04 December: The Moonglows: Hey Santa Claus

Published December 04, 2014

Today we're letting the spotlight shine on one of the many delightful American doo-wop groups that were around in the Fifties. According to Wikipedia, they started recording in 1953, which would make this one of their very earliest records, since it was released that year.

So, without further ado, I give you 'Hey Santa Claus' by The Moonglows.


03 December: The Glad Singers: Gloria (Angels We Have Heard)

Published December 03, 2014

"Gloria was originally an old French song about the shepherds who watched their flocks by night. Through the years it has appeared in many forms; here, The Glad Singers treat it with a shuffle beat," the liner notes for the Swing Bells! album by The Glad Singers informs us. To which I can only add: well done, Glad Singers!

Very little is known about this vocal combo beyond the recording of this album, but the complete liner notes for their album are available here.

Click here to listen to Gloria (Angels We Have Heard).

Thanks to Brady L. Benton for introducing me to the wonders of The Glad Singers.

02 December: Stevie Wonder: What Christmas Means To Me

Published December 02, 2014

Motown artists did a number of really good Christmas recordings in the Sixties, out of which this is one of the very best. It's incredible to think that Stevie Wonder was only 17 years old when this was recorded in 1967, yet he is already such an accomplished singer - actually, he was an amazing singer even at age 12.

By the way, the album this was taken from - Someday At Christmas - also features his rendition of Ave Maria, which was actually banned by Swedish radio at the time. I think it had something to do with there being a regulation against the "desecration" of Christian music - or some such. Be that as it may, in my opinion a more valid reason for banning it is that it's quite an awful recording.

Listen to What Christmas Means To Me here.

01 December: Eddie Dunstedter: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus / Jingle Bells Bossa Nova

Published December 01, 2014

For the third year running, December means the Carl Magnus Palm.com Advent Calendar. If you want to acquaint or reacquaint yourselves with the fun and the horror of previous years' musical adventures, you may revisit the calendars for 2012 and 2013.

So, how does one kick off the 2014 Advent Calendar? Why, with a selection from Capitol Records' Christmas Cocktails CDs, of course, just like one did the previous years. Organist Eddie Dunstedter serves up his own takes on 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' and 'Jingle Bells', which the good folk at Capitol have combined into one track.

Christmas music + electric organ + bossa nova rhythms = irresistable holiday season cheer.