Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree is a Christmas song written by Johnny Marks and recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958 on Decca9-30776.
Although Decca released it in both 1958 and again in 1959, it did not sell well until Lee became a popular star in 1960; that Christmas season, it hit #14 on the Billboard pop chart and turned into a perennial holiday favorite. It continued to sell well during the holiday season, hitting #5 on the Christmas chart as late as 1984. Brenda Lee’s recording still receives a great deal of airplay. Despite the song’s title, its instrumentation also fits the Country genre which Brenda Lee more fully embraced as her career evolved. Despite her mature-sounding voice, she recorded this song when she was only 14 years old. The recording featured Hank Garland’s ringing guitar. For decades, Brenda Lee’s recording was the only notable version of the song. Radio stations ranging from Top 40 to Adult Contemporary to Country Music to Oldies to even Adult Standards played this version.
Bill Murray Befriends the Muslim World: ‘Not Every Flower Is the Same’
Our time trailing the comedy god in Marrakech, where a somber Murray shared his thoughts on Muslims and America in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
MARRAKECH — “Bill,” I call out. “Bill. Can we follow you?”
Bill Murray is having an Arabian Nights moment. He is walking through the lobby of La Mamounia, one of the most opulent hotels in Marrakech, Morocco (and the world). An oriental mist wafts from the dazzling décor in this richly ornamented oasis that houses the plethora of stars that descend on the city for the annual Marrakech International Film Festival each December.
Looking somewhat dazed and confused but entirely unfazed that, in the midst of such grandeur, he’s wearing a casual, summery outfit of slacks and a wrinkled shirt, like a long-lost desert explorer holding court with his acolytes upon returning from his latest expedition. Murray turns affably and says, “Sure,” before the first in a string of fans asks him for a photograph.
Am about to deep clean the living room before putting up my tree.
Sounds as if everything will sparkle for your Christmas, Vitaminlover!
Ohhhh yes ma’am! That’s what takes me so long.
Vitamin, you will be tired but so pleased. I was worn out. My body ached. lol
I believe I that is why I am limiting this to one tree (smile). My sister goes all out. I mean ALL out.
Vitamin, I’m going to clean out kitchen cabinets tomorrow, throw some things away. Then move to clean the back rooms. Oh boy!
Feeling you on that. I have hoarding tendencies. Love books. This is why I have cut waaaaayyyy back on shopping period!
I got my Poinsettias last night. 2 of them. I’ll get 2 more next week.
My parents always always had this candy in the house for Christmas and a box of Apples & Oranges. You could smell the Apples when you walked through the door.
Good Evening, Ms. Chics!
SG2, I had forgotten ribbon candy! We had it every Christmas when I was a kid and I always loved it. Thanks for reminding me of pleasant childhood memories.
Folks on Twitter call it trash candy. LOL
What a wonderful memory, SG2!
This was one of my favorite books as a child:
I love this. Wonderful memories that will live forever.
Every Elder I knew growing up had this candy.
When are they going to air the First Family at the Christmas concert and tree lighting and what channel?
Here is a link to Ametia’s article on the First Family lighting the National Christmas Tree:
Thank you very much, sweetie!
I just viewed the tree lighting show last night on Alabama Public Television channel 10. They looked nice and First Lady Obama read the Night Before Christmas.The daughters and mother-in-law looked good also. President seemed loose and calm.
I’d assumed you were asking about the other Christmas concert the First Family usually attends – The Christmas in Washington concert. That has been discontinued. It was cancelled because TNT the broadcast partner decided to stop airing the special and terminated their partnership with George Stevens jr. the event producer. TNT says poor ratings after a 33year run forced their decision, but the story is that George Stevens who also created and produced the Kennedy Center Honors for 37 years – until he parted ways with the Kennedy Center (his contract was terminated by the board after the 2014 awards for various reasons) – was blackballed. George’s son Michael Stevens who worked with his dad since 2008 as a co-producer, died 2 months ago at age 48 from stomach cancer. Father, George jr. was unable to find another t.v network to air the Christmas in Washington special after TNT bowed out. Quite a shame really because most importantly, the concert also served as a fundraiser/benefit and raised a ton of money – and awareness – for the Children’s National Medical Center – the premier provider of pediatric care in the Washington, D.C area.
The 2014 Kennedy Center Honors was the Stevens’ last show. So when this year’s Ken Cen Honors airs on December 29th, it’ll be the first time under a different producer other than Stevens jr. who’s helmed and run the show for 37 years. His wife Elizabeth was also very involved with the honors weekend. It is said that she even personally decided and assigned the place seatings at the State Department Ken Cen honors luncheon. George personally picked the Kennedy Center Honors awardees each year. It is said that the Stevens’ butted heads with the Kennedy Center board who wanted more of a say in the pick of awardees, and control of the honors weekend events in general.
The ‘overthrow’ of the Stevens was huge as they were long part of the D.C/Hollywood ‘elite’, and controlled 2 of the most highly sought after events and invites as far as D.C high society go: Kennedy Center Honors and the Christmas in Washington affair. Apart from the usual tale of control, micro-management and huge egos colliding, this is also framed as a tale of the tug of war between old and new money. It is said that the nouveau rich/parvenu types who felt snubbed by Stevens over the years, rejoiced the most at his ouster. It is also said that had Ted Kennedy still been alive, his dear friend George Stevens jr. would still be running the show.
Wow! How tragic! Thank you for the info.
THE 10 BLACKEST SONGS OF ALL-TIME
Damon Young, 12/9/15
On Monday, we learned that Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and D’Angelo’s Black Messiah — two albums so Black they should have come with a barbershop poster and a pic of Margaretta Forten — were nominated for Grammys. The recognition of this unambiguously Black art in such an unambiguously non-Black space should not have been a surprise. Along with them being outstanding and remarkably ambitious albums, they were released in a year where the line of demarcation separating “white people” from “White People” seemed to be more clearly drawn. And, if you happen to be on a Grammy nominating committee, what better way to distinguish yourself as an “ally” than praising To Pimp a Butterfly; an album whose second single includes the line “You’re fuckin’ evil I want you to recognize that I’m a proud monkey/You vandalize my perception but can’t take style from me.” That’s some White guilt resolving-ass shit right there.
Anyway, thinking about this — and watching last week’s Soul Train Awards — got me thinking: What are the Blackest songs of all-time? If every song ever created was rated on a Blackness scale, with one being “a Trump rally” and 10 being “Martin Delaney and Nikki Giovanni playing paper football on a cafeteria table,” which songs would be 10s?
Before we even get to that question, though, we need to ask a few equally important ones. Namely, how would Blackness be determined in this context? Which rubric/assessment/evaluatory measure would be used? After a few minutes, er, days of intense deliberation, I came up with the following rules to consider:
A House Divided
How a radical group of Republicans pushed Congress to the right.
BY RYAN LIZZA
Meadows is one of the more active members of the House Freedom Caucus, an invitation-only group of about forty right-wing conservatives that formed at the beginning of this year. Since 2010, when the Party won back the chamber, the House has been engaged in a series of clashes over taxes and spending. Two years ago, House Republicans brought about a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act and nearly caused the United States to default on its debt. This week, as Congress raced to meet a December 11th deadline to pass the annual legislation that funds the government, the members of the Freedom Caucus had new demands: they wanted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and restrict Syrian refugees from entering the United States, policies that, if attached to the spending bills, could face a veto from Obama and, potentially, lead to another government shutdown.
To the general public, these fights have played out as a battle between President Obama and Republicans in Congress. But the more critical divide is within the Republican Party, as House Speaker John Boehner discovered. Boehner, who is from Ohio, was elected to Congress in 1990 and rose to the Speakership in 2010. His tenure was marked by an increasingly futile effort to control a group of conservatives that Devin Nunes, a Republican from California and an ally of Boehner’s, once described as “lemmings with suicide vests.” In 2013, to the bafflement of some colleagues, Boehner supported the shutdown, in the hope that the public backlash would expose the group as hopelessly radical. It didn’t work. The group continued to defy Boehner. He tried to regain control as Speaker by marginalizing its members, and they decided that he must be forced out.
Meadows, who was elected in 2012, spent months weighing whether to launch the attack. “It was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done,” he told me recently. “It was a lonely period of time here on Capitol Hill. Even my closest friends didn’t necessarily think it was the right move.”
Boehner’s troubles and the rise of the Freedom Caucus are the product of resentments and expectations that the G.O.P. leadership has struggled for years to either address or dismiss. In 2009 and 2010, Democrats, who then controlled both the House and the Senate, pushed through the most aggressive domestic agenda since the Great Society. In response, during the 2010 midterm elections Republicans promised to overturn Obama’s entire agenda—the Affordable Care Act, financial regulation, stimulus spending, climate-change regulations—and dramatically cut government. Just before the election, the three House Republican leaders, Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy, promoted a manifesto, called “A Pledge to America,” that, among other things, promised to cut a hundred billion dollars from the budget and return spending to pre-Obama levels. The Republicans won sixty-three seats, taking control of the House, and expanded their ranks in the Senate. In November, 2010, House Republicans unanimously elected Boehner Speaker.
Jeff Duncan, a husky forty-nine-year-old former real-estate executive and auctioneer from South Carolina who was first elected in 2010, recently reread the “Pledge.” Sitting in his office in early November, he handed me a marked-up copy and shook his head. “We came up short in so many ways,” he said.
As I was in my car today, one of the DJ’s was talking about how hard it was to find a space to park at Woodfield Mall. Woodfield, until the Mall of America was built, was, for many years, the largest indoor mall in America.
For about 15 years when I was growing up, my mother, her sisters, a couple of cousins and their friends, would gather one Saturday afternoon during the Christmas season, and we’d all go to Woodfield. We would start out early. It would take us an hour or so to get to Schaumburg, the city where Woodfield is located. We would begin the day eating breakfast at Marshall Field’s. Once breakfast was done, we were on our own. We could go anywhere in the mall, look and shop til you dropped.
We’d meet up again at 5 pm and have dinner at Marshall Field’s. The grown folks would share stories of their shopping adventures, and the kids would just listen.
With the passing of my last Aunt, I guess I’m just strolling down memory lane for a few of my favorite memories of Christmas Season’s past.
What lovely memories you have, Rikyrah.
I see that as you miss your aunt, she and the others are still with you in spirit.
Joy Reid ✔ @JoyAnnReid
Just had to report yet another cab driver for switching off his lights and refusing to pick me up. But do go on hating @Uber, cabbies…
Ken Burns ✔ @KenBurns
African-American Museum’s healing role – Post and Courier http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20151212/PC1002/151219804/1022/african-american-museum-x2019-s-healing-role#.VmwOMKKE1Sc.twitter … @HenryLouisGates @PBS
Maureen Hayden @MaureenHayden 15h15 hours ago
Just saw parents of Peter Kassig, American aid worker slain by ISIS, welcome to Indiana the Syrian refugees turned away by @GovPenceIN
Wesley Lowery @WesleyLowery 17h17 hours ago
Of the 13 rapes linked to #DanielHoltzclaw, 5 occurred in the 41 days after sex crimes unit began investigating him http://www.theguardian.com/us-… …
For my Chicago folks…
Yesterday, Peanut and her Grandmother came downtown to Macy’s. I met them after work.
We took in the windows, then Peanut went to see Santa, and we had dinner at The Walnut Room.
Times have changed. When I was growing up, you went to see Santa, you stood in line and waited until you saw Santa.
We got a pager.
A pager to see Santa.
Well, we looked around; got the buzz, had to stand in line about 15 minutes, got in to see Santa and then had dinner.
I remember so many years, growing up, even after I stopped going to see Santa, we’d always go downtown and visit the windows at Marshall Field’s, and go to the Walnut Room. I love sharing those traditions with Peanut.
Sounds wonderful, Rikyrah. Is this the place where you get Chicken Pot Pie? I could eat some delicious Chicken Pot Pie.
this is the Chicken Pot Pie place. In all the years I’ve gone, I can’t remember ordering anything other than Chicken Pot Pie.
Loved reading about your day and your memories of downtown Christmases :)
How wonderful, Rikyrah! Oh the times they are a changing.
Peanut is so blessed to experience your family traditions, and she gets the gift of all that is sacred, when you share.
When I was growing up in Jax, downtown was the place to go at Christmas. They didn’t start building the suburban malls until I was in high school. I remember the store decorations and all the street decorations that were lit up at night. It was magical. Those are wonderful traditions to share with the little ones, they will remember.
Rikyrah, send me some Chicken Pot Pie. :)
Backatcha, SG2. Guess what? It’s snowing. In Tucson. Actually, it does snow here every now and then.
My dogs want no part of it.
Liza, I’ll bet that is so beautiful? When we DO see snow flakes which is once in a blue moon, we run to the door….It’s snowing..It’s snowing! LOL!
It’s already gone, but it was nice for a short time. I think it was last year when we got a really good snow that lasted a couple of days. But there will be snow in the mountains that we can see from the back yard.
Now I know that’s a pretty sight.
It’s 12.30 AM, Christmas Eve
I’m out with the gangstas and thieves
Celebratin’, postin’ up with eggnog [head up up] in my cup
Santa Claus…woooo…is coming straight to the ghetto…
Holla at ya folks, boy, it’s goin’ down
Ain’t no help from no elves, just Tha Dogg Pound….
Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Put 900,000 Women’s Lives At Risk Every Year
When the Senate passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood on Dec. 3, much of the reasoning stemmed from politicians’ objections to the organization’s abortion services. But government money rarely goes to those procedures. In fact, it’s designated for services like cancer screens that saved nearly 88,000 lives between the fall of 2012 and 2013.
The American Cancer Society estimates that about 44,390 women will die from breast and cervical cancers this year. But Planned Parenthood detected cancers early and identified abnormalities in nearly double that amount of women through breast exams and Pap tests, according to the organization’s 2013-2014 annual report.
It certainly adds to the sad, sorry state of affairs (regarding the 2016 election) that the Democrats have rammed Hillary Clinton down our throats. Martin O’Malley gets very little media exposure, close to zero, because Hillary has already been crowned. The primaries and the convention are just formalities.
Good Morning Everyone
Off to swim and run errands
Saudi women vote for the first time
Saturday’s election is seen as a modest — but important — step toward a greater public voice for Saudi women, who face a host of limitations —- including the world’s only ban on driving.
By Brian Murphy
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Polling stations have closed, ending a historic day in which women for the first time took part in Saudi Arabia’s elections, marking another step at reforms in a country that still imposes strict rules such as ban on women driving.
The municipal council races across the kingdom also included the first female candidates — more than 950 in total — seen as pioneers by many but also denounced by some hard-line Islamists as unfit for a public role.
The polls closed just before sunset and evening prayers. Full results are expected Sunday.
The Christmas tree
At the Christmas party hop….
Happy Birthday to you, Ms. Dionne Warwick! Thank you for all the song and music you have shared with us and the world :)
Good Morning. Wishing you all a great weekend :)
Good morning, Yahtc
I’m loving the Christmas gifs. So cute.
Good Morning, Ladies. I can see what kind of day this is going to be.
ROCKIN’ around the Christmas Tree!