Christmas Listening Tip

In addition to Christmas jazz around the clock Christmas Eve and Christmas day, the internet radio station known as The Jazz Knob will present several instances of the late radio host Chuck Niles’s reading of “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.” Niles was a Southern California jazz disc jockey from 1957 until his death in 2004. His presentation of the classic Christmas poem became a tradition in the Los Angeles area. For the schedule of readings and to listen to The Jazz Knob any time, go here.

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Comments

  1. Charlton Price says

    In addition observing the Chuck Niles Christmas tradition, check out KCSM at the College of San Mateo (kscm.org, ), 10 am to 2 pm Pacific Time Christmas Day, to enjoy the doyen DJ Dr. Herb Wong. According to KCSM, this is at least the 50th anniversary of the show. He started back-when on the erstwhile KJAZ in Alameda, CA. The (vast) recorded archive once at KJAZ, largely assembled and organized by Herb, has been bequeathed to KCSM and is being or has been digitized there.

    • Charlton Price says

      Now it’s 10 am Christmas morning.
      From KCSM, Herb Wong — on the air in California and online worldwide — tells us, officially, that it’s his 47th Christmas show.
      Thank you, Herb — and Merry Christmas to all…

  2. Mark Mohr says

    If there was ever a voice that sounded like the God of Jazz Radio, it belonged to Chuck Niles. I grew up in Los Angeles listening to Chuck, and when I started playing jazz on KCSB-FM, the campus radio station at U.C. Santa Barbara in the late 1970’s, I realized just how much I didn’t know about the music and how to announce it properly. Over a break from school, I called the station to speak with Chuck. He was very welcoming and gracious and invited me to come into the studio and watch him work for a couple of hours one night. It was like meeting The Pope. He asked me what kind of jazz I really enjoyed, and then built a short set around some Bill Evans Trio recordings. He let me explore the record library (which was an incredible treat) and even gave me a duplicate copy of an Evans LP that was clearly stamped “Stolen from the KBCA library” on the front cover. (The station had been KBCA switching over to KKGO IN 1979.) I think I wore the grooves off that disc! I wish I could remember more from our conversation, but I recall him saying something like “Just be yourself and let the music do the talking.” Over the years, I followed Chuck as he moved to KLON (which is now KKJZ) on the campus of Cal State Long Beach. Chuck Niles died in 2004 leaving behind a huge legacy and an impressive list of friends, fans, and colleagues. Thanks for posting the info about the Jazz Knob’s playing of Niles reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” I’ll be sure to check it out, and remember what a nice guy Chuck Niles was to a young jazz fan way back when.

    • Dave Grudt, AKA "Grudty Claus" says

      Mark, Very nice note about Chuck. I had the pleasure of working with Chuck for about a year and a half at KLON. Chuck and Sam came over in Sept. 1990. Hard to believe that was 21 years ago. I was the assistant Program Director. Ken Borgers was the PD.

      Chuck was always very accommodating and he recorded ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas first in 1996 for the Sounds of the Season o KLON for which I put together the music. He graciously re-recorded it again in 1997. That is the version that you will hear Christmas Eve and Day.

      There are not to many days that I don’t think about Chuck. I can truly call him a friend. I am so thankful that I was able to see him a month before he passed (this was after I had moved on from KLON) at Jack Sheldon’s birthday celebration.

      Mark I hope you will listen to the JazzKnob this weekend. I think you will like the mix of holiday tunes that I have assembled.

      And thanks to Ken Borgers my old boss for letting me do it!

  3. Daren Samey says

    Many thanks for this post. I grew up in Los Angeles listening to Chuck, and when I started playing jazz on KCSB-FM the campus radio station at U.C. Christmas Day Listenig Tip is nice.