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Thanksgiving table photo by J. Waits. Alice's Restaurant on the radio

Thanksgiving Radio Tradition withstands the Pandemic as “Alice’s Restaurant” Hits the 2020 Airwaves

Catch Alice’s Restaurant on the 2022 radio dial. See our latest listening guide.

Happy Thanksgiving week 2020! Time once again for the cross-country “Alice’s Restaurant” radio listening party. As we approach our annual harvest celebration in the United States, the coronavirus is still swirling, with cases spiking across the country. Holidays have been upended due to the public health crisis and it’s strongly recommended that we not gather in groups with friends and family around the Thanksgiving table. Because of that, many of us are breaking with tradition and dispensing with some of our long-standing rituals, from cooking massive turkeys to inviting extended family into our homes.

As we adapt to a different sort of Thanksgiving this year, you can still enjoy the socially distanced custom of tuning in to “Alice’s Restaurant” on your radio dial. With so much in flux, this will be a welcome bit of nostalgia for listeners who look forward to hearing the song on Thanksgiving Day. Similarly, for those who dread forced family listening sessions, this year’s distanced holiday may be an auditory respite.

This year there’s even more reason to celebrate, as 2020 marks the 55th anniversary of the 1965 Thanksgiving day events that inspired Arlo Guthrie to pen his 18+ minute anti-Vietnam War story-song. Pressed to vinyl in 1967, it’s a seasonal staple on many rock, college, public, and community radio stations. Some stations even play it multiple times on turkey day, allowing for fans to catch it while on the road, during dinner preparations, amid the meal or while socializing. Perhaps this year, there will even be scheduled listening parties over Zoom, text strings, live chats, or twitter conversations while people listen at the same time.

If you’re lucky, you might also be able to hear a special message on your local station from the woman, Alice Brock, who plays a central role in both the title and story of “Alice’s Restaurant.” She’s our guest on this week’s Radio Survivor show and podcast, which has just been released on the evening on November 24, 2020. After penning these radio station listening guides for over a decade, it was certainly a thrill to speak with THE Alice! She’s fallen on hard times, so I’d also encourage anyone able to visit her GoFundMe campaign.

If you’re eager for more insight into “Alice’s Restaurant,” don’t miss the new video interview with Arlo Guthrie over at the Bruce Springsteen Archives. Guthrie speaks not only about the song, but also about his recent announcement that he’s retiring from touring. Also, Jon Kalish tweets that on Thanksgiving, the radio shows/podcast 1A is airing a “segment on Arlo Guthrie’s anti-war classic Alice’s Restaurant. The segment chronicles the song’s debut on Bob Fass’ late-night show on WBAI, Radio Unnameable.” He adds, “The segment leads off an hour-long special on the National Recording Registry. You’ll hear an excerpt of Guthrie’s debut of Alice’s Restaurant on Radio Unnameable, as well as Bob Fass recalling that night. Other voices: Alice Brock, folkie Cathy Fink & of course Arlo Guthrie.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I will continue to update this list as I learn of additional stations leading up to Thanksgiving.

Pre-Thanksgiving Listening Options:

Some stations play “Alice’s Restaurant before Thanksgiving. Catch an irreverent version on KFJC 89.7 FM (Los Altos Hills, CA) around 7:30pm on Tuesday, November 24 and then a regular version around 9:30am on Wednesday, November 25. KKUP 91.5 FM (Cupertino, CA) played “Alice’s Restaurant” at 11am on Tuesday 11/24. WYEP 91.3 in Pittsburgh, PA played it on Sunday, November 22nd at 1pm. WFVR-LP 96.5 FM Royalton Radio (South Royalton, VT) aired it at 5pm on Monday, November 24.

Risky Business Hayseed Hoot radio show from November 21, 2020 includes a 1997 live version of “Alice’s Restaurant,” airing on various affiliate stations, including KJIV 96.5 FM (Bend, OR), KJYV (The Dalles, OR), KORC 105.9 FM (Corvallis, OR), KYAC 94.9 FM (Mill City, OR), KUNR 88. 7 FM (Reno, NV), KPHT-LP 99.9 FM (Laytonville, CA), KTRT The Root 97. 5FM (Methow Valley, Washington), KGFN 89. 1FM (Goldfield, NV), KDUP 88.1 FM (Surprise Valley, CA). Check with these stations for specific air dates and times.

Alice’s Restaurant on the Radio on Thanksgiving Day 2020 – November 26, 2020

Last updated on November 26, 2020 at 9:54am PT. Note that all times are local to the area in which the station is located.

Terrestrial Radio:

WXPN 88.5 FM in Philadelphia, PA will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at 12noon as it does every year. It’s amid a day’s line-up starting at 6am that they dub “XPN Classics Thanksgiving.” Following “Alice’s Restaurant,” WXPN will play the Band’s Last Waltz at 4pm.

KPCW 91. 7 FM in Park City, Utah will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at 12noon as it has been doing since the station began in 1980! Other holiday programming on Thanksgiving Day includes “Giving Thanks” at 9am and pre-recorded cooking tips on “Turkey Confidential” at 10am.

Frosty 105.7 FM (Part 15 station in Ventura, CA) will air “Alice’s Restaurant” at 9am, 2pm, 3pm and 5pm on Thanksgiving Day, 11/26/20.

WXRT 93.1 FM in Chicago, Illinois will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon and 8pm on Thanksgiving.

Arkansas Rocks stations throughout Arkansas will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon CST on Thanksgiving.

WDVX 89.9 FM in Knoxville, Tennesee is playing “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon.

WPLR 99.1 FM in New Haven, CT will air “Alice’s Restaurant” at 6am, noon, and 6pm.

KZHP 93.3 FM K-ZAP (Sacramento, CA) writes on Twitter, “…we continue a tradition as American as friends, turkey and gravy by playing ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ on Thursday at 10a & 6p PST. Tune in for an amazing story by a legendary storyteller.”

WGXC 90.7 FM aka Wave Farm (Acra, New York) will air “Alice’s Restaurant” on the “WGXC Morning Show” between 9am to 11am. The station writes on Twitter, “Thursday tune in holiday traditions such as Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” Rush Limbaugh’s “The True Story of Thanksgiving,” WKRP’s “Turkey Drop,” William S. Burroughs’ “Thanksgiving Prayer,” Andy Griffith’s “What it Was, Was Football,” and more @WGXC 90.7-FM.” Later in the evening at 7pm, WGXC airs an interview with Alice Brock from a few years ago. Their full lineup of holiday programming includes shows about Thanksgiving radio traditions (2am) and rituals (11am).

WXOX 97.1 FM ARTxFM (Louisville, Kentucky) will play “Alice’s Restaurant at 10am on Thanksgiving.

WFUV 90.7 FM (Bronx, NY) is playing “Alice’s Restaurant at 12 noon as part of its Thanksgiving Feastival.

Wyoming Public Radio is playing “Alice’s Restaurant” at 11am during the Wyoming Sounds Thanksgiving Special (9am-noon). The program will include “roots music, Native American and Wyoming artists along with the Arlo Guthrie Thanksgiving classic Alice’s Restaurant beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a special introduction from the original restauranteur Alice Brock.”

KBCO 97.3 FM (Denver, Colorado) airs “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon.

WTTS 92.3 FM (Indianapolis/Bloomington, Indiana) is airing “Alice’s Restaurant” at 8am, noon and 8pm.

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.

WAFX 106.9 The Fox (Hampton Roads, VA) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at noon on Thanksgiving day.

WRHQ 105.3 FM (Savannah, Georgia) plans to play “Alice’s Restaurant” on Thanksgiving Day at 9:30am, 12:30pm and 6:30pm.

WNCW 88.7 FM (Spindale, NC) will air Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” just past Noon, and again at 9pm.

WERS 88.9 FM in Boston writes that the station “continues our long tradition of playing Alice’s Restaurant Massacree, with Jersey Hal, at 11am on Thanksgiving!”

KNHS 102.3 FM/91.9 FM (Haines, Alaska) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” at 3:30pm on Thanksgiving. The station has a line-up of special programming on Thursday and Friday, including “Turkey Confidential” and music appropriate to the season.

KXT 91.7FM (North Texas Public Broadcasting) reported via tweet: “It’s a KXT tradition! Tune in at noon and 6pm to KXT 91.7 FM for all 18+ minutes of Arlo Guthrie’s classic, ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ on Thanksgiving Day.”

WUMB 91.9 FM (Boston, MA and environs) will play “Alice’s Restaurant” three times on Thanksgiving this year “at the top of the 9am, 12pm and 3pm hours on Thursday!” according to its website.

KINK 101.9 FM (Portland, OR): Per its website, “Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant has been a KINK Thanksgiving tradition for over 30 years. Catch it twice on Thanksgiving Day (November 26th) this year, 12pm and 5pm.”

WLVQ 96.3 FM (Columbus, OH): Per its website, “Tune in this Thanksgiving Day around 6am, Noon, and 6pm to hear Alice’s Restaurant, a Qfm96 tradition.”

KTYD 99.9 FM (Santa Barbara, CA): The station reports on Facebook that they will play “Alice’s Restaurant” on Thanksgiving at 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm AND 6pm.

MVY Radio (88.7 FM Martha’s Vineyard, MA and 96.5 FM Newport, Rhode Island) reports on Twitter on Thanksgiving Day: “Nothing beats a holiday tradition! We will play ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ by @folkslinger at noon today! And tonight at 9PM, we will play the full ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ album! Happy Thanksgiving!”

KQRS-FM 92.5FM (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is playing the epic song at noon and 7pm on Thanksgiving.

WVNW 91.7 FM (Scranton, PA) at Marywood University is playing “Alice’s Restaurant” at 6pm.

KKSM AM 1320, Cox Digital Cable 957 (San Marcos, CA) at Palomar College is playing “Alice’s Restaurant” at 12pm and 5pm.

Online Radio Stations:

Backland Radio (online) writes on Twitter, “It’s a Whip tradition – Tune in on Thanksgiving to hear Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie four times at 8am, 12 noon, 5pm and 9pm Central time on The Whip at http://backlandradio.com.”

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