The Christmas Music of John Denver

The Christmas Music of John Denver

Each decade seems to produce a dominant performer in the popular music of Christmas. In the 1970s that performer was John Denver. Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr in 1943, John Denver first rose to fame as the lead of The Mitchell Trio. As a late sixties folk-singing anti-government group The Mitchell Trio was slightly out of step with the times because they were clean-cut and wholesome. By 1969 Denver set out on his solo career. For Christmas Denver gave friends and family a demo recording of songs, some which he wrote himself. One he titled, “Babe, I Hate to Go”.Read more

Christmas 1945: The Biggest Celebration of Christmas Ever

Christmas 1945: The Biggest Celebration of Christmas Ever

As peace broke out in 1945 a literal race began to get the world at war back home for Christmas. Historians have called the Christmas of 1945 the biggest celebration of Christmas ever. In the below edition of the Merry Little Podcast we discuss how the years of 1941-1944 changed Christmas. It was an unprecedented period of Christmas withheld. Families separated for the first time in generations as many sent their sons and daughters off to fight a war in far-flung parts of the globe. They went not knowing when – if ever – they would return. (Many did not).Read more

Best of New Christmas Music from A Cappella Trudbol

Best of New Christmas Music from A Cappella Trudbol

The miracle of the Internet and modern musical technology gives us music that simply wasn’t possible hundreds of years ago when God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen was created. Bear that in mind when you listen to this more accurate rendition of the song by a single man carrying four different parts. This song is one of the most abused in all of Christmas music and it is refreshing to hear it presented as it “should” be performed: Julien Neel is a one-man barbershop quartet. His business is creating learning videos for vocal parts. A happy byproduct of that are hisRead more

Great Christmas Video from the Glitter Bomber

Great Christmas Video from the Glitter Bomber

Honestly, this has not been a great year for the non-musical Christmas video. Usually we get a host of Christmas light videos, Christmas pranks or Christmas-themed story telling coming out of YouTube but this year has been fairly boring in that realm. Until now. What follows here could be the Christmas-Video-of-the-Year. Seriously. It’s a little long, but well worth the invested time for anyone who has ordered Christmas online only to have it stolen right off the front porch: I love his comparison to Kevin McCallister. It totally fits and that makes this Christmas. This is quite definitely a 21stRead more

Best of New Christmas Music from Yohan Kim

Best of New Christmas Music from Yohan Kim

Here is a showcase of incredible talent from a young South Korean pianist named Yohan Kim. He made a splash on Youtube a few years ago as a 13 year old. But to listen to this now…wow. Just wow: There is so much talent here it is almost breathtaking to watch. I just cannot wait to see what else this guy does in his career going forward. What I find especially thrilling are the comments I cannot read written in Korean on his videos. Clearly this young man has a lot of home-grown fans and support. To bring that supportRead more

Best of New Christmas Music from Def Leppard

Best of New Christmas  Music from Def Leppard

Here is a new Christmas song that does my heart much good. Aging rockers Def Leppard — a group I have been a rabid fan of for decades and that I can glad admit has annoyed both my mother and my children — has released a pretty decent Christmas rock ballad called We All Need Christmas. Guess what? It rocks: Just months away now from their well-deserved induction in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Def Leppard released the Christmas single as part of their latest “best of” album. Their induction into the hall of fame was driven byRead more

Best of New Christmas Music from Richard Elliott

Best of New Christmas Music from Richard Elliott

The annual Christmas concert by the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square is one of the toughest tickets to get in Salt Lake City and the show always goes on to air nationally on PBS. One of the unheralded heroes of the annual event is organist Richard Elliott, whose solo performance always brings down the house. Here he is with a very active version of I Saw Three Ships: We have become huge fans of Richard Elliott. His work at Christmas is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creative organ work. We single him outRead more

Best New Christmas Music from Home Free

Best New Christmas Music from Home Free

There are many songs of Christmas that are not, well, Christmas. This is one of them. But it is a Christmas song. I know — but hang with me here a minute. Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, Baby It’s Cold Outside — are all Christmas songs that do not even mention Christmas. Yet they have a place in Christmas. Home Free has just released a new single of Auld Lang Syne, the song of New Year that gets plenty of Christmas love, including from us, because these guys play it straight in their tight, distinctive style: Auld Lang Syne features prominentlyRead more

Baby, It’s Climbing the Charts

Baby, It’s Climbing the Charts

Only a week after Baby, It’s Cold Outside was banned on two major radio stations in Ohio and California the song is seeing resurgent popularity on Billboard’s charts. The song appeared three times on Billboard’s Holiday Digital Song Sales Chart, which is the most for any title. In fact, the song’s recent climb represents the survey’s largest jump. Dean Martin’s version jumped from No. 23 to No. 2 on the Holiday Digital Song Sales Chart, which is the song’s highest rank in seven years. Martin’s version of the song jumped from No. 33 to No. 25 on the streaming versionRead more