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Nat King Cole and the Greatest Christmas Song of all time

Artist: Nat King Cole
Tune: The Christmas Song

The greatness of Nat King Cole cannot be overstated. He was so good. He was a great pianist but an even better singer. His voice was velvet. He had range and depth. In an era of great male voices (Sinatra, Elvis, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby come to mind), his stood out.

I didn’t know the history of “The Christmas Song” so I wandered over to Wiki

The Christmas Song” (commonly subtitled “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” or, as it was originally subtitled, “Merry Christmas to You“) is a classic Christmas song written in 1944 by musician, composer, and vocalist Mel Tormé (aka The Velvet Fog), and Bob Wells. According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool”, the most-performed (according to BMI) Christmas song was born.[1]

“I saw a spiral pad on his piano with four lines written in pencil,” Tormé recalled. “They started, “Chestnuts roasting…, Jack Frost nipping…, Yuletide carols…, Folks dressed up like Eskimos.’ Bob (Wells, co-writer) didn’t think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics.”

The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded the song early in 1946. At Cole’s behest – and over the objections of his label, Capitol Records – a second recording was made the same year utilizing a small string section, this version becoming a massive hit on both the pop and R&B charts. Cole again recorded the song in 1953, using the same arrangement with a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, and once more in 1961, in a stereophonic version with orchestra conducted byRalph Carmichael. Nat King Cole’s 1961 version is generally regarded as definitive, and in 2004 was the most loved seasonal song with women aged 30–49,[2] while Cole’s original 1946 recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974.[3] Mel Tormé recorded the song himself in 1954, and again in 1961, 1966 and 1992.

By |2013-12-25T21:33:20-04:00December 25th, 2013|Music|Comments Off on Nat King Cole and the Greatest Christmas Song of all time

Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List


Martin Luther King Day is tomorrow, January 21, 2008.

If your town or city has a parade, you should consider going to the parade.

It is always instructive to watch a rebroadcast or listen to a recording of the I Have A Dream speech.  (Editors note: I have a Meet the Press interview Roy Wilkins (NAACP president) and Martin Luther King.  This is a great interview.  A piece of history!! You can find the 3 parts – here, part 2 and part 3)

Yet there is a next level for someone who wants to better understand Dr. King. It wasn’t all “I Have A Dream” and brotherhood.

Reverend King asked serious questions about America as a war criminal nation in Vietnam and he asked if America merited divine judgement as a wicked nation of racism and social inequality.

Here is an admittedly incomplete, but still useful, Martin Luther King viewing, visiting, listening, and reading list.

An excellent book is Martin & Malcolm & America—A Dream Or A Nightmare by James H. Cone. This book follows the words and the careers of both these men. The premise, which holds up, is that Dr. King and Malcolm X (photo below) were not as far apart as sometimes portrayed. Malcolm was a man with a broader vision than one of simple racial solidarity, and King was in many respects a fierce and almost apocalyptic critic of America. (more…)

By |2008-01-20T11:15:29-04:00January 20th, 2008|Books, General, Race|Comments Off on Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List

Race Of MLK Sculptor

It seems that the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. is often surrounded by trouble and controversy.

For years we’ve had to endure the King family seemingly caring more about copyright infringement than about making the do-nothing King Center in Atlanta a genuine agency of social change.

Now we have a fight over who should serve as the sculptor of the King statue planned for the under-construction King National Memorial in Washington.

The King Memorial will be located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.

A Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin, was picked by the memorial foundation instead of a black American sculptor. (more…)

By |2013-11-03T18:46:14-04:00September 25th, 2007|Civil Rights, Domestic Issues, Other Political Thoughts, Race|Comments Off on Race Of MLK Sculptor
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