Today, I discovered there are water-damaged/moldy albums even I wouldn’t try to salvage.
Jazz and jingle.
The song is called Cool Yule.
But this classic buy Satch could easily have been yclept Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.
Except Santa comes on big here.
Listening to the handful of seasonal items Satch cut, it’s kind of a shame he never did a full album to put under the XMas tree.
But this does make a lovely stocking stuffer…
when you heard
your destiny call you
what did it say
that made you follow
was it something
you never told anyone
or was it just the way
it called your name
Jingling those bells…
So, there aren’t a lot of classic era jazz Christmas songs by ladies.
Where there are, they are instances of a singer joining a big band for a cut.
In this case, we have Peggy Lee out in front of the Benny Goodman band in 1941.
Again, this isn’t strictly a Christmas song.
More of a winter song.
But it has appeared on several Christmas albums, such as Tony Bennett’s Snowfall.
The other vocalist on this cut is Art Lund.
It’s a nice brassy cut, with a holiday season kind of brightness and bustle about it, but without having to go to the mall to experience it.
So, much better.
Even better if you’ve got your love to keep you warm.
and in city squares
they always found
their way home
do not like
to be alone.
On December 10, 1967, a plane crashed into Lake Monona, WI.
And in that instant, the world lost one of the greatest talents we ever had.
He was just 26, but he had demonstrated in just five short years that he was an incredibly talented singer, songwriter, arranger, producer.
And to this day, he is still recognized as one of the finest singers of all time.
The loss of Otis Redding is one that hits me every year around this time.
Not that I was alive when he died.
But because he was about to embark on what may have been one of the most artistically and musically accomplished journeys that anyone had undertaken.
If you think that is hyperbole, go listen to any R&B cut copyrighted right up to December 1967.
Then, listen to Dock of the Bay.
It’s hard to hear how innovative that track was now, due to over familiarity.
But it was so new, so daring, that people around him thought it was a risk he shouldn’t be taking.
White Christmas by Redding kills me every time I hear it.
I miss him in the way you miss family, and I never even knew him.
Pretty much tied with The Drifters for the best version of White Christmas in my books, Redding’s take is slow burning nostalgia and wistfulness.
More than most any Christmas recording I know, he just gets all the things that are so dear about the season in his delivery.
And he invests that ‘may your days’ with more heart and soul than any other singer I can name.
I have a lot of Christmas music, but there isn’t a song or an album I can name that affects me as profoundly and as powerfully as listening to this.
light the believers
and send word
for the messengers
everything is heavy here
where i keep the truth
and now comes the time
for now is the time
to share it with anyone
who will listen
it only takes time
and a word.
I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm comes from the pen of Irving Berlin, who wrote one of the most famous Christmas songs of all time, White Christmas.
It first materialized in 1937 in a film called On the Avenue.
That same year, Lady Day cut it.
Nearly 20 years later, she revisited it while recording for Verve.
That’s the version I am familiar with.
Her voice on the Verve version reflects years of hard living.
There’s more rasp.
So it is something of a revelation to hear her on this.
At the time, I don’t think I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm was a holiday season classic.
But it has become one.
Just like Billie became an icon.
Some things are just meant to be.
do you know
or do you
just keep going
come what may?