Christmas Songs You Don’t Know that You Know

Christmas Songs You Don’t Know that You Know

Some Christmas songs are so familiar we can pick out a tune in the middle of July. Other Christmas songs have titles so obscure or from another language that we couldn’t pick them out if they were handed to us. The brand new episode of the Merry Podcast explores this in depth with an hour long exploration into great music you maybe have heard but can’t talk about. Here’s a good example: last Christmas hot vocal super group Pentatonix released the following single of a famously old Christmas tune brilliantly performed…that almost no one can name: What is great about Christmas music like this is that the songs are so very old and many have a back story of ChristmasRead more

Katy Perry’s Forgettable Christmas Song

Katy Perry’s Forgettable Christmas Song

Some are saying this is the new viral video of Christmas. We cannot imagine why. This video is emblematic of nearly everything wrong with Christmas today. It’s boring, it’s over-the-top, it is commercial and there is nothing original about it. But you’re going to watch it anyway because it’s Katy Perry. Oh, and the music? Forgettable.

Osmond Brothers Christmas Medley of 1969

Osmond Brothers Christmas Medley of 1969

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:

Review: MoTab with the Muppets Christmas Concert

Review: MoTab with the Muppets Christmas Concert

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

The History of Santa Claus is Coming to Town

The History of Santa Claus is Coming to Town

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

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

Quick trivia question: what group has sold more Christmas albums than any other in the past 30 years? That would be Mannheim Steamroller, that improbable group of classic rock/classical/baroque combo that makes music like no other. Steamroller hung around the fringes of popular music for nearly a decade until they released their first Christmas album in 1984 titled Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. This album went platinum six times and finally launched Mannheim Steamroller into the mainstream. On this day in 1984, this single was released marking the debut of the album and consequently it causes us to declare that with just 132 days remaining until Christmas today is Mannheim Steamroller Day: The Steamroller rolls on these days — releasing new albumsRead more

Glen Campbell’s Christmas Variety Shows Coming to DVD

Glen Campbell’s Christmas Variety Shows Coming to DVD

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