Monday, December 20, 2010
One Last Christmas
There's a stunning wealth of music on the Internet, of course, but thanks to some who craft items for this digital domain, we also have many, many Christmas songs which are not repeated infinitely during this season. And in seeking those songs today, I discovered a bona fide Christmas miracle ... one you do not want to miss.
These seldom-heard or brand-new tunes of Christmas have always been quite fascinating to me, though I can't really explain why it holds such interest. The songs, perhaps, are like forgotten gifts.
First up for your listening pleasure is the podcast from WBEZ's Sound Opinions web site, from Christmas music collector Andy Cirzan. This podcast is the 20th annual Christmas collection spectacular, full of seasonal music which are described as "Yowls & Yodels from the Yule Vortex...further adventures in holiday obscura."
The link to this dazzling podcast, about an hour long, is here. Free downloads are available until Jan. 1, 2011, but you can just listen to it at the link. Cirzan wisely includes a complete song list and footnotes for the collection too, which features tunes from Jimmy McGriff and Sunny Boy Williamson and opens with a great selection from a 1968 album recorded by the U.S. Air Force band with arrangements by The Free Design. Most unusual and fun stuff.
Another location to find amazing holiday music is at Stubby's House of Christmas, a blog devoted to holiday tunes and videos which can easily fill many hours. One of their recent selections is from R&B singer Tasha Taylor, daughter of the great Johnny Taylor ("Disco Lady", "Who's Makin' Love") which is best described as a "an all new original--a simmering, steaming, hot buttered stoned-soul R&B Christmas miracle". Listen/watch the video here.
Stubby also has a real Christmas tear jerker via musician Matthew West and his song "One Last Christmas". It's a powerful true story, about an infant boy named Dax, diagnosed with leukemia and his parent's overwhelming desire to create one more Christmas for him. I'll let Stubby take the story:
"Dax's family was determined to give the boy one last Christmas and started putting up their decorations early--like middle of summer early. The neighbors inquired and, when told the reason, began putting their decorations up as well. Soon, the whole town was decked out in full holiday style, well in advance of the actual holiday. A web site went up and pictures began coming from all over the world from people putting up their Christmas decorations early in honor of Dax. Dax lost his battle with Leukemia, but not without seeing a last Christmas. In Dax's memory, St. Jude's is trying to raise $1.6 million--the amount required to run St. Jude's for a single day. Go to DaxLocke.com and make a donation to St. Jude's so that other children might see Christmas and beyond."
Please donate if you can. And grab a handkerchief and watch this Christmas song for Dax.