And so we come to Christmas Eve, to the end of our series for another year.
The three under the tree tonight have a valedictory feel to them.
“Silent Night,” the Blackhearts and special guests, from “A Blackheart Christmas,” 2008.
This is one of the songs that will define 2008. Listen to the special guests, and you’ll know why.
(This record is a compilation of Christmas tunes by artists on Blackheart Records label. It includes Joan Jett’s version of “The Little Drummer Boy,” originally released on early vinyl pressings of “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” in 1981.)
“The Silent Night Sermon,” Robert Banks with the Golden Voices Ensemble, from “Christmas Gospelodium,” 1967. It’s out of print and apparently rare.
From the liner notes:
“(‘Silent Night’) is not generally used in gospel singing, except when it is treated as the background to a sermon. The performance here, wherein Robert Banks throws the lines to the choir, is exceptionally soulful.”
As the night grows increasingly quiet, as Christmas draws near …
“The Night Before Christmas (A Poem),” Louis Armstrong, 1971, from “The Stash Christmas Album,” 1985. It’s out of print, but you can find the original 7-inch single (Continental CR 1001) on eBay.
No music. Just Satchmo’s warm, gravelly voice and Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem.
Armstrong cut this in the den at his home in Corona, Queens, New York, on Feb. 26, 1971. It was the last thing he ever recorded. Satchmo was 69 when he died that summer.
“But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, ‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night. A very good night.’
“And that goes for Satchmo, too. (Laughs softly.) Thank you.”
After all the gifts are opened, stop back on Christmas Day. We’ll be returning to our regular programming here at AM, Then FM.