Friday, December 11, 2015

White Christmas

Why isn't this version on the radio every 20 minutes?

Marilyn McCoo and the incomparable John Davidson nailing WHITE CHRISTMAS on a 1983 episode of SOLID GOLD!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Marshmallow World

There is nobody on the planet today even half as cool as these two guys.  Watch Dean Martin and his pal Frank Sinatra breeze through a performance of A MARSHMALLOW WORLD on a December 21, 1967 episode of THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW.

Legend has it that NBC wanted Dean Martin for a show so badly, that they only made him work one afternoon a week. He would come in a record the show without any rehearsal and it ended up working quite well for the show. The laid back feeling rolled over to the guests too! Watch Frank just go ahead and pull up his socks while singing on national television:

Compare that to this next clip, which I assume is from a few years later...I'm not sure ol' Dean even knows where he is:

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The Christmas Song

This is the real deal, right here...Nat King Cole singing his signature holiday tune - The Christmas Song.

Nat King Cole believed that smoking cigarettes gave his voice the nice crisp, low tone he was known for. He was known to chain smoke several cigarettes in a row before recording, often smoking three packs a day. He died in 1965, just a few months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

A Christmas To Remember

In 1984, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton were both huge mega stars at the top of their game. When they got together, people just couldn't get enough of it. One of the many specials they did together was the peculiar KENNY & DOLLY: A CHRISTMAS TOGETHER.  The entire special is on YouTube, I've watched it - and I'm not sure why. But here's Kenny, dressed as Handy Smurf, and Dolly, dressed as a 5 year old's Christmas arts and crafts project, singing their huge hit A Christmas To Remember along with a cast of 20 some store window mannequins...

Monday, December 07, 2015

Silver Bells

This week we're featuring some YouTube clips of various Christmas songs from various sources. Join us all week for festive holiday fun, won't ya!? First up is the odd pairing of Bob Hope and Olivia Newton-John lip synching SILVER BELLS.

Silver Bells is one of those Christmas standards that you assume has just been around forever, but it's origins are actually directly connected to Bob Hope. The song was written for the 1951 comedy musical THE LEMON DROP KID staring Hope along with Marilyn Maxwell and William "Fred Mertz" Frawley. The movie debuted in March of '51, but in Christmas 1950 a recording of Silver Bells was released sung by Bing Crosby. When the record became such a huge hit, the movie studio quickly brought the stars back in to film a more elaborate musical number to do the song justice.

The song, of course, became a classic and Bob Hope used it as his signature Christmas song and performed it almost every year on his annual Christmas special. He asked Olivia Newton-John to join him in a performance in his 1977 descriptively titled special THE BOB HOPE ALL STAR CHRISTMAS COMEDY SPECIAL. Along for the ride in the special was Christmas staple Perry Como, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and The Muppets!

Sadly, nobody has uploaded the entire special (at least I couldn't find it) but here's Bob and a much younger Olivia (uncomfortably) flirting through a snow covered Burbank soundstage singing the holiday classic:

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