25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 25

Merry Christmas, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

church

Beautiful winter holiday scene found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

This woman, hailed as the Matriarch of R&B, had her roots in gospel before branching out into blues, jazz, soul and rock & roll.  She was one of the pillars of Chess Records in the 1950’s & 1960’s and is best known by her signature song “At Last”.  It took almost her whole lifetime for her to be recognized for her impeccable voice, but there is no mistaking her talent once you hear her sing the first note of any of her songs.  And there is not a better one to celebrate the meaning of Christmas Day than this one.

Etta

Etta James:  “Joy To The World” (1998).

And for the new year, my hope and wish is the same:  peace in the new year.  Here’s to 2019!!!

Amy Vince Michael

Michael McDonald,  Amy Grant, Vince Gill & Chet Atkins:  “Let There Be Peace On Earth” (1993-Christmas with Vince Gill in Tulsa, OK).

Thank you all for your support & for following along with me this year!!!  I truly appreciate each and every one of you!!!  I wish you all the best in the new year!!!

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!!!

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25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 24

Merry Christmas Eve, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 24

Pretty tree found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

For today’s song I am sharing three versions with you because I think they are all too beautiful for words.  The first version is from an R&B/Soul Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend who still performs (this year he recorded his own version of the 1975 Freddy Fender country classic “Before The Next Teardrop Falls”) but calls the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church home for his weekly sermons.

The second version is by an Italian tenor who has been called the greatest singer in the world by record producer David Foster, and has a voice that makes me swoon.  The third is by a Puerto Rican singer & composer who has sung his own songs as well as recorded classic interpretations of other musician’s work.  I did not hear his version of this Christmas classic until this year and I fell head over heels in love with it.

Al Green

Bocelli

 

Jose

Al Green:  “Silent Night” (1983).

Andrea Bocelli:  “Silent Night” (2009).

Jose Feliciano:  “Silent Night” (1970).

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 2018: Day 18

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

I follow a lot of unbelievably talented & creative women on Instagram, and since their pictures are so beautiful, I wanted to share a few with you.

Debra Vintage Crushin.jpeg

Courtesy of Debra @vintagecrushin

Today’s picture comes from Debra @vintagecrushin who shares my affinity for white Ironstone among her many loves.  She creates such pretty vignettes in her home (like the one above) and is so creative she celebrated Thanksgiving in her garage which was decorated in classic vintage style (with an assist from her equally talented sister) complete with mismatched china, old silver and glass goblets.  All the pictures are up on her page for your enjoyment!!!  And my thanks to Debra for letting me share her beautiful picture!!!

Today’s song was a suggestion to me in 2016 by a reader (thank you, Michael!!!) and I have been addicted to it ever since.  It was written by Joni Mitchell in 1971 for her album “Blue” and quoted by Meg Ryan’s character Kathleen Kelly in “You’ve Got Mail” ( “It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees. Do you know that Joni Mitchell song? ‘I wish I had a river I could skate away on?’ It’s such a sad song, and not really about Christmas at all, but I was thinking about it tonight as I was decorating my Christmas tree and unwrapping funky ornaments made of Popsicle sticks, and missing my mother so much I almost couldn’t breathe”).  I do love a good pop culture reference  🙂

This song has been covered by such diverse artists as Sarah McLachlan, Barry Manilow, James Taylor and Sam Smith.  But this version is my absolute favorite and something this good needs to be shared.  And it is from of one of my favorite shows ever, Ally McBeal,  when this actor/singer/hottie played Attorney Larry Paul.

ally_mcbeal_robert_downey_jr_calista_flockhart_free_big_fixed_big

Robert Downey Jr. & Calista Flockhart from “Ally McBeal” circa 2000 (original source unknown).  

Robert Downey Jr. “River” (2000)

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 2018: Day 17

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

I follow a lot of unbelievably talented & creative women on Instagram, and since their pictures are so beautiful, I wanted to share a few with you.

real simple pic.JPG Photo courtesy of Debi @realsimplestyle

This one is from Debi Cook Rosin @realsimplestyle.   It may be simple to use her description, but I love the rustic elegance of it.  It is true authentic farmhouse style, not the staged type you can buy at a store.  That look is fine if that is what you want, but I prefer the real thing.  And Debi’s style reflects it so beautifully.  Her IG feed is lovely, so if you like this type of decor, give her page a look.  And thank you, Debi, for letting me share your beautiful photo!!!

Today’s song is by another New Jersey legend.  This one did it all.  He sang, wrote songs, acted, was a Las Vegas showman and went on to become and remain an iconic figure in American pop culture.  One critic labeled him the greatest singer of the 20th century.  I imagine all that led to him becoming Chairman of the Board.

He co-wrote today’s song  with his longtime musical associate Hank Sanicola & Dok Stanford in 1957.  Francis Albert Sinatra, we lost you 20 years ago, but we still miss you.  Ti vogliamo bene.  Buon Natale.

Sinatra

Frank Sinatra:  “Mistletoe and Holly” (1957).

The link above is to a live version showing Frank singing a shorter version of the song.  For the entire song, here is the full studio version.

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 2018: Day 16

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 16

Adorable shadow box DIY Christmas craft found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

From the first time I heard “Mandy”, I was in entranced by this singer.  Then came “Weekend in New England”, “Trying To Get The Feeling Again”, “Could It Be Magic”, and a slew of others.  He also wrote the “American Bandstand” theme for Dick Clark.  He was the premier voice of pop music throughout the 70’s & 80’s.  Some call liking his music as a guilty pleasure, but I don’t.  I am a Fanilow and proud of it.  His take on this Christmas classic is fun, festive and has an old school swing sound.  It’s the grown-up version of the song we all sang as kids.  And I just adore it.

Barry manilow

Barry Manilow:  “Jingle Bells” (1990).

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 2018: Day 11

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

shiny brites

Vintage Shiny Brite ornaments found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

We lost today’s singer over the summer, and a part of me died that day, too.  I still have not stopped crying.  My world lost a great deal of its light.  Life will never sound the same without her in it.

She was without a doubt the greatest female singer this world has ever known.  In 1958 when she was 16, she met singer Sam Cooke, who died 54 years ago today at the age of 33.  He wanted her to sign with his label, RCA Records.  However, her father-a minister who was her first manager-eventually had her sign with Columbia Records.  She and Cooke remained friends and fans of each other’s work, and she recorded several of his songs after his death, most notably “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1967) and “You Send Me” (1968),  She referred to him as “a prince of a man”.

From the second I heard she died, all I could think of was how even more beautiful Heaven sounded now that she and Cooke could sing together.  I cannot even imagine what a breathtaking sound that was.  The true definition of Heaven itself.

Yes, I believe in Heaven.  And I believe one day I will be there myself.  And after I have thanked God in person for everything he gave me, and hugged and kissed all my family and friends that passed before me, I want to be front and center to hear this woman sing with Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, Jackie Wilson, Luciano Pavorotti and anyone else she chooses.  Maybe Jim Morrison???  And then I will bow to her, which is the appropriate action to take when meeting a Queen.

Aretha.jpg

Aretha Franklin:  “Angels We Have Heard On High” (2008).

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 2018: Day 10

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 10A

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

Today’s song is tied to a few artists we already featured in this year’s countdown.  I included it as a bonus song on Day 1 of the countdown because Bruce Springsteen covered it in 1987, but the first recording of this song dates back 40 years earlier when Charles Brown (singer of the song on Day 7) sang it as a singer and pianist with Johnny Moore’s Trailblazers.  Moore wrote it with songwriter Lou Baxter and it went to #3 on Billboard’s R&B Jukebox in 1947.  Several other artists have covered it over the years as well, but the one recorded in by the greatest soul singer of all time ranks at the top of my list.  And since this man was taken from us way too soon (51 years ago today at the age of 26), I must include his other Christmas cover because one can never have enough of this phenomenal singer’s voice.  Or this song, which this man makes all his own in this simply sublime version.

Otis

Otis Redding circa 1967 (original source unknown).  

Otis Redding:  “Merry Christmas Baby“.

Otis Redding:  “White Christmas“.

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!!!