Robert Drake Does Christmas

The WXPN host is spinning holiday music for 24 hours starting at midnight

Courtesy of Robert Drake

For the 18th year in a row, DJ Robert Drake of WXPN is hosting The Night Before, a 24-hour holiday music marathon. “Almost two decades ago, management needed someone to work Christmas Eve and keep an eye on the reel-to-reel tape machines that were airing holiday specials,” says Drake, who’s already getting his pots of coffee ready for the big day. “I volunteered, as long as I could have a few hours to play some of my collection of holiday music.”

Don’t expect to hear the usual tunes, either. “Throughout the years I had developed a passion for uncovering unusual holiday discs,” admits Drake, who also hosts the popular New Wave party Sex Dwarf at Fluid and Bottoms Up, a retro happy hour with his partner DJ John Stanley at The Bike Stop.

But as folks get ready to celebrate Christmas Eve, Drake will already have been on the air for many hours, sharing his rare collection of tunes with the masses.

Of course, when the show first aired in 1993, it was just three-hours long. “Years went by and the show went from three to four to six to 12 hours,” says Drake, which helped celebrate his own 12 years with the station at the time. “As we neared my 13th year, management joked about how I was planning to top my 12-hour stunt, and I jokingly suggested 24 hours on the 24th day of December.”

So with little sleep and a full roster of holiday tunes ranging from retro 80s to lesser-known classics, Drake is getting ready to take to the air tonight starting at midnight. “I’m not only presenting my mix of music,” he says, “but also some special guests, segments and in-studio performances.” There will also be the Night Before Chat Room available for listeners to discuss what they hear and to make requests, as well as a Jingle Cam with an eye-view on the studio to make sure he’s still awake.

We have a request – one of our favorite and oh-so gay holiday anthems ever: “Last Christmas” by Wham!

The Night Before can be heard on XPN live worldwide by clicking here as well as on the FM dial at:

88.5-FM: Philadelphia, PA
88.7-FM: York/Lancaster, PA
99.7-FM: Harrisburg, PA
104.9-FM: Lehigh Valley, PA
90.5-FM: Worton/Baltimore, MD