Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.
A sweet vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)
One of my favorite singers of all time is the incredibly soulful Marvin Gaye. One of his major influences was Sam Cooke, an extraordinary talent we lost 58 years ago today. While I do not like to focus on the date we lose our musical heroes, I do like to remember their legacy and how they inspired others, especially the artists that mean so much to me.
For years after Gaye died in 1983, several unreleased recordings came to light, including one from a performance at the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York City in 1963. Nat King Cole’s version is the paramount rendition of today’s song and rightfully so. But Gaye’s is such a fabulous jazz infused track with his own wishes to his audience to have a Merry Christmas, it is like the best gift of the season for fans still missing this man as much as I do. And while I will never know this for sure, I like to think that Gaye channeled Cooke on this track because he always had a way of making any song he covered his own, too.
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos“.
Two of my favorite artists of all time: Sam Cooke (top) and Marvin Gaye (bottom). (Image found online. Original source unknown.)
Marvin Gaye: “The Christmas Song” (Live performance at The Apollo Theatre in 1963. Written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells).
What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?
Until next time, happy listening!!!