Thursday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2018

beautiful-christmas-candles-2The Christmas Song (commonly subtitled “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” or, as it was originally subtitled, Merry Christmas to You”) is a classic Christmas song written in 1944 by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé.

According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool”, the most-performed (according to BMI) Christmas song was born.[1] “I saw a spiral pad on his (Wells’) piano with four lines written in pencil”, Tormé recalled. “They started, ‘Chestnuts roasting…, Jack Frost nipping…, Yuletide carols…, Folks dressed up like Eskimos.’ Bob didn’t think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics.”

The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded the song early in 1946. At Cole’s behest – and over the objections of his label, Capitol Records – a second recording was made later the same year utilizing a small string section, this version becoming a massive hit on both the pop and R&B charts.

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Wednesday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2018

beautiful-christmas-candles-5Rockin’ 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.

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Tuesday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2018

Christmas candles 84Silver Bells” is a classic Christmas song, composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.

“Silver Bells” was first performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid, filmed in July–August 1950 and released in March 1951.[1] The first recorded version was by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards, released by Decca Records in October 1950.[2] After the Crosby and Richards recording became popular, Hope and Maxwell were called back in late 1950 to refilm a more elaborate production of the song.

“Silver Bells” started out as the questionable “Tinkle Bells.” Said Evans, “We never thought that tinkle had a double meaning until Jay went home and his [first] wife said, ‘Are you out of your mind? Do you know what the word tinkle is?'” The word is child’s slang for urination.

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Monday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2018

All I Want for Christmas Is You is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey from her fourth studio album, Merry Christmas. It was released as the lead single from the album on November 1, 1994 by Columbia Records. The song was written by Carey and Walter Afanasieff, the latter co-arranging and producing the song as well. As an up-tempo love song, it also incorporates pop music and traditional beats. The song’s lyrics describe an event in which the protagonist declares that she does not care about Christmas presents or lights; all she wants for Christmas is to be with her lover.

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Sunday Praise & Worship | Christmas Jams 2018

O Little Town of Bethlehem is a popular Christmas carol.

The text was written by Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), an Episcopal priest, rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia. He was inspired by visiting the village of Bethlehem in the Sanjak of Jerusalem in 1865. Three years later, he wrote the poem for his church and his organist, Lewis Redner, added the music.

Redner’s tune, simply titled “St. Louis“, is the tune used most often for this carol in the United States.[1] Redner recounted the story of his composition in 1924:

As Christmas of 1868 approached, Mr. Brooks told me that he had written a simple little carol for the Christmas Sunday-school service, and he asked me to write the tune to it. The simple music was written in great haste and under great pressure. We were to practice it on the following Sunday. Mr. Brooks came to me on Friday, and said, ‘Redner, have you ground out that music yet to “O Little Town of Bethlehem”? I replied, ‘No,’ but that he should have it by Sunday. On the Saturday night previous my brain was all confused about the tune. I thought more about my Sunday-school lesson than I did about the music. But I was roused from sleep late in the night hearing an angel-strain whispering in my ear, and seizing a piece of music paper I jotted down the treble of the tune as we now have it, and on Sunday morning before going to church I filled in the harmony. Neither Mr. Brooks nor I ever thought the carol or the music to it would live beyond that Christmas of 1868.

My recollection is that Richard McCauley, who then had a bookstore on Chestnut Street west of Thirteenth Street, printed it on leaflets for sale. Rev. Dr. Huntington, rector of All Saints’ Church, Worcester, Mass., asked permission to print it in his Sunday-school hymn and tune book, called The Church Porch,[2] and it was he who christened the music ‘Saint Louis.’

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Saturday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2018

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is a Christmas song written in 1951 by Meredith Willson. The song was originally titled “It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas”. The song has been recorded by many artists, but was a hit for Perry Como and The Fontane Sisters with Mitchell Ayres & His Orchestra on September 18, 1951, and released on RCA Victor as 47-4314 (45 rpm) and 20-4314 (78 rpm). Bing Crosby recorded a version on October 1, 1951, which was also widely played.

A popular belief in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, holds that Willson wrote the song while staying in Yarmouth’s Grand Hotel.[1] The song makes reference to a “tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well…”; the park being Frost Park, directly across the road from the Grand Hotel, which still operates in a newer building on the same site as the old hotel.[2]

It is also possible that the “Grand Hotel” Wilson mentions in the song was inspired by the Historic Park Inn Hotel in his hometown of Mason City, Iowa. The Park Inn Hotel is the last remaining hotel in the world designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and is situated in downtown Mason City overlooking central park.

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Friday Open Thread | What We Have To Look Forward To

I was reading a post at another blog, and was thinking about things.

I do think that we turned a corner in November 2018.

As I said before, November 2018, was the choice to continue this American Experiment.

December is right around the corner. We are lucky that the GOP are among the laziest bunch of people you’ve ever met, from Dolt45 on down. They won’t be working that many days in December, which is good for the country.
January 2019 will be here before you know it. A new Congress, and finally, a voice for the rest of us, not drinking the Dolt45 Kool Aid.

Oh, they will come up with more schemes, because that’s what they do…
But, now, we will have a branch of the Government that says NO.
A branch with subpoena power.
A branch that will ask the serious questions.

That is what we need to hold onto. Because, this bunch of trapped rats is only going to get worse…but, we have to dig in and fight.

2018 has also been clarifying…we know who the Republicans are…and, they should be dealt with as such.
There is absolutely nothing that we have common ground with them on…
We believe in the American Social Safety Net….they don’t.
They believe that it’s ok to gas mothers and children….WE don’t…
They believe that it’s ok to strip the consumer protections that keep us from getting Ecoli and killing people….WE don’t…
We believe in science….they don’t. …
We believe in protecting the right to vote…..they don’t….

You understand where I am going….
You can’t look to compromise with people whose positions are made from pure, unadulterated evil.
You just can’t.
Voting in November 2018 was just the first step…Those we sent to Congress need to be reassured that we have their backs….so, they need to do what they gotta do to represent US.

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