classic christmas

A Classic Christmas

An old world playlist that may have you pining for the Christmases of your childhood.

 

A Classic Christmas Tracklist
Ella Fitzgerald – Frosty The Snowman
Dean Martin – Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Doris Day – Winter Wonderland
Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
Mahalia Jackson – Silent Night
Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Judy Garland – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock
James Brown – Soulful Christmas
Tony Bennett – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas
Elvis Presley – Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
Frank Sinatra – Mistletoe and Holly
Andy Williams – Sleigh Ride
Perry Como – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song
Louis Armstrong – ‘Zat You, Santa Claus?
Ray Conniff – Christmas Bride

Depending on your age a classic Christmas song could well be something that was released in the 1980’s. Not for us though, the classic Christmas sound is one that originated in the 1940’s, 1950’s or 1960’s. Perhaps it was the onward march of advanced production techniques that robbed the more recent Christmas releases of that homespun warmth. Regardless, when it comes to the sound of ye olde festive times it is Christmas music of the mid-20th century that we hone in on.

And what a golden period it was with crooners such as Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and of course Bing Crosby treading the Christmas boards each year. And it wasn’t just on record either, with Crosby and Cole having their own TV shows that truly came into their own as December 25th drew closer. Bing big song ‘White Christmas’ deserves a place on any festive playlist with the Irving Berlin penned classic as intrinsic to the holiday experience as gift exchange and turkey.

Also worth mentioning is Nat King Cole’s reading of Mel Torme and Bob Wells’ ‘The Christmas Song’, a composition he returned to time and again with each of his 4 recordings making for essential holiday listening. And in a modern age of one-off (dollar chasing) Christmas singles isn’t it comforting to know that Andy Williams fastidiously ascribed to his Christmas mission by recording a full 7 different holiday albums. It’s no wonder he proclaimed the season to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.

Christmas Crooners

Their voices are as warm as a Christmas spent by the hearth and can’t you just bask in the lush orchestral embellishment.

 

Christmas Crooners Tracklist
Tony Bennett – Winter Wonderland
Bing Crosby – Christmas in Killarney
Johnny Cash – Little Drummer Boy
Mel Torme – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Perry Como – (There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
Frank Sinatra – Jingle Bells
Nat King Cole – Mrs Santa Claus
Eddy Arnold – Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
Andy Williams – Christmas Is A Feeling In Your Heart
Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin – Marshmallow World
Michael Buble – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Pat Boone – Silver Bells
Dean Martin – Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Johnny Mathis – Christmas Is A Feeling In Your Heart
Frank Sinatra – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra spent most of the year singing about non-Christmas matters but it’s their contribution to the most magical season of the year that still leaves us spellbound. And when these men got hold of a yuletide song it didn’t really matter who recorded it subsequently because it is the crooners definitive version that we return to time and again over the holidays.

With those big voices at the controls you could be sure that there was plenty orchestral trimmings included. What would Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’ be without those dramatic strings or how would Dean Martin’s ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!’ shorn of the dainty brass sound I wonder? Equally rich of voice and orchestra is Mel Torme’s ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ which memorably appeared on the classic 1990 Christmas movie ‘Home Alone’.

Moving away from the heavyweights there is plenty of lesser known lights such as Pat Boone, Eddy Arnold and of course Johnny Mathis. It was Mathis who gave the world a wonderful Christmas tome in ‘The Sounds of Christmas’ in the early 60’s. ‘Christmas Is a Feeling in Your Heart’ was the album’s main single and though it rarely gets an outing in December it is nonetheless a snow flecked dollop of magic.