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Since no snowman can survive global warming, Frosty
the Snowman has opted for cool as a cucumber green
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BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 2

A holiday tradition can sometimes start where and when least expected.

Talk show host David Letterman certainly found that out. He presided over NBC’s Late Night from 1982 – 1993 and CBS’s Late Show from 1993 – 2015. From 1986 to 2014, he kept multiple millions of his loyal fans (inclusive of yours truly) tuning in, annually, to watch and be wowed by songstress Darlene Love… to hear her sing her heart out while performing the holiday classic, Christmas, Baby Please Come Home.

Letterman’s sidekick, music director and musical genius, Paul Shaffer, never ceased to top his previous years’ already superb musical scores… his efforts even further enhanced by stunning, festive decor, lighting and visual effects (e.g. simulated snowfall).

The lead video, above, features Love’s spectacular final Late Show performance in 2014.

I’m also including Love’s 2002 appearance for it has extra-special meaning to me. That year was my Mom’s last Christmas on Earth… the last time we had watched it together. Setting my sentimentality aside, this clip also provides us a really cool comparison of Shaffer’s scores.

For the real diehard Letterman fans I’m also including Love’s 1986 debut performance, as well. Sorry for the substandard audio quality but this clip is from a pre-digital TV era.

For those who would like to be wowed even further, check out the magnificent, post-production work of an editor, who mashed up several of Love’s performances.

Naturally, I’d never forget those of us who’ll enjoy ear witnessing the 1963, recording studio birth of this song.

A few days ago, my fave online news source, HuffPo, reported some great news! NBC Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon along with Anna Kendrick, Darlene Love & The Roots raised their voices in song… this very song… Christmas, Baby Please Come Home. With Letterman now in retirement, we can only hope Fallon’s talk show will become Love’s new venue… that she’ll be back for many more years to come. After all…

A (new) holiday tradition can sometimes start where and when least expected.

 

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the final installment of 2017’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting song #1 tomorrow… Christmas Day.

 

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to all and to all a Good Night!

 

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Monday, January 1, 2018.

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

BlogCast ~ Our Pleas For Peace, Love & Understanding

 

So glad you’ve been able to safely and sanely survive the holiday rush and, yet, find some time to spend here for our holiday get-together.

Giving credit where credit is due, my thanks to Elvis Costello because a portion of one of his song titles inspired my blog title. My undying thanks and mega-kudos to all the YouTube recording artists, videograhphers and contributors who have cast their creative, brilliance upon my Holiday BlogCast. Obviously, my show could not glow without YOU!

Since this DJ’s philosophy is to let the music speak for itself, we’ll get to the music shortly. However, I could not resist briefly sharing with you the backstory of this program’s grand finale track.

While performing my musical reconnaissance over @ YouTube, I thought to myself…

 

Gee… I sure wish someone would do a mash up of Joy To The World with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

 

Well… what did I have to lose? I typed in those search parameters and… Lo and Behold… a passing thought of mine materialized right before my very ears and eyes. The Magic of the Season! My Christmas wish came true!

May the Magic of the Season and your Christmas / Holiday wishes come true, too! And may my song selections be music to your ears.

 

The two sides to a long distance relationship…

 

The Carpenters ~ Merry Christmas Darling

Al Martino ~ I’ll Be Home For Christmas

 

Our heartfelt pleas for harmony, tolerance and peace…

 

Bryan Adams ~ Christmas Time

Josh Groban ~ Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

 

Our Ode To Joy / Joy To The World best wishes…

 

The Florin Street Band ~ My Favourite Time of Year

The Piano Guys ~ Ode To Joy To The World (With Choir & Bell Ringers)

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to check out the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th. I’ll be posting later today and, of course, tomorrow.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Till next time…

 

I wish you all the best life has to offer throughout the holidays…

and in all the years to come!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 3

Mere words can hardly describe the mighty mind and vibrant voice of singer / song writer / guitarist and progressive rock pioneer Greg Lake. During his nearly five decade long professional career he played in the bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP).

Considering how much life Lake breathed into damned nearly every song he ever performed and recorded… how his subject matter was typically “dark”… how the body of his mind-blowing work, which he leaves behind, still gives off so much figurative heat… the reports of his death on Wednesday, December 7, 2016… even now, one year later… still seems surreal.

Since highlighting Lake’s music is the best way to pay tribute to him, I’m offering up a linked to YouTube mini-discography. These five compositions do support the undeniable truth… Lake had been a force to be reckoned with.

Stated in sixties vernacular, the five tracks to follow are the quintessence of “progressive rock”… terminology that not only aptly describes the music, itself, but also the radio stations that originally aired it. Courtesy of those bygone broadcast towers, us “hippies” first heard the King Crimson track, Epitaph and the ELP tracks Lucky Man, Battlefield, From The Beginning and Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2.

True, it’ll mostly be diehard Lake fans (such as yours truly), who will gleefully playback these songs, in their entirety. Still, I do encourage everyone else to sample each track. Even if this isn’t your “cup of tea”, musically, consider the lyrics themselves. I know that many of my readers and followers who are poets will be impressed in that latter regard.

I do know that my being fully impressed by both Lake’s music and lyrics weighed heavily in my decision to BlogCast his compostion… I Believe In Father Christmas… his take on the over-commercialization of this holiday… an overall POV I share with him.

On a more personal note… there was one other consideration in my BlogCasting his holiday commentary.

You see, on this very day 43 years ago, (@5 p.m. in the U.S. Eastern timezone) ELP’s Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2 became the very first song I played on my very first on the air radio broadcast. My substitute DJ, weeklong gig, which followed, certainly made my Christmas 1974 extra special… all of that ranking right up there as one of the best gifts I have ever received.

Returning now to the music… while auditioning YouTube offerings, I did discover a couple more view-worthy vids… the first clip features Lake’s reprise of I Believe In Father Christmas set to alternative imagery… the second performance features Thomas McKanna’s fine piano cover medley.

I now thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

 

Till next time…

 

Here’s hoping that you have a

Merry Melodious Christmas and Happy Harmonious Holiday Season!

 

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 4

Throughout 2017… as has been the case from time immemorial… too many of the good people of our world have been and still are being treated badly. And if there never, before, was a more perfect example of an understatement, you’ve just finished reading it.

As a human being and a humane blogger, who hardly ever holds his political and social commentary “cards” close to his chest… hardly ever pastes on a “poker face”… rather than giving into the temptation to elaborate further re our world in turmoil… in this rare instance, I’ll be “folding”. Even more amazingly… I’ll even be attempting to turn my frown upside down. So, just what is it that just might get me… hopefully you, too… smiling?

Today’s BlogCast feature track… that good ol’, hold nothing back, feel good, sing-along, toe-tapping, hand clapping music… namely… Chicago’s performance of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.

The only thing “bad” about this track is its too short runtime. But that problem can easily be overcome.

Since one can never smile too much, I’m also providing you… my listeners / readers… the opportunity to keep (y)our mood soaring and flying high. How so?

By following the links and giving a listen to five other recording artists who’ve turned in some great performances. Listen to one or to ‘em all… that’s for you to decide. Personally, I’ll be running down the entire…

 

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree Menu

Brenda Lee (B.L. was the original vocalist to commit this tune to vinyl)
LeAnn Rimes (Country Music Superstar turns in her fine rendition)
Brian Setzer Orchestra (Ex Stray Cats rocker turned Big Band Cool Cat)
Fab Forever (Beatles Tribute Band performs their I Saw Her Standing There mashup)
Fab Four (Beatles Tribute Band performs their Got To Get You Into My Life mashup)

BONUS TRACK (A Feel Good Non-Holiday Tune)

Sir Paul McCartney (P.M.’s Got To Get You Into My Life, KICK ASS LIVE Performance)

 

I now thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

Till next time…

 

Keep on Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree!

Or anywhere else you may opt to Partay!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 5

Once upon a time… a hospital parking lot attendant, mistaking me for being a doctor, raised the gate and began motioning me to exit… sans paying. Only my honesty compelled me to stop, anyway… to hand over the currency and coins, which I had owed him.

Indeed, I was not then… am not now… nor will I ever be a doctor. From time to time, I just playact being one in cyberspace. And clearly, the time has come for me to FIRST don my virtual, crisp white lab coat and shiny stethoscope and NEXT kinda-sorta hang out my equally virtual shingle here on the www.

I can virtually hear you ask: “Why?”

It’s because actual last minute, holiday shoppers are feeling stressed out. And with there being less than three shopping days before next Sunday, it’s unlikely that this level of anxiety will be easing.

More to the point… we need to find a solution to this problem. Hence, I’m writing out a virtual Musical Rx to any virtual patient in need.

I can virtually hear you ask: “Why a Musical Rx?

To better understand the nature of this virtual Doc’s unorthodox prescription, one must first take some creative liberties with a classic William Congreve quotation… thusly…

 

Music hath charms to soothe the stressed out, last minute holiday shoppers.

 

With that in mind, this Real DJ and Pretender MD now highly recommends that you give a listen to today’s musical selection… Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas… as performed by the Pretenders.

Of course, as is true with some extreme cases of stress, a single dosage may not be sufficient to fully ease your symptoms. But that’s nothing to fret about… after all… it’s perfectly safe for you to double the musical dosage. And since this song, composed in 1944 by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, was specifically, originally intended for movie star and chanteuse Judy Garland, why not give her rendition a listen HERE.

Now that we’re all feeling a bit more relaxed, I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

 

May you all have yourself a Merry Little… no strike that…

a Merry Massive Christmas… Now!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 6

Today’s selection, Whatever Happened To Christmas, performed by Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra, was composed by Jimmy Webb in 1968. To those folks, who might deem his lyrics to be cynical… or worse yet… to be blaspheming what, undeniably, is a perfectly wonderful, sacred holiday, I now invite you into my world… to hear out my POV…

I deem Webb’s words to be refreshingly down to earth… his mild snub at society’s over-commericalization of Christmas. More to the point… this is his refutation of the “sentiments” found in an endless slew of other holiday songs. Instantly coming to mind are the title lyrics of yet another treble and bass clef dotted, musical score, It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.

Webb’s appeal is for all of us to get back in touch with our genuine feelings. If we, in earnest, could manage to sweep away all of that glitzy and glittery, stained-glass, ice-cold, avarice driven, Madison Avenue and song composer / hit maker hype… I believe we’d soon discover such unaffected, feelings actually still do exist. NO… we mustn’t give up on humanity yet.

Let’s flesh that all out a bit further…

For us to expect so much from each and every one of our Decembers is, at the very least, to be instantaneously and needlessly setting ourselves up for disappointment. At the very worst, one could easily come down with… get KO’d by… a bad bout of depression… find those tears of sorrow overflowing and streaming down our faces. And who would ever want to wish THAT on anybody?

To keep everything down to Earth… in our day to day living… especially for those of us who are being mercilessly browbeaten by the current crop of obscenely wealthy powers-that-be… stick figure politicians, ALL, who are sadistically leading the charge against us… it’s totally unrealistic for any average Jane and Joe’s life to ever measure up to the idyllic lifestyle “stuff and fluff”, which holiday songs are typically made of… all of that hype routinely churned out by Pollyannaish song composers.

In other words… with the perpetrators of class war at our throats, we could never expect life to ever be so storybook.

To stay human… we who are on the short end of the stick… the stick that beats us down every step of the way… we must, somehow, maintain an emotional even keel… must never set that ol’ expectations bar too high. That way, should our December experiences wind up not being the fodder… the paradigm… for some future Christmas song composer… at the very least… we’ll all be better prepared to take our lives in stride.

Of course, in the event something actually good DOES happen, unexpectedly, such an “Oh Wow” moment would prove itself far more meaningful and, perhaps, even elicit our ear to ear grins and tears of joy.

If it’ll make my average Jane and Joe compatriots feel any better… maybe even elicit our fleeting grins… I offer up my reminder that wealth is not only measured in dollars and cents. When it comes to human decency, WE are the billionaires… NOT our wallowing in wealth, bankrupt of values oppressors.

Look… long sigh… I am not suggesting in any way, shape or form that it’s wrong to feel deliriously happy… even giddy during the holidays. If you genuinely feel that way, more power to you. All I am saying is that since modern living isn’t always perfectly wonderful, moods can and do swing in the opposite direction. That means we must learn to maintain an even keel… not just during the holidays but 24/7/365.

A Daniel Fitzgerald piano cover of Jimmy Webb’s

Whatever Happened To Christmas

Now… turning to the nuts and bolts of our online lives…

In light of the current Dark Ages admin killing off Net Neutrality mere days ago… that means YouTube offerings such as those found above, could soon become difficult to access, endangered species… i.e., once they’ve been conveniently and summarily deemed “subversive”. Therefore I’m including this “hard copy” / “printout” as follows… well… uh… for now… i.e., until I, too, am someday unjustly deemed “subversive”…

 

Whatever happened to Christmas?
by Jimmy Webb

Whatever happened to Christmas? It’s gone and left no traces,
Whatever happened to the faces or the glow,
Whatever happened to Christmas, to the Christmas way of living?
Whatever happened to the giving, the magic in the snow?
Remember the sights and the smells and the sounds,
And remember hearing the call,
Remember how love was all around, whatever happened to it all?
Whatever happened to Christmas, the bells in the streets were ringing,
Whatever happened to the singing, the songs we used to know.
Whatever happened to Christmas, and when did it disappear from view,
Where was I, and whatever happened to you?
Whatever happened to Christmas and you?

 

I now thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you back for the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

 

It is my heartfelt hope that we can all find and delight in the true meaning of Christmas… find the real joys of the Holiday Season wherever we may find them!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.