Posted in Christmas, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

PEACE ON EARTH/LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

christmas108“Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy is one of my favourite Christmas songs…The duet is amazing, David Bowie and Bing Crosby, two unique, powerful, stunning, and shiver-inducing voices ever.
“Little Drummer Boy” is a 1941 Christmas song (originally known as “Carol of the Drum”, based on a traditional Czech carol) written by the American classical music composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis.
“Peace on Earth” was written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan, to add to especially for that recording because Bowie hated “Little Drummer Boy” so they had Bing Crosby sing most of it.

It was recorded September 11, 1977 for Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas special. The dialogue they exchanged was scripted. Bowie was attempting to normalize his image by appearing on Crosby’s Christmas special. Crosby was doing it for the ratings, Bowie was a huge and attention-getting name. Sadly Bing Crosby died on October 14, 1977 and the TV special aired posthumously, November 30, 1977.

This is an oft parodied (some of my favs include: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! Sung by Stephen Colbert and Willie Nelson; Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly for Funny or Die – wait for the end, it’s worth it; and Craig Kilborn and Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü on Comedy Central) and referenced duet; most likely because the improbability of its performer

Posted in Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

A CHRISTMAS STORY

christmas7730 years since we first heard Ralphie‘s teacher, Mom, Santa, basically everyone tell Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) he was going to shoot his eye out with the Red Ryder BB Gun he so desperately wanted for Christmas

30 years since Flick got his tongue frozen to the flagpole…christmas104

30 years since the neighbour dog ate the Parkers’ Christmas turkey so they went out for Chinese food…

30 years since The Battle of the Lamp when Ralphie’s parents fight over the lamp shaped like a woman’s leg wearing a fishnet stocking that Mr. Parker (The Old Man) had won that came in box marked Fragile or “Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian”.christmas106

What is it about this movie that people love?

Because it portrays a simpler time?

It’s authenticity, haven’t we all had or heard conversations just like in this movie?

Waiting in line to see Santa?

Evading or fighting bullies?

Wanting something soooooooo badly?

Or the flat tire scene?

Flick with his tongue on the flagpole cause, well, he was triple dog dared to do it?

The heroic narration of the film with classical music to punctuate the epicness?

The pink bunny PJs which make Ralphie believe his Aunt Clara thinks he’s perpetually 4 years old and apparently, a girl? Or is it all of this and more?

Whatever it is, it works. Still funny after 30 years.christmas78Mrs. Parker: Randy, will you eat? There are starving people in China!
Randy: [groans and shoves spoon into his mouth]

My Mom, also Mrs. Parker used to tell us to eat our vegetables because children were starving in Africa…I was more than willing to send them my peas.

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WHITE CHRISTMAS

christmas70Of all the Christmas movies this wins as cheese master. They make every effort to tug at every heart-string and be hepcats at the same time. It’s a rather odd mixture that strangely, works. I love this movie. The songs are embedded in my brain…“Snow” ,“Sisters”,“The Old Man”,“Gee I Wish I Was Back In The Army”, “Love You Didn’t Do Right By Me”,“The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing”,“Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep”, and of course, the title song, “White Christmas”.

I wish I could say I ever get tired of this movie, but I don’t. And it’s not like I sing and dance along with it, the entire time, every single song…christmas73

Amusing White Christmas trivia:

White Christmas was the first Paramount film released in VistaVision.

Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen only sang “Sisters” together (and most of Vera-Ellen’s part was dubbed by Rosemary Clooney). All other Vera-Ellen songs were sung by Trudy Stevens. But Vera-Ellen sure could dance (at only 18 Vera-Ellen was one of the youngest Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall).christmas65 sistersIf you like Rosemary Clooney’s voice in the movie, note a change when you’re listening to the original soundtrack. Rosemary Clooney wasn’t available, it’s really Peggy Lee you’re hearing. Later an actual soundtrack with Crosby, Clooney, Kaye and Stevens was released on CD.

The photo shown by Vera-Ellen of the Haynes’ brother Benny is really Carl Switzer, who played Alfalfa in The Little Rascals.

White Christmas was directed by Academy Award winning director Michael Curtiz, also directed the classic Casablanca.

The title song, written by Irving Berlin originally used in the 1942 Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire classic, Holiday Inn. It won the film an Oscar for Best Original Song.

The stunning and talented Rosemary Clooney is also the Aunt of George Clooney and was in an episode of ER with him. christmas64 snow

The choreography for WC was by an uncredited and young Bob Fosse.

The General played by successful character actor Dean Jagger had a nearly 60 years in over 100 films. christmas72

Vera-Ellen played the part of the younger sister, but Rosemary Clooney was actually seven years younger than Vera-Ellen.

White Christmas was the top grossing film of 1954.christmas75