25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 19

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Ah, holly wreaths.  So simple yet add such an elegant touch to make any room more festive for the season.  And so pretty to look at, too.

day 20.jpg

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I have always loved acoustic music.  The more simple an arrangement, the more you can really focus on the beauty of the voice singing.  Today’s singer had one of the prettiest I have ever heard.  She interpreted many songs in her own style, including “Autumn Leaves“, “Songbird“, “Over The Rainbow” and “Fields of Gold“, and each one was more gorgeous than the last.  Her cover of today’s song is no exception.

eva-cassidy

Eva Cassidy circa early 1990’s (original source unknown).

Eva Cassidy:  “Silent Night” ( written by Franz Xavier Gruber and Joseph Mohr in 1818).

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 18

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Wintry scenes would not be complete without a snowman.  I think this one has the perfect hat, too!!!

day 18

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Imagination is part of the fun of Christmas.  Always has been.  For children it is wondering what Santa will bring them and if they might catch a glimpse of him coming down the chimney.  For adults it is thinking up new ways to celebrate, decorate and entertain, not to mention trying to come up with original and exciting gift ideas to wow their friends and family.  So with all that sharp thinking going on, it’s not surprising that songs about the season get creative as well.  One about two people building a snowman seems like innocent fare, right?  But when the couple starts pretending that snowman is real, and a member of the clergy who they can ask to marry them?  Still pure fun or the basis for a Stephen King novel???  🙂

My vote is 100% pure unadulterated fun, not to mention great music as well.  This song has been recorded dozens of times by many different artists, but this man’s version has always been my favorite.  It has been featured in several movies, most notably “When Harry Met Sally” and “Elf”.  He is not only one of the greatest singers this country ever produced but he is considered a natural treasure as well. And rightfully so.

Ray

Ray Charles:  “Winter Wonderland” (1985, written by Felix Bernard and Richard Bernhard Smith in 1934).

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 17

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

A Christmas tree by a decorated mantel and a roaring fire…….does it get more cozy than that???

day 17

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

Today’s song has been a favorite of mine since the first time I watched “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”.  Who would not love a festive holiday tune sung by a cuddly adorable and very dapper snowman???

I always loved the line “say hello to friends you know” best.  It was just so cordial and lighthearted.  However, since the fall of 1997, whenever I hear that line, especially the word “hello”, I cannot help but get hysterical with laughter.  That is because all I can think of is how Jerry, George, Kramer & Elaine greeted each other with that word in a “funny booming jovial” hilariously boisterous voice supposedly belonging to Jerry’s girlfriend Clare’s stomach (using the belly button as a mouth, of course)  in the Seinfeld episode, “The Voice“.  If you are a fellow Seinfeld fan, you have just done the proverbial laugh out loud remembering that episode.  If you are one of the three people who was not a fan of the show, here’s a clip to bring you up to speed.  Only Jerry & Company could take a word like “hello” and turn it into a pop culture moment.

tenor

Seinfeld’s “Helllloooo” 
Burl Ives, both circa 1964 (original sources unknown).

Burl Ives:  “Holly Jolly Christmas” (1964, written by Johnny Marks 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 2019: Day 16

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

I just swooned over this gorgeous Christmas tree.  Looks like pink was popular as an alternative Christmas decorating color long before it became known as shabby chic.  Whatever the style was called, I just love it.

day 16

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Occasionally two different songs have the same title.  Some examples include the Beatles and the Doors with “The End”, Ringo Starr and Def Leppard share “Photograph”, Queen and Jefferson Airplane share “Somebody To Love”,  R.E.M. and the Cars share “Drive” to name a few.  Today’s song was released first but when a more popular and successful singer released her song with the same title in 1994, it all but sent today’s version into  non-existence.  But over the years the first one found its way back to regular air play thanks in part to all the 24 hour a day Christmas music stations across the nation.  That also helped to land this song on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart seven times between 1994 and 2002.

The original version is sung by a country/pop/novelty group with lead vocals by Lisa Layne who was known as Lisa Burgess Stewart at the time of the recording.  It is considered a country song, yet when a country artist recorded her own version of it, she did it with a jazzy, bluesy big band feel.  That sound combined with her powerful voice makes her version my current favorite of the two.

As for the other song with the same title, it is a holiday staple.  I love the way it is featured in the movie “Love Actually“.  And last month it cemented its place in history by garnering three Guinness World Records for 2020.  The honors include highest-charting holiday (Christmas/New Year) song on the U.S. Hot 100 chart by a solo artist, most weeks in the U.K. singles top 10 chart for a Christmas song and most-streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours (female).  That must qualify the singer as the Christmas Queen.

vince vance

Vince Vance & The Valiants:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (1989, written by Troy Powers and Andy Stone in 1989).

leann rimes

LeAnn Rimes:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (2004, written by Troy Powers and Andy Stone in 1989).

mariah carey

Mariah Carey:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (1994, written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff f/k/a Baby Love in 1994).

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 15

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Here is a vintage Christmas bell to ring now that the big day is officially 10 days away.

day 15

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I have written before about how much I loved soap operas (you can read more about that here).  One of the soaps I loved was General Hospital.  Who was not infatuated with the whole Luke & Laura phenomenon?  But in many GH fans opinions, that show’s real hey day was the 1990’s.  The writing, the acting, the story lines were not only sublime but reality based as well.  This was in complete contrast to the previous decade where one major story line was about stopping a mad man with a weather machine trying to dominate the world.

Instead, the 90’s brought us stories dealing with organ donation, breast cancer, AIDS and living with an HIV positive diagnosis, adoption and family dysfunction in addition to a slew of new super couples and so much more.  It was truly must see TV.  While GH is still on the air, I lost interest over the years especially once Tony Geary (who played Luke) retired.  I love him sooo much and if you watch this clip from 6:45 -7:00 you will see why.  Long live Lucas Lorenzo Spencer!!!  But I digress.

Someone sent me a current video of GH they thought I’d like (I didn’t), but that little taste sent me to YouTube where I have been lost in a GH vortex ever since.  And I stumbled upon one of the best moments from the aforementioned great decade of the show.  Luke Spencer opened a blues club and today’s singer performed the first show there.  Who better to sing in that venue than “The King of the Blues” himself?

It was a huge moment for soaps, not to mention music.  For a genre considered by many to be a step down from “real” acting, not to mention their classification as “chick shows” because the majority of viewers were women, an appearance by a famous man who was a musical legend gave the show and the genre some solid respect.  He & his band put everything they had into their performance as well, just as if they were playing in front of a paying crowd in a concert arena.  There was nothing phoned in about it.  The only thing negative about it is that it did not last long enough.  There were actors with story lines to get to, as this was a soap, after all.  But music and soaps had gone hand in hand for years, and thanks to Riley B. King, they came together onscreen for two days in February 1995.  You can see the whole performance here.

BB King

B.B. King:  “Please Come Home For Christmas” (2001, written by Charles Brown & Gene Redd in 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 2019: Day 13

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

How apropos to have a vintage caroler image in a music post!!!  I love her sweet face!!!

day 13

                                                Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

On day 7 of the countdown I shared a “new” original Christmas song performed by a male vocalist.  Today I want to share one by a female singer.  Not just in the interest of equality, but because her song is just stunning.  It is beautiful, evocative, haunting and heartbreaking.  Oh, and stunning.  Did I mention that already?

The song is clearly about a lost love but it is not made clear whether that is due to a break up or a death.  However, given lyrics like “When silence gets too hard to handle and the night too long” added to the slow tempo, the solo piano & vocal arrangement and I believe it is about someone who is gone.  To be clear, songs that hurt my heart are not really what I want at Christmastime.  Life has already made the season bittersweet all on its own for many of us.  But art is pain and this is art at its very best-so beautiful that it hurts but it also hurts because it is so beautiful.  At least that is how this song makes me feel.  And that is why I believe it ts too gorgeous not to share.

sarah

Sarah McLachlan:  “Wintersong” (2006, written by Sarah McLachlan).

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!!!