Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On The Fourth Day Of Christmas ...

The Forgotten Hits "Countdown To Christmas" continues this week with three brand new postings ... enjoy!

“1 in 10 stations created on Pandora are holiday music stations”, says the fast-growing Internet-only radio provider. Americans want their Christmas (and other) holiday music, and one of the ways they’ll get it through their self-created custom stations. Meanwhile, Pandora’s also offering its own stations, and it says its new “holiday genre” selections include Classical Christmas, Peaceful Holidays, Country Christmas, Jazz Holidays, Hanukkah and R&B / Pop Holidays, among others. Check ’em out
here. A recent Variety article (cited in RAIN) says Pandora is now up to 65 million registered users.
-- Ross On Radio

I was trying to get into the spirit of the season ...
but I think my attention span is 'shot'!
After ONE day ... I'd swear they ONLY played the same 10 songs, over and over! Bing & Bowie? Hard not to think of Bing beating his kids, but putting up a 'good front'!
And, except for a STRIP CLUB ... I don't see the reason for 'heavy' play in the rotation for SANTA BABY!
I did hear an occasional 'interpretation' of a Xmas standard by some 'stylist' that makes the song barely recognizable!
And I think you 'hear' the gap when they leave out the carols that include a religious reference ... (although they did slip in an ADESTE FIDELIS)
and, NOT ONCE, did they play GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER! (a favorite of mine from when my children were small) That song gets to me!
To think, I was there at the beginning, when a Xmas tradition song was born!(like when Gene Autry or Burl Ives made holiday history)
(how's them apples, you atheists?)

I will be featuring your wonderful Christmas song lists of these original Holiday classics as chosen by you throughout the month of December ...
Thanks again for making my job so easy and fun!
DJ Scarlett Hayze
Revolution Radio
Thanks, Scarlett ... GREAT opportunity for our readers to tune in and hear some of these songs in the context of what we've been talking about ... and, hopefully, introduce a whole new audience to some of this great, new material. (kk)


Kent ...
Since Michael Jackson passed away there have been 23 videos posted on the internet (including 13 new ones) that use a song I co-wrote for him, “LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE” (Clinton,Jr / Wayne) They have over 175, 000 combined views and it’s only six weeks until Christmas!

Click here: 13 NEW MICHAEL JACKSON VIDEOS! « Artie Wayne On The Web
Only a few thousand of our readers saw the INCREDBLE video I put up of Michael Jackson’s personal holiday photos, before the Jackson Family took it down!
Wait until you see what I found to replace it!
Artie Wayne

America To Release Christmas, Again « WCBS-FM 101.1
Holiday Album And TV Plans For America « WCBS-FM 101.1
Kent ...
You remember their big 1972 hit, don't you?
"A Reindeer With No Name".
Frank B.

America has re-issued its 2002 album Holiday Harmony with a bonus track!
A recent recording of “Holly Jolly Christmas” has been added for 2010.
“We wanted to put our stamp on these songs to make it apparent that it was this band America. Our voices tend to do that to anybody who's familiar with our music.” -- Dewey Bunnell
On the album, produced by fellow ’70s star Andrew Gold, the band mashes up two of its ’70s hits with seasonal classics “Horse With No Name” melodically joins “Winter Wonderland” and “Tin Man” spices up “White Christmas.” Dewey Bunnell credits Gold with the idea of adding the distinctive touch to the album. But he didn’t want to go too far he and band-mate Gerry Beckley drew the line at sampling instead of having characters such as the “Horse With No Name” or “Sister Golden Hair” appear in holiday stories. Dewey says he “had to be careful, trying to not to cliche those songs.”
America has a second holiday connection this season. They’ll be the musical guests on NBC’s skating special airing Christmas day. This year, past Olympic stars skate to their hits a formula that’s worked in past years with fellow hit-makers such as Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire.
We've actually had America's Christmas album for a few years now. While it's neat to see that they've added a new track ... I am NOT buying it again!!! (lol) Hey, America guys ... if you'd like to send us the new cut, we'd be happy to feature it as part of this year's Christmas celebration in Forgotten Hits! (kk)

By the way, one of our readers, John Blazier, sent us this picture of himself with Dewey and Gerry of America from a few years back ... we'll share it here and then also add it to our "Scrapbook Memories" page on the other Forgotten Hits website. (If YOU have a cool photo of yourself with some of our musical heroes, send it along ... we'll add YOUR shot to the page, too! Just give us the details: when, where, who, etc, etc, etc.)

Click here: Forgotten Hits - Scrapbook Memories

Let me suggest a recent Christmas song recorded by Joe Puerta, co-founder, bass player and vocalist for Ambrosia. The song is "I'm Coming Home For Christmas". It came out two years ago and was a was a holiday hit, especially here in Milwaukee (Joe's adopted home). There is a really sweet video to go along with this -- you can find on Youtube (soldier coming home theme with loads of sentimental old photos and film from 1960's)and the song is also available on i-tunes.
Joe lives in Milwaukee and runs a recording studio called The Exchange. Ambrosia still tours a bit (sparingly) and almost always makes a stop in Milwaukee during the summer. They put on a great show. This year they were at Festa Italiana and sounded great. They were also working on a new album at Joe's studio. Three of the four original members are still together and have added two newer members.
Bob Verbos,
New Berlin, WI.
Frannie and I are both HUGE Ambrosia fans ... so it didn't take much convincing to get us to feature this one! Thanks for sending, Bob! (kk)
Click here: YouTube - I'm Comin Home For Christmas
After watching this one, I also found a GREAT Christmas Track by Chris Rea, the "Fool If You Think It's Over" Guy. (Talk about your Forgotten Hits ... that's a GREAT one to feature on your programs!!! Top Ten, 1978!)
Anyway, his Christmas tune is called "Driving Home For Christmas" ... and I think you're really going to like it. (It already has over 3,000,000 hits ... so clearly we're not the ONLY ones that are totally diggin' it!) kk
Click here: YouTube - Chris Rea : Driving Home For Christmas

One of my favorite recent Christmas remakes is the Daryl Hall and John Oates version of "Jingle Bell Rock". The original singles came out pressed on Christmas Red and / or Green Vinyl ... and each side featured a different lead vocal (one by Daryl and one by John)! Pretty clever marketing campaign ... and they still play this one quite a bit at Christmas time to this day.
But we just found the "Literal Video" Version on YouTube ... if you enjoyed the "Daydream Believer" clip we sent out the other day, then you're gonna LOVE this one ... or actually, these TWO ... just like the record, they've put together back-to-back clips with completely different lyrics to signify the Daryl Hall and the John Oates versions. It's a whole lotta Christmas fun ... you can check 'em out here:
Click here: YouTube - Jingle Bell Rock: Literal Video Versions

WOW Kent, two thumbs up for Vance Brescia's "Xmas Dream" and "I'll Make Time for Xmas". Most people see Vance as Peter Noone's #1 Hermit, but the guy is soooo talented. I've got his latest CD that he put out about two years ago and the guy is extremely gifted with a voice most artists would kill to have. Not to mention the Vance-man is a kick in the pants if you ever get a chance to hang around him.
Whey these two tunes don't catch on (especially on the stations that play ALL XMAS MUSIC ALL THE TIME for months is beyond me.
You go Vanceman!
"Wild" Bill Cody
My guess is that they were never even given a chance. The Christmas play list for next year is already determined ... it'll be the same list as THIS year ... nothing new EVER seems to break through. Vance cut a couple of GREAT tracks but nobody gets to hear them. You can, however, pick up a copy of Vance's Christmas CD (and all of his other work) through his website:
Click here: Singer, songwriter Vance Brescia presents V-Place ... Watch, listen, laugh and learn about Vance's career and the
More on Vance next week ... including information about an upcoming radio appearance where he'll perform at least ONE of these Christmas tunes live on the air! (By the way, we're ALSO talking with Vance about doing a Christmas CD give-away ... an autographed copy to one lucky Forgotten Hits Reader ... so stay tuned for THAT, too!) kk

I was reading the recent "Third Day of Christmas" edition of FH's and I was shocked ... no, more like APPALLED ... that there are people out there who don't like Christmas music!!!! Granted, too soon after Halloween {definitely no later than Thanksgiving}, the airwaves ARE "saturated" with the sounds of the holidays and I don't like all of the new stuff they are coming out with BUT ... I love the traditional Christmas songs ... Bing Crosby's "White Christmas", Burl Ives' "Holly Jolly Christmas" ... too many to count. They all take me back to when I was a kid in Pennsylvania. I have my favorite renditions of certain songs, too, namely "Sleigh Ride", the instrumental, which, imho, was best done by Andre Kostelanetz and his orchestra and {even though they are totally different songs}, Mariah does not come close to Vince Vance and the Valiant's "All I Want for Christmas is You" {again imho. LOL}.
In response to Bob and Doug MacKenzie's "Twelve Days of Christmas", I was always curious about something in that song. Does anyone know what "tukes" are {as in the "five golden tukes"}??
Thanks Kent! Keep on carolling!!!
Tukes (I've also seen it spelled tuques, which I believe is the French spelling) are knitted wool hats worn in The Great White North (and were part of an ongoing bit from their whole "Hey Hoser" / "Take Off" / "Beauty" routine on SC-TV). And don't get me wrong ... I LOVE all of the old Christmas Classics ... I just think radio needs to slip in a "new" track now and then to help build a FUTURE Christmas Music legacy ... especially with SO many great new tunes coming out. (In fact, tomorrow we'll feature five of our favorites!) kk

And, speaking of great Christmas Music, be sure to check out oldies.com for more Christmas music and videos than you'll know what to do with! (They sent me an email last week that's just unbelievable!!!) Unfortunately we can't run it here ... but here's a link to the site ... just type in Christmas and be prepared to view pages ... and pages ... and pages ... and pages of Christmas delights! (kk)
Click here: Search: christmas : OLDIES.com

Hey Kent,
I hope I'm not dedicating this song to you or any of your readers this year.
Frank B.
Hmmm ... wonder why we never hear THIS one on the radio at Christmas time?!?!? (kk)

Probably not anytime soon! (lol) Frannie keeps telling me that I should post it on YouTube ... but I'm not quite sure that I'm ready to do that just yet! For right now, you'll just have to settle for the "audio version" one more time! (kk)