12 days of Christmas, Day 3

There again will be no Christmas party at the newspaper this year.

This, of course, does not qualify as news. Such good will has been an unnecessary expense for some time now.

So I reached in my desk drawer the other day, pulled out my Santa Claus and Rudolph action figures from the vintage stop-action “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” cartoon and put them out on my desk.

Even if the Norelco snowman can slide down the dust on that desk — cleaning anything but office wastebaskets and carpeting also has been an unnecessary expense for some time now — it’s a little Christmas party.

Truth be told, I’m not really much of a party hound, but it’s still nice to get together with folks at the holidays. It probably won’t be with the folks from work, away from work. For many, I am that guy old enough to be their dad. And not that cool guy old enough to be their dad. So it goes.

It may be just those of us gathered around the digital hearth. That sounds like a happening Christmas party. Let me reach over here and cue up some sweet tunes to put us right into that Christmas groove.

Let’s jazz it up with a timeless vibe from another time.

“Sound of Christmas,” the Ramsey Lewis Trio, 1961.

Rest assured that this is one groovy album, way ahead of its time.

I heard a cut off this record almost 25 years ago on a late-night radio show in Madison, Wisconsin. I’d taped the show — mostly a Christmas show — but the cut wasn’t name-checked. I played that tape every Christmas, but the song remained a mystery.

It was probably 10 years ago that I learned the name of the cut, and then only because it was was on a budget Christmas CD I picked up at one of those farm-and-home stores so familiar to the Midwest.

Six years ago, “Sound of Christmas” came out on CD, and I grabbed it.

Earlier this year, a vinyl copy turned up while crate digging. Hope you will forgive its occasional snaps, crackles and pops. Think of it as the fire we’re sitting by as we enjoy some bevvies and snacks.

So we start with that song, then just keep that laid-back groove going.

“Christmas Blues”

“Merry Christmas Baby”

“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

All from “Sound of Christmas,” the Ramsey Lewis Trio, 1961.

Recorded in October 1961 at Ter Mar Recording Studios in Chicago. Ramsey Lewis on piano, Eldee Young on bass and Red Holt on drums. They were joined by a 10-piece string ensemble on the latter.



Filed under Christmas music, December 2010

3 responses to “12 days of Christmas, Day 3

  1. Avallanius

    This is special – the strings are lush, the arrangements are Fab. I will be looking for this myself.

    Seasons Greetings & Thank You

  2. I saw that your website is featuring Christmas songs, and I am wondering if you could help me with my fundraiser I am doing with my song “Christmas Smiles.”
    I am 13 years old. I write songs, and I play guitar and sing at the Potbellys restaurant at Lake Cook & Weiland in Buffalo Grove, IL. For my service project for a summer leadership camp I go to, I am doing my second fundraiser for children’s cancer, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year I raffled off my old kid-sized guitar and donated all my tips. This year I just put up my song “Christmas Smiles” on TuneCore. It can be downloaded from iTunes and AmazonMP3, and I will donate all the money I collect from downloads and my tips. For more info, see the web site I made: katediazmusic.com
    There will be a holiday concert Dec. 18 6-8pm at Potbellys, and Potbelly’s is donating 25% of all dinnertime sales 6-9pm. I was hoping you could please help me spread the word across the whole country, to get as many downloads as I can by Dec. 25th.

    Kate Diaz

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