SPECTOR CHRISTMAS ALBUM HOLDS UP WELL TODAY
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.