No one wants to admit they like Christmas carols, but come on! What’s not to love about “O Holy Night” or “Carol of the Bells?” And if the whole Jesus thing is a turnoff, there’s still “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Winter Wonderland.” We caught up with a handful of local musicians to see if they’d ‘fess up about the holiday tunes that make them jolly.
Larry Hosford The first song I thought of was “Up on the Rooftop.” Might be because that’s the first one I remember knowing. Took a trip to Illinois in 1948, age 5, for Christmas in my parents’ motherland; buncha kids, sisters and cousins all piled into a 1930s Chevy sedan. We sang that song all the way there and all the way back. Thing is, all us dudes had received brand new cap guns prior to the journey. Guess what happened every time we got to the “Click, click, click” part. Yes. You’re right.
Mighty Mike’ Schermer Well, I’m not a huge fan of Christmas music (bah, humbug, you might say) but Charles Brown’s “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Please Come Home for Christmas” are both soulful blues tunes with a good Christmas message. Tough to beat Nat King Cole’s classic version of “The Christmas Song,” which many people don’t know was written by Mel Torme. … But my all-time favorite Christmas music is probably the Christmas Jug Band, especially the timeless classic “Santa Lost a Ho”: “Well he used to go ‘ho ho ho’/ Now he only goes ‘ho ho’/ Oh No! Where’d the other ‘ho’ go?/ Santa lost a ‘ho.'” Happy holidays!
Russ Leal (singer, extra large) I have two favorites: “My Favorite Things” (as played by John Coltrane) and “Merry Christmas Baby” by Charles Brown. Also, Tuck Andress (of Tuck and Patti) plays beautiful instrumental Christmas standards.
Rachel Williams (birds fled from me) I’ve always been a fan of the classics done by old country artists. Or Patsy Cline singing “Blue Christmas,” but I usually don’t listen to much Christmas music otherwise.
Greg braithwaite (the huxtables) I love Christmas (really!). The Huxtables just played their second annual Christmas spectacular at the Red in Santa Cruz featuring our own Christmas song (“The Huxta-bells”) and “Father Christmas” by the Kinks. Elvis’ version of “Winter Wonderland” (specially the end when the king is unleashed) is awesome. Nat King Cole’s “A Christmas Song” is killer (especially with his short introduction where he refers to the song as a “real dandy”).
Bob Burnett (who has a new Christmas album available at www.bobburnettmusic.com) My favorite is the title cut, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” It features flute, guitar, mandolin and cello.
Kevin Dorn (bass player, sambada) Favorite holiday tune is “Little Drummer Boy”: parumpa pum pum.
Marcel Menard (percussion, sambada) Hmmm … Our singer Papiba said “Little Boy Blue” by Nina Simone. It brings tears to his eyes!