As the host of KCUR 89.3's weekly Fish Fry, UMKC audio archivist Haddix (known on the air as Chuck Haddock) has been bringing blues, soul, R&B, jump 'n' jive and zydeco music to Kansas City audiences since 1985. The show is a Friday- and Saturday-night fixture for the station, but it's Haddix's holiday offering that makes the biggest impression.
"People just go crazy over this program because I'm in there playing all this wild stuff, like 'Back Door Santa' and 'Santa Baby' and all this crazy Christmas music," Haddix says. "I get calls all the time from listeners about how they will wrap all of their presents and party down listening to the Fish Fry."
Though Haddix dedicates only one full show to the theme, it's not for a lack of material. "When I first started doing it, I'd walk in with three or four anthologies and put together a couple of hours of Christmas music. Since then, with the introduction of CDs, a lot of material is available that wasn't at that time. Now I've got an embarrassment of riches of Christmas music."
Although the holidays can be a source of stress and strife, Haddix believes good music can help keep it in check. "You won't get the blues when you stop by for this Christmas party," he says. "I mean, you'll get Lightnin' Hopkins doing 'Merry Christmas' or Charles Brown's 'Merry Christmas, Baby,' but most of this is up-tempo party music, a celebration of Christmas. We may all get the blues this time of year, but this is kind of like an antidote. It takes you back to what it's all about."