Music Monday: December 26, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Well, we are at the end of another year. This time next week we will be in 2023. I want to thank you all for being here for the last 365 days. It means so much to me. I appreciate all of you. And I look forward to you joining me in the new year which I hope is a good one for all of us.

While celebrating all things Christmas for the last 25 days, I missed an important music birthday: Keith Richards turned 79 years young. The long time Rolling Stone guitarist & one half of the group’s prolific songwriting team was born December 16, 1943 in Dartford, Kent, England.

For 60 years The Stones have done it all, from being part of the British Invasion to defining classic rock to playing with their own musical heroes to reaching legendary status. And Richards has been one of the most recognizable faces behind the band with a sound that helped put The Stones in their rightful place in music & cultural history. I chose today’s song because I hope it is something will all get to be in 2023.

Happy birthday, Keith & Happy New Year to all of you.

“Always took candy from strangers
Didn’t wanna get me no trade
Never want to be like papa
Working for the boss every night and day
“.

Stones 2010

The Rolling Stones circa 2000 (L to R):  Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Ron Wood.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Happy” (1972, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).

Stay safe and well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 25

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 25 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image from Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

Merry Christmas, friends. Wishing you all every blessing of the season. Thank you all for joining me on this month long celebration of the holiday & the music which makes it even more bright. Enjoy!

Nat King Cole circa 1950. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Nat King Cole: “O Come All Ye Faithful” (1960, John Francis Wade and Frederick Oakeley).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 24

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 24 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image from Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

We have arrived at the holiest of nights during the Christmas season. I find that only two songs work to celebrate this day. The first one was featured on Day 5 and the second is today’s track. It has been covered by more artists than I can name but when it is performed by someone with gospel roots, the song seems to have more soul to it. So who better than the Queen herself to deliver the message of this sacred night?

Whether you celebrate this special day and night or not, hopefully you agree that any music from this woman is a blessing, a miracle and nothing but magic in every way. All hail the Queen.

Merry Christmas Eve.

Silent night holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
“.

The Queen Of Soul’s 2008 holiday album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Aretha Franklin: “Silent Night” (2008, written by Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 23

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

day 23 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image from Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

Today’s track is on my list for three reasons:

One: It is a fabulous song.

Two: It is by one of the greatest yet most criminally underrated singers in history, Miss Darlene Love.

Three: It pays homage to one of the great loves of my life-David Letterman.

He had Love on his show each December to perform this tune as an extra special Christmas treat for him, everyone on his set and all of us watching at home. It was a big warm one-of-a-kind virtual holiday hug we looked forward to all year. And nothing has come close to replacing it since he retired in 2015.

Pretty lights on the tree
I’m watching them shine
You should be here with me
Baby please come home
“.

Darlene Love (L) and David Letterman (R) after one of her yearly holiday performances on his show. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Darlene Love: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (1963, written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 22

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 22 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image from Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

In a career that spanned 47 years from 1957 to 2004, Ray Charles released only one holiday album: “The Spirit Of Christmas” in 1985 (not counting a couple that were released posthumously). Comprised mostly of seasonal classics, Charles made each one his own with his signature iconic style. Today’s song is the standout for me.

Gone away is the bluebird
Here to stay is a new bird
To sing a love song
While we stroll along
Walkin’ in a winter wonderland
“.

Ray Charles circa 2000. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles: “Winter Wonderland” ((1985, written by Felix Bernard and Richard Bernhard Smith).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 21

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 21 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image from Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

Today’s song is from Elvis’ Christmas Album, released 65 years ago in 1957.

In 2022 it remains the world’s best-selling holiday record with sales of 20 million dollars.

All hail The King.

(Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” (1957, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 20

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 20 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

Time for another Motown take on a holiday song. One of the most definitive voices from The Motor City started his career there in 1961 at the tender young age of 11. In six years time he had released eight albums, including 1967’s “Someday At Christmas“. The record contains six original compositions & six traditional songs. Today’s pick is my favorite from the second category.

“Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you hear
“.

Stevie

Stevie Wonder circa 1967. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Stevie Wonder: “Silver Bells” (1967, written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 19

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 19 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

Today’s track is from the 1964 beloved timeless TV special, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”. While the title character is the star of the show and completely adorable, the one narrating the story is who I adore most. He is wise, eloquent, kind & musical. All the traits I admire in someone-or in this case, something. His performances are the highlight of the show for me every year.

“Rudolph” was one of several holiday specials from the production team of Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment which formed in 1960 and operated until 1987. They also gave us “The Little Drummer Boy” in 1968, “Frosty The Snowman” in 1969 and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” in 1970. Arthur Rankin Jr.  died in 2014 at the age of 89 and Jules Bass died this past October at age 87.

Both men are ingrained in Christmas & pop culture history. They are beloved by anyone who watched or continues to watch their specials each and every year. Those yearly broadcasts continue to “make the season bright” for anyone who calls December “the most wonderful time of the year”.

Thank you, Mr. Rankin Jr. and Mr. Bass.

Have a holly jolly Christmas
It’s the best time of the year
Now I don’t know if there’ll be snow
But have a cup of cheer
“.

Sam Snowman

Top: Arthur Rankin Jr. (L) and Jules Bass (R) circa 1969. Bottom: The dapper & loveable Sam The Snowman from 1964’s “Rudolph” special. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Burl Ives: ““Holly Jolly Christmas” (1964, written by Johnny Marks).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 18

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 18 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

The cover of today’s song was only recorded about five years ago but it has become one of my all time favorite versions of this classic holiday track. Sometimes a unique & innovative approach can turn a tune you have heard a thousand times into a whole new experience. This beautiful delicate interpretation definitely falls into that category.

The First Noel the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep
“.

Day 18 Ryan Oneal

Ryan O’Neal, the man & talent behind Sleeping At Last. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Sleeping At Last: “The First Noel” (2017, traditional).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2022: Day 17

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

Day 17 2022

A sweet vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest. (Original source unknown.)

Crooner extraordinaire Dino Paul Crocetti, better known as Dean Martin, recorded many Christmas songs and performed them throughout his career, most notably during the nine seasons of his self-titled television show & then his holiday specials.

I know & love so many of his seasonal tracks but today’s is in my top five. It is a relatively short song, but all 115 seconds are sheer and utter bliss, especially to girls like me who grew up watching their grandmother swoon to every move and sound this man made.

The fire is slowly dying
And my dear we’re still goodbying
But as long as you’d love me so
Let it snow! Let it snow and snow!
“.

Dean

Dean Martin circa 1964. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)

Dean Martin: “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” (1959, written by Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne).

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!