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December 25, 2023

Christmas Music Favorites

For about 15 years I have been collecting songs about Christmas and the winter weather in general. I now have a digital collection of well over 40,000 songs done by a variety of artists. Many if not most of the artists are not well known. Web sites like Ernie (Not Bert) and Fa La La La La have helped with the collection of some of the most obscure songs by some of the most obscure artists. I have chosen my favorite songs of the season and have put them in a 6 CD collection. For what it's worth, here are the songs I am listening to this Christmas. You will recognize many of the artists but I am sure there will be some songs and artists that you are unfamiliar with.


Ultimate Christmas CD 1 ~ 27 Songs
Ring Those Christmas Bells - Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Lisa Layne With Vince Vance And The Valiants
Away In A Manger - Julie Andrews With Andre Previn And His Orchestra
Baby, It's Cold Outside - Buddy Clark And Dinah Shore With Ted Dale's Orchestra
Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
Carol Of The Bells - Phil Spitalny's Hour Of Charm All-Girl Orchestra And Chorus
Christmas Eve In My Home Town - Eddie Fisher
Christmas, Baby Please Come Home - Darlene Love
Do You Hear What I Hear - Bing Crosby
Frosty The Snowman - Jimmy Durante
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Carpenters
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day - Carpenters
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jane Krakowski
I'll Be Home For Christmas - Bing Crosby
It Must Have Been The Mistletoe 'Our First Christmas' - Vikki Carr
Merry Christmas Darling - Carpenters
Merry, Merry Christmas Baby - Dodie Stevens
Please Come Home For Christmas - Dion
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
Silent Night - Lennon Sisters
Silver Bells - Bing Crosby, Carol Richards With The John Scott Trotter Orchestra '1950'
Sleigh Ride - New York Philharmonic, Skitch Henderson, Conducting
Snow - Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Peggy Lee, And Trudy Stevens
Still, Still, Still - Norman Luboff Choir
White Christmas - Bing Crosby '1942'
Winter Wonderland - Richard Himber And His Ritz-Carlton Orchestra With Joey Nash

Ultimate Christmas CD 2 ~ 25 Songs
All Alone On Christmas - Darlene Love
An Old Fashioned Christmas - Frank Sinatra
Blue Snowfall - George Morgan
Christmas Dreaming 'A Little Early This Year' - Frank Sinatra
Christmas Kisses - Ray Anthony
Hallelujah Chorus - From 'Messiah' - Robert Shaw Chorale And Orchestra
'I Love The' Winter Weather - Benny Goodman AHO With Peggy Lee And Art Lund
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Bob Crosby And His Orchestra
Little Altar Boy - Carpenters
Little Jack Frost, Get Lost - Frankie Carle And His Orchestra With Marjorie Hughes
Looks Like A Cold, Cold Winter - Bing Crosby
Merry Christmas From Our House To Your House - Lennon Sisters
Oíche Chiún 'Silent Night' - Enya
On A Snowy Christmas Night - Elvis Presley
Our Winter Love - Lettermen
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Crystals
Snow - Johnny Mann Singers
Snowfall - Doris Day
The Christmas Song 'Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire' - Nat King Cole
The Holly And The Ivy - Roger Whittaker
The Toy Trumpet - John Scott Trotter Orchestra Featuring Bobby Guy
'Twas The Night Before Christmas - Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians, Teen Trio, Gordon Goodman, Jack Best
We Wish You The Merriest - Frank Sinatra And Bing Crosby
Winter World Of Love - Patti Page
You're My Christmas Present - Jimmy Beaumont And The Skyliners

Ultimate Christmas CD 3 ~ 29 Songs
An Old Christmas Card - Jim Reeves
Angels In The Snow - Judy Collins
Ave Maria - Phil Spitalny's Hour Of Charm Orchestra, Evelyn And Her Magic Violin, Jeanne, Vocal Solo
Blue Winter - Connie Francis
By The Fireside - Jo Stafford
Christmas Bell Rock - Bobby Emmons And The Crosstones With The Wanderers
Cold Winter Nights - Anita Kerr Singers
God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen - Bing Crosby
Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees - Elvis Presley
If I Get Home On Christmas Day - Elvis Presley
I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter - Connie Francis
'It's A' Marshmallow World - Darlene Love
Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms 'Collectables' '1957'
Jingle Bells - Bing Crosby And The Andrews Sisters
Last Christmas - Wham
Let's Have An Old Fashioned Christmas - Roaring 20's
Lonely This Christmas - Mud
Noël Prelude - Ronnie Milsap
Rockin' This Christmas - Tractors
Snow In Lover's Lane - Anita Kerr Singers
Snowbound - Barbra Streisand
The Coldest Night Of The Year - April Stevens And Nino Tempo
The First Noël - Sergio Franchi
When Winter Comes - Tony Pastor With The Artie Shaw Orchestra
White World Of Winter - Bing Crosby
Winter In New England - Joanie Sommers, Arranged And Conducted By Stan Applebaum
Winter Warm - Gale Storm
Winter's Here - Robin Ward
You're All I Want For Christmas - Brook Benton

Ultimate Christmas CD 4 ~ 27 Songs
Amid The Falling Snow - Enya
An Old Fashioned Christmas Tree - Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians With Don Rodney
C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S - Ames Brothers
Christmas All Alone - Lettermen
Christmas Candles - Andrews Sisters With Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians
Coventry Carol - Choir Of King's College, Cambridge
December - Kay Starr With The Billy Butterfield Quintet
Here Comes Santa Claus - Bing Crosby, Andrews Sisters
Home 'When Shadows Fall' - Jackie Gleason
I'd Like You For Christmas - Julie London
In The Bleak Mid-Winter - Kiri Te Kanawa, Michael George, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra And Choir
It Came Upon The Midnight Clear - Julie Andrews With Andre Previn
It Won't Seem Like Christmas Without You - Elvis Presley
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas - Maurice Chevalier
Joy To The World - Mario Lanza With Henri Rene's Orchestra
Long, Lonely Days Of Winter - Duane Eddy With Marty Paich, Arranger, Conducter
Noël - George Thill
O Christmas Tree - John McCarthy Chorus
O Holy Night 'Cantique De Noël' - Fred Waring, Pennsylvanians, Patti Beems, Men's Glee Club, Harp
O Little Town Of Bethlehem - Nelson Eddy
Run, Rudolph, Run - Jane Krakowski
Star Of The East - Judy Garland
The Christmas Waltz - Doris Day
The First Snowfall - Bing Crosby
The Little Drummer Boy - Harry Simeone Chorale
When You Trim Your Christmas Tree - Les Brown And His Band Of Renown With Jack Haskell
Who Needs Mistletoe - Julie Roberts

Ultimate Christmas CD 5 ~ 26 Songs
A Christmas Prayer - Penguins
A Wonderful Winter - Charlie Spivak AHO With Jerry Saunders, Vocal '1945'
All I Want For Christmas, Dear, Is You - Louise Mandrell
Christmas Candle - Tony Martin '1941'
Christmas Eve - Billy Eckstein
Christmas On The Plains - Roy Rogers And Dale Evans
Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Bing Crosby
It's Christmas Once Again - Frankie Lymon
Merry Christmas - Judy Garland
Merry Christmas, Baby - Charles Brown
Mistletoe And Holly - Frank Sinatra
My Christmas Song For You - Hoagy Carmichael With Martha Mears
O Come All Ye Faithful 'Adeste Fideles' - Luciano Pavarotti With The National Philharmonic
River - Barry Manilow
Santa Claus Is Back In Town - Elvis Presley
Siberian Sleigh Ride - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Silent Night, Christmas Blue - Tractors
The Bells Of Christmas - Julie Andrews
The One Horse Open Sleigh - Robert DeCormier Folk Singers
The Star Of Bethlehem - Richard Crooks
The Story Of A Starry Night - Jackie Gleason
Twelve Days Of Christmas - Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians
Warm December - Julie London
What Child Is This - Andre Previn, Conducting
Winter Light - Linda Ronstadt

Ultimate Christmas CD 6 ~ 27 Songs
A Christmas Love Song - Barbra Streisand
A Winter Romance - Dean Martin
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
An Old Fashioned Christmas - Modernaires
Angels From The Realms Of Glory - Julie Andrews
Christmas Day - Eddie Fisher
Christmas Don't Be Late - She And Him
Christmas Just Ain't Christmas Without You - Vince Vance & The Valiants Featuring Lisa Layne
Christmas Secrets - Enya
He Came Here For Me - Carpenters
Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
I Don't Intend To Spend Christmas Without You - Claudine Longet
I'd Like To Trim A Tree With You - McGuire Sisters
It's Christmas - Ronnie Milsap
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm - Julie London
Little Saint Nick - Beach Boys
Little Snow Girl - Andy Williams And Lorrie Morgan
Lonely Pup In A Christmas Shop - Adam Faith
Only One Night Of The Year - Ronnie Milsap
Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
Santa Bring My Baby Back 'To Me' - Elvis Presley
Strawberry Snow - Brenda Lee
The Christmas Tree Angel - Andrews Sisters
There's No Christmas Like A Home Christmas - Perry Como
What Can I Give You This Christmas - Lettermen
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney And Wings
Yulesville - Edd 'Kookie' Byrnes With Warren Barker AHO


Posted by Rick | December 25, 2023 12:43 AM | Just For Fun

December 20, 2023

Christmas Memories

There’s an old saying that goes like this: It’s not really drinking alone if the dog is home. That said, as I listened to Christmas music this afternoon and poured my second red beer I became a little nostalgic (blame it on the alcohol) remembering one of my more pleasant memories of Christmas in Watertown. I must have been either a junior or senior in high school and Mr. Rishoi called me at home around dinner time and said that he was putting together a small group of caroleers to go out that evening. I really don’t remember who ultimately participated but I’m guessing that the group consisted of some of the members of the a cappella choir. We met somewhere downtown (If I recall correctly, the stores were open on Friday nights.) and sang carols on the street corners for quite a while, eventually making our way to an old folks home near the court house where we were invited in to sing for a bit. It was snowing and, of course, very cold but I think a good time was had by all. Cheers! and Merry Christmas!!

Posted by Rick | December 20, 2023 03:17 PM | Just For Fun

December 9, 2023

Rock 'N' Roll Christmas

It's the holiday season but I wasn't in a festive mood until I came across one of my favorite songs, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), famously performed a couple days before Christmas for many years by Darlene Love on the David Letterman show. Letterman's retired and I have had to get my fix by watching reruns of his show or by listening to Ms. Love singing the original version on Phil Spector's 'A Christmas Gift For You' CD.

Well...there is a new performance of the song that just blew me away. At the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center this year a couple of old broads, Cher and Darlene Love (77 and 82 respectively), performed an iconic rock & roll duet of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). The song was originally performed by Darlene Love with Cher as one of the back-up singers and released in 1963 (for the folks in Tinkertown that is 60 years ago).

Here is the link.

You will not be disappointed if you haven't already seen it.

Posted by Rick | December 9, 2023 05:14 AM | Just For Fun

December 1, 2023

Fun With Adult Beverages

For many years we have had a party at our house in Halloween. While the kids went trick or treating, in addition to the usual fare of Metro pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, hot dogs, wine and ‘the coldest beer in town,’ I have, on occasion, entertained the adults with an assortment of unique adult beverages.

It started with a Sunday article in our local newspaper, the Review Journal, describing a drink called ‘chocolate cake.’ From a mixture of fresh lemons, sugar, vodka and Frangelico you end up with a shot glass full of chocolate cake. What fun.

A few years later I was interested in the TV show ‘Justified’ that featured moonshine so I bought a number of different moonshines for a tasting. Blue Flame, White Lightnin’, Apple Pie, cherries soaked in ‘shine’ and a couple other flavors that escape me. More fun...

Another year I discovered that absinthe, also known as “the green fairy” and Van Gogh’s favorite adult beverage, had become legal in the United States, so we did an absinthe tasting. No missing appendages during or after the party, so it was a success.

There was a TV program called ‘Covert Affairs’ that I used to watch. During one episode a scene in a bar describing a drink called a ‘Sazerac cocktail’ was featured and my interest was piqued. I had to run it down. It featured Sazerac Rye, the aforementioned absinthe, a sugar cube, and Peychaud bitters.

The kids are all grown so the Halloween parties have been discontinued but my interest in adult beverages has continued. More recently in was watching Bobby Flay doing Sunday brunch which featured a couple twists on the traditional Bloody Mary. I used to buy a bloody Mary mix at the local grocery store, but now make my own. Mr. Flay uses 1/2 gin and 1/2 vodka, horseradish, lemons, limes, Worcestershire sauce, salt and a bit of jalapeño peppers. Delicious.

I am a huge fan of ‘The Thin Man’ movies and Nick is always drinking something alcoholic albeit never terribly unusual. However, in one movie he mentioned a drink called ‘the Bronx’ although I don’t think he was drinking it. The best thing that has come out of the Thin Man movies are the glasses that are called ‘Nick And Nora’ glasses that you can purchase online for a few dollars. Glasses with an old fashioned flair somehow make the drinks taste a little better. For that matter, nice glasses, be they Baccarat, Faberge, or Waterford, all make the cocktails in them taste just a little better.

That brings me to the past week. While watching TCM (Turner Classic Movies for those of you in Altuna) last Saturday, there was an ad for a book in the TCM Library that I couldn’t resist. I don’t know if y’all watch the World Of Film Noir on Saturday nights but it is a show hosted by a very dapper Eddie Muller featuring old ‘B’ movies usually from the late 40’s to the mid 50’s. I logged into the TCM Library online and at the top of the list was a book entitled ‘Eddie Muller's Noir Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the World of Film Noir.’ For the price of a scotch at Flemings, the local steak house, I purchased the hardcover book.


The book pictured above features recipes of drinks from the noir movies along with a list of various spirits required for a Noir Bar. My home bar has the usual suspects, most of which I don’t drink, including Black Label scotch, vodka, gin, a couple different whiskeys, light and dark rum, VSOP Cognac, brandy, Bailey’s, Kaluha, Amareto, sweet and dry vermouth, Peychaud and Angostura bitters, but was sadly lacking quite a few items for a Noir Bar and I spent the past week tracking down the listed items along with a couple different variations of ‘Nick And Nora’ glasses. After trips to three different liquor stores and a visit to Amazon for three variations of Nick And Nora glasses I was able to find 98% of Eddie’s recommendations. If anyone knows where to find Pamplemousse liqueur please let me know. Now that I’ve acquired all the necessary ingredients the fun really begins. Bottoms up!

Posted by Rick | December 1, 2023 06:25 AM | Just For Fun

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