Friday, December 15, 2017

Greatest Christmas Songs

Below is a list of some of my favorite Christmas songs.  Included are multiple versions of the same song, by different artists.  Suggestions are welcome for ones that I've missed.

1. Bing Crosby - White Christmas
2. Nat "King" Cole - The Christmas Song
3. Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas
4. Gene Autry - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
5. Judy Garland - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
6. Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock
7. Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
8. Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
9. Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
10. Charles Brown - Please Come Home For Christmas
11. Harry Simeone Chorale - Little Drummer Boy
12. Jimmy Durante - Frosty The Snowman
13. Vince Guaraldi Trio- Linus and Lucy
14. Burl Ives - Holly Jolly Christmas
15. Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad
16. Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
17. Drifters - White Christmas
18. Donny Hathaway - This Christmas
19. Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
20. Elton John - Step Into Christmas
21. Dean Martin - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
22. Thurl Ravenscroft - You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
23. Chuck Berry - Run Run Rudolph
24. Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
25. Carpenters - Merry Christmas Baby
26. Aretha Franklin - Winter Wonderland
27. Elvis Presley -- Merry Christmas Baby
28. David Bowie/Bing Crosby - Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy
29. Gene Autrey - Here Comes Santa Claus
30. Run DMC - Christmas In Hollis
31. Roy Orbison- Pretty Paper
32. Elvis Presley - Santa Claus Is Back In Town
33. Buck Owens - Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy
34. Johnny Mathis - Sleigh Ride
35. John Denver & The Muppets - 12 Days of Christmas
36. Jackson 5 - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
37. Elvis Presley - Silver Bells
38. Whitney Houston - Do You Hear What I Hear?
39. Jimmy Boyd - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
40. James Brown - Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
41. Johnny Mathis - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
42. Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
43. Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick
44. Andy Williams - Happy Holidays
45. Luther Vandross - O Come All Ye Faithful
46. Nat "King" Cole - O Tannenbaum
47. Darlene Love - Marshmallow World
47. Perry Como - Home For The Holidays
48. Kurtis Blow - Christmas Rapping
49. Elvis Presley - If I Get Home On Christmas Day
50. Robert Earl Keen - Merry Christmas From The Family
51. Bing Crosby - Silent Night
52. Joni Mitchell - River
53. John Lennon - Happy Xmas
54. Barry Gordon - Nuttin' For Christmas
55. Spike Jones - All I Want For Christmas
56. Greg Lake - I Believe In Father Christmas
57. Crystals - Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
58. Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December
59. Stevie Wonder - Someday At Christmas
60. Nat "King" Cole - O Little Town of Bethlehem
61. Bobby Lloyd and the Skeletons - Do You Hear What I Hear/You Really Got Me
62. Clarence Carter - Back Door Santa
63. Jackie Wilson - O Holy Night
64. Oak Ridge Boys - Thank God For Kids
65. Dolly Parton - Hard Candy Christmas
66. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton - Christmas Without You
67. Jackie Wilson- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
68. Frank Sinatra - The First Noel
69. Barbra Streisand - Ave Maria
70. Nat "King" Cole - Hark The Herald Angels Sing
71. Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here
72. Angela Lansbury and Cast - We Need A Little Christmas
73. Ray Parker Jr. - Christmas Time Is Here
74. Elvis Presley - Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)
75. Mariah Carey - All I Want From Christmas Is You
76. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Deck The Halls
77. Dan Fogelberg - Same Old Lang Syne
78. Madonna - Santa Baby
79. Harry Belafonte - Mary's Boy Child
80. Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?
81. Bryan Adams - Christmas Time
82. Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime
83. Billy Squier - Christmas Is The Time To Say "I Love You"
84. Aretha Franklin - Joy To The World
85. Windham Hill Artists - Carol of the Bells
86. Vanessa Williaams - What Child Is This?
87. George Strait - Away in A Manger
88. Alabama - Christmas In Dixie
89. Darlene Love - Marshmallow World
90. Pretenders - 2000 Miles
91. Louis Armstrong - 'Zat You Santa Claus?
92. Johnny Mathis - My Favorite Things
93. Chipmunks - Chipmunk Song
94. Nat "King" Cole - I Saw Three Ships
95. Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Jordan - Baby It's Cold Outside
96. James Taylor - Go Tell It On The Mountain
97. Wham - Last Christmas
98. Johnny Mathis - Caroling Caroling/Happy Holidays

99. Pogues - Fairytale Of New York
100. Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody

101. Randy Travis - Old Time Christmas
102. Kinks - Father Christmas
103. Kenny Loggins - Celebrate Me Home
104. Elmo & Patsy - Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeeer
105. Detroit Junior - Christmas Day
106. Robert Earl Keen - Merry Christmas From The Family
107. Hall & Oates - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
108. Fred Waring - Twas The Night Before Christmas
109. Prince - Another Lonely Christmas
110. Michael Buble - Grown Up Christmas List
111. Mills Brothers - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
 Temptations - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
113. Jimmy Buffett - Christmas Island
114. Mabel Scott - Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
115. Weird Al Yankovic - Christmas At Ground Zero
116. Pogues & Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
117. Dolly Parton - Hard Candy Christmas

118. Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans - Bells of St. Mary
119. Elvis Presley - Here Comes Santa Claus
120. Vaughn Monroe - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
121. Leroy Anderson - Sleigh Ride
122. Bing Crosby & Andrew Sisters - Mele Kalikimaka
123. Mavis Staples - Christmas Vacation
124. Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
125. Kenny Rogers - Kids
126. Bob Rivers - 12 Pains of Christmas
127.  Shirley Booth & Mickey Rooney - Year Without A Santa Claus
128.  Dick Shawn - Snow Miser Song
129.  Gayla Peevey - I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
130.  Peggy Lee - Christmas Spell
131.  Tom Petty - Christmas All Over Again
132. Jona Lewie - Stop The Calvary
133. NRBQ - Merry Christmas Wish
134. Nick Lowe - Christmas at the Airport

Monday, December 11, 2017

Playlist for 12/11

Oxford American Southern Music Issue #19 (Kentucky) - Various
Tribute to Dan Fogelberg - Various
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill - For The Rest Of Our Life
Noel Gallagher - Who Built The Moon
Joan Shelley - s/t
Dave Holland -  Conference of the Birds
Vijay Iyer - Break Stuff
Vijay Iyer - Far From Over
Jack DeJohnette - In Movement
Jack DeJohnette - Made In Chicago

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Playlist for 12/5

Chasing Trane: John Coltrane Documentary (2016 Film)
Mojo Presents: True Faith  (Mojo magazine December 2017 CD)
Chris Stapleton - From A Room Volume 2
Taylor Swift - Reputation
Lilly Hiatt - Trinity Lane
Aretha Franklin - Brand New Me (w/Royal Philharmonic)
Sharon Jones - Soul Of A Woman
Mavis Staples - If All I Was Was Black
Shamir - Revelations

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Playlist for 11/28

Bob Dylan -  Trouble No More - Bootleg Series Vol. 13 (2CD)
Trouble Boys: True Story of the Replacements - Bob Mehr (Book)
Ian Dury - New Boots and Panties (40th Anniversary Edition)
Big Thief - Capacity
Blake Shelton - Texoma Shore
Bob Seger - I Knew You When
Liz Rose - Swimming Alone
Wailin' Jennys - Fifteen

Sunday, November 26, 2017

My Predictions: 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

A bountiful 19 nominees again this year.  Last year the Hall inducted 6 plus Nile Rodgers in the Musical Excellence category.

So, once again I'm predicting they'll stick with 6, although we're all hoping they squeeze in a 7th.  Unlike last year, though, I think we'll get another Early Influence inductee (or two).  And it will come from the main performer ballot.   The Hall has done some sneaky things in the past with its main ballot.  There's a sense they'll do it again this year.

Five of my 6 picks are first time nominees.  Which is what happened last year.

Bon Jovi -  Could they be the first act to win the Fan Poll and not be inducted the same year?  But even without winning that poll, they still would have a chance. Last nominated back in 2011. Since then Populism has roared to life at the Hall.  And the voting bloc has changed a lot.  Remember: KISS first nominated in 2010, inducted in 2014.  Or take the case of Randy Newman. Nominated 2005, inducted 2013.  With Bon Jovi, lots of new voters have been added since 2011. And some might not even know he was once nominated.   But let's face it.  Who are we kidding?  Winning the Fan Poll has to be their ultimate induction ticket.  Right?

Dire Straits - Like Jeff Lynne, it seems Mark Knopfler has worked with dozens of current Hall members: (Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Mavis Staples, Randy Newman, Van Morrison, Buddy Guy, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, Sting, James Taylor, John Fogerty, David Crosby, Eric Clapton, etc.)  Hey, I don't now how many of them return their ballots, but he's covered a lot of Hall ground.  Which means, like Lynne,  he's garnered a lot of respect among his peers. And besides, we forget how big Dire Straits was by the mid-80's. Good enough for a first ballot induction though?

Eurythmics - In my 2017 & 2018 nominee predictions I said Annie Lennox was a beloved figure.  In other words, who doesn't like Annie Lennox?  But will all that love get them in on their first try?  I've been on board with them since the nominations were announced, so while I agree with many who say they may have to wait a year or two, I'm sticking with them.

Moody Blues - This year's Chicago.  Many voters will wonder how they are still not in.  Now this would be a surprise if they didn't get in right away.

Nina Simone - She's getting inducted this year.  But where?  On the main performer ballot?  She has a real good chance here.  How about the Musical Excellence category?  No one would argue.  Or what if they teamed her up with Sister Rosetta as an Early Influence inductee?  Simone's first record came out in 1958.  Too early for an EI slot?  Didn't hurt Freddie King or Wanda Jackson (both 1956).  Anyway,  Simone's 2015 Documentary was an eye-opener for many viewers, and raised her profile sky high with voters. And FWIW: she placed 4 albums in the Top 100 of Pitchfork's 200 best albums of the 60's, released this past August.

Radiohead - So, it appears that not everyone agrees with me that this is a sure bet.  Being critically-acclaimed won't get you inducted, but Radiohead are seen today as one of the most successful bands from the post-Grunge era. And it's not like they didn't sell records.  Still, maybe I've overrated their 1st year chances?

The Rest
Cars - I get the feeling this really could be their year.  But it seems like there's always another Classic Rock era act that takes their induction place.  I won't be surprised if their name gets called in year #3. 
 Depeche Mode - One of the reasons no one will ever predict them, is the voting bias to groups from this era:  Cure, Smiths, Replacements all came up short.  Somebody has to break the spell one day.

J. Geils Band - Now on their 5th try, this Steven Van Zandt fave seems to be one of those names that is finishing in the middle of the voting pack.  Look, this is one of those years where almost anyone could get in.  This induction shouldn't shock anyone.

Judas Priest - Here's one to watch out for.  They will finish near the Top 5 in the fan poll, and I bet that's where they will finish with voters.  Which means a real dark horse for induction.

Kate Bush - This was as close to a surprise nominee that I saw for 2018.  She was big in England, but in the States was more a critical than popular favorite. Kudos to the NomCom for getting her nominated.

Link Wray -  A guitar hero, whose saddled as being a one-hit wonder, but he actually made many more great records, post "Rumble".  A sentimental favorite with many, the Hall could put him in as an Early Influence as well (first record 1958).

LL Cool J -  His 4th nod, and I'll keep repeating what I said on his first:  his acting career has diluted his Rock Hall chances.  But I'm glad the NomCom keeps coming back to him. Everyone forgets how big he once was:  the most popular male Rapper from the mid-80's/mid-90's.  Not sure that being the first rapper to receive a Kennedy Center Honor (2017) will mean much to Hall voters.

MC5 - Just never enough support. But it's cool to seem their name on the ballot.  3X nominee.

Meters -  R&B groups just don't do well with voters (R&B acts as a whole don't do well anymore), so little change  on their 4th try.  Maybe pair them with the Neville Brothers for a much better chance. They could also be a Musical Excellence candidate.  In other words, let's get them in!

Rage Against The Machine - Can't discount this groups 1st year chances.  Sure, Tom Morello is a NomCom member, but since Rage initially broke up, he seems to have been everywhere.  Touring with Bruce Springsteen.  Being part of Audioslave, Prophets of Rage.  He's done tons of session work and is very politically active.  Good enough for a 1st year induction?

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan - She's now been nominated twice solo and with Rufus.  It's heartening that the NomCom keeps pushing her.  But R&B acts continue to get 2nd class treatment with voters.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Of course she belongs, but her first record came out in 1938.  If that's not an Early Influence, then what is?  As I said when the nominees were announced, she's going to be slotted into the EI category.

Zombies -   A strong dark horse candidate.  One of the last British Invasion bands that has a chance for induction.  Should do well with the Baby Boomer bloc. Wouldn't shock me if they get in on their 3rd try.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

RIP David Cassidy

Teen Idols.  Maybe you had to be there in the 70's to appreciate them.  Donny Osmond, Shaun Cassidy and of course his half-brother David Cassidy. Talk about never getting any respect.  You're hot for a year (or two) and then you try and shake that image the rest of your life.

Even Ricky Nelson, who made tremendous records and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fought his way through the Teen Idol maze his whole life.

David Cassidy was one of the most popular Teen Idol's ever.  And while he tried to grow out of his Keith Partridge character, he never quite made it.  But his death at age 67, much like many other musicians who have died in the last few year, was another reminder to those of us who grew up in his era that we are all getting older. 

I probably watched every episode of the Partridge Family, at least in the first 3 years.  I had no other choice.  My sister, like many girls at the time, loved David Cassidy.  But while it was no Emmy winning milestone, it was a decent half hour of music and comedy. 

And in the first couple years, Cassidy got to sing some pretty great songs: "I Think I Love You", "I'll Meet You Halfway", "I Woke Up In Love This Morning", "Echo Valley 2-6809", and my favorite, "Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted".  Most of the music a Teen Idol makes get labeled as Bubblegum Pop, but this was far from it. 

Cassidy's solo records, both during the Partridge Family run and after, weren't much however.  1990's  pretty good "Lyin' To Myself", which was a surprise Top 40 hit in 1990 (peaking at #27), was his last hit (and first solo Top 40 since 1972).  But that's the life of a Teen Idol.

So, forgive me if I seem to be mourning to much the passing of a name that most music critic's sneered at in the early 70's.  Maybe you had to be there.  But all I know is what I heard then and now.  The Partridge Family was a fine TV show and David Cassidy leaves us with some very good records.  I'm glad I was there.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Playlist for 11/20

Sam Smith - Thrill Of It All
Maroon 5 - Red Pill Blues
Weezer - Pacific Daydream
Ace - Five A Side
Now 64 - Various (U.S. Edition)
Andrew Sandoval's Come To The Sunshine #121 - Songs Of Randy Newman (Podcast)
Andrew Sandoval's Come To The Sunshine #122 - Easybeats Special (Podcast)
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