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Any Major New Year’s

December 24th, 2021 2 comments

How has your 2021 been? Mine? A mixed bag: the pandemic has screwed me over financially (the Rainy Day Fund? Gone), and my health is trying to tell me that I’m getting older. But I’m still loved and I’m still loving. Be that as it may, 2021 can very much piss off, and take that pandemic with it.

So, as we may look forward to a better new year, with the hope it won’t be our last, here’s a mix of New Year’s Eve songs, a week before we do our Auld Lang Synes.

I have managed to compile it without the help of U2, but a couple of obvious tracks have to feature (hello ABBA). Still, I expect that this collection contains some pleasant surprises (one of them being three songs with the same title being sequenced to follow one another, quite unintentionally).

And that’s what I’m hoping for in 2022: pleasant surprises for all of us, and an end to the nightmare of the past two years.

In that spirit, I wish you a good slide into the new year, as the Germans say.

And do pop in on Tursday for the annual year-end disco mix — or post-disco, if we want to pick nits, since it covers songs to boogie on down to from 1981.

As ever, this mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-countdowned covers. PW in comments.

1. Eagles – Funky New Year (1978)
2. Charles Brown – Bringing In A Brand New Year (1964)
3. The Cameos – New Year’s Eve (1957)
4. The Coolbreezers – Hello Mr. New Year (1958)
5. Jo-Ann Campbell – Happy New Year Baby (1958)
6. The Zombies – This Will Be Our Year (1968)
7. Dan Fogelberg – Same Old Lang Syne (1981)
8. Barry Manilow – It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve (1977)
9. ABBA – Happy New Year (1980)
10. Carole King – New Year’s Day (2011)
11. Mary Chapin Carpenter – New Year’s Day (2012)
12. Taylor Swift – New Year’s Day (2017)
13. Tom Waits – New Year’s Eve (2011)
14. Harry Connick Jr. feat. George Jones – Nothin’ New For New Year (2003)
15. Lightnin’ Hopkins – Happy New Year (1953)
16. Mary Harris – Happy New Year Blues (1935)
17. Vera Lynn – The Happiest New Year Of All (1946)
18. Mae West – My New Year’s Resolutions (1966)
19. The Heartbeats – After New Year’s Eve (1957)
20. Otis Redding & Carla Thomas – New Year’s Resolution (1967)
21. Nancy Wilson – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (1965)
22. Paddy Roberts – Merry X-Mas You Suckers (And A Happy New Year) (1962)
23. Franklin MacCormack – My New Year’s Wish For You (1948)

GET IT! or HERE!

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Any Major Santa Claus

December 16th, 2021 2 comments

A few years ago I put up a mix of traditional Christmas carols as sung by pop artists. In those songs, obviously, the birth of Jesus was at the centre. But for many people, the person at the centre of Christmas is Santa Claus, so here’s a mix of songs about the old reindeer-exploiting face of rampant commercialism. As far as I can tell, none of these songs have featured in previous Any Major Christmas mixes (at least I tried my best to make it so).

Santa Claus, as most people know, is based on the Christian 4th-century Saint Nicholas of Myrna, who was a bishop in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey. Which means that in the US, UK and Western Europe, there are people who’d prefer to deny the original Santa entry into their country. The Santa of this mix, of course, has special access everywhere, including chimneys, in which he might get stuck from time to time, as Ella Fitzgerald explains.

We also know from The Sensational Little Shana Lynette, as the 10-year-old Kansas kid was billed in 1983, that Santa was in danger of falling victim to international terrorism at the hands of the dastardly Soviets, or “Mr Russian”, as Shana politely says in her Cold War propaganda song. I suspect that agent Father Frost, who had replaced Santa Claus in the festive celebrations in the USSR, would have loved to get a shot at his capitalist rival.

Similar Zeitgeist silliness found expression in other seasonal songs. In 1957, Bobby Helms had “Captain Santa Claus” and his reindeers going on space patrol in a track that served as the b-side to his X-Mas hit, Jingle Bell Rock. And George Jones, still to grow into his sonorous voice and macho persona, involves Santa in the twist craze of the early 1960s.

Santa is at times something of a sex symbol, in ways most overweight and white-haired men of a certain age are not. We had Eartha Kitt trying to seduce the old feller in Santa Baby on the Any Major Gals’ Christmas mix last week. Here we up the ante by having Mae West apply her seductive wiles to ole Nick. And since West was 73 when she issued her version in 1966, it is rather more age-appropriate than that by Kitt, who was 26 when she tried to get Santa and his sack into the sack. Not that one should judge inter-generational sexual attraction between consenting adults, of course.

Most famously, Santa Claus was kissing Mommy underneath the mistletoe. Of course — and here I issue a spoiler alert for the uninitiated — it wasn’t really Santa whose tongue was roaming in Mom’s mouth (and here I wish to introduce you to the great German concept of “Kopfkino”). I’m particularly pleased that on this mix we have John Prine sing this song, giving proof to the fact that Prine could make even the most dreadful songs sound entertaining.

An even more unlikely candidate for the performance of trivial X-Mas songs is Bob Dylan, yet here he is singing Here Comes Santa Claus (which is not a Santa sex songs. Neither is Back Door Santa, nor Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney). The original performer of that song — which featured on Any Major Christmas Originals — was Gene Autry. The “Singing Cowboy” is also represented on this mix, with When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter, the b-side to the original release of Here Comes Santa Claus.

As ever, this mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-ho-ho-hoed covers, and the above text in an illustrated PDF. PW in comments, and links to previous Christmas mixes below.

Next week I’ll post a mix of New Year’s songs, and before New Year’s Eve the traditional disco mix. If I don’t see you before Christmas, let me wish you a very merry, peaceful and healthy Christmas!

1. The Weather Girls – Dear Santa (Bring Me A Man This Christmas) (1983)
2. Bob Dylan – Here Comes Santa Claus (2009)
3. John Prine – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (1993)
4. The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick (1964)
5. Elvis Presley – Santa Claus Is Back In Town (1957)
6. Bob Seger & The Last Heard – Sock It To Me Santa (1966)
7. James Brown – Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto (1968)
8. Louis Jordan – Santa Claus, Santa Claus (1968)
9. Lou Rawls – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1967)
10. Mae West – Santa Baby (1966)
11. Ella Fitzgerald – Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney (1950)
12. Nat ‘King’ Cole – The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot (1953)
13. The Mills Brothers – You Don’t Have To Be A Santa Claus (1955)
14. Fats Domino – I Told Santa Claus (1993)
15. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Is Zat You Santa Claus (2004)
16. Albert King – Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ (1974)
17. The Holmes Brothers – Back Door Santa (2003)
18. Sufjan Stevens – Get Behind Me, Santa! (2006)
19. Sia – My Old Santa Claus (2018)
20. Dwight Yoakam – Santa Can’t Stay (2015)
21. Homer & Jethro – Santa’s Movin’ On (1956)
22. Jim Reeves – Señor Santa Claus (1963)
23. Gene Autry – When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter (1950)
24. George Jones & The Jones Boys – My Mom And Santa Claus (Twistin’ Santa Claus) (1962)
25. Bobby Helms – Captain Santa Claus (And His Reindeer Space Patrol) (1957)
26. The Di Mara Sisters – Santa’s Italian Wife (1971)
27. Shana Lynette – Mister Russian, Please Don’t Shoot Down Santa’s Sleigh (1983)

GET IT! or HERE!

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Any Major 1940s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2

The Originals: Christmas Edition
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doo Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major X-Mas Blues
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas ABC
Any Major Gals’ Christmas
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

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Categories: X-Mas Tags:

Any Major Gals’ Christmas

December 9th, 2021 9 comments

Today, as I write, I’ve felt unusually Christmassy — thanks to this mix! As the title subtly hints at, this collection comprises Christmas songs sung by women. And if that concept strikes you as a bit sexist (and I’m not sure why it should), let me reassure you that next year I’ll have a mix of songs only by guys.

The festive sense I’ve felt kicked in right from the beginning, with Kylie Minogue’s richly retro version of It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. And while I might not be a dedicated follower of Christina Aguilera’s catalogue — I’m mostly indifferent to it — I find her interpretation of Donny Hathaway’s lovely This Christmas quite outstanding.

This collection covers various eras and styles. The youngest recording here is from 2015; the oldest is Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby from 1954. There’s the lighthearted stuff — Ella Fitzgerald’s Santa Claus Is Coming To Town is great fun; Etta James’ bluesy Merry Christmas Baby is sexy stuff — and some is traditional and reflective. Of the latter, Emmylou Harris’ Light Of The Stable is particularly beautiful.

Almost all of these artists are well-known; only Margie Joseph exists on the margins of popular music. Except for fans of 1970s soul, who’ll readily acclaim her as one of the great singers of her generation. She also featured on the second volume of the Albums of The Year: 1971, which went up a few weeks ago.

I had several contenders for inclusion of women who performed The Christmas Song, and I nearly chose the gorgeous rendition by Anita Baker. In the event, there was no way past Natalie Cole, the daughter of the man who first recorded the song and made it something of a signature tune. Her version is, of course, very lovely, too.

There will be another Christmas mix next week. Check out the previous Christmas mixes in the list below (or the whole lot here). As far as I can see, all links are working. If you need anything re-upped, let me know in the comments.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-kringled covers. PW in comments.

1. Kylie Minogue – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
2. Christina Aguilera – This Christmas
3. Wilson Phillips – Warm Lovin’ Christmastime
4. Mariah Carey – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
5. Carole King – Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday
6. Nancy Sinatra – We Need A Little Christmas
7. Natalie Cole – The Christmas Song
8. Doris Day – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
9. Julie London – I’d Like You For Christmas
10. Keely Smith – Blue Christmas
11. Darlene Love – Winter Wonderland
12. The Supremes – My Christmas Tree
13. Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
14. Ella Fitzgerald – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
15. Etta James – Merry Christmas Baby
16. Vanessa Williams – Christmas Is
17. Gladys Knight & The Pips – When You Love Someone (It’s Christmas Everyday)
18. Margie Joseph – Feeling Like Christmas
19. Emmylou Harris – Light Of The Stable
20. Dolly Parton – We Three Kings
21. Olivia Newton-John – Christmas Never Felt Like This Before
22. Nancy Wilson – The Christmas Waltz
23. Dinah Washington – Silent Night
24. Sarah McLachlan – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

GET IT! or HERE!

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Any Major 1940s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doo Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major X-Mas Blues
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas ABC
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: X-Mas Tags:

Any Major 1940s Christmas

December 17th, 2020 15 comments

 

Retro Christmas vibes are the best, aren’t they? They appear to offer a distraction and alternative to the frantic and overly commercialised Christmas of today. Of course, Christmas always was commercialised. That wonderful 1947 film Miracle On 34th Street bemoaned the excess in commerce in Christmas. Five years earlier, Bing Crosby was dreaming of Christmases as they used to be, appealing to the idealised version of a better past, with more inclement weather.

The nostalgia for the Christmas as it used to be is probably driven by a desire to recapture the innocence of our childhood, a time when the anticipation and arrival of Christmas occupied our minds, rather than bills, relationships and social problems. As adults, that innocence and the certainties that came with it is gone, so the notions of an idealised past are chased for that ephemeral sensation of experiencing Christmas as it used to be, the joy of childhood, maybe a hint of the comfort of a loving mother who is now gone.

And, frankly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. A touch of nostalgia, even if it recalls a past that doesn’t really correspond with reality, can be a great escape — as long as it doesn’t cloud our good judgment on social and political issues. In real money, the past was just as shitty as the present. On this mix, the songs soundtrack a time of war and, in many places, food rationing. In the USA, where all these songs come from, it was a time of war followed by the rise of the HUAC and the McCarthyist hysteria.

Between 2009 and 2013, I posted three mixes of Christmas in Black & White which covered the era of the 1930s to the ’60s, and four years ago we revisited the 1950s specifically. Here we go back to the 1940s, with a passing nod to the first peacetime Christmas after WW2, which this year was 75 years ago.

Will this bring to a close the Christmas-by-decade mixes? We’ve already done the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, besides the ’50s one mentioned above. I don’t really know yet.

I hope you’ll enjoy this 1940s Christmas mix, which brings together the cheesy (which in some cases, such as in the Perry Como track, is accompanied by comedy) and the excellent, with one of the few good versions of Jingle Bells, Nat King Cole doing a silly novelty song with a straight face and a wink, and Amos Milburn telling his baby that he wants to “slide down your chimney” and promising her that she may “ride my reindeer”. I expect square middle-aged people in the 1940s were longing for a Christmas when there still were good, old-fashioned family values…

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-made covers made out of old ration-cards (so this mix could be a nice Christmas present for some people of a certain age). PW in comments.

After the Christmas Blues mix and this second Christmas compilation, I shall take a short time off, but I will be back before the year is out to post the obligatory New Year’s disco mix. If I don’t see you before Christmas, have a very merry one.

1. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra – Jingle Bells (1941)
2. Buddy Clark with The Girl Friends – Winter Wonderland (1949)
3. Vaughn Monroe And His Orchestra – Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (1945)
4. Perry Como and The Satisfiers – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1946)
5. Joe Turner’s Orchestra with Pete Johnson – Christmas Date Boogie (1948)
6. Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers – Merry Christmas Baby (1947)
7. Charlie Spivak and His Orchestra – White Christmas (1942)
8. Doris Day – Ol’ Saint Nicholas (1949)
9. Tony Martin with Earle Hagan’s Orchestra – The Christmas Song (1947)
10. Hugo Winterhalter – Blue Christmas (1949)
11. Gene Autry – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1949)
12. Judy Garland – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1944)
13. Eddy Howard and His Orchestra – I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1947)
14. Nat ‘King’ Cole and His Trio – All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) (1949)
15. Amos Milburn – Let’s Make Christmas Merry, Baby (1949)
16. Willie Lewis and His Negro Ban – Christmas Night In Harlem (1941)
17. Slam Stewart Quintet with Johnny Guarnieri – Santa’s Secret (1944)
18. Sonny Thompson – Not On A Xmas Tree (1949)
19. Frank Sinatra – Christmas Dreaming (1947)
20. Dinah Shore – The Merry Christmas Polka (1949)
21. Jesse Rogers and his 49ers – Here Comes Santa Claus (1948)
22. Les Brown and His Orchestra – When You Trim Your Christmas Tree (1946)
23. Frankie Laine – You’re All I Want For Christmas (1948)
24. Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters – The Twelve Days Of Christmas (1949)
25. Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians – ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (1947)

GET IT! or HERE!

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doo Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major X-Mas Blues
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas ABC
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: X-Mas Tags:

Any Major X-Mas Blues

December 13th, 2020 6 comments

 

It’s December, and the little corner of the Internet in which we gather presently can’t help but reverberate with the sound of Christmas. And the mix I’ll post later this week — before I go on a little break until after I’ve unwrapped my pretend presents — will be suitable Christmassy.

This mix of Christmas seen through the kaleidoscope of the blues, however, hardly inspires the warm glow of the Victorian Christmas idyll. But what the collection may lack in old-fashioned Christmas spirit it makes up in great music and many fine lyrics. I am but an innocent country boy, so I’m not sure if any of these singers are making sexual innuendo, but I half expect some might. Of course, there is the usual blues theme of being broke, issuing sentiments which in 2020 has a louder echo than it has had for many a decade.

The timeframe this mix covers the years 1930 to 1965, a time that saw a sea-change in music, but blues didn’t change much. I suppose the blues was as it was before rock & roll, and it was as it was after rock & roll. In our money, that time-span is equivalent to 1985 to the present. If you are of a certain age, 1985 feels like the day before yesterday. What’s time anyway when a Christmas song from 1994 tops the UK charts 26 years later.

This mix is a good companion piece to the Any Major Christmas Rhythm & Blues collection from 2012, which in turn accompanies the Any Major Christmas Soul series (Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3), which in turn goes well with Any Major Smooth Christmas (Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3).

On Thursday we stay in a black & white mood with a mix of Christmas recordings from the 1940s, which include a few more blues songs.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-moaned covers. PW in comments.

1. Jimmy McCracklin – Christmas Time (Part 1) (1961)
2. Amos Milburn – Christmas Comes Once A Year (1960)
3. Jody Levins – Jingle Bells Boogie (1954)
4. Titus Turner – Christmas Morning Blues (1952)
5. Mabel Scott – Boogie Woogie Santa Claus (1948)
6. J.B. Summers with Doc Bagby’s Orchestra – I Want A Present For Christmas (1949)
7. Tampa Red – Christmas And New Year Blues (1934)
8. Butterbeans & Susie – Papa Ain’t No Santa Clause, Mama Ain’t No Christmas Tree (1930)
9. Bumble Bee Slim – Santa Claus, Bring Me A New Woman (1936)
10. Johnny Moore’s Blazers – Christmas Eve Baby (1947)
11. Cecil Gant – Hello Santa Claus (1950)
12. Charles Brown – Christmas With No One To Love (1961)
13. John Lee Hooker – Blues For Christmas (1960)
14. Freddy King – Christmas Tears (1961)
15. Gus Jenkins and His Orchestra – Remember Last Xmas (1956)
16. Johnny Otis Orchestra with Little Esther & Mel Walker – Faraway Blues (Xmas Blues) (1950)
17. Jimmy Liggins – I Want My Baby For Christmas (1950)
18. Felix Gross and His Orchestra – Love For Christmas (1949)
19. Little Willie Littlefield – Merry Xmas (1949)
20. Lowell Fulson – Lonesome Christmas (1951)
21. Floyd Dixon – Empty Stocking Blues (1951)
22. Julia Lee and Her Boyfriends – Christmas Spirits (1948)
23. Victoria Spivey – I Ain’t Gonna Let You See My Santa Claus (1936)
24. The Honey Dripper – Let Me Hang Your Stockings In Your Christmas Tree (1936)
25. Leadbelly – Christmas Is A-Coming (1940s)
26. Larry Darnell – Christmas Blues (1950)
27. Little Johnny Taylor – Please Come Home For Christmas (1965)
28. Lightnin’ Hopkins – Santa (1965)
29. Chuck Berry – Spending Christmas (1964)

GET IT! or HERE!

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doo Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas ABC
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: X-Mas Tags:

Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 3

December 17th, 2019 1 comment

It’s already six years since I dropped the second volume of Any Major Smooth Christmas — and nine years since Volume 1. A few tracks here weren’t even released then.

So, like the first two volumes, this mix includes seasonal songs by soul and smooth jazz acts. So kick off those boots, take off that coat, light a (virtual) fire, pour yourself a glass of eggnog, and relax.

By my reckoning, all links to previous Christmas mixes going back to 2009 should work. If they don’t, feel free to alert me.

The first Christmas mix for the year dropped a couple of weeks ago.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes ho-ho-home-made covers. PW in comments. And have a merry Christmas!

1. Earth, Wind & Fire – Winter Wonderland
2. The O’Jays – Merry Christmas Baby
3. Luther Vandross – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
4. John Legend – This Christmas
5. Boney James feat. Chanté Moore – Santa Baby
6. En Vogue – With My Honey
7. Isley Brothers – What Can I Buy You
8. Marilyn McCoo – White Christmas
9. Gregory Porter – The Christmas Song
10. Laura Fygi – Merry Christmas Darling
11. Dianne Reeves – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
12. New York Voices – I Wonder As I Wander
13. Angela Winbush – All I Want For Christmas
14. Al Jarreau – Christmas Time Is Here
15. Alexander O’Neal – My Gift To You
16. Dave Koz feat. Johnny Mathis – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
17. Musiq Soulchild – The First Noel
18. Toni Braxton – This Time Next Year

GET IT!

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas ABC
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: X-Mas Tags:

Any Major ABC of Christmas

November 28th, 2019 5 comments

 

This year we use the ABC compilation concept for Christmas. One artist each representing the letters A through to Z. So it’s all a bit random, and great fun. I’m really enjoying this mix.

Some of the tracks here are pretty interesting. Take The Qualities, a Chicago doo wop band in the mid to late 1950s. They were produced by a young Sun Ra, whose acquaintance with LSD had by then progressed to a friendship. And it shows on this doo wop Christmas track, which sounds like nothing you’d expect.

Four tracks later, we have the Universal Robot Band celebrating a Disco Christmas. Released in 1977, it may sound like a horrible cash-in, especially if I tell you that it includes a conversation between Santa and Rudolph. But don’t skip the track! Recorded by the soul-disco band Kleeer, the groove is solid, and the conversation between our heroes is amusing. Santa decides to “add a little soul to this white Christmas”, and Rudolph affirms, “I can dig it, boss.”

You have to love the idea of a song title that takes the unsnappy route of declaring: “I Don’t Intend To Spend Christmas Without You” (I hope there was a swinging, finger-clicking answer record titled: “I reciprocate your determination to realise the objective of forestalling the absence of seasonal companionship”). The song by French singer Claudine Longet, then Andy Williams’ wife, is bright and quintessential 1960s fare. It was written for Longet by jazz songwriter Margo Guryan at the request of producer Tommy LiPuma.

There are a couple of slightly curmudgeonly tracks here. South African-born British comedian Paddy Roberts’ Merry X-Mas You Suckers (And A Happy New Year) pokes fun at the commercialism and revelry of the season. “You’ll be spending your money on cartloads of junk, and from here to new year you’ll be drunk as a skunk.” But in the end, you might as well party down: “But stick to it suckers, go swallow a pill, for this is the season of peace and goodwill. While we patiently wait for that nuclear blast… Merry Christmas you suckers, it may be your last.”

The Everly Brothers are quite morose about Christmas. “Christmas Eve can kill you when you’re trying to hitch a ride to anywhere… A car goes running by, the man don’t even turn his head. Guess he’s busy being Santa Claus tonight. The saddest part of all is knowing if I switched with him I’d leave him stumbling ragged by the road.” Written by Dennis Linde (who also wrote the Elvis hit Burning Love), this is not comedy.

Comedy is provided by the marvellous Richard Cheese, whose shtick is to rework well-known songs in the way of a cheesy nightclub singer (hence the name). Cheese does so with much wit and musical flair. The featured track, Christmas In Vegas, is the only original track on his 2006 Silent Nightclub album (which features a quite unsettling version of Silent Night). The lyrics are quite savage: “Christmas in Las Vegas, Decorate your tree with chips. Let’s roll a yo beneath the mistletoe while that angel strips.”

As ever, CD-R length, homemistletoed covers. PW in comments. Another Christmas mix will drop in two weeks.

1. Aaron Neville – Louisiana Christmas Day (1993)
2. B.B. King – Merry Christmas Baby (2001)
3. Claudine Longet – I Don’t Intend To Spend Christmas Without You (1968)
4. Dean Martin – The Christmas Blues (1953)
5. Everly Brothers – Christmas Eve Can Kill You (1972)
6. Fountains of Wayne – I Want An Alien For Christmas (1997)
7. Granville Williams Orchestra – Santa Claus Is Ska-Ing To Town (1964)
8. Hot Chocolate – Brand New Christmas (1980)
9. Isley Brothers – Winter Wonderland (2007)
10. Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners – You’re My Christmas Present (1990)
11. Kylie Minogue – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (2015)
12. Leadbelly – Christmas Is A-Coming (1940s)
13. Mel Tormé – Sleigh Ride (1992)
14. Neil Diamond – You Make It Feel Like Christmas (1984)
15. Otis Redding – Merry Christmas, Baby (1968)
16. Paddy Roberts – Merry X-Mas You Suckers (And A Happy New Year) (1962)
17. Qualities – It’s Christmas Time (1956)
18. Richard Cheese – Christmas In Las Vegas (2006)
19. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Please Come Home For Christmas (2015)
20. TLC – Sleigh Ride (1993)
21. Universal Robot Band – Disco Christmas (1977)
22. Ventures – Blue Christmas (1965)
23. Wilson Phillips – Warm Lovin’ Christmastime (2010)
24. XTC (as Three Wise Men) – Thanks For Christmas (1983)
25. Yellowman – Santa Claus Never Comes To The Ghetto (1998)
26. Zee Avi – No Christmas For Me (2009)

GET IT! or HERE!

More Mix-CD-Rs
More ABCs in Decades

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: ABC in Decades, X-Mas Tags:

Any Major 1980s Christmas

December 13th, 2018 7 comments

 

This year it’s the 1980s in Any Major Dude’s yulecastle (following the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s), with the obvious and lesser known Christmas songs represented.

It was a debate whether or not to leave out Fairytale Of New York or Last Christmas, but how could it be a 1980s Christmas without them. One ’80s Christmas song not featuring here, however, is the best-selling of them all: Do They Know It’s Christmas. Good intentions aside, the lyrics are atrociously condescending. Do the people of Ethiopia know it’s Christmas? Given that Christianity in Ethiopia precedes the evangelisation of most of Europe, I think they do.

But Do They Know It’s Christmas reminds me of this following, doubtless true story.

It was one year around Christmas time, U2 had lined up a series of enormous charity gigs. They got together on the day of the first gig to soundcheck and Bono noticed that The Edge was looking a bit sickly. “What’s the matter, The Edge?” Bono asked The Edge.

“Ah, look, it’s nothing, Bono,” the guitarist replied. “It’s just… you know that Japanese promotional tour we did last week, right? I think I picked up something. It might be some kind of flu, but I’m feeling pretty bad.”

“Well, The Edge,” replied Bono, “if you want to pull out of the gigs, you just say so.” But The Edge shook his head. “No! No way Bono. These gigs are important. Think of the children, not my aching guts.”

“Aye, that’s the spirit, The Edge,” said Bono. That night U2 took to the stage. They play all the hits and the crowd was well into it. For a big climax, because it’s for charity and it’s around Christmas, they performed “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Bono was emoting, Adam was running basslines, Larry was merrily drumming along. Suddenly The Edge begun feeling very ill indeed. He turned, dropped his guitar, and started running towards the back of the stage. But he didn’t quite make it and threw up all over Larry Mullen Jr and his drumkit.

“Jaysis, The Edge!” Larry yelled. “My brand-new drums!” The Edge was mortified. “Eh, sorry Larry, I couldn’t help myself. It’s this flu, you know.”

Next night The Edge was back up there on stage, riffing away. The gig was going really well, but then as “Do They Know It’s Christmas” started, The Edge began to feel sick again. He started to run off the stage but to no avail. As he got to the bassplayer’s spot, he puked all over Adam Clayton.

“Me best leather waistcoat,” wailed Adam Clayton. The Edge, you’re more beast than man!” The Edge apologised profusely but Bono was furious after the gig. “The Edge, you’ve gone too far this time. I’ve just been on the phone to Sting, he can take your place tomorrow.”

The Edge was almost in tears. “Please, Bono no, this gig means so much to me. It’s for the children. I know I’ve got it all out my system now. I’ll be fine tomorrow, I promise, you have to let me play.”

‘OK, The Edge, one last chance,” Bono said. “But I warn you, any more antics like the last two nights, then that’s it, you’re out of U2.” The Edges promised to be good.

The Edge, recovering from a bad flu, and Bonzo.

 

The next day The Edge took lots of vitamins and come evening he was feeling fine. The gig was amazing, even Discotheque was sounding alright. Bono was pleased, Adam’s new waistcoast looked good, Larry’s drums were clean, The Edge was happy.

They started Do They Know It’s Christmas, and Bono moved over to stand shoulder to shoulder with his pal and really belted the tune out.

Suddenly The Edge didn’t feel too good. His face was contorting, he struggled manfully, but it was no use. He turns to Bono with a look of desperation and suddenly hacked up an enormous greenie right into Bono’s face.

The song stopped. The Edge is paralysed with horror. “Bono, I can explain, I’m truly sorry, you can’t believe how sorry I am.

Bono wiped the snot off, turned to Edge and said: “Well, tonight thank God it’s phlegm instead of spew.”

On that note: HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS!

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-grogged covers. PW in comments.

1. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1985)
2. Bryan Adams – Christmas Time (1985)
3. Vince Vance & The Valiants – All I Want For Christmas Is You (1989)
4. Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) (1987)
5. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping (1981)
6. Prince and the Revolution – Another Lonely Christmas (1984)
7. Gap Band – This Christmas (1984)
8. Alexander O’Neal – My Gift To You (1988)
9. Ray Charles – That Spirit Of Christmas (1985)
10. The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York (1987)
11. Pretenders – 2000 Miles (1983)
12. Fay Lovsky – Christmas Was A Friend Of Mine (1981)
13. Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas (1986)
14. Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas (1984)
15. Wham! – Last Christmas (1984)
16. Mavis Staples – Christmas Vacation (1989)
17. Ray Parker Jr. – Christmas Time Is Here (1984)
18. Run DMC – Christmas In Hollis (1987)
19. Max Headroom – Merry Christmas Santa Claus (1986)
20. Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone (1985)

GET IT! or HERE!

 

 

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: X-Mas Tags:

Any Major Doo Wop X-Mas

December 6th, 2018 12 comments

 

This Christmas we’re going doo wopping, with The Cameos, Marquees, Marshalls, Moonglows, Penguins, Ravens, Dominoes, Voices, Marcels, Uniques, Melodeers, Martells, Larks, Orioles, Falcons , Ebonaires, Ebb Tides, Blue Notes, Valentines, Sherwoods, Playboys and some of their pals.

I had written up a nice post about the stories of some of these acts — and it somehow disappeared. So, here is the mix without a history lesson.

Companion mixes to go with this would be Any Major ’50s Christmas and ’60s Christmas, Any Major R&B Christmas, and Christmas in Black & White Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and Vol. 3.

Happy Advent season! And if your Dutch, Belgian or German, happy Saint Nicholas Day!

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-shoo-da-ba-da-ho-ho-hoed covers (which, I must confess, I’m quite pleased with). PW in comments.

1. The Cameos – Merry Christmas (1957)
2. The Marquees – Santa’s Done Got Hip (1959)
3. The Marshalls – Mr.Santa’s Boogie (1951)
4. The Moonglows – Hey Santa Claus (1953)
5. La Fets & Kitty – Christmas Letter (1957)
6. The Five Keys – It’s Christmas Time (1951)
7. The Penguins – Jingle Jangle (1957)
8. The Ravens – White Christmas (1958)
9. Billy Ward & The Dominoes – Christmas In Heaven (1963)
10. The Voices – Santa Claus Baby (1957)
11. Frankie Lymon – It’s Christmas Once Again (1957)
12. Lonnie & The Crisis – Santa Town USA (1961)
13. The Marcels – Don’t Cry For Me This Christmas (1961)
14. The Uniques – Merry Christmas Darling (1963)
15. The Platters – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1963)
16. The Melodeers – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1960)
17. The Martells – Rockin’ Santa Claus (1959)
18. Oscar McLollie and his Honey Jumpers – God Gave Us Christmas (1955)
19. The Larks – All I Want For Christmas (1951)
20. Sonny Til & The Orioles – O Holy Night (1950)
21. The Ebonaires – Love For Christmas (1955)
22. The Cashmeres – I Believe In St. Nick (1960)
23. The Drifters – I Remember Christmas (1964)
24. The Dynamics – Christmas Plea (1962)
25. The Falcons – Can This Be Christmas (1957)
26. Nino & The Ebb Tides – The Real Meaning Of Christmas (1958)
27. Blue Notes – Winter Wonderland (1960)
28. The Valentines – Christmas Prayer (1957)
29. The Playboys – The Night Before Christmas (1963)
30. The Sherwoods – Happy Holiday (1961)

GET IT! or HERE!

 

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: Black & White Music, Mix CD-Rs, X-Mas Tags:

Any Major 1960s Christmas

December 20th, 2017 17 comments

Last year we had Christmases mixes covering the 1950s and 1970s; this year we have the yulevibes of the groovy 1960s.

Not too long ago it seemed that things cultural changed in the course of a decade. 1962 looked nothing like 1968; 1971 nothing like 1977; 1980 nothing like 1989. Then, in the 1990s, time seemed to start moving more slowly. Today, it seems to me, 2017 might as well be 2007; Bieber and Perry and Beyoncé and Swift are still megastars”¦ And Any Major Dude is still with you, as her was ten years ago”¦

The 1950s were the decade of seismic change in popular culture, what with the rise of rock & roll and the advent of The Teenager. But the 1960s probably saw the fastest developments in pop. The Beatles and the Beach Boys saw to that, as well as Stax, Motown, Atlantic et al in soul music.

This mix features The Beatles and The Beach Boys, and a few other exponents of the sounds of the latter 1960s. But the Christmas vibes find their most joyous, carefree, festive expression in the tracks from the early, more innocent parts of the decade, when Bing could still sing about “noggins” in the snow.

The Bee Gees are represented twice here: on their own with the rather melancholy sounding Thank You For Christmas. Before they come in, The Majority perform the Gibb Brothers composition All Our Christmases.

One song here featured on the Any Major Christmas Bells mix from two weeks ago, albeit in a different version. The Bacharach-David song The Bell That Couldn”t Jingle appears here by Bobby Vinton. A track that failed to make the bells compilation has been shifted to this mix: The Royal Guardsmen“s Snoopy”s Christmas. Seeing as this is the last centenary of a World War I Christmas, it seems appropriate to run it now.

Talking of war, the penultimate track is not very joyous: The Charmels want their man to come home from Vietnam. A similar theme “” wanting a soldier boyfriend home at Christmas “” is handled by Toni Wine in the closing track, though Toni is more Army Wives than Nam protester. Which makes some sense, since Wine”s track, recorded in 1963, precedes the heat of the Vietnam War. How might her song have panned out had it been recorded five years later?

At Christmas it might not be nice to make people feel old, but here”s a disturbing thought: The baby of whose first Christmas Connie Francis is crooning is now a grandparent aged 56.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes covers made by indentured elves. PW in comments, wherein you may wish me a merry Christmas.

Don”t forget: next week, before New Year”s Eve, I”ll post the now traditional Any Major Disco mix.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, or “” in the words of Lou Rawls “” I hope Santa socks it to you.

1. JB – Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year (1967)
2. Ike & Tina Turner – Merry Christmas Baby (1965)
3. The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride (1963)
4. The Majority – All Our Christmases (1968)
5. Bobby Vinton – The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle (1964)
6. Bobby Vee – Christmas Vacation (1962)
7. The Debonairs – Christmas Time (1961)
8. The Drifters – Christmas Song (1964)
9. Jackie Wilson – Silver Bells (1963)
10. The Soul Stirrers – Christmas Means Love (1968)
11. Nancy Wilson – That’s What I Want For Christmas (1963)
12. Lou Rawls – Christmas Is (1967)
13. Bing Crosby – The White World Of Winter (1964)
14. Doris Day – Be A Child At Christmas Time (1964)
15. Connie Francis – Baby’s First Christmas (1961)
16. Jim Reeves – An Old Christmas Card (1963)
17. The Echoes – Merry Christmas Baby Blue (1961)
18. The Bee Gees – Thank You For Christmas (1967)
19. Chad Mitchell Trio – The Marvelous Toy (1963)
20. Lisa Miller – The Loneliest Christmas Tree (1968)
21. Claudine Longet – I Don’t Intend To Spend Christmas Without You (1967)
22. The Playboys – The Night Before Christmas (1963)
23. King Curtis – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve (1968)
24. Canned Heat – Christmas Blues (1968)
25. The Beatles – Christmas Time (Is Here Again) (1967)
26. The Royal Guardsmen – Snoopy’s Christmas (1967)
27. Beach Boys – The Man With All The Toys (1967)
28. Four Seasons – Christmas Tears (1962)
29. The Dynamics – Christmas Plea (1962)
30. The Charmels – Please Uncle Sam (Send Back My Man) (1966)
31. Toni Wine – My Boyfriend’s Coming Home For Christmas (1963)

GET IT! or HERE!

 

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: X-Mas Tags: