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Arts & Culture

Peabo Celebrates 15 Years On TPR

Carin Lamontagne
Peabo at the mic.

In what may be TPR’s oddest holiday tradition, Peabo the rooster returns to the airwaves for his fifteenth annual special on Christmas Eve. Beginning at 11 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM, Peabo will be joined by TPR’s Nathan Cone and longtime friend David Furst for an hour of music and merrymaking as they count down to Santa’s arrival at midnight.

Peabo rose from humble beginnings. He began his professional life as a carnival rooster in Hot Springs, Arkansas. After being rescued by David, Peabo became the signature outcue sound that concluded each broadcast of TPR's late Texas Music program, Sunday Night Session. From 1996 to 2010, Peabo's bold crow was heard every Sunday night on KSTX 89.1 FM.

In 2001, Peabo's love of Christmas music was recognized when he was invited to host his first-ever special, "A Peabo Christmas." It was followed the next year by "A Very Peabo Christmas." Each year since, Peabo has brought his unique brand of holiday entertainment to the airwaves with a series of specials full of adventure, daring, and the holiday spirit. Listed below are the episodes from years past along with a short synopsis of each.

  • A Peabo Christmas (2001): Peabo's first special featured David and Nathan joined by the rooster in the studio for an hour of music. Corny jokes and rooster crows abound.
  • A Very Peabo Christmas (2002): In Peabo's only half-hour Christmas special (because it started at 11:30), the bird shares more music and gives a special shout-out to the late Jam Master Jay. 
  • The Night Peabo Saved Christmas (2003): In Peabo's first storytime special, we recount the time when David and Nathan were so dispirited by the commercialization of the holiday that Peabo has to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. Which for Peabo, means more corn for his trough.
  • Peabo's Christmas Spectacular! (2004): Peabo goes all-out to produce a fantastic show with stupid pet tricks, Michelle Kwan ice skating, James Brown, and an airplane flyover. Unfortunately he forgets the the show is a radio program, so David and Nathan have to narrate the whole affair.
  • An Olde Tyme Christmas With Peabo and Friends (2005): Peabo remembers the good old days of his youth.
  • Christmas All Over The World (2006): A World Music-themed program includes songs and carols from Europe, Africa, and Central America, as well as a recurring gag featuring this song from Xanadu.
  • Peabo's Christmas Wish (2007): After begging Nathan, David, and Santa, Peabo gets his Christmas wish, a carol featuring singing chickens and roosters.
  • Peabo vs. the Christmas Meanies in 3-D (2008): When the Christmas Meanines kidnap Santa, it's up to Peabo, Nathan and David to rescue the jolly old elf. What does 3D have to do with radio? "Well, if you would have been wearing your glasses, you would have seen a lot of really cool stuff."
  • Peabo's Family Christmas Tree (2009): A family reunion brings some of Peabo's relatives back into the fold including Jerry the Jersey Giant and Elizabeth the Cornish Hen. A heartwarming reunion concludes the special as Peabo and his cousin Cornelius from Cotulla finally reconcile past differences.
  • Exile On Rooster Row (2010): After Sunday Night Session is canceled, Peabo hits the skids and tries to find his voice again. Nathan and David catch us up on what he's been up to without a steady gig. All is well at the end of the show when Santa's arrival gives Peabo a new mission: to continue spreading the joy of Christmas music every year on KSTX!
  • A Christmas Crow For You (2011): Inspired by classic holiday albums of the past, Peabo tries to enlist Phil Spector to produce the Christmas album to rule them all. Unfortunately he doesn't realize Spector is indisposed for the next few years. Eventually Peabo enlists super-producer Brian Eno to create a holiday masterpiece. Special guests: Terry Gildea as the voice of Phil Spector, and Robert Earl Keen shares his Top 10 reasons to spend Christmas with Peabo.
  • Peabo Rides Again! (2012): Peabo has on his rhinestone covered Nudie suit and is ready for a Texas-style Christmas at "Red & Gruene Hall." David and Nathan also make the mistake of reading Internet comments about Peabo's annual special, but then a telegram from Tony Blair cheers everyone up and it's off to the dance hall for a swingin' holiday celebration.
  • Peabo's Christmas Holiday (2013): Sensing that the stress of preparing the annual holiday special has been getting to our favorite rooster, Nathan and David invite Peabo to take the night off and relax, but without Peabo's supervision, things don't go as planned.
  • Christmas In Orbit (2014): While vacationing in Florida, Peabo mistakes the launch of the ProjectX satellite for a thrilling theme park ride, and is accidentally launched into space. Meanwhile, Nathan and David enlist NASA and Santa Claus to help rescue our favorite rooster and bring him back to Earth. Special guest: Terry Gildea as 'Narrator.'

This year, Peabo runs afoul of the law and is thrown in jail! What will happen?!? Tune in on Christmas Eve at 11 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM for "Christmas In Jail" with Peabo. Special guest actors this year include Terry Gildea, Kathleen Couser, and Wade Goodwyn.
Peabo’s been working on the playlist for the show all year long (it takes him a while at the keyboard since his typing skills are limited to hunt and peck).

In the meantime, enjoy this audio postcard of Peabo's favorite celebrity greetings collected over the years: