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The Christmas Cuckoo

December 24, 2015
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The Christmas Cuckoo

The Christmas Cuckoo is a new radio play of an old Christmas tale. Tune in to KXCI to hear it Christmas Eve at 8pm (after the Weekly Green) and on Christmas Day at 3pm, at the start of The Home Stretch.

Amy Crown: narrator, piano and soprano recorder
Jessie Crown: violin and guitar
Molly Crown: violin and tambourine
Megan Austin: tenor recorder
Produced and arranged by James Jenkin
Written by Frances Browne (adapted)
Amy Crown studied theater at James Madison University and earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Arizona State University. She has played the piano since childhood and has worked for many years as an accompanist for choirs and musical theater productions. A love of reading aloud to her two children led to her first recording, Fairy Tales for Brave Hearts, a selection of her daughters’ favorite tales from the Brothers Grimm. Amy lives in Tucson, Arizona.

A blind girl was born in 1816 in Donegal, Ireland. She was the seventh of twelve children. She really wanted to learn how to write. She made a deal with her brothers and sisters, that if she did their chores for them, they would read aloud their lessons to her in the evening. This girl’s name was Frances Browne.

When Frances was older she would think up poems and her sister would write them down. Her first poem was published when she was 24. When she was 31, Frances and her sister moved to Scotland, where Frances became a popular author. At age 36, she moved to London and wrote books. Her most famous book is Granny’s Wonderful Chair. One of the stories in this book is called the Christmas Cuckoo. Frances Browne died in 1879 at age 63.

In 1914, a woman named Francis Jenkins Olcott published a book of stories for young children to practice their reading. The book was called, Good Stories for Great Holidays. In the book, Francis Olcott included an edited version of Frances Browne’s Christmas Cuckoo story (pages 331-342). Francis Olcott died in 1963. The text of her book is available at the University of Virginia’s website.

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