Here is Mannheim Steamroller playing “Pat A Pan” from its 1995 album, “Christmas in the Aire.” This was the third Christmas album released by the group. You might be surprised to learn that while it’s best known for the Christmas albums, there have been 22 or 23 other CDs as well. In fact, there were five albums released before the first Christmas album came out in 1984.
Whitman’s career lasted from the late 1940s to the mid-1990s. He toured almost continuously through the 1990s and he released his last album in 2010 at the age of 87. He was more famous in the UK than in his home country, but he had several bursts of fame in the US, first through direct television marketing in the 1980s and again when his music was featured in films like “Mars Attacks!” The 1996 film features Whitman’s rendition of “Indian Love Call” as a weapon against alien invaders.
Here’s Doris Day singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
This is from her 1964 album, which was cleverly titled “The Doris Day Christmas Album.” One tends to forget that she was a big band singer before she was an actor. In fact, she has recorded some 650 songs in her long career, including a dozen as recently as 2011.
Way back when John Denver and Jim Henson were both alive, they did a TV show together. Here are Kermit and The Muppets performing “A Christmas Wish,” from the soundtrack of that 1979 Christmas special featuring John Denver and The Muppets.
Here’s Sarah McLachlan singing the Vince Guaraldi/Lee Mendelsen composition which first appeared in the TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It’s from McLachlan’s Wintersong album. The accompanist is Diana Krall.
Be forewarned! On December 1 I will begin my annual 3+ weeks of finding Christmas songs by old artists and new and posting them here. Never fear, though; I expect to be provoked by our President-elect nearly daily, and I’ll have a go at him pretty often too.
Billboard has a fine summation of new albums from all manner of artists, from Pentatonix to Kacey Musgraves to Amy Grant to Jennifer Nettles to Neil Diamond to Frankie Valli to Loretta Lynn to Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, whose marriage now lends itself to duets, apparently.
While you’re waiting for my selections, look at these: