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Listen to Phil Spector, himself, as he introduces his famous Christmas album, circa 1963; then, watch and listen as some of those who actually worked on the album discuss the long hours they all put into it. Cher was one of them, a 16-year-old back-up singer on the album. Then, in the second video, listen to side one of the great Spector album, featuring with ‘White christmas’ like you’ve never heard it along with all the others… Phil Spector may be wallowing in jail today, but the his incredible music lives on and credit all those who played a part, ie the Wrecking Crew (Google ‘Wrecking Grew’ and learn a lot more and even subscribe to their updates.) They don’t make classic Christmas music anymore . Just think of all the songs we hear at Christmas time and they’re largely oldies, from these Spector classics to Brenda Lee’s ‘rockin ’round the Christmas Tree’ to Roy Orbison’s ‘Pretty Paper’ to Bobby Helm’s ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and a lot more good ones from artists like the Beach boys, the Four Seasons, etc we don’t hear quite as much. Next, we hear and see the two most famous Spector artists, Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love, perform some of their classics in a recent live performance . Love still performs her Spector classics on David Letterman every Chrstmas and both continue to perform well in concert. And finaally, how’s about a vintage clip of the Crystals peforming the great Gene Pitney-penned ‘He’s a Rebel,’ not a Christmas song but a Spector / Girl Group classic. As for the Coverlettes, they are a local, San Francisco ‘cover’ group, as their name implies. Actually the three ‘girl’ singers are long-time band members of ‘Big Bang Beat’ and other Bay Area groups, who do especially well with the oldies and started up the goup as a Christmas sppof some years ago. This was the first year I was able to get tickets and the December 23 show did not disappoint. No, it wasn’t the wall of sound – it was a more sparce, yet effective arrangement with only two guitars, drums and piano as lead instrument. Check out the Coverlette’s Facebook pages for some of their music clips @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Coverlettes/127724880622754?sk=wall So, I Thouroughly enjoyed the show tonight at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley (12-23-11). First time I’ve been able to catch the Christmas show. Enjoyed the classic Spectorian hits as welll as the more recent tunes like ‘Someday at Christmas.’ Nice sparce backing allowed the voices to stand out in a nice venue, again the first time I’d been there. Hope I don’t have to wait until next Christmas to hear this type of girl-group music again. How’s about the ‘Spector-ettes’ in the meantime. Great CD, too, and only $5.
It was sure good to see and hear a good Christmas music show. For years I had gotten great joy seeing the great Charles Brown reprise his Christmas and blues songs of the 1950s era, until his passing five or six years back. Now I hope to make this a regular part of my Christmas, and highly recommend it to anyone who likes good Christmas music or oldies or both.
In 1972-3 I used to listen to Dr Demento ( Barrett Hansen) a nd his ‘demented’ music on the radio while getting kicked out of UCLA. It wasn’t the good doctor’s fault. I was just a lousy student, or I’d rather be working int he real world like the doctor, even at KLA’s radio station, where I did broadcast an oldies show for no pay- or out learning in the real world. So much for pre-med. And, it was the same good doctor who, interestingly, was largely responsible for helping me graduate after being on probation. You see, he had just started teaching a class on the History of Rock and Roll at UCLA. Well, they told me I could take any two classes and I had to get a B average in both of them. Well, I got an A in both a sociology class as well as an A in Dr Demnto’s class, while having a ball and getting to know Dr a bit. Can’t believe40 years have passed but glad he’s still on the air – and the show hasn’t changed much as I remember. It’s been a couple decades at least since I’ve really listened to the show, which is easiest to pick up as an online feed for $2 a show or by joining the Demento club – and well worth it.
Here’s a sample of the special Christmas show playlist which I’m currently listening to :
Playlist courtesy of The Dr. Demento Show available on the web at http://dmdb.org/cgi-bin/plinfo.pl?drd11.1221.html The Dr. Demento Show #11-52 – December 21, 2011 Special Topic: Holiday part 3/3 (kid-friendly) Jingle Bells (Laughing All The Way) – St. Nick (The Just For Laughs Players) Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas – The Beatles Pink Christmas – Moneyshot Cosmonauts A Christmas/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Chanukah/Ramadan/Boxing Day Song – Christine Lavin & The Mistletones Christmas Travelogue – anonymous ¿Dònde Està Santa Claus? (Where Is Santa Claus?) – Augie Rios ‘Zat You, Santa Claus – Louis Armstrong & The Commanders Stuck In The Chimney – Lorne Greene I’m Gonna Put Some Glue Around The Christmas Tree – Joel Grey Santa’s Lament – Father Guido Sarducci Demented News With Whimsical Will Swingin’ Them Jingle Bells – Fats Waller Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – Joseph Spence (I Wanna Go) Surfin’ With Santa! – The Hollyberries Beatnik’s Wish – Patsy Raye & The Beatniks Blue Christmas – Seymour Swine & The Squeelers (I’m Spending) Hanukkah In Santa Monica – Tom Lehrer How The Grinch Stole Chanukah – Mike Toomey Nine Words – Lauren Mayer Monsters’ Holiday – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers Snoopy’s Christmas – The Royal Guardsmen Christmas On An Island With A Martian And A Gorilla – Red State Update Gridlock Christmas – The Hollytones The Chickens Are In The Chimes – Sascha Burland & The Skipjack Choir w/ Mason Adams I’m Walking Backwards For Christmas – The Goons Hardrock, Coco And Joe – cartoon soundtrack Scruffy The Elf – Corey Doak I Can’t Wrap – Scooter Picnic Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses I’m Waitin’ Up For Santa Claus – Nervous Norvus Santa Claus Boogie – Hasil Adkins Some Things For Christmas – Shari Lewis & Lambchop Dearest Mr. Santa Claus – Heywood Banks Dear Santa – Sean Morey Santa Claus Song – George P. Watson Santa’s Got An Airplane – The Beach Boys Outer Space Santa – Lawrence Welk’s Little Band The War Of The Lights – The Therapy Sisters Did You Heared What I Heared – Slidawg & The Redneck Ramblers Rusty Chevrolet – Da Yoopers Barnyard Christmas – Spike Jones & His City Slickers f/ The Bell Sisters A Daddy’s Christmas – Albert Brooks & Little Kristi I’m A Christmas Tree – Wild Man Fischer (Duet w/ Dr. Demento) Boogie Woogie Hanukkah – Gay Men’s Chorus Of Los Angeles Hanukkah Bird – Smooth-E Hanukkah Rocks – Gefilte Joe & the Fish Chinese Food On Christmas – Brandon Walker Holiday Greeting #5 (1987) – “Weird Al” Yankovic The Pretty Little Dolly – Mona Abboud The Night Before Christmas – Harry Kari Hallelujah Chorus (excerpt) – The Portsmouth Sinfonia O Holy Night – Tiny Tim Christmas Dragnet – Stan Freberg w/ Daws Butler & Orchestra Deck The Halls – Kukla, Fran & Ollie next week: Funny 25 ——– This playlist was sent to you automatically courtesy of the Demented Music Database at http://dmdb.org/ If you know of others who would like to receive these mailings, please have them send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with “subscribe playlists” as the subject line. In the body of the message, enter the exact e-mail address to which the playlists should be sent. (No scrambled “spam-proof” addresses, please.) Also, be sure that the e-mail address you entered is not preventing incoming mail from email@example.com