Yesterday, I started working on a seasonal column. It was a wish list chock-full of earnest pleasantries. I stopped at the mid-way point to continue writing it this morning.
Then, last night while watching Letterman, I changed my mind. Lemme s’plain why.
Along about 1972 I bought a Christmas album. It was a reissue of a 1963 release called A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector. It featured songs by acts that Spector and his trademarked “wall of sound” had made famous: Darlene Love, the Ronettes, the Crystals and others. I was a huge fan of those girl groups of the early 60s and the album was a big hit at parties with its rockin’ take on Christmas classics as well as some new tunes.
The very first CD I ever bought (before, in fact, I even owned a CD player) was a boxed set of Spector-produced tunes called Back To Mono. I was delighted to find that along with dozens of famous songs by the Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner and many others, was a CD version of the Christmas album.
My favourite tune on the album was one by Darlene Love called Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). For the last several years, Letterman has had Love on his Christmas show, usually closing it by singing that song.
Last night I was privileged to see and hear her do it again. The woman defies time. She just gets better and better. Now, through the magic of computers and YouTube, we can all enjoy it.
So here’s my revised Christmas wish:
I wish you’d all turn up your speakers’ volume to Very Loud and let your spirits be lifted by the joyful sound of human voices raised in song.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everybody.