Friday, December 3, 2010

On The Third Day Of Christmas ...

Now HERE'S a great idea!!!

Why don't we cover The Twelve Days Of Christmas ...

only spread 'em out between now and the big day?!?!?

Sounds like a plan!

So here's Day Three ...

And, speaking of The Twelve Days Of Christmas ...

I was told by a mutual friend of ours, Jim Shea, that you could track down any song ... well, here’s a hard one for you!
I was hoping you could help me find a song that I heard about ten years ago on the radio while driving to Florida. My family and I were in one of the southern states and it was a “spin-off” of the 12 Days of Christmas, but has a Jeff Foxworthy type kick to it.
It was hysterical and the kids couldn’t stop laughing. They are in their 20’s now and still talk about the song with fond memories, but we have yet to find the song. Instead of the familiar line of “and a partridge in a pear tree”, it always ended with a line: “ ... and a beer”. And of course each one of the twelve days had something “redneck” about it, which made it so innocently funny.
If you could help me find this song, it would bring back some wonderful memories for my family this holiday season of a great trip that we took ten years ago. Thanks!
Hi Mary! (And thanks to Mr. Shea for the kind words ... actually, we DO have a pretty incredible hit ratio going on here right now!!!)
I think you may be confusing two different Christmas songs ... The "12 Days Of Christmas" parody that ends with "... and a beer" was done by Bob and Doug McKenzie of (Second City) SCTV (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) ... and was a popular FM Christmas track that originated back in the early '80's. (The duo also scored a Top 20 Pop Hit back in 1982 called "Take Off", which featured Rush vocalist Geddy Lee!)
Meanwhile, Jeff Foxworthy ALSO recorded a "12 Days Of Christmas" Parody called simply "Redneck Twelve Days Of Christmas" ... a completely different piece that incorporated many of his "You Might Be A Redneck If ..." type humor into the lyrics.
We're happy to feature BOTH of these tunes for you today ... maybe once you hear these again, between all your family members you can sort out which one is the one you heard on your trip to Florida! (kk)

Thank you so much for giving me the information on the “12 Days of Christmas” song. It was the one that we heard ten years ago, and it’s still just as funny as it was then. I’ll keep your website in my favorites next time I need any more strolls down memory lane.

Spare me from Christmas tunes!
They're coming ... and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!!! Truth is, there's just no escaping them!!! (And, honestly, I really DO love hearing these songs again each year ... in moderate doses.) Hopefully we'll have plenty of BRAND NEW Christmas Music to share with our readers again this year. (Artists ... drop me a note ... IN ADVANCE ... if you've got something you'd like us to feature around the holidays this season! We've already featured a few brand new tunes ... but we're always looking for more!) kk

I'm just not much into Christmas music, but I elect Marria Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You", 1994 (I think)!!! Like a Phil Spector production!!! :-)
Jersey John
Without question, Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" has become a recent Christmas Classic ... and it's a top-notch production all the way around. Carey (who co-wrote the song) captures the very spirit of the '60's / Spector sound yet keeps it all sounding fresh, new and contemporary. (Chances are her youngest fans didn't even catch the connection early on ... they just LOVED the way it sounded ... proving yet AGAIN how timeless this music really is!)
Carey created TWO videos for this track ... one, a full-color spectacle ... and the other another homage to that '60's sound, shot in black and white in classic girl-group fashion. (Love the whole look of this one ... down to the hairstyles, go-go boots and choreography!) You can check BOTH of them out right here:
Click here: YouTube - Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
Click here: YouTube - Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You Official Music Video

If the Mariah tune sets the benchmark for recent Christmas Hits, I've also got to mention another track that I'm especially partial to ...

It's The Wilson Sisters (Carnie and Wendy ... Brian's daughters) ... doing "Hey Santa" from 1994.

>>>Isn't it interesting how, at Christmas Time, ALL genres of music are played side by side and nobody thinks ANYTHING of it ... all of a sudden it's perfectly ok ... down right COOL, in fact ... to mix Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis in with John Lennon, David Bowie and Mariah Carey Christmas music ... and it ALL fits ... and it all sounds perfectly fine ... NATURAL, in fact! We've been working on this topic for a while ... but apparently nobody working IN radio quite gets it!
Another prime example is the television series "Glee" ... where nearly every week they pick a contemporary recent hit (or two), mix it in with a '70's or '80's classic rock tune or power ballad (done "Glee-style") and maybe even throw in a Show Tune from yesteryear ... once in a while even a vintage '50's or '60's song makes the cut ... PROVING again that this music absolutely CAN co-exist side by side, just like it did in the glory days of Top 40 Radio ... WITHOUT causing brain hemorrhages, seizures or musical melt-downs! (Whodathunk?!?!?)
Colorado Disc Jockey Mason Ramsey has been pushing (and featuring) his "Music Of The Ages" format for years now on ... you're likely to hear songs from the '40's, '50's, '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and today played side-by-side on a regular basis ... with NO excuses or explanations ... simply because the music FITS and feels right. A good song is a good song ... but radio has gone out of its way to segregate each and every format and then completely SATURATE their audience by playing the same 200 or 300 songs over and over and over and over again ad nauseam ... to the point that we now turn off some of our all-time favorite songs because we're simply sick of hearing them. Variety is COMPLETELY missing on today's radio dial ... far too often, even teasers like "you'll never know WHAT we're going to play next" simply means "the same frickin' song we played about four hours ago"!!!
ALL of this music makes up the soundtrack of our lives ... because we've all been exposed to ... and lived through ... ALL of it. Doesn't matter if WE bought it ... or our parents bought it ... or our kids are buying it now ... it is PART of us ... and I find it downright INSULTING that day after day radio continues to tell us what THEY think we REALLY want to hear rather than face this reality. (kk)
I'm not a big Christmas music fan.I find it curious that radio stations who don't normally play Andy Williams and Brenda Lee feel fit to play them during November and December. I also feel that radio formats covering multiple eras can work well.
The music of Andy Williams and Brenda Lee have LONG fallen off the beaten path of oldies radio ... but there are at LEAST half a dozen tracks by each that are fully deserving of airplay today ... and I guarantee you the audience will respond. How 'bout for starters we get a few of you jocks on the list to slip in ... "The Hawaiian Wedding Song", "A Fool Never Learns" or "Can't Get Used To Losing You" by Andy ... or "Coming On Strong", "I'm Sorry", "Sweet Nothin's" or "Break It To Me Gently" by Brenda Lee ... just TOTALLY sneak 'em in as part of a three or four song music block without ANY special commentary or fanfare ... and see what kind of reaction you get ... you just may be surprised! Just a TOTALLY random spin of one of these tunes ... and, after you GET that positive response, let's just see where all of this might go! (kk)

Each year it gets worse. Perhaps I can understand Xmas music programmed a week before the holiday, but the saturation is downright annoying. Why don’t we hear Xmas songs in the summer? We hear songs about summer in winter? I do not listen to any radio during the month of December as I do not like ANY Xmas music. Am I the only one who thinks that way?
You did bring up a good point the other day when you stated that Xmas is the only time of year that one hears a variety of music by different artists, regardless of genre. Now if only they weren’t Xmas songs.
Jack (Rock and Roll Never Forgets, but I’d like to forget Xmas)

Loved the read on this list ...
Thank you very much, I think I may be ordering a copy for my collection soon.
Also thank you for the link to the Paul Simon's Getting Ready For Christmas Day ...
I think I will be featuring it on Mystery Lyrics, too.
Merry Christmas to You & Frannie,

I know pre-Hallowe'en Xmas formats seem a little extreme, but maybe people need it ... that playlist you gave didn't look too bad. Actually, there are tons and tons of cool Christmas recordings out there ... you could probably spend the rest of your life re-discovering it all.

I enjoyed the discussion about Christmas music. I say why not listen to it year round? But between you and I, the mention of the Top 100 Christmas Songs over the past ten years causes frustrating thoughts. With the standards so set in stone, how does a new song make its way into the mainstream, especially when all traditional radio will play is the classic holiday songs.
Vance Brescia released a 2-track Christmas CD called "A Very V Christmas" in 2008. The Buckinghams also recorded one of the songs, "I'll Make Time For Christmas" on their "Joy of Christmas" CD the same year, but does anyone ever hear those songs? Only if they listen to! I feel the other track "Christmas Dream" truly has the potential to BE a Christmas classic. A beautiful melody, Vance's amazing voice, emotional Christmas love lyrics and a "feel" for the season in general ... it's all there! Now I'm up on MY soapbox. Unfortunately, there's no budget for anything more than a soapbox, so all we can do is spread the word however, wherever we can. Maybe someday the timing will be good and the right person will hear the music.
We've been very fortunate to be able to feature brand new Christmas Music every holiday season for the past few years now in Forgotten Hits. So many of these great artists continue to record good, viable music that is simply ignored within the confines of traditional radio. (Honestly, you'd think there'd be more leeway with introducing this music around the holidays ... a lot of stations are only featuring Christmas music anyway ... why NOT program in something new for a change? See what kind of reaction they get ... and just maybe, in the process, help establish another new classic or two along the way!!!)

Thanks to services like Forgotten Hits and Internet Radio, more of this music IS being heard ... and I firmly believe this has been a BIG part of the decline of terrestrial radio over the past several years ... listeners WANT more, despite what these high-paid, know-it-all programmers and consultants say. Sometimes you've got to take a chance and try something new ... push the envelope just a little bit further ... you never really know for sure what might catch on. (kk)
Of course, you feature new music … because you offer fans what THEY want, not just what the big guys THINK they want. I don’t know how you keep up with all you write about, but it’s great.

And I'm happy to feature Vance's songs today, too ... because I think the music fans out there will enjoy hearing them. So today you get both "Christmas Dream", Vance's Christmas single, along with the B-Side "I'll Make Time For Christmas", a song recently covered on The Buckinghams' Christmas CD, too! (kk)

For the majority of the year, we spend our time reminding folks about the GREAT Forgotten Hits that radio doesn't play anymore ... but at Christmas Time we're happy and proud to bring our readers some BRAND NEW FAVORITES ... 'cause odds are you just aren't going to hear them anywhere else ... or at least not through conventional radio means.
So send us some feedback on these tunes ... or call and email your local deejays and tell them that you just heard this GREAT new song by so-and-so and request that they play it on THEIR program, too. Who knows ... there might be a way to turn this around yet! (Especially when proven oldies artist favorites like Tommy James and The Buckinghams and so many others are recording BRAND NEW Christmas Music every year ... what they heck, guys ... you're playing these artists ANYWAY ... slip in one of their NEW tracks once in a while and let your listeners decide ... at least they'd know this stuff is available!) kk

Kent ...
This one ought to start a few arguments.
Here, thanks to and BDSNielsen, are the top 20 Christmas songs played on adult contemporary stations - between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 last year.
the songs themselves aren't surprising, though the order might be.
1 = " A Holly Jolly Christmas " - Burl Ives
2 = " Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree " - Brenda Lee
3 = " It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year " - Andy Williams
4 = " Jingle Bell Rock " - Bobby Helms
5 = " The Christmas Song " - Nat King Cole
6 = " All I Want for Christmas Is You " - Mariah Carey
7 = " Happy X-Mas ( War Is Over ) " - John Lennon
8 = " White Christmas " - Bing Crosby
9 = " Jingle Bell Rock " - Daryl Hall & John Oates
10 = " Feliz Navidad " - Jose Feliciano
11 = " Do They Know It's Christmas " - Band Aid
12 = " Wonderful Christmastime " - Paul McCartney
13 = " Please Come Home for Christmas " - Eagles
14 = " Last Christmas " - Wham !
15 = " Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer " - Gene Autry
16 = " It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas " - Johnny Mathis
17 = " Merry Christmas Darling " - Carpenters
18 = " Sleigh Ride " - Leroy Anderson
19 = " Christmas Canon " - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
20 = " Winter Wonderland " - Eurythmics
Frank B.
This is the same list WE ran several weeks ago in FH ... and actually it's not just LAST year's tally, but reflective of reports filed and compiled over the past TEN years! Yep, there ARE a few surprises! (kk)
Just for purposes of contrast, here are the top 10 Christmas songs played last year on urban radio:
1 = " This Christmas " - Donny Hathaway
2 = " Silent Night " - Temptations
3 = " Every Year, Every Christmas " - Luther Vandross
4 = " Let It Snow " - Boyz 11 Men
5 = " The Christmas Song " - Nat King Cole
6 = " What the Lonely Do at Christmas " - Emotions
7 = " Give Love on Christmas Day " - Johnny Gill
8 = " Someday at Christmas " - Stevie Wonder
9 = " Christmas Ain't Christmas , New Year's Ain't New Year's " - O'Jays
10 = "Please Come Home For Christmas " - Charles Brown
It's interesting to note that " The Christmas Song " by Nat King Cole was #5 on both lists. " Please Come Home For Christmas " by the Eagles was #13 on the adult contemporary list and " Please Come Home For Christmas " by Charles Brown was # 10 on the urban radio list.
Frank B.
Biggest surprise missing here for me is the OUTSTANDING Drifters' version of "White Christmas", ALWAYS one of my "soul" favorites (and a video clip we feature every year!) kk
Click here: YouTube - White Christmas

And, speaking of "White Christmas", here's MY favorite Christmas Song discovery from last year ... it's Tony Orlando doing his (very Randy Newman-like) rendition of "I Lose It When I Hear 'White Christmas'", co-written by our FH Buddy Artie Wayne and Toni Wine! (kk)
And, for "The Story Behind The Song", be sure to check out Artie's web page devoted to this topic:
Click here: “I LOSE IT WHEN I HEAR WHITE CHRISTMAS” « Artie Wayne On The Web

>>>1. A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

(Wow! I NEVER would have guessed this one to be #1 ... I mean, sure, they play it a lot ... but the #1 Most-Played Christmas Song of the Past Ten Years?!?!? Not by MY calculations ... but the stats don't lie!) kk

UPDATE: I spent 2 1/2 hours in the car yesterday ... and while flipping through the radio dial I heard this Burl Ives classic THREE TIMES in 150 minutes!!! Maybe it really IS the most-played Christmas Song on the Radio!!! (kk)

Another nice weekend edition, Kent.
Just read the Top 20 Christmas songs list.
Was this list compiled by your readers or what?
Seeing "White Christmas" drop to #8 -- as long as it has reigned at #1 -- did not actually surprise me as much as NOT seeing the Elvis classic, "Blue Christmas," two additional Gene Autry songs, "Here Comes Santa Clause" and "Frosty The Snow Man," and The Carpenters, "Merry Christmas, Darling."
Of course, who could possibly forgot those other two Christmas classics, "Jingle Bells" by "The Singing Dogs" and "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" Elmo and Patsy.
By the way, that the all-time #1 selling record, "White Christmas," was recorded by Bing in 18 minutes!! Yes, 18 minutes. And he didn't use Pro Tools vocal tuning:)
Ah, those glorious days of old when pure 'God-given talent' ruled! And, speaking of 'talent,' I went on for another dose of the Chordettes smash, "Mr. Sandman." While I was online, I checked out their video of "Lollipop." You gotta see this if you have not already done so. Right there on the old film clip is none other than a VERY young Andy Williams doing the "popping" sound.
Here's a link to one of the numerous YouTube clips of the song...there are multiple versions but the combined views are well over 6,000,000! Yes, a 'timeless' classic!

Click here: YouTube - The Chordettes - Lollipop
Cadence Records owner / producer Archie Bleyer certainly had a knack for 'discovering' talent: The Chordettes, Andy Williams, Lenny Welch, The Everly Brothers, Link Ray, Johnny Tillotson -- even the 1955 #1, Bill Hayes, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett."
Of course, even with the millions upon millions of records these artists sold -- to say nothing of their legions of loyal fans -- only Don and Phll made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Treasure Isle
"Music City, USA"
Over six million views, eh?!?! Nope ... certainly no mass appeal there. Wouldn't want to program any Chordettes music on an oldies station!!!

Just further proof that much of the music we continue to ignore today truly is timeless ... but ONLY if each new generation has the opportunity to discover it. Sadly, this USED to be the job of radio ... but now they'd rather focus on beating the same 200-300 songs into our heads every day instead. These days we have to rely on publications like Forgotten Hits and websites like YouTube to get the word out. Thankfully, we've still got enough readers out there who were THERE at the time and remember how great this music was ... and still is. Hopefully, clips like these will outlive us all and future generations will continue to discover the music that made us so happy when we were growing up. Is "Lollipop" a great song? A timeless classic? Probably not ... but does it deserve a place in our memory and in our hearts? Absolutely. Thanks to its use in television commercials and movie soundtracks, new people have had the opportunity to discover this song again ... and fall in love with its infectious hook just like WE did back in the day. What a shame that SOME percentage of programming can't be dedicated to rekindling more of these early classics.
Oh, and for the record ... that Top 100 Christmas Song List was NOT compiled by us ... that list is based on ACTUAL radio airplay as reported over the last ten years. AMAZING how some of the "timeless classics" have fallen a peg or two. And you're right ... where was "Blue Christmas" by Elvis? "The Chipmunk Song" by The Chipmunks? I swear I still hear these two (and deservedly so!) AT LEAST a hundred times each holiday season! (kk)

And don't forget about Paul Revere and the Raiders' special Christmas Show at The Andy Williams Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri ... full details on the Paul Revere and the Raiders website!

Click here: Paul Revere & the Raiders