04 December: Carpenters: Merry Christmas Darling

Published December 04, 2016

This Advent Calendar usually devotes itself to songs that are a bit unusual in style or not so well-known, and perhaps Carpenters' 'Merry Christmas Darling' doesn't quite fit that description. But who cares when the song is as lovely as this one - the vocal harmony arrangement towards the end is to die for. Originally released as a single in 1970, 'Merry Christmas Darling' was also included on the 1978 album Christmas Portrait, and performed on the television special The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait the same year.

Listen here.

03 December: The Hollyberries: Santa's Supersonic Flying Rocket Sled

Published December 03, 2016

Day three and time for something with vocals. The Hollyberries is a project instigated by one Kip Brown, for the specific purpose of releasing Christmas tunes. 'Santa's Supersonic Flying Rocket Sled' was released in 2012 and features sisters Alyssa (age 11) and Jo Anna (age 13) Edmison on lead vocals. The two singers sound like they're a bit shy, which only works in the favour of the song. Well done, girls!

Surf-type music with a Beach Boys-style guitar solo and a super-catchy (supersonic?) tune - what more do you need to know? Listen here.

02 December: John Klein: We Three Kings Of Orient Are

Published December 02, 2016

After yesterday's cheerful kick-off, a pretty eerie Advent Calendar selection today: 'We Three Kings Of Orient Are' as played on carillion by "distinguished carillonneur" John Klein, from his album Noel Bells. This interpretation makes the arrival of the three kings sound pretty ominous, and surely that wasn't the intention?

Listen here and see what you think.

01 December: Hernando Hopkins: Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer Cha Cha

Published December 01, 2016

Welcome to this year's Advent Calendar at Carl Magnus Palm.com. Long-time devotees may remember that there were calendars here in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (click on the years to access previous Advent Calendars). Last year's calendar didn't happen, but I'm pleased to announce that it's back for the 2016 season!

The point has been made in previous Advent Calendars that the appeal of most Christmas songs can only be heightened if they're performed to a Latin rhythm. Let's prove that as we kick things off. The first song on the first Advent Calendar, back in 2012, was Cha-Cha All The Way by Capitol Studio Orchestra, so we'll open with something similar here: 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Cha Cha' by Hernando Hopkins, originally released in 1958.