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
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
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
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
Get your Christmas week off to a hot start with this new jam from First to Eleven. What’s not to like? It’s a classic song of Christmas, a great lead singer, a dude in a Santa suit on the drums and a guitar solo to get your heart started. Everything about this is merry and bright. These kids rock: Ugly Christmas sweaters and all, you gotta love these guys. The dimples are just a bonus. Well done!
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
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