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Yesterday in La Crosse

Was it the most wonderful Christmas ever…55 years ago?

Brad Williams



It wasn’t going to be an easy Christmas for America in 1963.  The holiday season began just after the November assassination of President Kennedy.  A new Christmas song introduced that season was “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” by Andy Williams.  Another new song for the holidays was a call for peace, written during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Bing Crosby performed “Do You Hear What I Hear?” that December on a Bob Hope TV special.

The number 1 song in the US that Christmas was a French-language tune recorded by The Singing Nun…”Dominique.”

At the end of December, American radio stations began playing a new song by a rock and roll band from Liverpool: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles.

On December 18th, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” introduced its famous Christmas episode, with the entire cast performing on “The Alan Brady Show.”  That same night, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore were guests on “The Danny Kaye Show,” along with Andy Williams.  A wonderful Christmas, 1963, yesterday in La Crosse.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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