Archive for The Christmas Song

30 Days Out (from Christmas): Meeting Perry Como

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2010 by 30daysout

Perry Como is one of those singers like, Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby, who will live forever. We hear them every Christmas whether we like it or not.  Crosby’s “White Christmas,” Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” and Como’s “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” still rank among the most played and best Christmas offerings. I never got the chance to meet Crosby or Cole, but was lucky enough to meet the great Mr. Como on three separate occasions.

For too many years to count, my great-grandmother, Kate Spensieri, made bread and cookies for Como every other Friday. I have no idea how this started, but I do know that she loved it and he loved her. You could see it on his face when we were lucky enough to deliver a couple of loaves to his house on Jupiter Island, FL one warm day in the spring of 1988. He was extremely kind to me and took a genuine interest when I told him I was a singer in a rock and roll band. He even told me to send him a demo, which, of course, I never did.

My second run-in occurred at a Publix grocery store in Jupiter. I was pushing my then 14-month old daughter, Julianne, around the store looking for something when this older gentleman came up to our cart and started making her laugh by making funny faces. He looked at me and told me she was beautiful and then I did what I always do when I see someone famous…I pointed and said “hey, are you Perry Como?” He put his finger over his mouth, nodded and walked away down the chip aisle.

The third run-in was at St. Jude Catholic Church in Tequesta, FL. During the middle of a hymn, I heard a guy singing behind me and I turned to my grandfather and said..”that sounds like Perry Como.” I’m sure you can guess the rest.

“There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” by Perry Como

“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Perry Como

“White Christmas” by Perry Como

30 Days Out (From Christmas) – A Jewish Christmas

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2008 by 30daysout


Day 14 – As we all know those of the Jewish faith don’t celebrate Christmas, but instead Hannukah, or the Festival of Lights, an eight-day holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd Century BCE. It starts on the 25th Day of the Kislev according to the Hebrew Calendar.

The lack of a Christmas tree, Santa Claus, and everything else that goes along with Christmas hasn’t stopped some of the biggest stars from recording holiday tunes. Neil Diamond, Barbara Streisand, Simon and Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, Mitch Miller and the great Herb Alpert just to name a few have all laid down Christmas tracks. Kenny G sold millions of Christmas albums, and two of the most popular yuletide songs in history, “White Christmas” and “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” were written by Irving Berlin and Mel Torme, respectively. Both happened to be Jewish.

MP3: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” – Neil Diamond

MP3: “Ave Maria” – Barbara Streisand

MP3: “Because It’s Christmas” – Barry Manilow

MP3: “The Twelve Days of Christmas” – Mitch Miller and the Gang

MP3: “River” – Robert Downey Jr.

Mp3: “The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle” – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

MP3: “The 7 O’Clock News/Silent Night” – Simon and Garfunkel

Mp3: “White Christmas” – Kenny G

Mp3 – “The Christmas Song” – Mel Torme