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Old-time radio takes center stage in Salado theater's holiday show

Gary Dinges, Static

Gary Dinges
gdinges@statesman.com

WSPR is a radio station in need of a Christmas miracle.

Without a little help from listeners, it might not make it through the holiday season.

Will the small-town broadcaster live to see another year? Catch "Christmas is on the Air" at the Salado Silver Spur Theater to find out.

"Since 2006, we've been doing our holiday show as if it were a live broadcast," said Grainger Esch, the theater's executive director. "Radio's so much fun."

"The Silver Spur is different," said Melodee Lenz, one of the show's cast members. "It is one of the few professional theater companies in the U.S. that does this type of production. This show specifically, in my humble opinion, is going to be a riot."

The theater's family-friendly holiday productions always draw a big crowd, Esch said, thanks in part to all the visitors who flock to Salado this time of year.

The small village popular with shoppers looking for antiques and crafts is about an hour north of Austin on Interstate 35.

"This is a busy time of year for Salado," he said. "We've got live music thanks to the Christmas Stroll, plus many of the shops are open later."

Folks who take a break to enjoy "Christmas is on the Air" won't be disappointed, Esch and Lenz promise.

The cast, they say, has a blast, as well.

"We get big laughs and a few groans, but those are fun, too," Esch said.

"The show isn't work, in my opinion," Lenz said. "The day it seems like work to perform is the day I don't perform."

Sounds of Christmas

Majic 95.5 is counting down the days till Christmas.

The station replaced its usual soft rock hits with round-the-clock holiday tunes on Nov. 18.

Tune in to hear "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "Silent Night" and other favorites through Christmas.

Christian station Spirit 105.9 started playing non-stop holiday music and seasonal worship songs Thanksgiving Day and will keep it up through Dec. 25.

"We become Christmas Spirit 105.9 for one reason – so you can share your station with a friend," said program director Steve Sunshine. "When you share Spirit with a friend, God can change their life. Christmas Spirit brings the holidays to life with the unique blend of music and Christmas cheer."

For folks heading out of town, both stations stream online. Head to majic.com or spirit1059.com to get your holiday music fix.

Around the dial ...

NPR's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me," which airs at 10 a.m. Saturdays on 90.5 KUT-FM, makes the move to TV for a year-in-review special that will air at 7 p.m. Dec. 23 on BBC America. Time Warner Cable customers can find BBC America on Channel 268. ...

Read my blog at austin360.com/tvblog or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.

Go, go, Guetta

He couldn't have done it "Without You."

David Guetta has clawed his way to the top of Austin radio's most-played list, grabbing more airtime than any other artist, according to AllAccess.com.

His "Without You" was heard 175 times Nov. 14-20, while No. 2 "Sexy and I Know It" from LMFAO had 152 spins.

Moving up the charts: Jerrod Niemann's "One More Drinkin' Song," Miranda Lambert's "Baggage Claim," Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" and Ace Hood's "Body 2 Body."

On the way down: Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl," Lil Wayne's "How to Love" and Rihanna's "You Da One."

Here are the top five songs played on a random sampling of local stations:

96.7 KISS-FM

  • David Guetta, 'Without You,' 116 spins
  • Gym Class Heroes, 'Stereo Hearts,' 116
  • Rihanna, 'We Found Love,' 91
  • LMFAO, 'Sexy and I Know It,' 89
  • Cobra Starship, 'You Make Me Feel... ,' 82

KASE 101

  • Miranda Lambert, 'Baggage Claim,' 49 spins
  • Brantley Gilbert, 'Country Must be Country Wide,' 48
  • Lady Antebellum, 'We Owned the Night,' 48
  • Taylor Swift, 'Sparks Fly,' 45
  • Jerrod Niemann, 'One More Drinkin' Song,' 41

101X

  • Black Keys, 'Lonely Boy,' 49 spins
  • Bush, 'The Sound of Winter,' 47
  • Foster the People, 'Helena Beat,' 47
  • Switchfoot, 'Dark Horses,' 33
  • Joy Formidable, 'Whirring,' 31

93.3 KGSR

  • Decemberists, 'Calamity Song,' 32 spins
  • Jayhawks, 'She Walks in So Many Ways,' 32
  • Snow Patrol, 'Called Out in the Dark,' 32
  • Ryan Adams, 'Lucky Now,' 31
  • Foster the People, 'Don't Stop' ('Color on the Walls'), 31

gdinges@statesman.com; 912-5987

‘Christmas is on the Air'