Archive for the 30 Days Out (From Christmas) Category

30 Days Out (From Christmas): The Beatles

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas), Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 30, 2011 by 30daysout

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REPOST: Another popular Christmas post from the past, now with updated links and extra tracks!

From 1963 to 1969 the Beatles gave members of their official fan club a special gift at Christmas: a record unavailable elsewhere.  As the years went by, the messages got more avant-garde, druggy and downright strange.  The 1967 disc was titled the_beatles_christmas_album_cover“Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” and extracts from a song of that name were scattered among short sketches.  In 1995, Capitol Records issued an uninterrupted edit of the song as the B-side of “Free As A Bird.”  Superimposed near the end are some spoken-word seasonal greetings, taped in 1966, followed by a John Lennon pastiche.  We have also enclosed the Beatles’ Christmas messages from 1968 and 1969 – they were all compiled on an album and given as a final gift to fan club members in 1970.  Today, the album is a rare collector’s item.

MP3: “Christmas Message 1963”

MP3: “Christmas Message 1965”

MP3: “1967 Christmas Time (Is Here Again)”

MP3: “Christmas Message 1968”

MP3: “Christmas Message 1969”

MP3: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” (1995 edit)

1967 Christmas record sleeve

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Phil Spector

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by 30daysout

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Day 28 – Before he became a murder defendant and a tabloid joke, Phil Spector was one of the best record producers ever.   In his heyday (1960-65) he produced 25 Top 40 hits, including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” by the Righteous Brothers – listed by BMI as the 20th century’s most-played song on the radio.  His stable of artists included the Ronettes, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, the Crystals, Ike & Tina Turner, the Righteous Brothers and the great Darlene Love.

In 1963 Spector gathered some of these artists to spector-xmas-album-originalcreate A Christmas Gift For You, an album of holiday songs with his patented “Wall of Sound” production style.  It is, quite simply, the greatest rock and roll Christmas album of all time.  The Crystals’ atomic-powered “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” (the blueprint for later versions by Bruce Springsteen and many others) and Darlene Love’s amazing “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” are towering classics that only slightly stand above the rest of this great music.

We’re only going to post a few selections from A Christmas Gift For You – if you do not own this masterpiece, do yourself a favor and give it to yourself for Christmas.

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by the Crystals

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by the Ronettes

MP3: “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans

MP3: “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love

MP3: “Silent Night” by Phil Spector and His Artists

BONUS: We’ve also included a version of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love, from 1992’s A Very Special Christmas 2.

MP3: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Happy New Year!

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day 30 – Well, here we are: 30 days and about 400 Christmas songs later, we’re hurtling headlong into a brand new year.  We really enjoyed the holiday music, hope you did too.  So we’re going to leave you with a handful of tunes to put it between the ditches by (please make sure you do that on New Year’s Eve) and even though there are a few more days to go before 2009, we are going to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year.  Tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled nonsense.  Alka Seltzer, anyone?

MP3:  “My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)” by Regina Spektor

MP3: “Auld Lang Syne” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Happy New Year” by Abba

MP3: “New Year’s Resolution” by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas

MP3: “What Are You Doing On New Year’s Eve” by King Curtis

MP3: “Happy New Year, Baby” by Johnny Otis & His Orchestra

MP3: “Happy New Year/Auld Lang Syne” by the Small Stars

MP3: “The New Year” by Death Cab For Cutie

MP3: “New Year’s Day” by U2

MP3: “A Totally New Year” by Matt Pryor

MP3: “In The New Year” by the Walkmen

MP3: “The Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne” by Jimi Hendrix

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Soul Christmas

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2008 by 30daysout

 soul-christmas

Day 27 – In 1968, Atlantic Records was arguably the best R&B record label on the planet.  With all due respect to Berry Gordy’s Motown Records, the Atlantic roster of artists created classic soul and R&B that topped the charts and rocked kids across the world.   So some of the biggest names on Atlantic (and its subsidiaries Atco and Stax) came together in ’68 to put together the simply titled Soul Christmas

First out of the gate was a song specificially recorded for the project: “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter.  Although that’s an instant keeper, the highlight has to be the two tunes contributed by Otis Redding.  His “White Christmas” is brilliantly bleak, and the arrangement of “Merry Christmas, Baby” set the pattern for many more versions to follow.

The original Soul Christmas is available on CD with some bonus tracks (thanks, Rhino Records!).  It’s the second greatest Christmas album of all time, in our humble opinion.  Our pick for the best?  Tune in tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-URL! 

MP3: “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter

MP3: “Merry Christmas, Baby” by Otis Redding

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by Booker T. & the MGs

MP3: “Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas” by Carla Thomas

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by King Curtis

MP3: “White Christmas” by Otis Redding

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Motown 2

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , on December 22, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day Whatever (I knew we’d screw this up) – Mo’  Motown holiday classics.  The Supremes, the Temptations, Smokey and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five.  What more do we need to say?  Except maybe that many of these versions, overlooked at the time as mere holiday tinsel, sound today like stone classics.

Tomorrow, we’ll visit another fine R&B record label for one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time.

MP3: “Little Bright Star” by the Supremes

MP3: “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Jackson Five

MP3: “Love Comes With Christmas” by the Temptations

MP3: “I Want To Come Home For Christmas” by Marvin Gaye

MP3: “White Christmas” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

MP3: “One Little Christmas Tree” by Stevie Wonder

MP3: “Give Love On Christmas Day” by the Jackson Five (feat. Michael Jackson)

MP3: “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)” (live at the Apollo) by Marvin Gaye

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

MP3: “Silver Bells” by the Supremes

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Holiday Clearance!

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day 25 – Only four shopping days left till Christmas, and we’re huffing into the homestretch of our holiday music marathon.  Today we’ll pick up some of the leftovers that have been left on the cutting room floor.  You got a little of everything: some WTF? (Tiny Tim), something new (Hives, Sheryl Crow) some rock and roll (Gary Glitter), Zappa, Belafonte and a full Christmas episode of Jack Webb’s “Dragnet” radio show from the 1950s.  My advice to you is to make like the couple in the photo above – pop a few bottlecaps (of Schlitz? … That woman looks a little drunk) and cue up the tunes.   Thanks and a big “Merry Xmas” to L.A. correspondent and radio personality Randy Fuller, who shared some of his library for this ill-advised project.

MP3: “Peace” by Norah Jones

MP3: “Another Rock and Roll Christmas” by Gary Glitter

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Captain Kangaroo

MP3: “Merry Christmas Baby” by Sheryl Crow

MP3: “The Littlest Snowman” by Captain Kangaroo

MP3: “Santa Claus Has Got The AIDS” by Tiny Tim

MP3: “Sleigh Ride” from A Star Wars Christmas

MP3: “A Christmas Duel” by the Hives with Cyndi Lauper

MP3: Gene Simmons Holiday Message   

MP3: “Trim Your Tree” by Jimmy Butler 

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Freaking Me Out” by Lord Weatherby

MP3: “Feliz Navidad” by the Zydeco Playboys

MP3: “Poor Mr. Santa” by Andre Williams

MP3: “Jingle Polka” by Thurl Ravenscroft with Marie Vernon & the Mellomen

MP3: “Overture To A Holiday” by Frank Zappadragnet-xmas-story-a

MP3: “The Christmas Story”  radio episode of “Dragnet” Part 1

MP3: “The Christmas Story” radio episode of “Dragnet” Part 2

MP3: “Mary’s Boy Child” by Harry Belafonte

MP3: Brian Wilson Holiday Announcement

MP3: “Silent Night” by Brian Wilson

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Texas 2

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2008 by 30daysout

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Along the Trail of Lights, Austin (2008)

Day 24 –  Here are some more favorites from the Lone Star State.  From Roy Orbison’s classic “Pretty Paper” (written by Willie Nelson) to Robert Earl Keen’s modern radio favorite “Merry Christmas From The Family,” these homegrown holiday chestnuts are enough to keep you cool on a humid December Texas night.  And they’ll keep you toasty a few hours later, when the cold front blows through.

MP3: “Pretty Paper” by Roy Orbison

MP3: “Blue Christmas” by Kelly Willis

MP3: “Merry Christmas From The Family” by Robert Earl Keen

MP3: “Christmas Morning” by Lyle Lovett

MP3: “Please Daddy, Don’t Get Drunk ” by Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis

MP3: “I’m Grateful For Christmas This Year” by Hayes Carll

MP3: “Winterlude” by Joe Ely

MP3: “Rockin’ Winter Wonderland” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

MP3: “Merry Christmas” by Lightnin’ Hopkins

MP3: “Please Come Home For Christmas” by Lou Ann Barton

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by Flaco Jimenez, Freddy Fender, Joel Nava, Rick Orozco & Ricardo Castillon

MP3: “She’ll Be My Everything For Christmas” by Los Lonely Boys

MP3: “Christmas Everyday” by Rosie Flores

MP3: “Merry Texas Christmas, Ya’ll” by Asleep At The Wheel

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Rockin’ Stocking 1970s

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day 22– Don’t know about you, but I spent half of the 1970s still in shock from the 1960s.  The one thing you could hold on to was the music – it hadn’t yet gone into the toilet.  Musically, what defined the decade of the 1970s?  Artists who became famous in the previous decade ruled, of course.  Three of the Beatles popped up with holiday songs – one is a classic, one is OK and one is pretty much the worst Christmas single ever, if not one of the worst songs ever committed to vinyl (and CD).  Do I need to point them out for you?  Here’s a clue: two of them are posted here.

In the Seventies there was also black pop, disco and punk.  It was one of those all-inclusive decades.  So why am I so paranoid?  Anyway, today’s post reflects a little of everything, like the 1970s decade its own bad self. 

MP3: “(Gonna Have A) Disco Christmas” by Disco Beat

MP3: “Father Christmas” by the Kinks

MP3: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Foghat

MP3: Drive Safely PSA by George Harrison

MP3: “Ding Dong, Ding Dong” by George Harrison

MP3: “Thank God It’s Christmas” by Queen

MP3: “Christmas Must Be Tonight” by the Band

MP3: “It May Be Winter Outside” by the Love Unlimited Orchestra

MP3: “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John

MP3: “The Little Drummer Boy” by the Salsoul Orchestra

MP3: “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Mistletoe Disco Band

MP3: “Silent Night” by the Dickies

MP3: Good For Joey’s Nerves radio spot by the Ramones

MP3: “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones

MP3: “Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy” by Bing Crosby & David Bowie

MP3: “Run Rudolph Run” by Keith Richards

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by the Jackson Five

MP3: Peace Message from John and Yoko (1970)

MP3: “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (Demo) by John Lennon

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Ha! Ha! Ha! Merry Christmas

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day 21 – Most Christmas songs tell a tale of snow, warm wishes, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and mistletoe.  Then there are others that talk about, well, other things.  Here are some Christmas comedy classics that will not warm your heart, but could cause you to bust a gut.  No grandmas and reindeers here!

MP3: “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by Bob and Doug McKenzie

MP3: “Christmas Time For My Penis” by The Vandals

MP3: “Santafly”by Martin Mull

MP3: “Christmas With The Devil”by Spinal Tap

MP3: “The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas” by Allan Sherman

MP3: “Santa and His Old Lady”by Cheech and Chong

MP3: “Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey” by Lou Monte

MP3: “Wreck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” by The Three Stooges

MP3: “The Night Santa Went Crazy” by Weird Al Yankovic

MP3: “A St. Nick Dangerous Christmas Eve” by the Firesign Theatre

MP3: “The Chanukkah Song” by Adam Sandler

MP3: “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”  by Spike Jones

MP3: “Christmas Dragnet” by Stan Freberg

MP3: “Merry Christmas” by Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase)

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Louisiana

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day 20 – Our Christmas journey today brings us to the great state of Louisiana – or more precisely, New Orleans.  The Crescent City is home to some of the greatest American musicians of past and modern eras, and being the nice Catholic boys and girls most of ’em are, they really know how to put on a good party at Christmas.  We also veer slightly into Cajun country for a couple of our selections but it’s all Louisiana, it’s all good.  Lassez les bon temps roulet.

MP3: “Christmas In New Orleans” by Louis Armstrong

MP3: “The Day It Snows On Christmas” by Allen Toussaint

MP3: “Christmas Gumbo” by Art Neville

MP3: “Zydeco Christmas” by C. J. Chenier

MP3: “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Joe Bonsall

MP3: “Christmas Fais Do Do” by Marcia Ball

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by Al Hirt

MP3: “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Pete Fountain

MP3: “Peace Brother Peace” by Dr. John

MP3: “Let It Snow” by the Dixie Cups

MP3: “The Christmas Blues” by the Dukes of Dixieland w/Topsy Chapman & Lars Edegran

MP3: “Santa Don’t Let Me Down” by Earl King

MP3: “All I Want For Christmas (Is A Little Bit Of Music) by Huey Piano Smith & the Clowns

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by Fats Domino

MP3: “Such A Night” by Aaron Neville