The collection includes a wide range of music from classical to pop to rock to country to folk to soul to blues and even punk rock. When you become a fan of Christmas music, you find that just about every major artist (and most minor ones) has a Christmas album. Of course, one must have Frank, Dino and Sammy, not to mention A Rat Pack Christmas. A must is to include the King (Elvis) and Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You, not to mention the All-American group – The Beach Boys. One could just go on forever.
How did this Jewish boy become so enamored with Christmas music? It started back in elementary school which in itself is a little strange. That is because I grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, made up of about 85% Jews, 10% Italians, and the rest were mutts. We had a Christmas pageant every year where all the kids participated in a chorus performing classic Christmas music for our families. I cannot imagine something like that going on today with the culture war in our country. After a few years of singing Silent Night, Deck the Halls, Silver Bells, and The Twelve Days of Christmas, the music gets stuck in your head and you cannot wait for the next Thanksgiving to start listening again.
So my friends and I decided we cannot depend on the radio station; we wanted on our own music. We had to have the classics like The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Eugene Ormandy conducting the great Philadelphia Orchestra and Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. Then you fill in with modern classical like Mannheim Streamroller. You need to get the must haves like Nat King Cole and of course Vince Guaraldi (Charlie Brown) and Mel Torme'. From there you just start going crazy because you must have all those classic artists like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
This contagion does not stop with me, but has spread throughout my entire household. My wife and kids love the music just as much as I do. “Hey, Honey let’s listen to Karen (Carpenter) or “Daughter, you want to listen to my man, Cee Lo’s Christmas Album”? Or my son tells me how he got Dave (the new king of Christmas) Koz’s Smooth Jazz Christmas. Then #1 son arranges for us to go see Koz’s Christmas show with his all-star friends.