A Marshmallow World

A Marshmallow World

It’s a Marshmallow World was introduced by Bing Crosby, of course, way back in 1950. It was a golden era for new Christmas music and Bing cranked them out better than anyone. It was a hit, but a minor one for Crosby, at least compared to his other Christmas tunes. The song was covered by several artists over the next several years but it never found its lasting identity until Dean Martin recorded it in 1966 as part of The Dean Martin Christmas Album. Funny thing is it wasn’t hit for Martin at the time. The album did well —Read more

Herb Alpert Releasing New Christmas Album

Herb Alpert Releasing New Christmas Album

Fans of trumpeter Herb Alpert have waited 50 long years – okay, well, 49 long years – for the follow up to his 1968 LP, Christmas Album. On September 29th, Alpert releases the long-rumored holiday album titled The Christmas Wish. And it not Herb alone either – he’s got a host of friends in a 45-piece orchestra, a 10-piece rhythm section and a 32-member choir. That sounds suspiciously like the ingredients of his first Christmas album which dropped on the 16th of December 1968 – and rocketed to the top of Billboard’s Christmas chart. Here is what we get thisRead more

What You Do Not Know About Sweet Little Jesus Boy

What You Do Not Know About Sweet Little Jesus Boy

Few of the songs of Christmas so directly conveys the personal appeal of Jesus Christ like the song Sweet Little Jesus Boy. Mistaken by many to be an old American spiritual sung by slaves of the south in the 19th century the song was actually written in 1934 by white American composer Robert MacGimsey. Born in Louisiana, MacGimsey was a lawyer who had a passion for composing what many people of his generation called “black music”. MacGimsey may have been white but he was raised in the company of blacks who gave him a rich background in the gospel musicRead more

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 ofRead 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 hisRead 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 caughtRead 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.Read 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 aRead 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 songRead 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 onRead more