The Five Greatest Christmas Albums of the 1960s

The Five Greatest Christmas Albums of the 1960s

By D. Lon Nichols, Guest Blogger at MMC Many people consider the 1940s and 1950s to be the golden era of Christmas music. But to me the 1960s was a time when Christmas music broke out of traditional molds and brought us true classics. We hear more Christmas music from the 1960s on the radio these days than we hear of Crosby, Autry and Cole of the 40s and 50s. It is time to acknowledge that. One of the best of the 1960s came from Johnny Cash – an artist who’s rough edge was worn smooth by the message of his music. This was never showcased better than in his 1969 album, The Christmas Spirit. While I tend to shyRead more

The Story of O Holy Night

The Story of O Holy Night

O Holy Night is like the national anthem of Christmas songs. Hauntingly beautiful but so difficult to sing it is often presented a cringe-worthy performances by even the best of singers (Celine Dion is perhaps the best example of one who over-sings the song). Here is a new version, shown as much of the great music of today is as a tale beyond the music, from Gentri: O Holy Night is a Christmas song of French origin. In 1847, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was the commissioner of wines in a small French town. Known more for his poetry than his church attendance, it probably shocked the man when his parish priest asked him to pen a poem for Christmas mass.Read more

How Great Thou Art as Christmas Music

How Great Thou Art as Christmas Music

We continue to witness great songs of praise coming out as Christmas music this year. Below is a viral video from vocal band Home Free with their rendition of How Great Thou Art, on this year’s re-release of their Christmas album, Full of Cheer – The original Swedish text for “How Great Thou Art” was a poem entitled “O Store Gud” written in 1886 by a Swedish preacher, Carl Boberg, editor of the periodical Sanningsvittnet. Boberg’s inspiration for “How Great Thou Art” came from a visit to a beautiful country estate on the southeast coast of Sweden. He got caught in a midday thunderstorm with awe-inspiring moments of flashing violence, followed by a clear brilliant sun. Soon afterwards he heardRead more

This Christmas and Jingle Bells Mashup by Anthem Lights

This Christmas and Jingle Bells Mashup by Anthem Lights

Something old and something new…ish. The video below by Anthem Lights is a mashup of Jingle Bells (old) and This Christmas (newish). Surprisingly, it’s a good fit with this talented arrangement: Anthem Lights is a Christian pop group based in Nashville, Tennessee. They were formed in 2011, the year their first EP topped out at #42 on the charts. Anthem Lights can trace its roots back to the fall of 2007, when singer/songwriter Alan Powell joined forces with then aspiring solo artist Chad Graham. Both were living in Los Angeles at the time, to pen songs for Chad’s solo effort. But providentially, the more they wrote, the more it became clear that these powerful, harmonic songs were meant for aRead more

Songs of Praise as Christmas Music

Songs of Praise as Christmas Music

In the most recent episode of the Merry Podcast we discuss a trend in Christmas music that sees traditional songs of praise released on Christmas albums. Here is a great example of that in the latest video from Peter Hollens and his new Christmas album titled A Hollens Family Christmas features Amazing Grace with the vocal band Home Free: Peter’s new album is OUTSTANDING. But his inclusion of Amazing Grace on a Christmas album is important and interesting. Most ancient Christmas carols are songs of praise. Joy to the World, O Come All Ye Faithful and even Away in a Manger are examples of such songs. That is because the traditions of Christmas past anciently centered on telling the storyRead more

The Best Christmas Carol You Have Never Heard

The Best Christmas Carol You Have Never Heard

Some Christmas carols are so old it is hard to tell which is older — the lyrics or the tune. Below is a carol thought to be one of the oldest Christmas tunes ever. Few today know it well and it is presented here as something new and fresh to Christmas music fans. 500 years ago tunes were performed publicly only occasionally and, of course, there was no radio or television to play things over and over. Songs then were re-purposed for a variety of uses. The song What Child is This? is perhaps the most well known Christmas song that also reflects a different purpose for the tune in Greensleeves. The tune for the song below is so oldRead more

Kenzie Nimmo Releases Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Kenzie Nimmo Releases Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Kenzie Nimmo kicks off the rush of new Christmas music videos with this minimal and stirring version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Take a listen: Singer-songwriter Kenzie Nimmo is well known for her cover songs which she posts to her enormously popular Vine account and highly subscribed YouTube channel as well. She released her viral video, “Cool Kids,” when she had only 1,900 followers. She grew up participating in musical theater and many other musical activities. She went to school for music at BYU where she met Harris Heller, another music student with whom she started working on originals and YouTube videos. A year and a half later, they got married and started a music business together. PleaseRead more

Peter Hollens Releases What Child Is This

Peter Hollens Releases What Child Is This

Peter Hollens brings us his 2nd new video from his Christmas album, A Hollens Family Christmas – What Child is This? Hollens calls it a follow-up to his smash video release last year of Mary, Did You Know? What Child is This? Has a long history as a Christmas carol. The tune – Greensleeves — is much older than the lyrics, dating back to the 15th century, if not earlier. Greensleeves was once upon a time a tune not previously associated with religious works and some mistakenly credit King Henry VIII with writing the song. The song is an ancient English folk tune whose date of creation isn’t actually known. The earliest known mention of the song dates from 1580Read more

Debut of December Song by Peter Hollens

Debut of December Song by Peter Hollens

As we shared earlier this month Peter Hollens is releasing his first full Christmas album and this is his first video release from that album, an original called December Song: This is a very anticipated release. Hollens usually works with artists, groups and choirs large and small in creative covers and according to his own comments on the backend of this video his new album includes some 4300 other individuals. Between Jackie Evancho and Home Free alone it promises to be quite a work. To say this album is eagerly awaited in an understatement. The album is now on sale on Amazon and dozens of other places but we believe Patreon members of Hollens’ group these can still get 25%Read more

Pentatonix Releases Hallelujah

Pentatonix Releases Hallelujah

This has got to be one of the most over covered songs of recent Christmas albums. But this is Pentatonix. That means it is fresh, stirring — a must listen and a must watch: The is the first release of their new album, A Pentatonix Christmas. If you thought you’ve heard too much of them these past few years just check that at the door. A Pentatonix Christmas features versions of “White Christmas,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,” and other tunes you’ll be blasting in the coming months. Stay tuned for more to come. Please follow and like us:

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