Paypal is really ticking some people off in the UK. Like many pushing Christmas shopping early in the UK Paypal has jumped into the race for schmaltzy Christmas commercial dominance with an ad that irritates instead of inspires. Some think they are dissing Santa Claus — or at least tipping off children that Santa is not real. What kind of company does not believe in Santa. The premise of the commercial is simple enough. Two little boys anxious for Christmas observe that their parents seem to doing less shopping than normal for this time of the year. Normally grandparents come over to tend while parents are out getting Christmas loot. This year, not so much because Mummy and Dad areRead more
Bing Crosby was the face, the voice and the soul of Christmas for nearly 40 years. Through radio, movies and ground breaking television Crosby took Christmas to millions year after year. Already an established radio star in the 1930s Crosby broke out in movies in the 1940s and established the standard of all gold standards of Christmas with his recording of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas in 1942. Even movies not really intended to be Christmas movies starring Crosby became Christmas classics. Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary’s showcased Bing’s acting talents as the golden-hearted Father O’Malley. In the 1950s Crosby would release White Christmas as a Hollywood feature film and to follow would be even more iconicRead more
Andy Williams’ Christmas television specials of the 1960s and 1970s were traditional seasonal viewing back in the day and the Osmond brothers practically grew up on those episodes. More or less discovered by Williams after an appearance at Disneyland in the early 1960s the Osmonds went on to a storied career as teen idols and television shows of their own later during the 1970s. In this clip we catch them mid-stride — long before Donnie became an international star or Marie took center stage. It’s great nostalgic stuff:
Here’s a great Christmas story: Barrie Hall, 73, has spent eight months converting the second-hand 7mph disabled carriage into the iconic red wagon to raise money for a cancer charity. The ten-wheel imitation truck comes complete with a picture of Santa holding a bottle of pop on the side and is lined with red-and-white flashing lights. It comes a year after Barrie, who has battled Leukaemia for the last five years, turned his late wife Susan’s mobility scooter into Santa’s sleigh. Susan tragically died from mouth cancer in 2010 aged 68. Barrie, who has six grown-up children and 12 grandchildren, said: “Last year I decorated my late wife’s scooter for Christmas, but this time I wanted to do something bigger.Read more
The annual Christmas concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has become a staple of Christmas television on PBS and has provided release after release of reliably solid Christmas entertainment on both DVD and CD for years now. But I will admit to being a bit apprehensive attending the 2014 Christmas Concert in Salt Lake City titled Keep Christmas With You featuring Sesame Street’s Muppets. As better than 21,000 people streamed into the Conference Center for the first time a great many attendees were children, many of them young and small. How were they going to occupy their time and keep their attention for so many kids up so late? I need not have worried. The kids were enthralled, as wellRead more
One of the earliest announced television specials for 2015 now has a trailer — A Very Murray Christmas is Bill Murray’s idea of a Christmas special and it is produced by and coming to Netflix this December 4th: Set inside New York City’s iconic Carlyle hotel, A Very Murray Christmas opens with Murray preparing to host a live, international holiday broadcast. After a blizzard shuts down the production, he makes the best of the situation by singing and celebrating with friends, hotel employees and anyone else who drops by. The guests, of course, are all celebrities — Paul Shaffer, George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, Amy Poehler, etc.
Remember Bob Ross? He’s the guy who could paint anything. We used to watch on PBS him when we were kids. We would groan whenever we were told we had to watch him then we’d sit there mesmerized as he did his magic all while speaking in the monotone style of a golf announcer. The dude is amazing. We don’t know if Old Bob is still at it or not but we were sent this clip and we can’t help sharing it. Advising us to go in “tiny little circles” as we blend. See if you can watch this without keeping your face glued to the screen without saying “how does he do that?”: “We don’t make mistakes, you know.Read more
Eddie Cantor, a comedian from the 1930s was given a new Christmas song to sing for his radio audience in 1934. Targeted at kids, the songwriters were frustrated at their inability to get it recorded and sold. Record labels thought the appeal too narrow to be successful. Cantor sang it live in a performance that was never recorded. The song proved such a hit it was recorded later by Tom Stacks in this memorable arrangement: The song was written in October 1933 by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots, reportedly on a New York subway car while traveling to a music publisher’s office. Gillespie, known for his children songwriting talent and charged with Coots to come up with a children’sRead more
There is not a Christmas lover anywhere who does not know well the text of the Christmas story from Luke Chapter 2, from the New Testament. But never have you heard it with such precise storytelling ability as we see in this video of John Rhys-Davies with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: For as great as that telling is on stage, listen to Rhys-Davies explain why this story is so important: Do you think he knows and understands the meaning of Christmas?
Two Christmas specials of the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour Variety Show dating from the 1970s will be made available on DVD this fall. The shows originally aired in December 1969 and December 1970, and featured a mix of sketches and musical performances. Among Campbell’s guest on the episodes were singers Anne Murray and Jerry Reed, and comedians George Gobel and Shecky Greene. The DVD sells for a list price of $19.96 but will be discounted for pre-orders from various online vendors. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour aired on CBS from January 1969 to June 1972. The legendary dimpled-chin singer has been in the news in recent years due to his open battle with Alzheimer’s. His last single released in 2014Read more