Goodnight everyone, and have a Christmas love weekend!

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.

You hear it a lot these days. We are smack dab in the midst of the most wonderful time of the year. 

Romance? It fills the air.

As Johnny Mathis sings in “Winter Wonderland”:

Over the ground lies a mantle of white
A heaven of diamonds shine down through the night
Two hearts are thrillin’
In spite of the chill in the weather
Love knows no season, love knows no clime
Romance can blossom any old time
Here in the open
We’re walkin’ and hopin’ together


We continue our series of musical Christmas cards with this week’s feature and it’s all about love.

Let’s get started.

The genuine loving bond between married singers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme was undeniable. They originally began working together on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954 and performed together until Gormé retired in 2009. 

Before our first musical selection a brief TV sitcom clip…

Eydie Gorme died in 2013 at the age of 84.

In June of 2019 Steve Lawrence revealed that he had been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Lawrence said he was being treated with medications by “some of the finest doctors in the field,” who have helped to slow down the process of the disease.

“I want my beloved fans to know that in spite of this bittersweet moment, what I don’t want is pity or sympathy. I have lived and am living a wonderful, joyous life filled with love, support and amazing moments,” he said in a statement. “With my beloved Eydie, I had one of the great loves of all time; my career has always been there for me as a source of joy and fulfillment; and you, my fans, have shown immeasurable love and support in ways I only could have imagined.” 

Will you marry me? According to the 2018 Brides American Wedding Study December is the most popular time to pop the question. Of those surveyed 14 percent got engaged at the end of the year, and July and August were tied for second, with just over 10 percent each.

Why frosty December?

Was it the snow?

Bright lights?

Decorated trees?

Egg nog?

Carols?

Country star Barbara Mandrell has the answer.

Mandrell was one of the most successful country artists in the ’70s and ’80s. A two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, Mandrell was involved in a serious car crash on September 11, 1984, in which the driver of the other car died. Mandrell herself had a leg fracture, a concussion, and other injuries, while two of her children were also in the car with her and were injured. According to the police report from the incident, the other driver — 19-year-old Mark White — had crossed the centerline of the road, therefore causing the collision.

Mandrell spent a year and a half recovering. She retired completely from music in 1997.

One of my many jobs during my college years was working as an usher at was then called The Performing Arts Center. The list of entertainers I saw is too long to mention, including a well-known trio of female vocalists.

The ushers had a huge locker/dressing room and we actually shared it with the singers that night. I’ll never forget the white boots sitting on the floor. At least one pair had sizable lifts in them.

From a 1966 album…

The Lettermen had their first recoding hit in 1961, and despite numerous personnel changes the group still performs today.

One of the best songs fitting this week’s theme is relatively new. Sadly, it gets zero radio play, possibly because only a handful of artists have recorded the song written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and composed by Johnny Mandel in 1991.

Author Tom Santopietro described the song as “an embrace of the holidays filled with honest sentiment.” It deserves a lot of exposure.

The Manhattan Transfer is a great success story. Tim Hauser, a former Madison Avenue marketing executive, paid his bills by driving a New York City cab with dreams of forming a harmony vocal quartet.

In the Fall of 1972, Hauser’s taxi fare was a young singer-wannabe named Laurel Massé. A few weeks later, another of Hauser’s fares invited him to a party where he met Brooklyn native Janis Siegel. Massé’s then-boyfriend, who was drumming in a Broadway pit band, introduced Hauser and Siegel to Alan Paul, who was co-starring in the original production of “Grease.” The Manhattan Transfer was born.

Hauser, the group’s founder, died in 2014, but the quartet keeps touring. Last night (Thursday) they performed in Helsinki, Finland.

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a LOVEly weekend.

For my money this is the best version of this once controversial Christmas classic. Again, forget about hearing it on the radio.

Vanessa Williams is joined by Bobby Caldwell.

PREVIOUS 2021 CHRISTMAS GOODNIGHT BLOGS:

Goodnight everyone, and have a terrific Christmas kickoff weekend!

Goodnight everyone, and have a Happy St. Nick’s weekend!

Goodnight everyone, and have the classiest of Christmas weekends!

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