Today’s three under the three are among the Christmas tunes I discovered in the last couple of months. They may not be new, but they’re new to me.
“Jingle Bells,” Luis Villegas, from “Guitarras De Navidad,” 2005.
The SoundRoots blog featured this terrific tune — an instrumental salsa version that cooks — in early December. I’m going to have to track down and check out this album.
Villegas self-produced this album a couple of years ago and sold it at his shows until getting a distribution deal with Tenure Records this summer. A first-generation Mexican-American, Villegas lives in his native Los Angeles and has put out four albums in the last decade.
“Yuletide Zeppelin” and “Yuletide Zeppelin II,” Mojochronic, from “Santastic III in 3-D,” 2007.
Christmas tunes mashed up with Led Zeppelin songs. Hey, it works. Way better than you’d think. And it’s fun. According to his MySpace page, Mojochronic is a 46-year-old guy from Berkeley, California.
“Yuletide Zeppelin” is just one of 20 cuts on “Santastic III in 3-D,” the third in a series of holiday-themed mashups from a variety of DJs and mashup artists, all compiled by dj BC, also known as Bob Cronin, from Boston. “Yuletide Zeppelin II” is a bonus track.
Then there is this song and its story.
“Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming),” Melanie Thornton, from “Memories,” a 2003 import.
As first listen, it doesn’t seem like a Christmas song.
But when you put it together with these memorable images …
… it becomes a Christmas song.
And when you add its remarkable backstory, it becomes unforgettable.
Melanie Thornton grew up in South Carolina wanting to become a singer. She got her big break in Germany, where she eventually gained dual citizenship. She became the lead singer in La Bouche, the European dance group that hit it big in the ’90s. She left the group in 2000 to pursue a solo career, and she had some success in Europe.
In late 2001, she cut “Wonderful Dream” for use in a Coca-Cola ad in Germany. It also was included on her new album, “Ready to Fly.”
On Nov. 24, 2001, Thornton was among 24 people killed in a plane crash in Zurich, Switzerland. Their plane went down in the woods on its approach to the runway. She was 34.
Despite her death, Coca-Cola went ahead with the ad campaign. It’s since aired in the United States and Europe. Two years after Thornton’s death, “Wonderful Dream” was re-released in Germany with a memorial video.
I never knew any of that until I read Steve’s post over at I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday earlier this month, then did a little digging on my own.
And now I can’t get it out of my head.
Enjoy. More to come, but …
Just four days until Christmas …
and just two more days for “Three under the tree”
We’re going to wrap up this series on Sunday. When it ends, I’ll post a list of all the songs and provide links to the posts in which they appeared. The tunes will be available through the end of the year, if you’re just too busy to go get them now.