25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 7

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

day 7

Found on Pinterest/House Beautiful Magazine’s page.

Today’s song was written by Gene Redd & blues singer Charles Brown in 1960.  Brown recorded the original version the same year and it has since been covered by the likes of the Eagles, Willie Nelson, Martina McBride and Kelly Clarkson, to name a few.  The original is my favorite followed very closely by the 1993 version by a soul and R&B powerhouse who began as a solo performer in the 1960’s, then joined a group with his brothers in the 1970’s before hitting the top of the charts with a couple of duets with Linda Ronstadt in 1989 & 1990, including the #1 Billboard Adult Contemporary smash “Don’t Know Much”.

charles brown              aaron

Charles Brown (circa 1960’s)                                Aaron Neville (circa 1990’s)

Aaron Neville:  “Please Come Home For Christmas” (1993).

Charles Brown:  “Please Come Home For Christmas” (1960).

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 6

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

Can we take a minute to adore this DIY upcycle I found on Pinterest?  Is this not the cutest???!!!  I have several old spice tins (I may even have the cinnamon one featured below) but I never even thought of doing something this seasonal and creative with them and old bottle brush trees.  I am completely in love with this idea!!!

christmas day 6

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

Now for today’s song.  It is another Christmas standard initially made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1940’s.   The woman who recorded the version featured today released hers in 2013 and it has a really nice Herb Alpert-esque trumpet arrangement going on throughout it.  Add the singer’s interpretation of this classic with her soulful powerful voice and you have a new reason to love this song all over again.

day 6

Kelly Clarkson:  “I’ll Be Home For Christmas“.

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 5

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

Christmas day 5

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I love duets.  Always have.  There is something so special about two voices coming together.  They can be from opposite ends of the spectrum, like in the case of Bing Crosby & David Bowie on “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth”  or two women from two different eras like Linda Ronstadt and Bette Midler on “Sisters“ or male/female like today’s song pick.  He’s a crooner who sings with big band sounds and she is a country superstar who writes (or co-writes) most of her own songs.   The musical arrangement for this duet is based on the Drifters version (which was featured in “Home Alone”) but also features some powerful horns which puts it on a level all its own.  It’s hard to believe that an Irving Berlin song from 1941 which is one of the most recorded songs in history can still be given a different spin after all these years.

Buble

Michael Buble & Shania Twain:  “White Christmas“.

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 4

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

rustic holiday sleigh

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

Today’s song was written as an instrumental 70 years ago by American composer Leroy Anderson.  Lyricist Mitchell Parish added the words two years later.  That same year, the Andrew Sisters recorded the song.  I really enjoy their version-the three part harmony, the sound effects and the addition of male background singers at the choruses.  The Ronettes also recorded a great version of this holiday tune in 1963, but my favorite one is by the First Lady of Song.   In her lifetime she recorded over 200 albums, sold over 40 million records, won 13 Grammy Awards and played at Carnegie Hall a total of 26 times.  She was also awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The lady could sing and swing.   And everything in between.

Ella

Courtesy of the Ella Fitzgerald website.  

Ella Fitzgerald:  “Sleigh Ride“.

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 2018: Day 2

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

pinterest day 2

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

We started this year’s holiday music celebration with one of the greatest performers the world has ever seen, and today we continue with another legend.  Heck, this man is a national treasure.

Any song he recorded throughout his career became his own thanks to his soulful, bluesy, jazzy interpretations combined with his virtuoso piano playing and distinctive voice, which usually invited the listener to join in with him.  He did it with “America The Beautiful”, “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, “You Don’t Know Me” and dozens of others.  The movie based on his life gave us a no holds barred look at how hard he had to fight to overcome poverty, tragedy, blindness, racism and drug addiction while remaining a master musician and singer.  He has covered so many Christmas classics, but for those of you who cannot get enough of the scene where Clark Griswold is stuck in the attic wearing a woman’s coat, head wrap & gloves watching old family movies in “Christmas Vacation”, then this is probably your favorite holiday song by “The Genius” himself.

ray charles

Ray Charles:  “That Spirit Of Christmas

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 1

Hello, everybody!!!

Thanksgiving is behind us (great parade as always, especially the Peanuts and Santa floats) and so is the fall finale of “This Is Us” (if you have not watched it yet, I have three words for you-ERIS BAKER.  WOW.).  So that brings us to that magical time of year again:  my 25 Days of Christmas music countdown.  Yay!!!

christmas music day 1

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I am just starting to decorate my place, and I will not get my tree until next week, so I will start sharing pictures of my decor then.  But I am definitely getting into the holiday spirit by listening to all-Christmas-music-all-the-time radio stations as well as researching holiday songs on YouTube.  How about you?  What is getting you in the holiday spirit?

To start us off, I went with the man I have loved and adored since I was 12 years old.  He has been all over the news this last week for a few reasons.  First, because the new issue of Esquire came out.  Say it with me:  SAAAAAA-WOOOOOOON.

springsteen-esquire    ESQ120118_073

Second, his Netflix special is set to air on Sunday, December 16 (see the trailer here), the day after his historic Tony award-winning Broadway show comes to an end after 15 months.  If you were not lucky enough to see this show live (like I was, thank you God) or you need to see it again to savor every word, every note, every emotion  (again, like me), then this is your chance.  To me, the show was like his song “Jungleland”:  so beautiful it hurt.  And if you do not like my words, here are some from the NY Times (“There may never be anything as real and beautiful on Broadway” ) and Rolling Stone (“An intimate triumph”, “Compelling and profound”).  Or choose your own words when you watch it for yourself.

Three, his Esquire interview dives deeper into his battle with depression and how his father’s late in life diagnosis as a paranoid schizophrenic made this legend have a conversation with his own three children about what is in their DNA.  I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating:  I love Bruce Springsteen for a multitude of reasons:  His music, his poetry, his heart, his empathy.  But his openness about his and his father’s struggles with mental illness have given this awful, debilitating and unbelievably scary disease a name and a face to be reckoned with.  It has given it more attention, more conversation and more validity when in the past it was viewed as a weakness instead of an illness.  Springsteen’s courage and forthrightness should (hopefully) bring to an end the fallacy and misunderstanding that this illness can be beat if only we were “stronger”.  Wrong.  Strong has no more effect on mental illness than placebos have on cancer.  A disease must be treated, not simply willed away.  So thank you, Bossman, for once again giving us exactly what we need with your carefully chosen and profound words.  It is a debt no honest man can pay, to quote you.

bruce santa

So let’s celebrate this man and this season with his two contributions to holiday playlists everywhere.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Merry Christmas, Baby

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 25

Merry Christmas, Vixens!!!  Buon Natale to my fellow Italians!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

joy-to-the-world-lightbox

 

(Original source unknown)

Let me begin by thanking all of you for your support not only over this last month, but throughout the year.  Having the chance to do what I love is a blessing in more ways than one.  This outlet centers me and keeps me focused on what is important when the ballast of every day living threatens to take over more often than it should.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday & a Happy (& Blessed) New Year.

I will leave you with the final song of the Christmas music countdown along with a bonus song to begin 2018 as I take a break to recharge my batteries and relax for the last week of the year.

For the final Christmas song, I chose one by a singer who defines the Christmas season with his classic version of “The Christmas Song“.  With today’s pick, he sings a song celebrating the arrival of earth’s King.  In par with yesterday’s song, this tune celebrates the religious holiday as it is based on two Bible passages:  Genesis 3:17-18 and Psalm 98, 96:11-12.

nat king cole

Nat King Cole (original source unknown)

Nat King Cole:  “Joy To The World

For the new year, my hope and wish is the same every year.  Maybe one day, peace will be a reality.  Here’s to 2018!!!

kenny-loggins-richard-marx

Richard Marx (L) & Kenny Loggins (R) (original source unknown)

Richard Marx & Kenny Loggins:  “Let There Be Peace On Earth

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

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

peace

(original source unknown)

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 24

Hello, Vixens!!!  Merry Christmas Eve!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

o-holy-night-390x250

 (Original source unknown)

Today’s song dates back to 1847 and combined the words of French poet Placide Cappeau and the music of Adolphe Adam.  The more familiar singing edition came to life in 1855 courtesy of Unitarian Minister John Sullivan Dwight.

In whatever language this song is sung, the message is clear:  to rejoice over the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  No matter how many signs we see at stores that read “Jesus is the reason for the season”, it may be easy to forget that Christmas is a religious holiday for those who believe in him.  We all know how commercial this holiday has always been (even Charlie Brown commented on that in 1965) and how it is arriving earlier and earlier in stores and the media each year.  But the little Catholic school girl I used to be 100 years ago cannot choose any other song for Christmas Eve than the one which celebrates the greatest gift God gave us.

These are my top three favorite versions of this song:

aretha-franklin al-green-pic[1]Mahalia Jackson 
                                                                                             (Original sources unknown)                                        

Aretha Franklin:  “O Holy Night

Al Green:   “O Holy Night

Mahalia Jackson:  “O Holy Night

And for the sarcastic adult that I have become, I cannot resist including this irreverent version every year because it makes me laugh until I cry.

Eric Cartman:  “O Holy Night

south-park

 (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!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 22

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

silver-bells

(Original source unknown)

Today’s song is from 1950 and like others included in the countdown, it was featured in a movie (“The Lemon Drop Kid”).  As pretty as the melody is, the lyrics are what I like most about this song.  It paints such a descriptive picture of how the holiday looks and feels from the point of view of a city street as opposed to the coziness of home.  Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.  Perhaps that is what is meant by “the magic of the season”.

For someone who loves words as much as I do, there is no way I can listen to this tune and not marvel at how well the words not only tell the story, but show it as well.  And I am able to see it just as clearly in all four versions of this song I love the most:  swing/big band, country, soul & acoustic.

tony bennett     martina

                      Tony Bennett (R) & Martina McBride (L) (Original source unknown)

Wilson Pickett     she and him

                                   Wilson Pickett (R) and She & Him (L) (Original source unknown)

Tony Bennett & the Count Basie Orchestra:  “Silver Bells

Martina McBride:  “Silver Bells

Wilson Pickett:  “Silver Bells

She & Him:  “Silver Bells

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!!!