I have written about Canadian DJ David Marsden’s Christmas Eve show in the past, and how moving, funny, poignant, and thoughtful it is. Although I have not had the pleasure of listening for the past 28 or so years like many very fortunate folks have, it has definitely become a part of my Christmas Eve tradition and will remain so, for hopefully many more years to come.
At the heart of this spectacular 5+ hours production is David’s own story of a Christmas Eve past, all those years ago, when walking home alone from his job as a DJ. After reaching deep within himself and empathizing with all of the other lonely souls he encountered that fateful night, he made a vow; he would do everything in his power to provide a warm, welcoming place for those who had no one else to be with, or no other place to go to gather, listen to some songs, and share some stories. David’s gift to everyone who listens then and now, is the gift of friendship, of self-worth, of camaraderie, and of love.
David works long and hard for several weeks prior to this special production, ensuring that everything is perfect. He enlists the aid of Happy Pants (Igor Loukine) to provide periodic updates on where Santa is and a preview of the presents he is carrying. David works the cast of regular listeners and chat room attendees into his stories and shout-outs to make the night even more personalized and outstanding. Tears of joy are intermingled with those of laughter as the evening runs the gamut of every emotion. This is truly the release that so many of us need after the stresses and strains of real life. One couldn’t buy a comparable five hours of therapy from a licensed practitioner. David knows just what musical elixirs and soothing words we need to guide us through whatever life throws at us.
Last night, David broke with tradition to honor Canada’s latest fallen soldier, Lieutenant Andrew Nuttal. For those of you who reside outside of Canada, you may not be familiar with a beautiful ceremony that Canadians use to honor their fallen soldiers, Highway of Heroes. Each time a fallen hero is returned home and laid to rest, their final journey is a procession along Canada’s Highway 401. People from all over gather on the bridges carrying Canadian flags to salute their beloved comrade as he or she passes below. David said that he couldn’t let the night pass without mention of these brave men and women who have given their all to protect their country and fellow citizens. He played “Highway of Heroes” in their honor, and there wasn’t a dry eye among listeners everywhere.
Highway of Heroes Tribute via YouTube user SentinelReview:
Highway of Heroes via YouTube user Toronto Songwriter:
Speaking of the chat room, this has been a labor of love started by Sistahmar many years ago as a Yahoo group. When they outgrew that venue, Sistahmar was instrumental in setting up the room as it now exists, approximately 4 years ago. While David is on the air, it has become a place for friends, fans, and the just plain curious to wander in and out of, intermingling with fellow audiophiles and longtime listeners. David makes it a point to be there during his Thursday and Friday night broadcasts, greeting each participant and sharing his wealth of musical information. To check out some of David’s playlists, go to RalphD’s website. This will give you an idea of the treasures you will hear when you join us.
David is on a short break and will return to his regular [edit:] Saturday and Sunday night (7 pm- midnight EST) free-form broadcasting on Jaunary 7, 2010. Go to 94.9 The Rock’s website and click the “Listen Live” button to experience a master at work. David’s induction into the Hall of Fame was not by happenstance; he earned his reputation as the champion of incredibly wonderful non-mainstream artists and the master of free-form broadcasting at its finest. Give yourself a gift this coming year and tune in to David Marsden’s program. Go to his website Marsden Global and click on the chat room link where you will be greeted by people (Sistahmar and all of the regulars) who will make you feel like they have known you forever.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Marsden. You have enriched so many people’s lives in ways that you can never know. I am one of those people and I am very grateful for you and all that you do.