[an error occurred while processing this directive]
|Email story||Comment||Letter to the editor|
By ERNEST HOOPER, Times Staff Writer
Published November 23, 2007
The holiday season begins in earnest today and with it comes the flood of holiday music on the radio airwaves.
I couldn't be happier. I love holiday music, and here are my 10 favorites.
10. Christmas Rap - Kurtis Blow
When it comes to hip-hop holiday songs, most people immediately think of Run-DMC's Christmas In Hollis. But Blow was the first to put rap into holiday wrap. It's so good you can play it in July and fill the dance floor.
9. The Hanukkah Song - Adam Sandler
My favorite line in this hilarious spoof? "O.J. Simpson, not a Jew."
8. Frosty the Snowman - Jimmy Durante
It has to be the Durante version from the original 1969 animated special. No other version will suffice, and I particularly enjoy the 12-inch version with the thumpety-thump-thump refrains. Okay, chances are there isn't a 12-inch version, but true fans know what I'm talking about.
7. Felice Navidad - Jose Feliciano
It's not Christmas until you hear someone butcher the Spanish lyrics: "Prospero ano y Felicedad."
6. This Christmas - Donny Hathaway
The late Hathaway etched his place in holiday song lore with this upbeat R&B salute to Christmas love. Extra credit for mentioning mistletoe.
5. Silent Night e_SEmD the Temptations
All six-plus minutes are worthy of a listen, especially Melvin Franklin's bass voice solo.
4. Same Old Lang Syne - Dan Fogelberg
People argue that this isn't a holiday song, but he met his old lover on Christmas Eve. Hello. Plus, you know you want to drink a toast to innocence.
3. Linus and Lucy - Vince Guaraldi
The best part of this classic jazz rag from the A Charlie Brown Christmas special is that it makes everyone get up and try to dance like one of the Peanuts characters.
2. The Christmas Song - Nat "King" Cole
As a Florida native who has never spent a Christmas north of Atlanta, I can't pretend to have seen chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Dare I say, I've only had a handful of holidays when Jack Frost nipped at my nose. Still, Cole romanticizes wintery warmth even for those who have never experienced it firsthand.
1. Merry Christmas, Darling - The Carpenters
Inclusion of this one may cause a gag reflex among those who don't appreciate silly love songs. Then again, those people probably didn't get past Fogelberg at No. 4. Nevertheless, I consider it a treasure. Let me explain why.
Back in my college days I started a romance with a girl in November, which is pretty amazing considering it was the height of football season. By December, we were awash in so much joyful bliss I didn't even break up with her to avoid having to buy a Christmas present.
But we had to spend the holidays apart - me with my family in Tallahassee and she with her family in Miami. I heard Karen Carpenter croon this on the radio that year and it inspired me to stop at a florist and have a dozen roses delivered to her house.
Those memories and this song, my all-time holiday favorite, are one of the reasons I love the season. It's also one of the reasons my wife and I will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary Sunday.
That's all I'm saying.
[Last modified November 23, 2007, 00:21:36]