25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 9

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Here’s another gorgeous vintage Christmas image from Pinterest.  What was life before Pinterest?!?!   🙂

day 9

Original source unknown.  

Irving Berlin could not have possibly known how many people would go on to record one of his most famous songs.  He wrote several and lived to be 101 years old, but I still think he could not even imagine how many versions of this Christmas classic would be out there one day.  And there are new ones being recorded each year.  Berlin wrote it imagining Christmas in his home state & city of New York as opposed to the west coast state of California he was working in.

When it was first released in 1942, service men & women facing their first Christmas away due to their tours in World War II saw it as a dream of home.  For the rest of us, it invokes cherished memories of the Christmases we knew as children or before life happened to us.  The version of this song I like best is by a fellow Italian, a fellow native New Yorker and painter who has been singing for 70 years.  Not a bad gig.

Tony Bennett

Anthony Dominick Benedetto a/k/a Tony Bennett:  “White Christmas” (1968, written by Irving Berlin in 1942).

And for a great female take on this classic, here is one of my favorites:

Martina White Christmas.jpg

Martina McBride:  “White Christmas” (1998, written by Irving Berlin in 1942).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 8

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

I found another gorgeous vintage image on Pinterest, and the fact that it is in black & white makes me love it even more.

day 8

Found on Pinterest & TuckDB Postcards (original source unknown).  

I miss this man so much, and it has been that way for 39 years.  I wonder what he would be doing now if he were still here.  Would he still be touring like his old band mate, Paul?  Or would he be thinking about a global “Peace & Love” moment every year on his birthday like his other band mate, Ringo?  Or would he be retired living the life of a house husband like he did in the mid 1970’s?  My guess is a combination of all three.  But he would be here.  And that would have made all the difference.  Incredibly big sigh.

Rather than focusing on the loss, I want to remember him and celebrate all that was gained from his incredible life.  And that is evident in his music.  He is still a staple on classic rock radio, but this time of year this song is everywhere.  Many artists have covered it, but nothing compares to the original.  Or to the man himself.  Happy Christmas, John Lennon.  I miss you.  But I’m not the only one.

Happy_Xmas_(War_is_Over)

Courtesy of Apple Records & Iain Macmillan. 

John Lennon & Yoko Ono with the Plastic Ono Band the Harlem Community Choir:  “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” (1971, lyrics written by John Lennon & Yoko Ono in 1971).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 7

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Greetings from another charming vintage Christmas card circa 1950’s.  Swoon!!!

day 7

Found on Pinterest (original soutce unknown).  

When you think of the best blue eyed soul singers this country has ever produced, today’s singer is either at or near the very top of the list, depending on who you ask.  That incredibly talented voice, his prowess on the keyboards, his collaborations with Steely Dan and his tenure with the Doobie Brothers is what this five time Grammy winner is best known for.  He is also a friend and frequent collaborator with the writers of today’s song.  It’s always a treat to find a “new” Christmas song, and this is an exceptional one.

Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald:  “On Christmas Morning” (2001, written by David Foster & Kenny Loggins, circa 1989).

kenny loggins

For an added bonus, listen to Kenny Loggins’ own version of this song recorded for his “December” album released in 1998.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 4

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Here is another 1950’s Christmas card image.   So adorable!!!

day 4

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Today’s singer is known as The Queen of Christian Pop.  The first time I saw her she was performing her hit “Angels” on the Grammy awards barefoot.  I was intrigued.  Her mainstream break through came in 1986 when her duet with Chicago’s Peter Cetera, “The Next Time I Fall“, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Her 1991 album “Heart In Motion” produced another number one song, “Baby, Baby“, along with several other hits.  Her take on today’s tune is much different than the full choir & orchestral versions usually associated with this piece.  And I have always loved those as they remind me of hearing it in church when I was a little girl.  But this singer’s version with only a minimal arrangement peppered with a light touch of traditional back-up accompaniment allows her beautiful clear soft voice to stand out in all its beauty.  Thanks to her less is more approach, I think this is one of the best versions of this song I have ever heard.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant:  “O Come All Ye Faithful” (1992, written by various authors with the earliest verse dating back to 1744).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 2

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

I love vintage Christmas card images.  I found this one online and could not resist sharing it with you.  Outdoor Christmas trees covered in snow are magical to me.

day 2

Original source unknown.  

Today’s song was written in 1962 and became a hit the following year for Bing Crosby.  His version is a traditional  take on this tune and holds up well, but the song was never really a favorite of mine.  Maybe that’s why despite the dozens of versions that have been introduced to the world in the past 56 years I never really took notice.  Then I heard this group’s soulful cover and all that changed.

The lead singer has one of the best voices to come out of Motown, where she and her group first found success.  She began singing in church at age four and by age 7 she won her first award on a TV amateur hour.  Her unbelievably powerful vocal range gave their recordings equal doses of grace and grit which were framed by the luscious harmonies of her back-up group.  And their dance moves and choreography only added to the experience of watching them perform.  They had many hits of their own but their take on songs like “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “The Way We Were” made them as popular as the originals.  And just what would the landscape of music (or life, for that matter) look like without that “Midnight Train To Georgia“???

gladys and the pips.jpg

Gladys Knight & the Pips:  “Do You Hear What I Hear?” (1975, written by Noel Regney & Gloria Shayne in 1962).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 25

Merry Christmas, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

church

Beautiful winter holiday scene found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

This woman, hailed as the Matriarch of R&B, had her roots in gospel before branching out into blues, jazz, soul and rock & roll.  She was one of the pillars of Chess Records in the 1950’s & 1960’s and is best known by her signature song “At Last”.  It took almost her whole lifetime for her to be recognized for her impeccable voice, but there is no mistaking her talent once you hear her sing the first note of any of her songs.  And there is not a better one to celebrate the meaning of Christmas Day than this one.

Etta

Etta James:  “Joy To The World” (1998).

And for the new year, my hope and wish is the same:  peace in the new year.  Here’s to 2019!!!

Amy Vince Michael

Michael McDonald,  Amy Grant, Vince Gill & Chet Atkins:  “Let There Be Peace On Earth” (1993-Christmas with Vince Gill in Tulsa, OK).

Thank you all for your support & for following along with me this year!!!  I truly appreciate each and every one of you!!!  I wish you all the best in the new year!!!

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 24

Merry Christmas Eve, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 24

Pretty tree found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

For today’s song I am sharing three versions with you because I think they are all too beautiful for words.  The first version is from an R&B/Soul Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend who still performs (this year he recorded his own version of the 1975 Freddy Fender country classic “Before The Next Teardrop Falls”) but calls the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church home for his weekly sermons.

The second version is by an Italian tenor who has been called the greatest singer in the world by record producer David Foster, and has a voice that makes me swoon.  The third is by a Puerto Rican singer & composer who has sung his own songs as well as recorded classic interpretations of other musician’s work.  I did not hear his version of this Christmas classic until this year and I fell head over heels in love with it.

Al Green

Bocelli

 

Jose

Al Green:  “Silent Night” (1983).

Andrea Bocelli:  “Silent Night” (2009).

Jose Feliciano:  “Silent Night” (1970).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 19

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

I follow a lot of unbelievably talented & creative women on Instagram, and since their pictures are so beautiful, I wanted to share a few with you.

Little Brags

Courtesy of Christine @ Little Brags

Today’s picture is from Christine Vandormolen @littlebrags.  She calls her style “boho” but I just call it pretty.  I love how she uses natural elements to create her designs, and her simple. easy approach to decorating combined with her impeccable eye for detail makes for a great room, or porch, as is the case with the picture above.  Her IG page is filled with other pictures like this, and some of her cuddly little rabbit, too.  Thank you for letting me use your picture, Christine!!!

Now to today’s song.

If “White Christmas” is the premiere holiday song, the today’s pick has to be a solid second.  Written in 1945 by Mel Torme (lyrics & music) & Bob Wells (music) and recorded by a slew of performers over the last 60 years, but my favorite is by the man Frank Sinatra called “the best in the business” followed very closely by the most popular version of the song and the one by the songwriter himself.

Tony.jpg

Anthony Dominick Benedetto a/k/a Tony Bennett:  “The Christmas Song” (1968).

Nat King Cole:  “The Christmas Song” (1961)

Mel Torme:  “The Christmas Song” (1954, 1961).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 18

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

I follow a lot of unbelievably talented & creative women on Instagram, and since their pictures are so beautiful, I wanted to share a few with you.

Debra Vintage Crushin.jpeg

Courtesy of Debra @vintagecrushin

Today’s picture comes from Debra @vintagecrushin who shares my affinity for white Ironstone among her many loves.  She creates such pretty vignettes in her home (like the one above) and is so creative she celebrated Thanksgiving in her garage which was decorated in classic vintage style (with an assist from her equally talented sister) complete with mismatched china, old silver and glass goblets.  All the pictures are up on her page for your enjoyment!!!  And my thanks to Debra for letting me share her beautiful picture!!!

Today’s song was a suggestion to me in 2016 by a reader (thank you, Michael!!!) and I have been addicted to it ever since.  It was written by Joni Mitchell in 1971 for her album “Blue” and quoted by Meg Ryan’s character Kathleen Kelly in “You’ve Got Mail” ( “It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees. Do you know that Joni Mitchell song? ‘I wish I had a river I could skate away on?’ It’s such a sad song, and not really about Christmas at all, but I was thinking about it tonight as I was decorating my Christmas tree and unwrapping funky ornaments made of Popsicle sticks, and missing my mother so much I almost couldn’t breathe”).  I do love a good pop culture reference  🙂

This song has been covered by such diverse artists as Sarah McLachlan, Barry Manilow, James Taylor and Sam Smith.  But this version is my absolute favorite and something this good needs to be shared.  And it is from of one of my favorite shows ever, Ally McBeal,  when this actor/singer/hottie played Attorney Larry Paul.

ally_mcbeal_robert_downey_jr_calista_flockhart_free_big_fixed_big

Robert Downey Jr. & Calista Flockhart from “Ally McBeal” circa 2000 (original source unknown).  

Robert Downey Jr. “River” (2000)

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 14

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 14

Vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

I do not recall hearing this song prior to this season.  This year my 24/7 Christmas music station of choice plays this tune several times a day and I must admit I like the fun festive energy of it.  Every time I hear it I picture myself at an elegant holiday party dancing with my guy the way Steve Martin & Lily Tomlin did at the end of “All of Me” (I love that movie!!!).

This is not my type of music at all, and the husband & wife singers of this song are not my taste at all.  In fact, I consider them more Las Vegas entertainers who sing, which is a completely different genre in and of itself.  And not one I enjoy.  But Christmas is the time for miracles, and me liking this song has to be put in that category.  Plus they were good friends of Frank Sinatra so that has to count for something.   🙂

steve edyie

Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme:  “That Holiday Feeling” (1964).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!