Friday, December 10, 2010

Coal In Your Stocking

Well, they can't ALL be gems, right?!?!?

Here are a couple of recent Christmas recordings that have NOT had us singing "Joy To The World" ... but still seem to be capturing the hearts of some of you out there.

(Today's edition of Forgotten Hits also helps give credence to the old adage that turkeys aren't JUST for Thanksgiving!!!)

Enjoy ... or not!!! (Consider it all in the spirit of giving at Christmas Time!) kk

First up, Three Dog Night ... doing a perfectly unnecessary version of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree". I'm sure they meant well ... but this one just misses the mark for me! (Although these guys DID give us an entirely DIFFERENT version of "Joy To The World" a few years back that set the music world on it's ear ... it stayed at #1 for SIX WEEKS back in 1971!) Actually, if you play this one enough times, it DOES kinda start to grow on you ... but my initial reaction when hearing it for the first time was simply "Why?!?!?"

Here's another one ... again, I'm sure everybody's heart was in the right place ... but this recording just never seems to capture the emotion deserving of this song ... it all sounds very rushed (and, to me, quite a bit like Roger Whittaker's "The Last Farewell"!!! Now THERE'S another Forgotten Hit that may best well remain forgotten!!! But honestly, hearing it once in a while just to break the monotony of the same old / same old just might make you appreciate "the good stuff" even more!)
This is Trini Lopez doing "Do You Hear What I Hear" (medley'd into a very tepid version of "Feliz Navidad" ... c'mon Trini, you were Jose Feliciano before Jose Feliciano was even Jose Feliciano ... put some emotion into this thing!!!) kk

Those are a couple of MY holiday turkeys ... but, quite honestly, some of the stuff YOU guys have been suggesting isn't exactly rockin' my Christmas stocking either!!! Check out a couple of these "gems"!!!

A song that I have played every Xmas for the last 25 years on the air is a song called "I Found The Brains of Santa Claus", I'm not sure who did it. I have it on a DAT Tape only, but over the years, I think I've had more requests for that one song than any other.
"Wild" Bill Cody
Well, I've never heard it before ... but we can generally find JUST about anything ... and Tom Diehl came up with this tune as recorded by Jason and the Strap-Tones. Not sure if this is the one you aired on your program ... but I've gotta believe it captures the mood and spirit of the song ... in a "Now that's sick and depressing" sort of way! (lol) Here you go! (kk)

Neil Diamond has put out a version of Adam Sandler’s Chanukah song. To quote a line from the song, it’s not too shabby. Also check out Chanukah Rocks, by Gefilte Joe & the Fish. Remember we get eight crazy nites, although I knew of no one who ever got stuff all eight nites. Me, I got shafted as my b-day is in December.
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)
Chanukah Rocks!
Click here: YouTube - Neil Diamond The Chanukah Song
Ummmmmmmmmm ... no! That's just wrong!!! (kk)

Hey Kent,
I am totally loving the Christmas postings ... the information, the comments and varied opinions. One of my favorites that gets a lot of play in my area (Spfg, Mo.), is The Menopause Song by Cahal Dunne. It is to the tune of Here Comes Santa Claus. Now maybe it's just me ... a female in her fifties ... but I find this song really speaks to you. Especially the part that says PMS stands for punish my spouse. But that's just me. Actually, my spouse bailed before the menopause years hit. He said I was already mean enough he couldn't imagine having to deal with menopause as well. Funny though, now that we are no longer married, we are the best of friends even with the whole menopause thing. Go figure??????
Merry Christmas

Again, I'm not sure if this is the same song you're referring to or not ... but I've got to believe it's something similar. I just don't think I'll be singing this one all day long! (kk)

We all have our own Christmas traditions ... one fairly recent one for us is watching "Love Actually" after we put the tree up ... and "White Christmas" on Christmas Day.
"White Christmas", of course, is a classic ... and even though the film version (starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen) wasn't made until 1954, a dozen years after Der Bingle first crooned this tune in "Holiday Inn", it's the version that I best remember for capturing the holiday spirit of Christmas. (The scene where they surprise The General with their Christmas show at the lodge still chokes me up every single time! Also, check out dancer / actress Vera Ellen in this film ... I swear she's got a 13" waist!!!)

The film also gave us the beautiful classic "Count Your Blessings", later a hit for the recently departed Eddie Fisher.
"Love Actually", on the other hand, was pretty well panned by the critics ... but we LOVED it!!! (There are several independent storylines that run throughout the film and then all come together at the end ... very well written, I thought, and it has an INCREDIBLE soundtrack!)
One of the highlights is British Actor Bill Nighy playing washed up, burnt-out rock star Billy Mack, trying to make a comeback with a Christmas Single based around the old Troggs' Hit "Love Is All Around You", always one of my '60's favorites.
The fact that the lyrics simply don't fit within the melody of the song is just one of its many charms. (Mack swearing that he'll perform the song live on Christmas Day in the nude if it reaches #1 is another!!!)
You'll find great music throughout the film including "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys, "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, an absolutely KILLER rendition of the Fleetwood Mac tune "Songbird", performed by Eva Cassidy, "The Trouble With Love Is", one of Kelly Clarkson's finest performances ever and a Hugh Grant music video set to The Pointer Sisters' Hit "Jump" that you'll want to watch again and again. (You'll also enjoy the version of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" as performed by a very young Olivia Olson ... this girl can SING!!!)
For those of you who haven't seen it, Frannie and I both give it our highest recommendation ... and today we're featuring the Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) track "Christmas Is All Around You". (Go ahead, TRY and sing along ... we dare you!!! lol)

P.S. If you DO go out and rent this movie ... and we hope that you do ... watch for some of the amazing cameos that pop up throughout the film!)

Now admittedly, this is bad ... but it's bad in a way that also makes it fun ... it makes you kind of cringe and smile at the same time, ESPECIALLY after you've seen the film. Some of these others featured today are simply cringe-worthy and nothing more ... there's just no redeeming payoff anywhere to be found!

So with that, we'll wrap up "Coal In Your Stocking" for this year ... and try to feature BETTER tunes from this point forward! (kk)

Yeah, when's the last time you got one of THESE?!?!?
Well, I figure that we've gotta feature at least ONE good one here today ... or you may not come back tomorrow!!!
That being said, here's the Eddie Fisher version of "Count Your Blessings" from 1954. (kk)