcast Playlist from CBC Radio Specials series | 59:00

Grab some egg nog and the warmest blanket you can find! We're sharing warm and fuzzy stories for the end of the year.

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This week on Podcast Playlist, cosy stories for the end of December.

We’ll meet one couple who just shrugged when a few letters were delivered to their apartment addressed to Santa.

Then one year, 400 letters arrived! And they decided they had to help Santa answer them.

Next, what exactly is the “Nog” in “Egg Nog”?

We’re sharing the history of one of the most contentious seasonal drinks.

Plus, does the hectic nature of the holidays leave you breathless? We have some concrete steps you can take to stay calm during this sometimes stressful season. 

That and more, this week on Podcast Playlist. 

This piece originally aired December 2018.

537: Rethinking The Holidays / 538: Writing Truth And Lies, 11/28/2020

From Wisconsin Public Radio | Part of the To the Best of Our Knowledge series | 01:58:59

HOUR ONE: "Rethinking The Holidays" - The holidays are looking different this year. But maybe there's an opportunity in there, too. HOUR TWO: "Writing Truth And Lies" - How close to reality were the "Little House" books? Does it matter? This hour, we'll talk morality in memoirs.

Ttbook_podcast_light_final-01_small PROMO FOR HOUR ONE   11/28/20   Rethinking The Holidays
The holidays are looking different this year. But maybe there's an opportunity in there, too.

PROMO FOR HOUR TWO   11/28/20   Writing Truth And Lies
How close to reality were the "Little House" books? Does it matter? This hour, we'll talk morality in memoirs.

Reinventing Travel After COVID

From Innovation Hub | Part of the Holiday Specials series | 58:30

In this Innovation Hub special, we examine how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the future of the multi-trillion (yes, trillion) dollar tourism industry.

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The pandemic has been a catastrophe for tourism and travel, upending an almost $9 trillion industry that once accounted for approximately 330 million jobs around the world. And there continues to be great uncertainty about what the future holds. When will everyone feel safe to fly again? When we do, where will we want to go, and will we be able to afford it? 
The road to recovery for American leisure and business travel will be long and complicated, according to Henry Harteveldt, an industry analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group.
 
Elizabeth Becker, the author of “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,” believes the pandemic has a silver lining though. She says it has created an opportunity for U.S. policy makers to tackle tourism’s impact on the environment and its contribution to climate change. The industry can build back in a more sustainable way, she argues.

Holiday Season Stories of Warmth and Light

From Living On Earth | Part of the Holiday Specials series | 59:00

Free to non-carrying stations: For the darkest time of the year, Living on Earth brings you a special holiday show full of warmth and light. Gather 'round to hear how the Wampanoag persuaded Grandfather Sun to return, and an English Wassail story accompanied by sweet harp music. Hour show (59 mins including NPR fill) available here November 20.

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***Free to non-carrying stations. Half hour version available as well***

To: All Stations
From: Jenni Doering (858-945-2813)
Date: November 20th, 2020 Re: Living on Earth 2020 Holiday Special Hour Rundown 
Show title: “Holiday Season Stories of Warmth and Light”
 Host: Steve Curwood.
 Billboard: 59 Music Fill: 4:59 (Insert Live Newscast) Music Fill: 29 
SEGMENT A (11:00)
1.) THE POWER OF STORIES: Living on Earth’s winter holiday tradition featuring legends and seasonal stories continues. Storyteller Lee Ellen Marvin joins Host Steve Curwood to share stories about children and wolves, as well as some tips on becoming a good storyteller. (9:30)
Segment A ends @ 17:29 with announcer OC:  ...Sailors for the Sea dot org. 
@ 17:30 music bed (0:59)
SEGMENT B (18:30)
1.) NATIVE AMERICAN TALES: Wampanoag storyteller Medicine Story spins a tale about the shortest days of the year, and how the Wampanoag people persuaded Grandfather Sun to return. And Cherokee storyteller Gayle Ross shares seasonal tales of the importance of the warmth and the promise of spring handed down in her family. (16:50)
Segment B ends @ 36:59 with announcer OC: .... aerospace, building industries, and food refrigeration. 
@ 37:00 music bed (0:59) 
SEGMENT C (21:00)
1.) TALES OF THE NIGHT SKY AND AN ENGLISH WASSAIL STORY: Writer, storyteller, and musician Joseph Bruchac offers Iroquois myths, first about the twinkling stars of the Pleiades in the winter sky and then about why life on earth continues through the long, dark nights of mid-winter. Then storyteller Diane Edgecomb shares an English tale in which barnyard animals get the last word.  She closes with a Cherokee myth about the trees that stay green all winter long, the evergreens. (19:00)
Program ends @ 59:00 with network ID. OC: … PRX.
PROMO FOR THIS PROGRAM: 
Native American myths and tales help us endure or even enjoy the short days and long nights of winter. Living on Earth’s annual celebration of stories helps connect people with the natural world, and includes an Iroquois explanation of why the constellation Pleiades twinkles overhead and an Abenaki custom that asks forgiveness for any wrongs of the previous year. Seasonal stories and more, in this holiday special from Living on Earth from PRX.
(Local date and tag line here)
FUNDING CREDITS FOR THIS PROGRAM:   
ANNOUNCER: Funding for Living on Earth comes you, our listeners, and from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, in association with its School for the Environment, developing the next generation of environmental leaders. And from the United Technologies Corporation, and the Grantham Foundation for the protection of the environment, supporting strategic communications and collaboration in solving the world’s most pressing environmental problems. 
STATIONS NOTE: THIS PROGRAM CONTAINS DATED MATERIAL AND SHOULD BE BROADCAST BY JANUARY 1, 2021. LIVING ON EARTH MAY BE EXCERPTED ONLY IF STATIONS AIR THE PROGRAM IN ITS ENTIRETY DURING THE WEEK.
For information on carrying Living on Earth, please email memberships@prx.org. You can also visit the PRX station services site at https://www.prx.org/stations.

Three Stories of Extraordinary Forgiveness with Wanda Holland Greene

From Kelly Corrigan Wonders | Part of the Kelly Corrigan Wonders series | 58:59

Wanda Holland Greene and Kelly marvel at three true stories of exquisite forgiveness.

Kcw_podcast_artwork240_small Forgiveness may be the most advanced intellectual and emotional move we make as humans. It is a complete override of our innate nature to categorize friend and foe. Along with thought leafer Wanda Holland Greene, Kelly brings to life three unforgettable stories of forgiveness from around the world.

Merry Christmas Mr. Kreskin

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | 30:00

Back in 2009, Kent Hoffman produced a radio interview with CBC host Carol Off and The Amazing Kreskin and for the program As It Happens. Kreskin made good on a promise that day to read Carol's thoughts on the air.

But what Kent didn't predict, is that the Spring interview would earn him a permanent spot on Kreskin's Christmas card list. Kent decided it was time to thank Kreskin, and find out his thoughts on cards, traditions, and the true meaning of Christmas. It's a holiday story that will amaze you.

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The Amazing Kreskin is an American mentalist who became popular on television in the 1970s. Kent Hoffman grew up watching Kreskin on TV, so it was a surreal delight when he produced an interview with the mentalist on As It Happens in the 2000s. Kreskin pulled out all the stops -- he was charming and mesmerizing, and read host Carol Off’s mind (well, he told her what time she was thinking of: 7 pm.) But what really surprised Kent was when, a year later, he received a holiday card from Kreskin. And he's not the only one. Kreskin sends out hundreds of holiday cards, every year, to people he hasn’t spoken to in decades. Kent Hoffman goes on a journey to find out who has been getting these cards, how far back and widespread they are, and what this little remembrance means to people in the time of COVID when we are all so separated. He also speaks to Kreskin to discover what these cards mean to him. Is it an earnest desire to spread joy, or a PR mailing list? And does it really matter?  From CBC's The Doc Project, this is "Merry Christmas Mr. Kreskin" 

Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, Jenny Bruso, and LaRhonda Steele

From Live Wire! Radio | Part of the Live Wire Holiday Specials series | 58:59

This New Year's special episode features gonzo journalist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, founder of "Unlikely Hikers" Jenny Bruso, and music from blues performer LaRhonda Steele.

Ep In this celebratory New Year's special episode, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello make their resolutions for 2021; author and journalist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall describes his gonzo attempts to find a cure for the hangover; Unlikely Hikers founder Jenny Bruso expands upon her mission to make the outdoors more accessible for all; and Portland's "First Lady of the Blues" LaRhonda Steele soars with a cover of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good."