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November 28, 2006



Hand's down fav is Mel Blanc: "The Hat I got for Christmas is too Beeg" Mel in his best stereotypical Mexican character sings about his beeg hat. I played that on the radio one season and got more requests for that than White Christmas. Mel did a bunch of Christmas songs in "character" and I loved them all.Phil Spector stuff is groovy too.Bill Nesbitt


Nothing beats hanging around the Christmas tree...eating a handfull of Vicodin...and listening to Cheech & Chongs "Santa Claus and his old lady".

Culinarily Curious

Among the Christmas songs I enjoy (although not typically until after the calander flips to December): Eartha Kitt's version of Santa BabyNat King Cole's rendition of the Christmas SongMost of Amy Grant's Christmas albumAnd in the E-eeeew column, I hate the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas song. Inane. Ditto "Grandma Got Runover..." (although other parodies by the same group of misfits amuse me -- I think Grandma just got overplayed)

Lane Q

Nothing says Christmas like Little Augie Rios singing "Mamacita, Donde Esta Santa Claus". Lane


My favorite CD is Bruce Cockburn's "Christmas." (Can't forget that title!)If your name was "Cockburn" you probably wouldn't have a positive outlook on life, this is not a sunny guy in his non-holiday music.So it surprising how joyful this collection is, especially "Mary Had a Baby."If we had not been given a million parodies of "12 Days of Christmas" after Stan Freeberg's, I think we'd have gotten on just fine...--Me


I'm not much of a fan of Christmas music (or of Christmas for that matter) but I have always loved James Brown's "Santa Claus Go Striaght to the Ghetto" and the Kinks "Father Christmas." Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons do a version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" that you need to hear once... and only once or your brain will melt. The only Chirstmas music that really moves me is the soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas."


Was in complete agreement with you about "Drummer Boy" until I heard the version by Burl Ives. Think it was originally done in the 60's but it has such a modern sounding arrangement that it has become one of my new favorites.As for the holiday song I loathe above all others, the writers of the maudlin "Christmas Shoes" need to go to song jail.

J Lee

Hey, I'm just happy XM found enough bandwidth to give their five Christmas music channels their own spots this year, instead of having to dump regular channels in the lineup until Dec. 26 (Special X is always good for some twisted yuletide tunes).

Some Guy

A few years ago I worked on a Celine Dion CBS special in which she did covers of a number of holiday standards. I'm not a huge fan of her usual pop theatrics, but if you like Christmas standards then you should listen to her These Are Special Times CD. I'm a Rock'N Roll guy, but I have never heard anyone do a better vocal performance than her version of "Oh Holy Night". In rehearsals she did it three times in a row and was flawless each time. To paraphrase Maxwell Smart, when she puts her voice to use for the forces of good instead of evil, the results are astounding.

Herb Popsfarter

Faves: Oh Holy Night by Mahalia Jackson. I'll be home for Christmas - by BingoGetting on my nerves: Santa Baby &Merry Christmas - War is Over - Sorry, but Yoko Ono can ruin a song in a way no other human being is capable of. (Though I'm sure she's a perfectly nice individual)(?)

Frank Abe

The Phil Spector Christmas Album. Esp. The Ronnette's Sleigh Ride.


Oh sure, everyone complains about OJ and Robert Blake getting away with it, but Claudine Longet was caught WITH THE SMOKING GUN IN HER HAND and still got away with it . . .Nat King Cole's Christmas Song is my favorite and I concur with oyvey about the jazzy soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas

R.A. Porter

Definitely agree with the Bruce Cockburn recommendation. For me, it's a tossup between that and the "Too Many Santas" album from The Bobs.And while Drummer Boy is usually dull, I still love the Bing+Bowie duet.


The Jimmy Eat World rendition of "Last Christmas" is my favorite Christmas song. The original Wham! version rocks, too.And I really like Feliz Navidad...


Many holiday songs are annoying. Indeed.Here are some, though, that give me chills:Harry Belafonte, "Mary's Boy Child" (by his fourth note my spine is a-tingle)Ella Fitzgerald, "The Secret of Christmas" (supremely intimate microphone work)Billy Eckstine, "Christmas Eve" (what a voice)I also never tire of the Grinch. And, honestly, the South Park Christmas Classics are quite good.


Oh, and - though I may be betraying my foreign birth and education here - Bach's Christmas Oratorio is full of several gorgeous pieces. Perhaps not radio material, but still. Worth a listen.

Mike Barer

Hey, I love Adam Sandler's "Channukkah Song", although it is a bit satirical for most of my family.


Ray and Betty singing "Baby it's Cold Outside" which maybe isn't technically a Christmas song, but gets played around Christmas anyway. And when I was reeally teeny, before I could speak English, I thought "We Three Kings" was beautiful when sung by a choir.Of course I couldn't understand a word of it.

Michael Berry

It's not Christmas without Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas."


11 Christmas Songs written by people who celebrate Hanukah The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - Mel Tormé, Robert Wells Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie White Christmas - Irving Berlin Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - Johnny Marks (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays - Bob Allen, Al Stillman O Holy Night – Adolphe Adam and Placide Cappeau Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Johnny Marks Sleigh Ride – Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish Silver Bells - Jay Livingston, Ray Evans A Holly Jolly Christmas - Johnny Marks


Santa Baby by anybody is horrible.Though not precisely a Christmas song, I love Dean Martin's version of "Marshmallow World". I also have a great CD called "Christmas Cocktail" (I think there are three of them now) with jazzy verions of standards by the Rat Packers, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney and the like. Harry Connick's "Harry for the Holidays" and country singer John Berry's "This is Bethlehem" are incredibly beautiful albums.Just bought Sarah McLaughlin's new one Wintersong and she does a great version of "Christmastime is Here Again".Random favourite tracks, in no particular order, "Elf's Lament" by the Barenaked Ladies from their Barenaked for the Holidays CD, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" from the Love Actually soundtrack,the SHeDaisy funked up version of "Deck the Halls" from A Brand New Year, and Robert Downey's version of "River" from An Ally McBeal Christmas. Oh, and the Irish girl in me must hear "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues daily during Christmas week. Mandatory.I would also be remiss if I left out the Muppets Christmas album. Classic.I love the Christmas music :-)


I agree with Ken about Phil Spector's Christmas album. Not a bad one in the bunch, that is, if you can overlook Phil's schmaltzy Christmas message read over a typical 'Wall of Sound' music track.I still like Doug and Bob McKenzie's version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" (and NOT just because they're fellow Canucks), but my all time favorite has to be John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)". A wonderful, wonderful song, unlike Mr. McCartney's bubble gummy, over synthesized, pop pap, "Wonderful Christmastime". That one...not so wonderful Paul.Doug Thompson


I love John Lennon's "Happy XMas (War is Over)" and even Yoko can't ruin it for me."Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses has some nostalgic pull.I think the Bing+Bowie "Little Drummer Boy" is irresistible for sheer weirdness. Especially if you track down the video version from the TV special way back when. Whew. One so old and one so stoned they both look like aliens.But, child of the 80s that I am, I can't hear the Band Aid song "Do They Know It's Christmas" (yes, including the inane "there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime" line) without sighing a sweet little sigh.


"2000 Miles" by the Pretenders.A hopeful finish to probably the best album I've ever heard.


Happy Christmas(war is over)by John Lennon, beautiful song.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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