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Monday, December 04, 2017

#22 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)

Certainly when I think of the holidays, I think of traditions.  And on Day #4 of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE, tradition is definitely the name of the game as we check and see what song is at #22 on the list of Top 25 Christmas Songs (According to Me).

In case you've missed the last three days, here's a recap of the ones heard so far.  I'll be doing this periodically the closer we get to Christmas.

25.  Here We Come A-wassailing Medley
24.  Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
23.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

As you can tell, there's a little bit of tradition blended with a modern twist.  Much like the selection that I have for song #22.

Ah, Darlene Love.  What a set of pipes on that lady.  Can you believe that at 76 years old, she is still going strong with her musical chops?  Though she has built a career with several albums and singles to her credit (as well as taking a turn at acting on the side), she's probably best known for her work on holiday albums.  I'm wracking my brain trying to come up with a Christmas song she hasn't sang.

Her first major Christmas tune was Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - a song that has been covered by such artists as U2, Mariah Carey, and Cher.  It first appeared on the holiday album "A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector", and that album also contained hits from the Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, and a certain group that (SPOILER ALERT) you will hear a little later in this Christmas countdown.

And what a song it was too!  She belted out those words in such a brilliant way that at the time I don't think anyone else could have done it the same way.  And that song would become an annual tradition in every sense of the word.

Particularly for one late night talk show host.

It's hard to believe that David Letterman's show has been off the air for nearly three years now.  And it's especially hard to believe that in those three years, Letterman has somehow grown an epic Santa Claus beard!  But back when he was clean-shaven and one of the kings of late night television, he and Paul Shaffer would entertain audiences year round - well, at least until the Christmas holidays began.

You see, David Letterman had his own set of traditions that he honoured on the last show before the Christmas hiatus.  Those traditions usually included at least one visit with Rupert at Hello Deli, a holiday themed Top 10 list, and Jay Thomas attempting to knock off the meatball at the top of his Christmas tree.

(R.I.P. Jay Thomas.)

At at the end of the holiday themed spectacular, Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra would invite singer Darlene Love to perform "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) every single year since 1986.  And she made it to every single performance for the rest of the time David Letterman hosted the show.

(Well, okay, due to the 2007/2008 writer's strike, she had to sit that one out - but the 2006 performance was broadcast instead.)

I suppose really that's what the holidays are all about in the long run.  Yes, the holidays have gotten more modernized with online shopping and phone apps that let you track Santa around the world on Christmas Eve.  But at the root of it all, there's traditions that have lasted centuries.  Darlene Love has certainly been a part of holiday traditions for a few years at least! 

So, that's four out of twenty-five songs complete.  What do I have next at #21?  How about a song that sounds like it was released in the 1950s, actually came out in the 1980s, and was a huge hit for a guy whose stage name sounds like something you might do to James Bond's martini!

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