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Tom Hanks serves up day of music for WYEP listeners on Thanksgiving Day



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Actor Tom Hanks and Joanne Rogers stand at a podium under an umbrella during a rally in Downtown Pittsburgh.

CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

Tom Hanks (left) stands next to Joanne Rogers at the “Stronger than Hate: A Gathering of Compassion, Unity and Love” rally in Downtown Pittsburgh, Nov. 9, 2018

Ever wonder what kind of music Tom Hanks likes? If the Academy Award-winning actor were to ever, say, curate an entire day of tunes, how would that play out? Wonder no more on Thanksgiving, when Hanks takes over 91.3 WYEP for a day of songs hand-picked exclusively for the station’s listeners.

What’s being dubbed “Hanks-Giving” will air Thu., Nov. 24 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on the independent, nonprofit, adult alternative music station. Additionally, the 7 a.m.-8 a.m. and 7 p.m.-8 p.m. hours will feature music curated by WYEP on-air hosts taken from soundtracks of movies featuring Hanks.

A press release says Hanks has become “an honorary Pittsburgher” after portraying local television figure Fred Rogers in the 2019 film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which was shot and set largely in the city.

Hanks recently returned to film A Man Called Otto, an American big-screen adaption of the best-selling book by Swedish author Fredrik Backman (the novel was first adapted into the 2015 Swedish language film A Man Called Ove). A Man Called Otto, described in a Sony Pictures synopsis as following a “grumpy widower” who develops an unlikely friendship with his new neighbors, is scheduled to release in select theaters on Christmas Day, and more widely on Jan. 13, 2023.

In November 2018, Hanks also attended a rally in support of the 11 people killed during the devastating mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

As for the Thanksgiving Day ear feast, WYEP says Hanks provided an “eclectic and very fun list of 100 songs for the station takeover, with a 66-year timespan —ranging between music from 1956 all the way to a duet released a few months ago between Elvis Costello and Hanks’ wife Rita Wilson.” WYEP also stresses Hanks’ “appreciation of early- and mid-1960s rock ‘n’ roll,” adding that his 1996 directorial debut That…



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