Total Pageviews

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More on Christmas Music

November 27, 2010: Gosh, there are so many things I want to talk about, but right now all I can think of is this amazing version of "Go Tell It On The Mountain" I just heard Jim Nabors singing ...

It's odd, for I've heard it many, many times, but I never knew it was him. I thought it was some old baritone black guy, in fact -- "Old Man River" kind of thing. But, no, this was Gomer Pyle. My God! I'm flabbergasted ...

On that note, it's great to have my Christmas music going once again. Johnny Mathis, of course, remains my favorite, but others continue to grow in importance -- the Beach Boys, for instance, and now Jim Nabors! (Actually, the Jim Nabors is off of this old Columbia House two-record album I've carried around since my childhood -- "The Best-Loved Music of Christmas" -- and am now happily playing again and again with that great turntable I got at Target. (You dedicated readers may remember something about this turntable from past entries; I hope you do, because I don't, but I know I said something -- probably something angry.) The records are all scorched and scratched, but that's not stopping me from playing them over and over. (Several of the tracks skip so much, they only last about six seconds, but it's all lovely music to my season-starved ears.)

Isn't it nice to know what you like, and what makes you happy? More accurately, isn't it nice that I know?!

I think I also praised Celine Dion last year as well, although that might have just been in an email to Lindsay. She somehow looks like her to me, although I only wish she had her money, then we'd be closer friends. But I digress. And Lindsay, as you're one of the only people who ever reads this, it won't do me good to offend you, certainly not before Christmas! (I won't make any promises for what I may or may not do after the new year.)

On a parallel note, I can't for the life of me understand why it's so hard for me to memorize Christmas lyrics. I'm something of a musician/singer after all, as many of you know, and fewer of you care. Certainly the catalogue of my brain contains literally hundreds of songs that I know the words to, backwards and forwards ... But despite my annual over-indulgence in holiday tunes, I can't ever seem to retain but the most rudimentary parts of most of the songs. Why, I even go to Midnight Mass some years just to sing along, but I never know the words. Instead, I often have to phonetically fake them, like the singers in Abba, or Celine Dion.

Did you know that every year (for at least the past 20) I buy at least one new X-mas album? (For that matter, did you know I keep my underwear in the vegetable crisper?) This year I have my sites set on finding a good Robert Goulet compilation. There are two of his numbers on this record, and he's just a champ. He does this one called "Penis Angelicus" that's just remarkable, and not at all dirty, as the title might suggest.

Last year ... or was it the year before ... I went to see a whole choral production of the Hallelujah Choir. (It's called something -- the whole piece -- but I can't remember what. The Epistle? The Stovepipe? Something-or-other! I think it's by Handel ... or Handle, who came centuries later ... ) Anyway, they had this castrato singing, and it was remarkably embarrassing! He was beyond woman's-voice high, he was like a chipmunk, and we all had to sit there trying not to laugh, and if you closed your eyes he sounded like Ethel Merman hitting high notes ... But I just can't remember what that thing was called ... The Mendelsohn! Something like that ...

Anyway, I like Christmas music, even though I'm Jewish. That's the good thing about being the kind of Jew I am -- I don't take Hanukkah all seriously, like Sammy Davis Jr.