Posts Tagged ‘music’

whitechristmas-decca18429aThere are, as far as I can ascertain, only two versions of perennial favorite White Christmas that charted on both the pop and the rhythm & blues charts.

One was the version by the Drifters, which got to #2 on the R&B chats in 1954, and returned to the top 12 the next two years. It also got up to #80 on the pop charts in 1955, and showed up on the lower parts of the pop charts the next couple years. There were also special Christmas charts where the song showed up in the 1960s.

The other version was by an obscure crooner Read the rest of this entry »

johnyoko-merryxmasAs Christmas approached in 1980, the year John Lennon died, the song of his that made me most melancholy, other than the suddenly ironic (Just Like) Starting Over, was Merry Xmas (War Is Over). When someone has been advocating for peace, and is shot down by a fan, it just boggled the mind.

And so this is Xmas (war is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (war is over)
The world is so wrong (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

I was going to post some of those Beatles Christmas 45s, which I have collected on an LP, but, thankfully, someone had already uploaded The Beatles – Complete Christmas Records, which came out every year from 1963 to 1969. Collectively, the cuts reflect the increasingly greater sophistication of the band’s music, as well as the eventually fractured nature of the group.

Even better, I discovered that someone else has made available The History of the Beatles’ Christmas, including everything from Merry Xmas to Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney to Ding Dong by George Harrison to some obscure Ringo song, plus those Beatles Christmas cuts, even the edited version of Christmastime is Here Again that came out at the time of the Beatles Anthology albums.

I’ve also come across a cover band called The Fab Four, which performs Christmas carols in the style of Beatles songs. The whole double CD you can find HERE. My favorite song on the album is the final one, Jingle Bells, performed in the style of the Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows. It shows the versatility of that last song on Revolver.

And for reasons that will become obvious, Come Together, a Christmas video for Swedish multinational clothing retailer, H&M. It was directed by Wes Anderson, and stars Adrien Brody.

Oh, yeah – All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle – Dora Bryan (1963)

very-special-xmas-cd-cover-pI decided to do a second V post this week, the latter focusing on A Very Special Christmas, because:

1) My friend Carla had only recent heard a song from that first album, and didn’t know about the compilations

2) It is St. Nicholas Day, and I needed an excuse to put some more holiday music herein

3) It’s Wednesday, at least in some hemisphere

A Very Special Christmas is “the title of an ongoing series of Christmas music compilation albums that benefit Special Olympics,” and I own the first seven albums. It was “the brainchild of music producer Jimmy Iovine, who wanted to produce a Christmas album as a memorial to his father. The idea of the record benefiting Special Olympics Read the rest of this entry »

ocean_-_put_your_hand_in_the_hand_singleAs little as I know about current recordings, I know about as much about the music of my youth. If you asked me who performed the first three songs I have mentioned here, I would have little problem, though these were the only Top 40 hits each of them had.

Put Your Hand In The Hand, I could tell you, was by the group Ocean. I even have this song on some compilation LP. The record by the pop band from London, Ontario, Canada went to #2 in 1971. Read the rest of this entry »

curious-incident-dogThe family went to the Wednesday, November 23, 8 p.m. showing of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. It won the 2015 Tony Award for Best New Play, and is now on its first North American tour. Simon Stephens has adapted Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel.

Fifteen-year-old Christopher is extraordinarily intelligent, but has difficulty with everyday life. “When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.”

Though the words Read the rest of this entry »

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