24 December: The Swingle Singers: White Christmas

Published December 24, 2016

And so this year's Advent Calendar comes to an end. This year's finale is provided by the magnificent Swingle Singers and their version of White Christmas, from their 1968 album Christmastime (the original French title is the much better Noëls Sans Passeport).

Listen here.

Thanks for joining me on this fourth journey through the Advent Calendar. Merry Christmas!


23 December: The New Christy Minstrels: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Published December 23, 2016

As the Advent Calendar nears its end, I thought we should take a listen to The New Christy Minstrels' version of 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' from their 1966 album Christmas With The Christies. This song is usually delivered quite slowly and solemnly, at least in the versions I've heard, but this folked-up interpretation is quite refreshing. I'm sure it went down a storm at US colleges at the time. And hey, with an album cover like that, how could you possibly go wrong?

Listen on Spotify or here.

22 December: The Beginning Of The End: Gee Whiz It's Christmas

Published December 22, 2016

Time for some soul-flavoured music in the Advent Calendar again. The Beginning Of The End had hit in 1971 with 'Funky Nassau', and released their version of Carla Thomas' 'Gee Whiz It's Christmas' the same year. It doesn't seem to have been a hit, but it's a great and groovy recording nonetheless.

Listen on YouTube or on Spotify.

21 December: Esquivel And His Orchestra: Sun Valley Ski Run

Published December 21, 2016

Stockholm is grey on this Wednesday, but in Sun Valley, Esquivel and his merry companions are out on a cheery ski run. As well they should be.

Listen on YouTube or on Spotify.

20 December: Floral Pops 70: Silent Night

Published December 20, 2016

Floral Pops 70 have been featured in an earlier Advent Calendar, and now they're back to delight us with their off-beat interpretation of 'Silent Night'. Enjoy!

Listen here.

19 December: James Last: Petersburger Schlittenfahrt

Published December 19, 2016

OK, so it's Monday and the Advent Calendar might need something with a little extra energy to it, to see us through the week until the holidays begin. Something with a strong, unmissable, marching beat... Hmm... James Last to the rescue! His 1966 recording of 'Petersburger Schlittenfahrt' is exactly what we need.

Listen on YouTube or on Spotify.

18 December: Living Guitars: Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers - Toyland

Published December 18, 2016

Nothing says Christmas like a slightly weird medley of two holiday-season tunes. Or at least not in this blog. Living Guitars share much of their aural space with a Live Electric Organ on this recording from their 1969 album The Joy of Christmas.

Listen here.

17 December: The Temptations: My Christmas Tree

Published December 17, 2016

Is there any rule that says you can't have two Jimmy Webb songs in one and the same Advent Calendar? I should think not. We've already had Frank Sinatra's 'Whatever Happened To Christmas?' and today it's The Temptations' turn as they take on 'My Christmas Tree'. It's from their 1970 album Christmas Card and features Eddie Kendricks singing as if his life depended on it.

Listen on YouTube or on Spotify.

16 December: Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson: Swingin' Sleigh Ride

Published December 16, 2016

Why not take a relaxed sleigh ride with Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson and the Peter Knight Orchestra and Chorus? 'Swingin' Sleigh Ride' proves that all you have to do is add some sleigh bells to parts of your recording, call it something holiday-season-like, and voilá, you have A Christmas Record.  This single A-side was originally released in 1960. (Not pictured here.)

Listen on YouTube or on Spotify.

15 December: The Golddiggers: Winter Wonderland

Published December 15, 2016

OK, enough with all the normal stuff performed by acknowledged A-list recording artists. We've featured The Golddiggers in the Advent Calendar before, but I'm sure you'll agree they're well worth hearing from again.

Check out their groovy version of Winter Wonderland here.