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CHRISTMAS OLDIES ARE TIMELESS JESSE BELVIN I Want You Christmas
The VENTURES -‘Snowflakes’ ala Greensleeves upbeat instrumental
CHARLES BROWN’s ‘Please Come Home for Christmas’ has to be in the top 10 of all Christmas songs
Not sure if Gene had any Christmas hits but there’s nothing more Christmas than this beautiful rare version of the Lord’s Prayer
A rarity from Gene Pitney, appropriate for Christmas
SOLOMON BURKE – Presents for Christmas
For a change of pace let’s look back at this wonderful interview from probably the late 70s with GENE PITNEY done by the equally wonderful Canadian DJ RED ROBINSON…DEFINITELY FITTING FOR CHRISTMAS… in which a very honest Pitney speaks frankly how music and the times changed from the 60s to the 70s-and not for the better Christmas is timeless. While music changes along with everything else the rest of the year we come back to the tried and true standards that brung us here. How can you beat the likes of Rockin Around the Chrsitmas Tree, White Christmas (Bing, Drifters and others), Phil Spector’s classics – Phil celebrates a birthday this week!, Pretty Paper,Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, O Holy Night and so many more. Roch, Country, Pop and R and B all come together like families this one time of year… Enjoy your/our favoirtes!
IF THE PHIL SPECTOR CHRISTMAS ALBUM isn’t the best all time Christmas LP we’d like to know a better one. Here’s side 1 to start things off..
JACKIE WILSON was sometimes called the Black Elvis, with not dissimilar looks and near operatic vocal style on ballads
FOUR SEASONS, like many had thier own Christmas album with some great songs like this one , that became a hit
DION (no not Celine please) doing his great version of the Phil spector classic sung orignally by Darlene Love and Crystals. Dion has a great Christmas album out around 2009.
ELVIS’ Christmas classic ‘Blue Christmas
THE KILLER, JERRY LEE LEWIS Doing his version of Blue Christmas, originally recorded by Jim Reeves; Elvis was not the first
FATS DOMINO had his own Chirstmas album a few years back when Dion did and it was also a real sleeper that didn’t get the airplaly. How’s HIS version of ‘Blue Christmas’ here…
CHARLES BROWN, Mr. Merry Christmas Baby, with his original of “Please Come Home for Christmas’ circa 1961
THOSE GOLDEN OLDIES MEDLLEY – NICE OBSCURITIES AND VISUALS
Bob Crewe, a singer, songwriter and producer who helped write “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and other top-10 hits for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in the 1960s as well as the risque pop-disco favorite “Lady Marmalade,” died Sept. 11 in Scarborough, Maine. He was 83.
The cause was complications from a fall several years ago, said his brother Daniel Crewe. A longtime Los Angeles resident, Bob Crewe moved to a nursing home in Maine about four years ago where he was in declining health follinwing the fall.
Obviously, Crewe played a big part in the Four Seasons Story – perhaps as much as anyone other than Franki Valli, himself.
Crewe came in for some criticism for ‘selling out’ with his own less label, where he licensed and released, perhaps , lesser quality versions of hit songs on what appeared to be a ‘budget’ label. Nonetheless, during the 50s and ’60s as a songwriter and producer, Crewe was among the tops. His contribution to the Four Seasons, alone, was probably enough to put him into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Bob Crewe discussing and performing his song Lady Marmalade that was a big 70s hit for Patti Labelle
along with performing Four Seasons and Frankie Valli hits
Other 4 Seasons hits written or co-written by Crewe include, according to Wikipedia:
Crewe teamed up with Slay to write and produce the Rays’ “Silhouettes” , which became a doo-wop anthem of the era. Climbing to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1957, “Silhouettes” displayed the flair for story-driven lyrics, innovative musical “hooks”, and a final lyrical twist that were to become known as Crewe trademarks. In 1965, with a slightly faster tempo, “Silhouettes” became a hit again for the British group Herman’s Hermits, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
As the “Four Seasons sound” became more and more defined, other signature touches emerged, including dense but pristine-sounding percussion, military-sounding march cadences and drum-stomps of “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, and “Walk Like a Man”, and the other-worldly glissandos of “Candy Girl“. The sophisticated harmonic patterns of the Four Seasons punctuated by the distinctive falsetto of Frankie Valli were at once classic and innovative, as were Crewe’s use of a melancholy harmonica in “Big Man in Town” and the space-era organ of “Save It for Me“.
Another DynoVoice powerhouse of the mid-1960s came when Crewe discovered a band called Billy Lee & The Rivieras. The group had limited success until he renamed them Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels. Under his direction, they scored eleven Top 100 hits, most notably Crewe’s powerful and muscular arrangements of “Devil with a Blue Dress On“, the group’s highest-charting single at #4, as well as “Sock It to Me, Baby!“, a #6 hit in 1967, and “Jenny Take a Ride“, which reached #10 in 1965.
Bob Crewe himself (recording as The Bob Crewe Generation) released Sid Ramin’s 1967 instrumental single “Music to Watch Girls By” (originally composed as aDiet Pepsi commercial jingle) on DynoVoice. The song became a Top 20 hit and spawned another successful instrumental version by Al Hirt and a vocal hit by Andy Williams. In 1967, Bob Crewe produced and wrote seven of the songs sung by Lesley Gore on her last commercially successful album, California Nights, including producing the title track. The Bob Crewe Generation also recorded the Bob Crewe-Charles Fox original soundtrack for the 1968 Paramount Pictures motion pictureBarbarella starring Jane Fonda and directed by Roger Vadim. The soundtrack for the cult favorite features vocals by Crewe and the group The Glitterhouse.