Love and Letterman (Vid of the Holiday)

Darlene Love’s performance of Christmas, Baby Please Come Home became talk show host David Letterman’s holiday tradition (In the beginning, on his NBC Late Night and, later on, on his CBS Late Show). All in all, that tallied out at 28 out of his combined shows’ 33 year run… Watch Related Clip

Our above clip showcases Love’s grand finale on the Letterman stage… occurring mere days prior to Christmas 2014… mere months before Dave’s May 2015 retirement.

To have experienced this performance art… year in / year out… always afforded us a sense of continuity within our world gone nuts. It’s when we factor in how, year in / year out, humanity is still doing its damnedest to build boondoggle walls rather than blessed bridges between peoples… alas…

At the very least, this lack of progress oft elicits our long, exasperated group sigh.

Granted, we may not be able to, magically, put an end, overnight, to our global magnitude insanity / disunity… but… for the next 4:17, Love will be doing her best to be our guide… to get us to believe that there’s reason for hope.

And so… after a five year absence from the TV airwaves… if for no other reason than our catching that feel good buzz… it’s high time to revive and relive this Love / Letterman tradition…

To click that playback button will be tantamount to our virtually shouting from the Everest mountaintop…

Hey Darlene… Hey David… Encore! Encore! Encore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beck Brightens Up Our Sunday Song Series

Beck’s Sunday Sun is the Week #65 addition to our library of Sunday titled songs… and there’ll be more music to follow… seven days from now…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Six (or less) Degrees of Separation

To brag in a blog? Ugh, that’s neither my style nor intent. I only risk being perceived that way to illustrate my point. That duly noted, let’s get this blog rollin’.

I’ve recently reached that contemplative stage in my life… i.e., have become keenly aware that the temporal road behind me is far longer than what lays ahead.

Lately, my mood can best be described as that “feeling of insignificance in our universe”. Well… that is until this morning when I clicked onto a thought provoking post authored by a talented, WordPress writer, whom I follow and who follows me.

To summarize her blog, she spoke of the Six Degrees of Separation… how, this past November, she had become (justifiably) thrilled by the realization she’d just met a person who had met rock ‘n’ roll legend, Paul McCartney… i.e., she’s One Degree of Separation from having met Sir Paul.

Had she blogged further on this subject, I’m certain she’d have also mentioned that, via Two, Three (and more) Degrees of Separation, she has also met the thousands of musicians and celebrities who McCartney has met ever since his early Beatles days.

This got me to thinking. Could lil’ ol’ lowly me ever make a similar claim?

Turns out I can. Eighteen long springs ago, after I had mailed a sample of my humorous writing to the NYC based, CBS TV program, Late Show with David Letterman… I wound up conversing with one of that talk show’s writers (he had actually phoned me). That means there’s One Degree of Separation from my having met Letterman… and Two Degrees of Separation from my having met the nearly 20,000 celebs and musicians who had appeared on Dave’s show during his 33 year long reign as Late Night / Late Show host.

And since 1 of Letterman’s 20,000 guests was Paul McCartney… well… this means I’ve also met my new blogging friend, whom I cannot thank enough.1 She helped remind me that, indirectly, humankind is all interconnected. Even though the saying, “What a small world” does come to mind, we are all still part of something much bigger and that does help me put my “feeling of insignificance” into a more proper perspective.

 

1Five Degrees of Separation… if I’ve calculated correctly.

 

 

My Letter To Letterman

Preface… David Letterman’s humorous, spontaneous talk show had brilliantly lit up America’s TV screens, spanning 2 networks and 1 score and 13 years. For the benefit of my international readers, followers and others who may be unfamiliar with his career… check out either the lengthy bio or brief synopsis below…

In the late 1970s, standup comedian Letterman got his big break by appearing on comic Johnny Carson’s, top rated Tonight Show. He would later become Carson’s guest host and on February 1, 1982, go on to debut his own talk show, Late Night. Following “King” Carson’s 1992 retirement, it only seemed natural that Dave would be heir apparent, but the NBC suits did not concur… instead, opting for host, Jay Leno. Consequently, on August 30, 1993, Letterman thumbed his nose at the NBC execs and launched his CBS program, Late Show, to compete, head to head, with Leno. Needless to say, Dave got the last laugh… indeed, generated millions of laughs all the way up to his final, farewell broadcast, which aired on May 20, 2015.

Unlike NBC, I had remained Letterman loyal, throughout, because I’ve always found his humor to be far funnier / less formulaic than Leno’s and I usually back folks who’ve been corporately shafted. Oh… there is one more reason, too…

There’s a remote chance that Letterman may’ve read some of my (hopefully) comedic writing, which I twice submitted to Late Show. With that in mind… I now submit…

 

My Letter To Letterman

 

Dear Mr. Letterman,

I’ve opted to go the social media / www route to let you know how you / your 6,028 broadcasts changed my life in a way, which  far, Far, FAR exceeded your entertaining me and keeping me laughing.

More to the point, it had been your ‘90s era monologues (loaded with Bill Clinton sex scandal jokes), which had heightened my political awareness and, thus, had inspired me to write multiple hundreds of similarly themed limericks. Since the volume of my poetry had grown to epic proportions, I decided to submit my manuscript to prospective publishers.

At that point, I got this wild notion. Since I had greatly valued and respected your keen comedic instincts (and still do), I just had to find out if I could get you and/or your comedy writers laughing. To that end, I decided to “test the waters” by submitting my best limerick to Late Show.

I had fully expected my verse to languish in the “slush pile” of eternal damnation and/or that I’d wind up being the recipient of a rejection letter. Well… imagine my astonishment when neither of those outcomes occurred. Instead, your writing staff sent me a letter requesting that I compose and submit three “Top Ten Lists”.

Experiencing a level of elation and inspiration, unlike any I had ever felt, I gave this writing project my all… finding it tough not to laugh aloud while watching my creative process materialize on my PC screen. Naturally, I also “sales pitched” my idea for a new Late Show segment, “The Letterman Limerick”. Upon signing the accompanying release form, I shipped everything off to you.

Shortly thereafter, I sent a follow up inquiry letter. But, instead of your next response appearing in my mailbox… my phone rang. I found myself talking to Late Show staffer, Lee H. Ellenberg. He confirmed I had correctly completed everything required of me and that my submission was securely on file.

Our conversation hadn’t lasted more than three minutes… but… those were, indeed, life-changing minutes!

Only after hanging up the phone did everything start to fully sink in. My writing had actually caused someone… in the employ of a big time network TV talk show… a program HQ’d in a major metropolis of our world… to drop all he was doing… just to talk to a totally unknown, aspiring comedy writer residing in “Smalltown”, Michigan.

Had circumstances in my life not necessitated prioritizing my urgent family matters first, I’d have booked the next flight out to NYC. Of course, since I hadn’t had the freedom to do so, nothing ever progressed beyond that.

But that does not alter the fact that your show’s phone call had been a validation of my work… caused me to believe in my writing abilities.

For that… I thank you, Mr. Letterman.

I also thank Mr. Ellenberg.

I’ll cherish this incredibly special moment in my life… for the rest of my life. On my last day… if I exit the world’s stage with a smile on my face, its likely cause will be my recollection of how, for a fleeting moment, our two worlds had merged.

While I certainly do miss and shall always miss your presence on the Ed Sullivan Theater’s Late Show stage / seeing you seated behind your talk show desk… while I wish there could be more of your jokes, Top Ten Lists, Celebrity Top Ten Lists, sketches and interviews, I can also dig how and why, (just like your friend and mentor, Johnny Carson), you had so wisely decided not to stay too long at the fair.

Thanks for the mega-laughs. Thanks for those memorable, contemplative and heartfelt moments, too, such as your 1st post 9/11 broadcast and tribute to Johnny Carson.

I wish you all the best life has to offer you and your loved ones… in all the years ahead.

Sincerely,

Tom

PS ~ Enjoy this blast from the past clip… one featuring a musical collaboration between Doc Severinsen’s “Tonight Show Band” and Paul Shaffer’s “World’s Most Dangerous Band”