25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 23

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Merry Christmas Eve eve!!!

day 23

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Is it weird that one of my favorite versions of today’s song is from a 1996 “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) skit?  It featured two of my favorite regulars, Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon, along with a very funny Whitney Houston a few years after “The Bodyguard” was released.  The skit is hilarious and ends with her and Shannon trying to out-sing each other on this song.  No, I don’t think it’s weird.  I think it would be strange if I did not appreciate this fabulous piece of pop culture.  Another one of my favorite versions of today’s song is by a 1960’s girl group who not only gave us some great music, but also helped to introduce all of us to another part of pop culture-The Wall of Sound.

Ronettes

The Ronettes:  “Sleigh Ride” (1963, music written by Leroy Anderson in 1948 & lyrics written by Mitchell Parish in 1950).

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 2018: Day 3

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

christmas day 3.jpg

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Another day.  Another song.  Another legend.

Picture it:  Sunday, February 9, 1964.  Four lads from Liverpool were introduced to America thanks to their earth shattering performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”  This man was the final piece of the Beatles puzzle.  The last one to join, but the one who set the foundation of the group with every beat of his drums.  As great as the other three were, would “Yellow Submarine” or “With A Little Help From My Friends” have sounded the same if they were sung by John, Paul or George?  No.  Sir Richard Starkey made them all his own.  He began as a poor boy, too, who eventually played his drums for a king.  Just like the little boy in today’s song.

Ringo

Ringo Starr (original source unknown).

Ringo Starr:  “The Little Drummer Boy“.

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: Day 14

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

country-living

(Original source unknown.)

There is no need for me to write a lot here because the legend behind today’s songs is none other than the King himself, Elvis Aaron Presley.  While “Blue Christmas” is probably his most popular Christmas song, it is obviously not his only one.  There are several Elvis Christmas collections, including  “Christmas With Elvis And The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra“.  That was released in October, 60 years after his first Christmas album’s release, 1957’s “Elvis’ Christmas Album”.

I already love the big band sound, but when it is combined with Elvis and Christmas music, it is heaven on earth.  I picked two because it is so hard to pick one of anything by Elvis.  The first song defines the big band sound I referenced above, while the other is such a fun tune that is sung in a similar vocal to that of “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear“.  Enjoy!!!

elvis-presley-feceb2b6-0462-428f-b5ec-944f9fe39705

Courtesy of Bettmann/Getty.

Elvis Presley :  “Santa Claus Is Back In Town

Elvis Presley:  “Here Comes Santa Claus

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

Christmas Song Countdown #13

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

picture-wreath

Courtesy of Widadesign.com 

 

Today’s singer has been performing for decades, and is probably the greatest and most famous back up singer that ever was.  She has worked with the likes of Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt and Aretha Franklin, whom she channels in today’s song.

A phenomenal singer in her own right, she will probably always be best remembered for her work with Phil Spector’s groundbreaking “Wall of Sound” recordings in the 1960’s; namely ”He’s a Rebel,” ”(Today I Met) the Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” and today’s featured song which she performed regularly on David Letterman’s show during the Christmas season.

She was one of the main singers spotlighted in the 2014 Best Documentary Oscar winning film, “20 Feet From Stardom”.  She also played Danny Glover’s wife in all four “Lethal Weapon” movies and Judy Burrell on my soap “Another World” in 1993.

lethal-weapon

Danny Glover & Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon” (Courtesy of IMDb)

 

If all that were not impressive enough, the New York Times paid her one of the greatest compliments ever when they said her voice is ”as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton’s guitar and Bob Dylan’s lyrics”.  Wow.  Who would not want to be remembered like that?

Darlene Love:  Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

P.S.  An honorable mention to U2 for their version of today’s song.  Who does not want to imagine themselves as the reason for Bono’s pleading?  Or more to the point, who does not want to listen to Bono and the rest of U2, period???

u2-mojo-254-770

U2 by Mattia Zoppellaro for MOJO magazine

 

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

Christmas Song Countdown #12

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Fifty two years ago this holiday classic had its first broadcast.  I do not think there are too many people who were born after that who did not grow up singing this song.

vintage-post-card

Vintage Christmas postcard (original source unknown)

 

One of my most vivid memories of watching the TV special is not from childhood, however.  It is from my freshman year away at college.  My friends and I were teased incessantly from the guys on our floor when we told them we we were not going to hang out with them so we could watch this Christmas show.  But two minutes after it started, all the boys joined us in the common room where the TV was.  Of course it was to make inappropriate comments about what Clarice really wanted from Rudolph, but hey, at least the guys were there!!!

rudolph

Courtesy of Bass/Rankin Productions

 

For anyone who has ever felt like a misfit, this one is for you.

Gene Autry:  Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.

island-of-misfit-toys

Courtesy of Bass/Rankin Productions

 

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

 

Christmas Song Countdown #11

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

1940s-tree

Vintage Christmas Scene (original source unknown)

 

If a line was drawn in history as to three biggest voices to put soul music on the map,  it would read like this:  Sam Cooke, Otis Redding (featured in yesterday’s post) & the singer with today’s song.

Side note:  It is not James Brown.  While he was without question “The Godfather of Soul”, he was also credited with being one of the inventors of funk music.  Hence, he was on a completely different path than the other three singers. In his own league, as the saying goes.

But, as usual, I digress.

vintage-christmas-cards

Vintage Christmas Card (original source unknown)

 

Today’s singer carried the torch after Redding’s death, and never put it down.  While Motown & Philly Soul were more than respectable outlets for great music, today’s singer cruised past both with the same achingly impassioned vocal delivery that made Redding a legend, but giving it a more polished sound, much like Cooke.  The combination was electric.  That is how his sound rose above everything else in the 1970’s.

When I saw him in concert, he ran into the audience and I was lucky enough to get a great big bear hug from him.  Unfortunately, it took place at a time when cameras were still banned from concerts, so I do not have a picture of the momentous occasion.  But I relived it every time I saw him take the roof off of the Ed Sullivan Theater when he made his yearly visit to “The Late Show With David Letterman” (another reason why I miss that brilliant show!!!)

Al Green:  Winter Wonderland.

I chose Green’s song specifically for today because on this date in 1964, Sam Cooke died at the age of  33.  Through the time machine that is YouTube, I came across this holiday greeting he made in 1963.  I am not sure why he recorded it.  Perhaps it was done as a radio station promotion or for his record label.  All I know is it is a gift, so Christmas came early for me.  Listen to it here.

sam-cooke-620x480

Sam Cooke (original source unknown)

 

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!