Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time: December 8


"Ring Christmas Bells"
by Ray Conniff & the Singers

We've already heard "Carol of the Bells" in our special.  Minna Louise Hohman wrote an alternate version that includes more Nativity-based lyrics.  When you hear that version, the song is called "Ring Christmas Bells".

And who better than the group that may as well have called themselves the Christmas Singers for it is Christmas songs that they excelled at and they did it better than just about 
"The Prayer"
by Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli

This is one of the newest songs to make The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time.  It was written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Albert Testa and Tony Renis.  It was featured on Celine Dion's album These Are Special Times and was also included in the move Quest for Camelot in 1999.  The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1999 and for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with vocals in 2000.
"A Marshmallow World"
by Johnny Mathis

This song was written by Carl Sigman and Peter DeRose in 1949.  Bing Crosby had the first hit with it but when Mathis included it on his Sounds of Christmas album in 1963 it became the most popular version.
"The First Noel"
by Kenny G

Here we have a traditional carol, generally thought to be from the 18th century.  The word Noel is from the French word meaning "Birthday".  The song was first published in 1823 in Carols Ancient and Modern, edited by William B. Sandys and arranged, edited and with extra lyrics added by Davies Gilbert.

Kenny G included it on Faith:  A Holiday album and his special touch generated interest enough to include it in this special.
"Winter Wonderland"
by Aretha Franklin

A young Aretha recorded an exciting and passionate version of this song in 1964.  It was good enough to make The Best 150*.
"Silent Night"
by Perry Como

This was on the album Perry Como Sings Christmas.  Como's reverent tone is not lost on listeners and is the reason for its great appeal.

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