Christmas Interlude #9 – Seasons Greetings From Elvis

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Below is a photo of Elvis’ original Christmas Album, which came out in 1957. Since then the album has been re-released in various versions with different covers.  After hearing Elvis’ version of his ‘White Christmas’,  composer Irving Berlin wanted it banned from radio play considering it a “profane parody of his cherished yuletide standard.”  Most radio stations ignored Berlin’s plea. Ironically, Elvis’ version was based on The Drifters (with Clyde McPhatter) 1954 version of  ‘White Christmas’, which was hit on R&B radio stations of the day and did not cause any complaints from Berlin who I am sure did not listen to black radio stations (1). 

A 1958 rerelease of the original album with a different cover.

45 RPM sleeve from the early 1970′s 

Elvis 45 cover

45 RPM sleeve from 1965 

Santa Claus is Back in Town was written by the legendary team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller.

Source: (1) Wikipedia

Christmas Interlude #7 Christmas Greetings from the Stars

Joan Crawford was just twenty years old when these Christmas publicity photos were taken in 1925. In two of the three photos Joan does not look very happy. Maybe she got wire hangers for Christmas. 

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Joan CrawfordSanta Toys

Holiday cheer from Bette Davis. The photo is by Cecil Beaton.

The Santa’s I came across never looked as cute as Janet Leigh here wishing all a happy holiday.

Nice and Cozy with Ann-Margret for the Holidays.

Fortunately actress Julie Adams got away from ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon” long enough to pose for this holiday treat. Rock’ around the Christmas tree, Julie.

Now why didn’t my wife get all dressed up like Kim Novak is here when we decorated our tree?

Of course Marilyn’s outfit is another way to go.

Joey Heatherson brightens up Perry Como’s Christmas 

….and Season’s Greeting from Barbara Stanwyck. 

Christmas Interlude #6 Vintage Christmas Ads with the Stars

Ann Southern and Lucky Strikes 

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Chesterfield Cigarettes brought out the stars for the holidays

Arthur Godfrey, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Bob Hope

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Seems like all the stars liked advertising for ciggies. Lucy and Desi favorite killer is Philip Morris. 

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And Bonzo the Chimp’s favorite co-star was sending CHESTERFIELDS to all his friends.

 

Here is Sammy Davis Jr. for Alka Seltzer 

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Hope for the Holidays

……and Crosby

The Great One – Jackie Gleason

Sean Connery and Jim Beam

Christmas Interlude #5 – A Christmas Carol – Movie Posters and More

Which one to watch? There are so many versions of “A Christmas Carol”, and everyone has there favorite, that you could spend the entire holiday season watching nothing but various versions of Dicken’s classic. I won’t even attempt to say how many there are. If you include all the TV and radio versions, well it really gets out of hand. The earliest version was a 1901 film called “Scrooge or Marley’s Ghost”, a British short. The latest version is of course the Robert Zemeckis IMAX/3-D version released in November of this year.  If you are interested in getting a feel for the many versions check out this LINK to give you an idea.

My own favorites are the 1951 version with Alastair Sims as Scrooge, which was the original title of the film and the 1984 TV movie with George C. Scott.

I will leave you with some posters, ads on other stuff on the various versions.

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A Chrstimas Carol 1938

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A Chrstimas Carol 1951-insert

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A Chrstimas Carol 1951

A Chrstimas Carol 1983-Scott

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A Chrstimas Carol w009

Christmas Interlude #4 – 25 Favorite Songs of the Season

 Here are 25 of my favorite Christmas songs (many with links). They are in no particular order, it was hard enough narrowing it down to 25  never mind putting them in order. Still, I feel like I left many great ones off the list, like “Cool Yule” originally a hit for Louis Armstrong and later on terrific versions by Bette Midler and Brian Setzer and “Merry Merry Christmas Baby” by the Tune Weavers and Ole Santa by Diana Washington.  Other artists like Sinatra, Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole have so many great holiday songs it was difficult to select just one or two. And what about The Beach Boys and Little Saint Nick which blasted on my transitor radio in middle school and Jingle Bell Rock which has been recorded by so many over the years and…well you get the idea. Anyway, here are the 25 I selected, most are the usual suspects, some not so much. Would like to here what you listen to.   

1- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

2 – Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley

3 – Santa Claus Is Back In Town - Elvis Presley

        

4 – The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

5 – Winter Wonderland – Johnny Mathis

6 -Sleigh Ride  – Johnny Mathis

7 – Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

8 – No Place Like Home for the Holidays – Perry Como

9 – The Christmas Blues – Dean Martin 

10 -  Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow  – Dean Martin

11 – The Little Drummer Song – Bob Seger

12 – Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon

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13 – Please Come Home For Christmas (Charles Brown or The Eagles versions)

14 – Run Rudolph Run – (Chuck Berry or Keith Richards – this is Chuck’s version) 

15 – White Christmas – Bing Crosby

16 -  It’s Beginning to look a Lot Like Christmas – Bing Crosby

17 – River – Joni Mitchell

18 -Father Christmas – The Kinks

19 – Rockin Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

20 – It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams

21 – White Christmas – The Drifters

22 – Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt (This is Kitt’s version)

23 – Merry Christmas Baby – Bruce Springsteen (There are a lot of good versions of this song including Charles Brown, Elvis, Dion and others. The version here is by Charles Brown)

24 – Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen

25 – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love