Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Christmas gift to you

It's the greatest Christmas song performance ever. Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" originally recorded on the Phil Spector Christmas album and performed every year on the David Letterman Show. Here is a cool video of the "behind-the-scenes" making of the performance along with a compilation of performances down through the years. If this doesn't bring you joy this day I don't know what will. Happy holidays everybody.



21 comments :

Pat Reeder said...

That's great. We were lucky enough to see her live last December and score front row seats. Of course, she did this and several other Christmas songs, along with her classic hits. I didn't know how many hits of the '60s she'd actually sung the leads on, where the credit went to some anonymous group name. Merry Christmas, Ken!

Anonymous said...

It's the one thing missing this Christmas!

Happy Holidays to you and your family...and to everyone here.

(Paraphrasing). "2017. May she be a damn sight better than the last one."

Pam, St. Louis.

Mork said...

I would immediately vote for any candidate--any candidate at all--whose political platform called for stores that play Christmas music over their intercoms to be required to play nothing but this on a loop all day long. I detest Christmas music with a passion. But every Christmas Eve, I'll play back at least three different Darlene Love performances on Letterman, and every single time it literally brings a tear to my eye just how damned good it is.

Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Sunday/birthday (if you're like me) to all!

ChipO said...

And Merry Christmas to you - what a great present!
Thanks,

Mr. Hollywood said...

The best Ken! I miss Dave and I miss his superb Christmas shows, especially the dynamite performances by Darlene Love.
Merry Christmas all!!!!!!

Roseann said...

When I worked on One Life to Live in NYC Darlene Love came and sang for an episode. I still remember that day.

Tim Fox said...

What a wonderful gift! Thanks for sharing.

Ralph C. said...

Happy Holidays to one and all and to you and yours, Ken.

sanford said...

Like Pat Reeder, We got to see Darlene Love in Milwaukee last year great show. A great singer. She is so under rated. Even though I am jewish, I loved Dave's christmas show. I love hearing the the Jay Thomas story and knocking the meat ball off the tree and of course Darlene Love. In place of a Colbert rerun they should run one of Dave's Christmas shows.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! The only Christmas music worth listening too. Why don't more stations play the Phil Spector Christmas Album.. No guts...

Ken Levine said...

Listen to Richbroradio.com. He plays a ton of Phil Spector Xmas music.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I will.

Anonymous said...

I still beat myself up over the fact that I gave the vinyl album away over 20 years ago along with all my other great albums. Mele Kalikimaka! Janice B.

Paul Blake said...

Thank you Ken for the behind the scenes look. One of the great joys of living in New York is getting to see Darlene Love perform "Love For The Holidays" each year. This has become an annual pilgrimage for us; we've seen her at The Bottom Line; Symphony Space at Lincoln Center; The Apollo Theater; and BB Kings Club. A simply amazing performer, and, having met her, one of the nicest, most genuine people you'll run across. Something is definitely missing now that Dave's gone off and we don't get to see her around midnight a day or two before Christmas; but we'll see her next week on Jan. 6th, live and in person!

Jay said...

A piece at Vox.com (here) argues that this is the inspiration for Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

RobW said...

Okay, I'm sitting here scratching my head and hoping somebody can explain something to me : In the compilation reel featuring her various appearances over the years, we're obviously listening to one continuous take of the performance (there is one spot that might have an edit ), yet she remains in perfect lip-synch throughout the various clips, despite the fact that we're seeing multiple performances. Is it possible she sings the song exactly the same from year-to-year (unlikely), or has she actually been lip-synching all these years ???

Andy Rose said...

@RobW: Darlene never did any lip-synching. Those are all separate clips of live singing that were edited together very skillfully, cross-fading the audio each time to make it blend. I believe they also did some digital alterations to keep all the clips at the same tempo and pitch. (In the final few years, they lowered the song's key by a step or so, presumably to make it a little easier on Darlene's voice.) If you listen very carefully, you can hear the differences in sound quality as the shots change due to the differences in equalization and compression on the microphone over the years, making it clear that it's not just one vocal track.

Speaking of vocal changes, does anyone know what happened to Paul Shaffer's voice in the past decade? It got a whole lot huskier, and he started slurring his S's to the point that they almost sound like a "sh" sound. Obviously people's voices change naturally, but listening to Paul talk in this video seems like something more than just natural aging. It's strange that I can't find any other mentions of it.

Clarence Odbody said...

@Andy Rose Yes, it sounds like maybe he had a minor stroke at some point. I don't know tat he did, but I've heard that speech pattern in others.

Brent Alles said...

I'm kind of surprised Colbert didn't continue this tradition. Oh well. Was always a great thing to see annually on Dave's show!

Pete Grossman said...

So. Dig. This. Thank you.

kelly childress said...

I miss this Christmas show! Darlene Love was always amazing. And the Lone Ranger story.