Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Playlist #2

I realize I'm not really Kathie Lee Gifford when it comes to spreading Christmas joy. But I'm not all coal and sour grapes either. There is something about the sound of sleigh bells that still makes me get some good shivers going. And though I do have more untraditional Christmas memories than I have jolly ones filled with tree-trimming and mulled cider, there is one great moment that comes to mind every year about this time.

It was December 1983 or 4, and my friend Carl and I were driving out to Jersey somewhere to catch a movie. He worked in Linden and knew of all these theatres that showed first run features for half the price. Plus a good drive with the radio blasting was never a bad idea. Before we hit the Holland Tunnel, he said he wanted to drop some stuff off at the Bowery Mission. I wasn't opposed to the gesture. I was just concerned that it had to happen right then. I didn't want the movie to sell out. (This was before Fandango or Moviefone.) I hadn't a choice in the matter, so of course I went along, harrumphing along the way.

We parked and carried some boxes inside. Carl was donating some old cookware. We handed it off to two men, both looking tired and unkempt. A bunch of other faces of all ages, all a bit disheveled and disoriented, looked our way and lit up a bit at the sight of the boxes. No one knew just yet, what was inside the boxes, but it clearly mattered little. The two men said thank you, and we headed for the door. That's when we heard, "HO! HO! HO! Pots and pans!" We turned around and saw these men admiring a few used crock pots. Happy.

Almost 30 years later and I still can't hear "Ho! Ho! Ho!," without finishing it off with "Pots and pans!"

That was a good Christmas.

Here is Holiday Mix #2 a bit more traditional than the first, but you know...not really.

As always, I put it together because I like the way it sounds.  Maybe you will, too.


Till The Morning Comes- Neil Young
Poor Old Rudolph- The Bellrays
A Child's Christmas In Wales- John Cale
I Wish It Was Christmas Today- Julian Casablancas
All Things Must Pass- George Harrison
Rosslyn- Smith & Burrows
Let It Snow- Jon Auer
Albatross- Fleetwood Mac
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear- The Fab Four
Fistful Of Mercy- Fistful Of Mercy
Up On The Roof- Laura Nyro
Rumple Minze- Wyldlife
Old Fashioned Christmas- Duke Pearson
Harvest Festival- XTC

Have a holly, jolly ZIPFILE


Meanstreets said...

Good Christmas story Sal....it's reaffirming for me to hear memories like this....

Georges' " All Things Must Pass ", is one of my favorite songs of his...
Same with Neil's " Till The Morning Comes "..........

Merry Christmas....

steve simels said...

Ah, "A Child's Christmas in Wales." One of my favorite songs from one of my all time favorite albums.

Ever hear the Superchunk version? Works surprisingly well as a guitar song -- I think it was on a MoJo sampler at some point.

James A. Gardner said...

Sal writes: "I realize I'm not really Kathie Lee Gifford when it comes to spreading Christmas joy."

One more thing for which I can be thankful! One KLG is plenty, thanks.
What a wonderful story and mix of songs. "Albatross" is perfect for today, with its "Far Away Places" sound. Today would be my dad's birthday, if he still had them, and songs like this fit my mood.
Thank you.

KevinR said...

"I realize I'm not really Kathie Lee Gifford when it comes to spreading Christmas joy."
This was pretty darn cheerful:
Thanks for all you do.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Thanks for thinking of us.
Ditto on Paris 1919.

wardo said...

An excellent mix of standards and others.

A guy called Tak said...

"A Child's Christmas in Wales"
None of my friends cared Cale's music back then.
One of my favorite song of his for sure.
Laura Nyro's "Up on the Roof" is THE BEST of all those millions of covers including the original.
Also everything on her album "Christmas and the Beads of Sweat".
Especially the last song, "Christmas in my Soul".

Sal Nunziato said...

Thanks all. Glad you're digging it.

I could not agree you more. Laura's version of "Up On The Roof" 4 relentless minutes of goose bumps.

cmealha said...

My favorite cuts from the last 2 downloads were the David Shire and Smith & Burrows tracks. Nick Lowe's version of Allison wash goose bump inducing. "Up On The Roof" by Laura Nyro as well.
Thanks for the memories and music as always.

JB said...

As usual, the titles I recognize (especially Albatross & Harvest Festival) make me smile. And the ones I don't already know are like presents waiting to be unwrapped.

(If I may, a suggestion for next year's holiday mix... Satchmo's "Christmas Night In Harlem." A little corny perhaps, but also quite wonderful. Like the man himself.)

Ho-ho-ho/Pots and Pans to all, and to all a good night.

Leon said...

Nice memory... looks like a nice mix too. Thanks!