OK. You may be thinking . . . "Another Christmas post?? Isn't Christmas over?" . . . Well, not quite yet. As of the time of this post, New Years Day hasn't come yet. Also, I'm of Latin American background, and in Latin cultures, the Christmas holidays continue until Epiphany, also called Three Kings Day, on January 6. And, Hannukah and Kwanzaa are still going on. So, I figure a holiday post is still fair game.
Besides, I just couldn't resist posting this wonderful and amazing version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by Annie Lennox, from 2010. So etherial and magical, and so evocative of the season. Check out the strangely beautiful video too. Enjoy!
Here's two video clips which I've shown on this blog before. In fact I was considering whether I should re-post it yet again. But I opted to bring them out again, like worn but beloved Christmas ornaments, because of at least two reasons. First, they both bring back strong memories from my Christmases past. Second, because they both represent that spirit of love, peace, and compassion we need today.
Above is the classic commercial which Coke ran during the late '70s of young people creating a Christmas tree, and singing "I'd Love To Teach The World To Sing." I remember this 1977 commercial so vividly from my childhood. It has a very special place in my memories, and represents an innocent ideal of what Christmas is supposed to be about. I feel like just jumping in and joining this wonderful bunch of young people and sing along with them.
And here is another 1977 item: the duet between Bing Crosby and David Bowie of "Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth." I think this video is particularly poignant this year, as we lost David Bowie. The lyrics speak for themselves.
I wanted to take some time to remember Alan Thicke, who passed away recently. He is most remembered by people who grew up in the '80s as the father in the popular TV show Growing Pains. He was a familiar figure of '80s TV sitcom family life, and a comforting symbol of Baby Boomer parenthood as that generation settled down and had '80s-era children.
His involvement in entertainment is much broader, as a song-writer, a talk show host, and an actor in many other shows. He will be missed.
Its become almost a tradition at this blog to have a holiday season post (or posts!) with some retro '80s era Christmas songs. Some of the songs have been posted yearly, not unlike the yearly ritual of trotting out the same old beloved ornaments. Here's '80s Christmas songroll for 2016.
First up is a new one for this blog: the Pointer Sisters' version of the old classic "Santa Clause Is Coming to Town."
Here's another first appearance for this blog, Annie Lennox (and Eurythmics') doing a lovely rendition of "Winter Wonderland." Is the holiday spirit being felt?
This one's a classic: U2's very '80s version of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."
John (Cougar) Mellencamp's rockin version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."
All of the above were from 1987's wonderful charity album, A Very Special Christmas, which benefited the Special Olympics.
Here's a few '80s Christmas classics coming back to take their place under this year's tree:
Wham's very, very '80s holiday song, "This Christmas," from 1985.
And, rounding it all off, Billy Squire's 1981 "Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You."
The charitable spirit that followed Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas," and all of the musical efforts to give relief to famine victims in Africa, culminating in the mamoth Live Aid concerts, continued onto other causes. In September of 1985, right after Live Aid, a group of American musicians put together the very first Farm Aid concert to aid American farmers. The event featured Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, the Beach Boys, John Denver, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, and many others. It would later go on to being a yearly event.
Then in late 1985, a small group of musicians got together to reord a record to help fund AIDS research. The one-off group was called Dionne Warwick and Friends, and included Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight. The song they released was penned by the classic songrwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager, and was called "Thats What Friends Are For." It became Billboard magazine's number one sing of 1986. The video is above.