Did you know Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive? I know he used to still be alive when I didn’t think he was, but I didn’t realise he was still still alive. He’s not even that old. I love this version, especially the signature piano sweeps (what’s the proper name for them?). I can’t remember if it’s OK to like Jerry Lee Lewis, but on the basis that it’s OK to like Michael Jackson (and it is), I’m going to say it is. Because I do.
I know, but today is David’s birthday – not David Hasselhoff’s, but the actual David, my oldest friend David, with whom I almost certainly used to watch Knight Rider (although I occasionally get my childhood Davids mixed up: I think friend-David was Knight Rider and cousin-David was The Dukes of Hazzard, but I could have it the wrong way round, but I don’t think I do, and anyway it doesn’t matter because David Hasselhoff is certainly called David and from my childhood, so he’s allowed to do David’s birthday song either way).
Happy birthday David! Happy Hoffday, everyone else.
I don’t know what’s oddest about this – the beach setting, the headwear, or the fact that the usually-left-off intro is spoken over a middle instrumental section. But it’s a bona-fide Wall Of Sound rendering nonetheless, and a suitably upbeat start to what will probably be the last week before Christmas where we all still have to go to work every day and look as though we’re actually paying attention.
Introducing “Crooner Sunday”: after Bing kicked us off last week, here’s a gorgeously lush and louche version by Peggy Lee. I had no idea whether Peggy Lee had recorded a version when I started putting this list together, incidentally, but when a song has been recorded as many times as White Christmas has, you end up finding that most people have done it at some point. Even Bob Dylan, though sadly no recording survives (I have been researching this quite closely; I hope you’re appreciative). So the way to make the list is to make a list of artists you’d like to hear singing White Christmas, and then google it. The list is still fluid, so I am open to requests should you have a particular favourite. Although that Guns’n'Roses version is totally not by Guns’n'Roses, so we’re not having it.
And now for something completely different (I always like to give you a treat at the weekend). As well as being much more charming than you’d expect, this version is notable for featuring the best “ho ho ho” in the history of popular music.
I didn’t think I could chirrup away about Christmas music hours after Nelson Mandela had died, so there wasn’t going to be a White Christmas today. There still isn’t, but instead here is a Mandela-inspired Spotify playlist tweeted by the folks over at playlists.net, which is a site you should make room for in your life. Listen and drink a Friday night toast to the man so big he filled the whole world.
I love this wistful version, which I was saving for another day, but today is a wistful day so let’s have it today. Be safe and warm, wherever you are.
Don’t you love the sound of crackles in the background of a vinyl record? There’s even something a bit Christmassy about it, because it sounds like a log fire. And this is a lovely arrangement, and the first by a girl (there are more to come, don’t worry). Also, I like looking at Rosemary Clooney’s face, because it’s more like George’s than you expect it to be.
I’m sorry that it’s hours and hours late. It’s been that sort of a day.
So this is exciting: did you know that Erasure have a new Christmas album out, and it’s awesome? I mean, obviously it’s awesome; it’s Erasure. But listen to this! And then listen to the rest of it! And then listen to this again! This is a very happy start to a Tuesday.
On a Monday, when there are still three weeks until the holidays, you need a happy song. Fortunately, The Drifters are here to oblige.