25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 6

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

charlie brown with the tree

Courtesy of Lee Mendelson Film Productions / MGN 

Today we celebrate not just one song, but several from what is arguably the best Christmas special ever made.  Last night this holiday favorite aired for the 54th year in a row and yes, I was front and center.  It leaves me all warm and cuddly inside while hitting all the points of the season:  good will towards men, non-commercialism, listening to special holiday music with people you care about, choosing to decorate (and celebrate, for that matter) in a way that makes you happy, even if that way is not the conventional approach, knowing that anything is beautiful with a little love and the core religious aspect of what Christmas is all about.  Plus it stars some of my best friends in the universe, the Peanuts.

Linus speech

Courtesy of Lee Mendelson Productions / MGN 

Based on the successful comic strip started in 1950, the animated holiday special was commissioned and sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company which obviously knew a good thing when they saw it.  It was the first TV appearance for the Peanuts characters and catapulted them and their creator from a mere phenomenon to super stardom.  Merchandise of all kinds was created and it was not just limited to toys.  Other items like cookie jars, home decor & accessories, watches, clothing, greeting cards, lunch boxes, Pez dispensers, banks, etc. were also marketed.  You name it, it is out there.  And today it is still a billion dollar industry that all began with this special from 1965.  Not to mention its incredible unforgettable grown-up soundtrack that critic Shawn M. Haney wrote ” “introduce[d] contemporary jazz to youngsters with grace, charm, and creativity.”  If this were the only Christmas album I could listen to for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly fine with that (but please don’t tell Bruce Springsteen!!!).

Peanuts Christmas

Other Peanuts TV specials followed, as did movies, including a 3-D one in 2015.  And the comic strip also continued for the next 35 years.  Sadly it came to an end in February 2000 when its glorious creator was forced to retire due to his failing health.  He died the day after the last strip was published.  His official cause of death was cancer.  Unofficially, I think it was due to a broken heart.  We all knew from the last words of that final strip how much it hurt to say goodbye to the characters he created who became our beloved friends.  His words were ones we could all identify with:

“Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy…..how can I ever forget them?”

Thanks to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, none of us ever have to.  But how do we ever thank you, Charles M. Schulz, for the gift of our dear sweet cherished Peanuts?

Peanuts Album.jpg

Christmas Is Coming” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, vocal version by choristers from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California, written by Lee Mendelson & Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, instrumental version by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Lee Mendelson & Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (1965, vocal by choristers from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California, based on a 1739 Christmas carol with various writers including Charles Wesley and George Whitefield).

Linus and Lucy” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

O Tannenbaum” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Skating” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Ernst Anschutz in 1824).

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!!!

Christmas Song Countdown #18

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

bruce-2

Courtesy of Pinterest (original source unknown)

Today’s song is by one of my all-time heroes, a man I love, adore and admire and the man I will eventually marry soon if his wife would stop hogging him already.  I mean, she has had over 30 years with him-now she is just being greedy.  I will let her visit the Oscar whenever she wants if that is what she is worried about.

Seriously, how refreshing that a man is so dedicated and protective of his music that he does not mess up that gift with drugs, or by letting some big box store use it in a campaign (that they hope will boost their sales in an effort to get the public to forget how bad they treat their employees, the environment or every small business in the free world) or even let even let the President of the United States get away with using his copyrighted music without his permission.

This year alone he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, he & the E Street Band had the #1 highest-grossing tour for the first half of 2016 according to Forbes Magazine, outdid his own extended show length and broke the record for the longest U.S. concert this year (4 hours, 3 minutes and 43 seconds).

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President Obama presenting Bruce Springsteen with the Medal of Honor last month

               (Original source unknown)

What was the other thing he did this year???

It is on the tip of my tongue…..

Come on, Michele, think……..

Oh, right…..

HE WROTE A BEST SELLING AUTOBIOGRAPHY!!!

bruce-auto

Courtesy:  Simon & Schuster

It debuted in the #1 spot on the NY Times Best Sellers list, was one of their top picks for 2016 and their critic Dwight Garner wrote:  “Mr. Springsteen’s memoir is big, loose, rangy and intensely satisfying. It has not been utterly sanitized for anyone’s protection, and it is closely observed from end to end, especially on subjects like sex, art and social class. The Boss could have phoned this book in. He didn’t.”

Amen.

Garner’s review also included this gem:

“Bruce Springsteen’s song lyrics have injected more drama and mystery into the myths of the American road than any figure since Jack Kerouac.”

Ah, two of my favorite men in one sentence!!!!!

“Both an entertaining account of Springsteen’s marathon race to the top and a reminder that the one thing you can’t run away from is yourself.”Entertainment Weekly

How true.

And the best gift of all, IMHO:  

“He must be conceded a magic with words: He can spin not only a yarn but often an extended analysis, too…. His disclosures here are rich, deep, and useful to help destigmatize mental illness.”Slate

I have written this before, but it bears repeating:  

I love Bruce Springsteen for so many things.  

But for that most of all.

And Jungleland, of course.

bruce-merrychristmasbaby

Courtesy:  Eric Meola

Merry Christmas, Boss Man.  Thank you for everything & congratulations on another incredible year.

Bruce Springsteen:  Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

P.S.  An honorable mention to James Taylor’s cover, a jazzy-bluesy-piano-infused version that reminded me of Vince Guaraldi’s style from “A Charlie Brown 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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

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Courtesy of:  me!!!  Foxboro Stadium, MA.  9/14/16

Christmas Song Of The Day #2

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you today?  Frazzled?  Harried?  Weary?  Well, I hope not!!!  ‘Tis the season, remember?  Take a moment for you.  Put your feet up, close your eyes and indulge in a great Christmas song.

Have you seen the Peanuts movie yet?  If not and you are a fan, go now!!!  The tagline for the movie-“The friends you grew up with but never outgrew”-describes my relationship with the gang perfectly.  They were my best friends when I was a kid, and decades later I am proud to say I still cherish each and every one of them.  And what would this season be without watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas”?

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                                                    Source:  A Charlie Brown Christmas

Well this year, our favorite holiday special turns the big 5-0.  That’s right, 50!!!  Fifty years of “I never thought it was such a bad little tree”, of Charlie Brown’s disdain over the commercialism of the holiday, of the dance, of Linus telling us the meaning of Christmas, of the gang decorating the little tree, wishing Charlie Brown a Merry Christmas and singing an adorable version of “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”.

But my favorite song from this iconic special?  “Christmastime Is Here“.  Nothing defines Christmas for me like this special and this song.  Thank you, Charles M. Schulz, Vince Guaraldi and Lee Mendelson for this gem of a special.

Enjoy!!!

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             Source:  A Charlie Brown Christmas