“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
Roy L. Smith
Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
This week, music beautifully befitting this Christmas weekend. Our musical Christmas card to you.
Let’s get started with a trumpeter who has recorded and toured with Rod Stewart, Sade, Tina Turner, Natalie Cole and Tom Petty. Rick Braun has been a solo artist since 1992. His Christmas music is magical.
One of the most fabulous acts of the 1960’s was the Supremes.
Elaborately gowned and brilliantly staged, they could really sing. They were led by the amazing Diana Ross.
In 1965 the group put out a Christmas album. Diana Ross, Christmas-wise, was never to heard from again until the mid-1990’s when she was involved in several holiday offerings. One of them in 1994 was a special CD sold only in Hallmark stores that traditionally sold an annual Christmas CD.
The only original track on “Making Spirits Bright” was written by Ross’ friend and pastor Wintley Phipps, who actually sang at her wedding.
There’s an amazing point about two and a half minutes in where the crescendo sounds like something out of a Broadway musical. And Ross makes it definitely clear that it’s Christmas Time.
It’s unfortunate this wonderful song has never received the exposure it deserves.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Actually that’s been going on for some time. And it’s not just the wonderful sights but glorious sounds that signal Christmas is almost here.
Here’s brand new Christmas music. Keyboardist/arranger David Arkenstone has teamed up with vocalist Charlee Brooks, though our next track is an instrumental from their new CD.
This carol will make you think you’re strolling through Irish Fest in December.
Sweet silver bells,
All seem to say,
Throw cares away
Bringing good cheer,
To young and old,
Meek and the bold.
That is their song
With joyful ring
Words of good cheer
Filling the air.
Raising the sound,
O’er hill and dale,
Telling their tale.
While people sing
Songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here.
David Arkenstone and Charlee Brooks
Soon we celebrate. Gathered with family and friends we will share gifts, warmth, memories, good times. And why?
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Michael Gettel writes contemporary piano-based ensemble works that also feature melodic instruments like oboe, French horn, and flugelhorn.
That’s it for this week.
Have a wonderful weekend.
We close with the incomparable legend Henry Mancini. Nothing over the top or overpowering. Just hauntingly lovely carols, the very best.