ACCM 2015: Christmas Music

Today is the third day of Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2015!

The featured topic is – Christmas Music – and the focus is on . . .
Christmas carols, church music and even more modern novelty songs are all a big part of our Christmas memories. What songs were your favorites as a child and are they still your favorites or do you have new ones? What about your parents or family members – were there certain songs or types of Christmas music played during the season? And how would you describe the type of Christmas music you like? Write about anything related to Christmas music and your memories of Christmases past.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap][dropcap][/dropcap] grew up in a home where different genres of music was appreciated; Christmas music was no exception! And though I no longer own a phonograph or have the old 1960 RCA record player we had in our home, I am just thrilled to have in my own music collection today some of the cherished Christmas LPs my family enjoyed during the holidays!

The Spirit of Christmas with the Living Strings

My mom loves instrumental Christmas music the best! Her favorite album was, and probably still is, THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS WITH THE LIVING STRINGS arranged and conducted by Johnny Douglas. The original LP was released on RCA’s Camden Record label in 1963. Music lovers who listen to this album today say, “it captures the spirit of Christmas – yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This album contains 43 minutes of some of the best Christmas music ever produced.” Now that is high praise indeed! But I must admit, it is a beautiful album with an equally beautiful cover. If you would like to hear this album for yourself, visit David Von Pein’s YouTube Channel #2 to experience the whole album in stereo!

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

My dad preferred Christmas music performed by popular singers like, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson and others. As a result, one of his favorite Christmas albums was the Pickwick 33’s various artists collection — I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! Pickwick 33, a subsidiary of Pickwick International was launched in the spring of 1965 when they entered into a new deal with Capitol Records for use of their unused back catalog. This compilation LP was probably released during the holidays that same year by arrangement with Capitol Records. I remember some of my dad’s favorites were Caroling, Caroling (Nat King Cole), Silver Bells (Al Martino) and The Christmas Waltz (Nancy Wilson).  My favorite song was, and still is, The Twelve Days of Christmas sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford!

Funky Christmas

Even though instrumental and traditional Christmas music were played a lot in our home, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how “groovalicious” holiday music could be in our home as well! Whenever we needed to add some smooth jazz, R&B, and disco to our holiday playlist, the FUNKY CHRISTMAS album was on the list! This LP was released in 1976 by Cotillion, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. Many call this album an audio feast because of artist like sax-man Lou Donaldson, southern soul Margie Joseph, Motown’s Lamont Dozier, and Willis Jackson to name a few. And if you look closely at the album cover, sitting at the piano is bad-boy Luther Vandross! His songs — At Christmas Time and May Christmas Bring You Happiness — are the best!

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.”

Blog Caroling 2012: Hallelujah Chorus

Blog Caroling 2012

Blog Caroling 2012

Blog Caroling 2012 is in full swing and this is my second year to participate in this wonderful online holiday tradition that was started by footnoteMaven some years ago!

During last year’s online event, I posted one of my all-time favorite traditional Christmas carols — What Child is This? featuing Andrea Bocelli and R&B singer, Mary J. Blige. Another one of my favorite songs at Christmas time is George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, particularly the Hallelujah Chorus! According to Wikipedia, Handel composed this magnificent oratorio in 1741, “…with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer (which are worded slightly differently from their King James counterparts).”

I love the traditional version of this chorus performed by MIT’s Concert Choir, directed by William C. Cutter. Click to listen below!

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Then I also love the more contemporary version performed by the famous All Star Choir directed by Quincy Jones below. This contemporary version is exactly the way my church choir sings it too. So enjoy the celebration — Merry Christmas!

Hallelujah Chorus Hymn

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,

King of kings, and Lord of lords,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!