Archive for December, 2021

A Winter to Wonder

“A Winter to Wonder” is an original instrumental that incorporates many of my influences.

December 26, 2021 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This is my instrumental arrangement of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”. Composed in 1951 by Meredith Willson (composer of the musical “The Music Man”), it was a big hit that same year for Perry Como.

December 23, 2021 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

Angels From the Realms of Glory

“Angels From the Realms of Glory” is a hymn of Christmas. The words were by written by Scottish poet James Montgomery and first published in 1816. The tune was written by Henry Smart, a 19th century British composer. My instrumental arrangement is in the early 1960s style of the Shadows.

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December 23, 2021 at 5:10 am 1 comment

My Favorite Things

This is my instrumental arrangement of “My Favorite Things”, from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “The Sound of Music”. Although not specifically or originally a holiday or Christmas song, it has come to be considered a standard for this time of year. The lyrics do hint at this, with references to sleigh bells, snowflakes, silver-white winters and brown paper packages tied up with strings. Credit for making this transition work probably should go to singer Jack Jones, who recorded the song on hia 1964 Christmas album. Since then, “My Favorite Things” has appeared on Christmas albums by Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers, the Carpenters, Luther Vandross, Petula Clark, Perry Como, Barry Manilow, Anita Baker, Dionne Warwick, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Kenny G, Rod Stewart, Carole King, Chicago, Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige and Tony Bennett. 

December 22, 2021 at 7:07 pm Leave a comment

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

This is my 60s-style guitar-rock instrumental cover of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. It was written by British songwriter Tommie Connor and first recorded by Jimmy Boyd in 1952. The song has since been covered by many artists, with one of the most famous covers being attributed to The Ronettes in 1963.

December 20, 2021 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

Happy XMAS (War Is Over)

This is my instrumental cover of “Happy XMAS (War Is Over)”, which was written, recorded and released as a single by John Lennon in 1971. Also a protest song against war, it has since become a standard of popular Christmas music and has been recorded by a wide variety of artists.

December 20, 2021 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment

Here Comes Santa Claus

This is my 1960s style guitar-rock instrumental arrangement of “Here Comes Santa Claus”. With lyrics by Gene Autry and music by Oakley Haldeman, it was first recorded and released by Autry in 1947 and was a top-10 hit. It has since been recorded by many artists — like the Ventures — who inclukded it in a medley with “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” on their 2002 album “Christmas Joy”.

December 18, 2021 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

Little Saint Nick

This is my instrumental arrangment of “Little Saint Nick”, originally a 1963 single by the Beach Boys that later appeared on their 1964 Christmas album. Composed by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it is a a Christmas-themed “hot rod” song similar in many ways to “Little Deuce Coupe”. I have given it a very different “Bossa-Nova” feel.

December 17, 2021 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Christmas is Coming

This is my cover of “Christmas is Coming”, one of the many brilliant jazz pieces that Vince Guaraldi wrote and performed for the the classic 1965 Christmas Special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.

December 15, 2021 at 7:52 am Leave a comment

The Twelve Days of Christmas

This is my 1960s-style, instrumental guitar rock arrangement of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. The song was first published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, and is thought to be French in origin. The standard tune now associated with it is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin.

December 15, 2021 at 6:22 am Leave a comment

Pine Cones and Holly Berries

This is my instrumental arrangement of “Pine Cones and Holly Berries”. It was composed by Meredith Willson for his 1963 musical “Here’s Love”, which is based on the classic 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, which tells the tale of a skeptical young girl who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. In the musical, it is combined with Willson’s 1951 Christmas song “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” as a counterpoint. This juxtaposition appears in almost every recording one can find of “Pine Cones and Holly Berries” and is part of my arrangement as well.

December 14, 2021 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Merry Christmas Darling

This is my instrumental of “Merry Christmas Darling”, which was composed by Richard Carpenter with lyrics by Frank Pooler. The Carpenters recorded it in 1970, and it has been a staple of holiday “popular” music ever since.

December 13, 2021 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

The Little Drummer Boy

This is my instrumental guitar rock cover of “The Little Drummer Boy”. You will likely note the debt owed to “Wipe Out”. Originally titled “Carol of the Drum”, the song was written in 1941 by American classical music composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis. First recorded in 1951 by the Trapp Family Singers, the song was further popularized by a 1958 recording by the Harry Simeone Chorale; the Simeone version was re-released successfully for several years and the song has been recorded many times since.

December 10, 2021 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

Blue Christmas

This is my instrumental cover of “Blue Christmas“. It was written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson and most famously performed by Elvis Presley; however it was first recorded by country artist Doye O’Dell in 1948. Numerous Country and other artists had success with the song as well. However, it was Elvis’ 1957 version on his Christmas album that cemented the song’s status as a holiday classic.

December 10, 2021 at 7:35 am Leave a comment

Wonderful Christmastime

This is my jazzy instrumental cover of “Wonderful Christmastime”, written and first released by Paul McCartney in 1979. Sir Paul played all of the instruments on the original recording. It is no small feat to write a Christmas song that enters the pantheon of well known holiday pop songs.

December 9, 2021 at 6:39 pm Leave a comment

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