Rather than upload a collection of music files, I decided to be a little lazy and just slap together a YouTube playlist. I’ll bet you’re wondering why I don’t just create a Spotify playlist. Aside from not wanting to join Spotify (or any other similar service) when I’ll use it only once a year, a good number of these pieces are probably NOT going to be found there.
Sometimes you WANT the video, so you can actually see the artists performing the songs.
Again, I wish I could do something about volume levels and extraneous material in the videos. Such is life.
Here’s the playlist:
Here’s the annotated track list:
- “A Christmas Song” – Elizabeth Chan
New York City’s own Queen of Christmas Music, Chan has been releasing holiday tracks for years. Some of them have even made it to Billboard’s Top 20.
- “O Little Town of Bethlehem” – Sister Rosetta Tharpe
If anyone could turn a traditional carol into a blues number, Sister Rosetta could.
- “The Twelve Daze of Christmas” – Fay McKay
If you happen to come across something described as “Drunk Lady Sings Twelve Days of Christmas”, here’s the original singer doing it live.
- “Santa Send a Fella” – Rose Marie
In character as Sally Rogers on “The Dick van Dyke Show”.
- “The Christmas Song” – Redd Foxx
Another one that’s not likely to appear on Spotify: Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford, from the “Sanford and Son” TV show.
- “La Nuit des Merveilles” – ZOË
Austria’s representative in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest sings about “The Night of Wonders”.
- Christmas Greetings from Pathe News
From 1950, newsreel cameramen and crews around the world wish you a Merry Christmas.
- “At the Christmas Ball” – Bessie Smith
If Bessie Smith is at the party, a great time will be had by all!
- “Communist Christmas” – Joel Veitch
Something very silly.
- “Pancho Claus” – Lalo Guerrero
A parody version from the “Father of Chicano Music”
- “Papa Noel” – Brenda Lee
I’ll take this over “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” any day.
- The Huron Carol – Heather Dale
Written in 1643 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Christian missionary among the Hurons in Canada. Dale sings it in Wendat (Huron), French, and English.
- “Cool Yule” – Tony Rodelle Larson
Patsy Ray and the Beatniks had the original, but this version is just as good.
- “The Twelve Days of Christmas” – Phineas and Ferb
A fan-made video to accompany the song from the cartoon series
- Gloucestershire Wassail – Longmont Chorale
Another Very Traditional Carol. It’s my favorite “wassail” song.
- Miller Lite Christmas Commercial
One of the best Christmas commercials ever.
- Ralph Kramden’s Christmas speech
From “The Honeymooners” episode “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
- “Sawt el Eid” – Fairouz
Lebanon’s greatest singer with a version of “Silent Night”
- “Space Christmas” – Shonen Knife
- “Christmas in Hollis” – Run DMC
Why these two don’t get more airplay is beyond me.
- “Merry Christmas, if That’s OK” – “Mike Nelson and the Bots”
No one on the “Satellite of Love” wants to offend anyone.
- “Six Tons of Toys” – Dave Dudley
Is Santa a Teamster? Dave Dudley was made an honorary lifetime member for his trucking songs.
- “Winter Wonderland” – Warren Zevon
Live in Kansas City MO, November, 1990
- “Hooray for Santa Claus” – Milton De Lugg and the Little Eskimos
The theme song to Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, it might be the best thing about the movie.
- “Leise Reiselt der Schnee” – Andrea Jürgens
“Silently Falls the Snow” is a traditional German tune.
- “Riu Chiu” – The Monkees
Published in 1556, the song is in Old Castillian, which is why it sounds like Spanish or Portuguese, but is neither.
- “Jingle Bells” – The Altai Band
Celebrating the holidays in the steppes of Central Asia with a Mongolian folk band.
- “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Ella Fitzgerald
Gotta love Ella’s take on the song.
- “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love
Her final performance of this classic on “The Late Show with David Letterman”
- “Christmas Caravan” – The Lost Fingers
The group’s name is a reference and homage to jazz guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt.
- Театральный проект “Рождество” – Otava Yo
A combined project of Russian folk group Otava Yo and theatre company “Mr Pejo`s Wandering Dolls”. I have no idea what’s going on here, but I love it!
- “You’re All I Want for Christmas” – Brooke Benton
One of the most romantic Christmas songs ever. Fight me.
- “Away in a Manger” – Elinor Donohue and Andy Griffith
From the “Christmas Story” episode of “The Andy Griffith Show”.
- Apollo 8 Christmas Message
Live from lunar orbit, it’s Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders. And if I ever did a radio show on Christmas Eve, I’d close with this. Merry Christmas to all of you, all of you on the good Earth…..