December 15, 2011

Holiday tunes sound like Christmas to me

Good Morning olumn, Evansville Courier and Press,

Holiday tunes sound like Christmas to me

What do you listen to during the holiday season?

You cannot escape the pervasive Musak of the holidays that is everywhere. The market must have decreed that recording Christmas music is a lucrative business or we wouldn’t have everyone from Elvis to Elmo singing holiday songs.

Research top Christmas music and you’ll discover it runs across all genres — from the sacred (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) to the profane (Dr. Demento).

And in between, among the most popular holiday music of
all time includes the soundtrack from the CBS television show “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby also top the charts with their hits, “The Christmas Song” and “White Christmas,” respectively. I adore holiday music and my husband often buys me one or two of the latest Christmas CDs. I’m hoping for the “Canadian Tenors” Christmas album this year, which has been recommended by a friend.

But I’m not asking for the Justin Bieber holiday album. I tend to cling to the familiar. It’s seems
I’m the only person in America who doesn’t have Bieber fever. In looking at the stack of CDs this year, I first wanted to listen to Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams, both icons of my childhood. And I’m so unhip that I have yet to own an MP3 player and — shudder! — still sometimes listen to albums!

My parents always had Christmas albums — purchased for about $3 at the local Mobil service station — that featured different artists such as Dianne Carroll and Ella Fitzgerald and of course, Burl Ives. Each of the gas station albums
featured the famous group “Various Artists.”

When I looked through my stack of CDs, I found one by Billy Gilman. The CD is only a few years old, but I have no idea who he is.

Give me a mix of “various artists” like Karen Carpenter singing “Away in A Manager” or Johnny Mathis crooning “Winter Wonderland.” Those sound like Christmas to me!

Amy Abbott

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