Monday, December 25, 2017

My Childhood Christmas Music Memories

My Dad had a handful of vinyl LP's that he played at Christmas.  Until I got older and brought my own CD's to our Holiday get together, his albums were the only ones I heard.  For many years.
Elvis being the the King in our house as well, his two Christmas albums (from 1957 and 1971) got the most plays.  The other three or four were from Country singers (Merle Haggard, a Country compilation) and Pop singers like Engelbert Humperdinck.

Of all those, the one that always got played, even when I would bring my own Xmas albums, was Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas from 1971.  There are 11 songs on it, and a few keepers: "It Won't Seem Like Christmas (Without You)", "If I Get Home On Christmas Day", and the masterpiece, a 7 minute bluesy, down home and slightly dirty version of "Merry Christmas Baby", with James Burton providing stinging guitar.  Everyone should hear it once in their life.

My Mom was German, so we celebrated the Holiday on Christmas Eve.

So, every year I still play both Elvis Christmas albums, but it's the 1971 release that triggers memories of sitting in a crowded living room, opening presents, having a good time. 
Those Christmas album memories are for my Dad (who passed in 2008) and Mom (2014).  They are my way of giving both a great big hug and kiss on Christmas Eve. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Tom's Top Songs & Reissues of 2017

Also:  My Top Albums of 2017
Top Albums of 2017

Top Songs
1.  If We Were Vampires - Jason Isbell
2.  Despacito - Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber
3.  Redbone - Childish Gambino
4.  Humble - Kendrick Lamar
5.  God In Chicago - Craig Finn
6.  Better Man - Little Big Town
7.  Hard Times - Paramore
8.  Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran
9.  Molotov - Jason Isbell
10. Records - Lily Hiatt
11. Location - Khalid
12. Hurricane - Luke Combs
13. Pills - Sunny Sweeney
14. There's Nothing Holding Me Back - Shawn Mendes
15. Love On The Brain - Rihanna
16. She Chose Me - Randy Newman
17. Sign Of The Times - Harry Styles
18. Show You The Way - Thundercat
19. Praying - Kesha
20. Drinkin' Problem - Midland
21. Masseduction - St. Vincent
22. Pay Gap - Margo Price
23. Grocery Money - Liz Rose
24. Evening Prayer - Jens Lekman
25. Do You Still Love Me - Ryan Adams
26. Tin Man - Miranda Lambert
27. Either Way - Chris Stapleton
28. Shine On Me - Dan Auerbach
29. Brand New Day - Mavericks
30. Green Light - Lorde
31. Mask Off - Future
32. You Look Good - Lady Antebellum
33. I Don't Care Anymore - Rodney Crowell
34. Julie - Rhiannon Giddens
35. High Ticket Attractions - New Pornographers
36. When The God Of Love Returns - Father John Misty
37. You Broke Up With Me - Walker Hayes
38. Every Little Thing - Carly Pearce
39. Too Good At Goodbyes - Sam Smith
40. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young
41. Feel It Still - Portugal. The Man
42. Bad and Boujee - Migos
43. Every Kind Of Wrong - John Moreland
44. Fighter - Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood
45. Tin Foil Hat - Todd Rundgren/Donald Fagen
46. Story of O.J. - Jay-Z
47. Greatest Love Story - Lanco
48. Hungry Ghost - Hurray For The Riff Raff
49. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt
50. Dear Life - Beck
51. Fix A Drink - Chris Janson
52. 2nd Time Around - Tuxedo
53. Issues - Julia Michaels
54. On Lankershim - Foxygen

Reissues 
1.  Elvis Presley - Boy From Tupelo (Box Set) (RCA)
2.  American Epic: Collection - Various (Box Set) (Columbia)
3.  Steve Young - Seven Bridges Road - Complete Recordings (Ace)
4.  Nothing But A House Party - Birth Of Philly Sound 1967-71 (Ace)
5.  Prince - Purple Rain (Deluxe Reissue)
6.  George Jones & The Smoky Mountain Boys  (Rounder)
7.  Jon Savage's 1967: Year Pop Divided - Various (Ace)
8.  Ian Dury - New Boots & Panties 40th Anniversary (Demon)
9.  Mahalia Jackson - Moving On Up A Little Higher (Shanachie '16)
10.  Beach Boys - Sunshine Tomorrow (Capitol)
11.  Rolling Stones - On Air
12.  Running The Voodoo Down - Various (Republic of Music)
13.  Ella Fitzgerald - Ella at Zardi's (Verve)
14.  Raspberries - Pop Art Live
15.  Replacements - For Sale: Live at Maxwell's 1986
16.  PP Arnold - Turning Tide (Kundalini)



Friday, December 22, 2017

Tom's Top Albums of 2017

1. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Nashville Sound
2. St. Vincent - Masseduction
3. Rhiannon Giddens - Freedom Highway
4. John Moreland - Big Bad Luv
5. Lily Hiatt - Trinity Lane
6. Margo Price - All American Made
7. Lee Ann Womack - Lonely, Lonesome & The Gone
8. Sunny Sweeney - Trophy
9. Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now
10. Rodney Crowell - Close Ties
11. Angaleena Presley - Wrangled
12. Charlie Worsham - Beginning of Things
13. Kendrick Lamar - Damn
14. Mavis Staples - If All I Was Was Black
15. Whitney Rose - South Texas Suite (EP)
16. Steve Earle - So You Wanna Be An Outlaw
17. New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions
18. Craig Finn - We All Want The Same Things
19. Whitney Rose - Rule 62
20. Nikki Lane - Highway Queen
21. Chris Stapleton - From A Room: Volume 1 & 2
22. Randy Newman - Dark Matter
23. Mavericks - Brand New Day
24. Lorde - Melodrama
25. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
26. Otis Taylor  - Fantasizing About Being Black
27. Sharon Jones - Soul of A Woman
28. Run The Jewels - 3
28. Gentle Giants: Songs of Don Williams - Various
29. J.D. McPherson - Undivided Heart & Soul
30. Shannon McNally - Black Irish
31. Kesha - Rainbow
32. Shamir - Revelations
33. Natalie Hemby - Puxico
34. North Mississippi All Stars - Prayer for Peace
34. Kelly Clarkson - Meaning of Life
35. Cecile McLoren Solvent -Dreams and Daggers
36. Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child
37. Sam Smith - Thrill Of It All
38. National - Sleep Well Beast
39. Hard Working Americans - We’re All In This Together
40. Khalid - American Teen
41. Liz Rose - Swimming Alone
42. Gregg Allman - Southern Blood
43. Hurray for the Riff Raff - Navigator
44. Robert Plant - Carry Fire
45. War On Drugs - Deeper Understanding
46. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice
47. Benjamin Clementine - I Tell A Fly
48. Bleachers - Gone Now
49. Marty Stuart - Way Out West
50. Curtis Harding - Face Your Fear
51. Sampha - Process
52. XX - I See You
53. Don Bryant - Don't Give Up On Love
54. Peter Perrett - How The West Was Won
55. Nora Jane Struthers - Champion
56. Jay-Z - 4:44
57. Beck - Colors
58. Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child
59. Miguel - War & Leisure
60. Tuxedo - II
61. Van Hunt - Popular
62. Harry Styles - s/t
63. Jace Everett - Dust & Dirt
64. Walker Hayes - Boom
65. Liam Gallagher - As You Were

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Playlist for 12/20

U2 - Songs of Experience
Neil Young - Visitor
Terry Kath Experience (Documentary)
Eagles - Hotel California - Live Disc (40th Anniversary Reissue)
Lorrie Morgan & Pam Tillis - Come See Me and Come Lonely
Cecile McLorin Salvant - Dreams and Daggers
Saint Etienne - Home Counties
Miguel - War & Leisure
Eminem - Revival

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. Donny Hathaway - This 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. Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
17. Drifters - White Christmas
18. Charles Brown - Please Come Home For Christmas
19. Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
20. Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
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. Jackson 5 - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
25. Carpenters - Merry Christmas Darling
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. Vaughn Monroe - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
34. Darlene Love - Marshmallow World
35. Johnny Mathis - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
36. Wham - Last Christmas
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. Gene Autrey - Here Comes Santa Claus
42. Leroy Anderson- 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. Joni Mitchell - River
47. Perry Como - Home For The Holidays
48. Bing Crosby - I'll Be Home For Christmas
49. Elvis Presley - If I Get Home On Christmas Day
50. Stevie Wonder - Someday At Christmas
51. Bing Crosby - Silent Night
52. John Denver & Muppets - 12 Days Of Christmas
53. John Lennon - Happy Xmas
54. Elton John - Step Into Christmas
55. Barry Gordon - Nuttin' 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. Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
60. Nat "King" Cole - O Little Town of Bethlehem
61. Spike Jones - All I Want For Christmas
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. Nat "King Cole" - I Saw Three Ships
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.  Buck Owens - Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy
82. Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime
83. Pogues & Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
84. Aretha Franklin - Joy To The World
85. Windham Hill Artists - Carol of the Bells
86. Vanessa Williams - What Child Is This?
87. George Strait - Away in A Manger
88. Alabama - Christmas In Dixie
89. Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Jordan - Baby It's Cold Outside
90. Pretenders - 2000 Miles
91. Louis Armstrong - 'Zat You Santa Claus?
92. Johnny Mathis - My Favorite Things
93. Chipmunks - Chipmunk Song
94. Robert Earl Keen - Merry Christmas From The Family
95. James Taylor - Go Tell It On The Mountain
96. Bobby Lloyd and the Skeletons - Do You Hear What I Hear/You Really Got Me
97. Johnny Mathis - Caroling Caroling/Happy Holidays

98. Mills Brothers - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
99. Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody

100. Randy Travis - Old Time Christmas
101. Kinks - Father Christmas

102. Prince - Another Lonely Christmas
103. Kenny Loggins - Celebrate Me Home
104. Elmo & Patsy - Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeeer
105. Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans - Bells of St. Mary
106. Mabel Scott - Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
107. Hall & Oates - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
108. Fred Waring - 'Twas The Night Before Christmas
109. Miles Davis - Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)
110. Michael Buble - Grown Up Christmas List
111.  Billy Squier - Christmas Is The Time To Say "I Love You"
112.
 Temptations - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
113. Jimmy Buffett - Christmas Island
114. Detroit Junior - Christmas Day
115. Weird Al Yankovic - Christmas At Ground Zero
116. Dolly Parton - Hard Candy Christmas

118. Bryan Adams - Christmas Time
119.  Alexander O'Neal - My Gift To You
120. Bing Crosby & Andrew Sisters - Mele Kalikimaka
121. Mavis Staples - Christmas Vacation
122. Kenny Rogers - Kids
123. Eagles - Please Come Home For Christmas
124.  Shirley Booth & Mickey Rooney - Year Without A Santa Claus
125.  Dick Shawn - Snow Miser Song
126.  Gayla Peevey - I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
127.  John Mellencamp - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
128.  Peggy Lee - Christmas Spell
129.  Tom Petty - Christmas All Over Again
130. Jona Lewie - Stop The Calvary
131. NRBQ - Merry Christmas Wish
132. Kay Starr - Man With The Bag
133. Zach Schmidt - I'm Drunk Again This Christmas
134. Nick Lowe - Christmas at the Airport
135. Kurtis Blow - Christmas Rapping
136. Youngsters  - Christmas In Jail
137. Clarence Reid - Winter Man
138. Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday

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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
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