In fall, 1967, Arlo Guthrie released “Alice’s Restaurant,” unintentionally launching a Thanksgiving radio tradition that persists more than 50 years later. The Thanksgiving-themed 18+ minute story-song is beloved by folkies and classic rock fans who continue to search the radio dial for it on Thanksgiving Day in order to take part in ritual listening sessions. In 2019 you can listen any time you like thanks to streaming music, but there’s nothing like tuning in to hear the same song at the same time as legions of fellow fans on one of the most American of holidays.
Guthrie has been on the tour circuit in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the film version of “Alice’s Restaurant,” with plenty more concerts scheduled through spring, 2020. For followers of his annual Thanksgiving weekend Carnegie Hall gig, this year’s event on November 30th is expected to be the last.
For a decade, I’ve been compiling a list of radio stations that air “Alice’s Restaurant” as part of their Thanksgiving schedule. I will continue to update this list as I learn of additional stations leading up to Thanksgiving.
Update as of 11/25/19:
The weekend before Thanksgiving, “Alice’s Restaurant” aired on the “Dr. Demento Show” online, on WPRB‘s (Princeton, NJ) “Music You Can’t Hear on the Radio,” and on WMUH’s (Allentown, PA) “Radio Free Hippie” show. Additionally, some stations will continue the “Alice’s Restaurant” festivities after Thanksgiving. John Furphy of Radio Free Hippie shared on Facebook that the Sunday overnight show “…will play both the original and the revisited massacree during this week and next week’s program, as has been done since 1983. There is also a very good chance one or both versions will be played between 10 AM and noon on turkey day.”
Charles Reinsch also reports, “The Rainbow Roach version of Alice’s as performed on Bob Fass’s Night Into Day can be heard anytime in the KRAB Archive: http://www.krabarchive.com/krab-programs-music-1960s.html…”
Ted Coe writes on Monday, November 25, 2019, “I’m doing an hourlong variation on this on my music-and-cultural arts show The Freak Power Ticket on KCSB-FM 91.9 in Santa Barbara, in just about an hour!” That show airs on Mondays 11am to noon Pacific time.
Update as of 11/27/19:
I also got a note from Bill Revill, who writes, “WESU (Middletown CT) airs ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ the Tuesday before Thanksgiving between 6-8pm on ‘Acoustic Blender.’ I’ve been doing that for ten years now.”
Also on Tuesday nights for the past two years, Cynthia Lombard at KFJC 89.7 FM (Los Altos Hills, CA) has been playing an atypical version of “Alice’s Restaurant” during her 7-10pm Pacific time show. This year it aired at around 8:45pm (playlist here) and program is archived for two weeks.
Alice’s Restaurant on the Radio on Thanksgiving Day 2019 – November 28, 2019
Last updated on November 27, 2019 at 3:30pm Pacific Time
Wyoming Public Radio will air “Alice’s Restaurant” at 11am during the Wyoming Sounds Thanksgiving Special (9am to noon).
WTTS 92.3 FM (Indianapolis/Bloomington, Indiana) is airing “Alice’s Restaurant” at 8am, noon and 8pm.
KPIG 107.5 FM (Freedom, CA) and KPYG 94.9 FM (Cayucos/San Luis Obispo, CA) will air “Alice’s Restaurant” at 9am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm.
WERS 88.9 FM (Boston, MA) plans to play “Alice’s Restaurant” at 9am.
WXYG The Goat 540 AM/107.3FM (Sauk Rapids, MN) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon.
WCMF 96.5 FM (Rochester, NY) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at 11am prior to the Buffalo Bill’s game!
WMMM 105.5 FM (Madison, WI) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon and 6pm.
WDRV 97.1 FM The Drive (Chicago, IL) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at 6am, noon, and 4pm.
KOZT 95.3 FM/95.9 FM The Coast (Ft. Bragg, CA) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at 12 noon on Thanksgiving.
WRUV 90.1 FM (Burlington, VT) will air “Alice’s Restaurant” at 11am EST.
98.5 WNUW-LP (Aston, PA) at Neumann University airs “Alice’s Restaurant” every Thanksgiving at 9am, 12noon, 5pm, 8pm and 10pm.
WXOX 97.1 FM Louisville will be playing it on Thanksgiving between 10-11am on Artebella with DJ Keith Waits.
WAFX 106.9 The Fox (Hampton Roads, VA) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon on Thanksgiving day.
The Creek 100.9 FM (Macon, Georgia) will air it at noon and 5pm on Thanksgiving.
KTYD 99.9 FM (Santa Barbara, CA) posted on Facebook, “KTYD’S Thanksgiving Tradition continues! Listen for Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” Thursday at 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm.”
Frosty 105.7 FM (Part 15 station in Ventura, CA) will air “Alice’s Restaurant” at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm (Massacree Revisited), 5pm on Thanksgiving Day, 11/28/19.
101 the Fox (Kansas City, KS) will air “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon and 6pm on Thanksgiving.
WRHQ 105.3 FM (Savannah, Georgia) plans to play “Alice’s Restaurant” on Thanksgiving Day at 6:30am, 12:30pm and 6:30pm.
WZZZ 107.5 The Breeze (Portsmouth, Ohio) posted on Twitter, “Join us this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, as we play a Holiday Classic: ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ by Arlo Guthrie. You’ll hear it at 9am, Noon and 5pm. Follow along as the story unfolds on Thanksgiving Day–It’s brought to you by Preston Family Funeral Home, on Rt.5 in Ashland.”
WXRT 93.1 FM (Chicago, IL) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon on Thanksgiving Day.
WNCW 88.7 FM (Spindale, NC) writes, “Join us from Jasmin’s ‘Mountain Mornings’ at 6am, through Joe Kendrick’s Thanksgiving music and history spotlight between 7 and 9am (in lieu of ‘Morning Edition’), and our eclectic feast of songs throughout the rest of the day. We’ll air Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’ just past Noon, and again at 9pm.”
MVY Radio 88.7 FM (Vineyard Haven, MA) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon on Thanksgiving.
WERU 89.9 FM (East Orland, Maine) reports that, “This year Brother Al, host of Thursday’s Morning Maine show on WERU-FM will be playing it just after 8 a.m. We live stream at weru.org and via the WERU app.”
Online Radio Stations:
The Whip Radio will play “Alice’s Restaurant” four times on Thanksgiving: 8am, 12 noon, 5pm and 9pm Central time.
REC-FM will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at 11am Eastern time on Thanksgiving.
KMCJ Radio (Moorpark College in Moorpark, CA) posted on Facebook, “…tune into KMCJ on Mixlr Thursday at 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm and as a bonus tune into KMCJ tomorrow Night [Tuesday, November 26, 2019) at 7:45 after our all day remote at Club M then after we air Alice’s Restaurant at 7:45 our annual Sounds of the Season begins.”