‘It Must Have Been the Mistletoe’: Mandrell Knew It Was Cool Before It Was Cool

"It Must Have Been the Mistletoe,' written by JUSTIN WILDE and DOUG KONECKY, has become a contemporary seasonal standard, but it wasn't an easy sell. The story behind the song follows.
by David McGee
 

 
 

The Man With All the Toys

BRIAN SETZER and his ORCHESTRA return for his sixth Christmas blowout, ROCKIN' RUDOLPH, which lives up to the warm , virtuosic and rockin' high standard the Stray Cat has set for himself at Yuletide
by David McGee
 

 

 

What Becomes a Classic Most?

Streisand at her apex in recordings made almost three-and-a-half decades apart. Make no mistake--she’s the classic here, and a classy one at that.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Christmas in All Hues of Blues

CHRISTMAS IN ALL HUES OF BLUES, an updated review from 2012, spotlighting four classic blues-oriented Yuletide collections: DEATH MIGHT BE YOUR SANTA CLAUS and tBLUES, BLUES CHRISTMAS, Vols. 1-3
by David McGee
 

 

 

Kinda Memorable Bluegrass for Christmas

This year’s crop of new holiday releases has been one of the weakest in recent memory, but even in the strongest years THE ROYS' delightful BLUEGRASS KINDA CHRISTMAS would be a standout.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Conventry Carol & The Slaughter of the Innocents

'COVENTRY CAROL,' one of the most plaintive of sacred seasonal songs, has its roots in the mystery plays of 16th Century England, notably one depicting Herod's "slaughter of the innocents.'
by David McGee
 

 

 

Ding Dong, Merrily On High, Indeed!

Returned to print by Real Gone Music, THE THREE SUNS' amazing 1959 seasonal effort, A DING DONG DANDY CHRISTMAS, is lounge exotica run amuck, a genuine Yuletide gem.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Big Brass Ones for Christmas

On its fifth holiday album, CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE, CANADIAN BRASS honors the music of animated Yule favorites and the arrangements of LUTHER HENDERSON and BRANDON RIDENOUR.
by David McGee
 

 

 

A Soul Ever More Grateful For What It Knows Of Love

An updated review of a holiday classic: B.B. KING's A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION OF HOPE. Indeed it is.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Pt. 2: ‘God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen’ and The Dickens Connection

Ever wonder what is the Christmas carol of Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol'? Evidence points to 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' as the carol in question. We make our case herein.
by David McGee
 

 

 

The Murky Origins & Everlasting Life of ‘Jingle Bells’

In 1850 JAMES LORD PIERPONT, inspired by one-horse open-sleigh races in his home town, wrote a Thanksgiving ditty for his father's Sunday School class. Thus the humble origin of 'Jingle Bells.'
by David McGee
 

 
 

‘Tis the Season To Be Rhonda

With four original songs, RHONDA VINCENT keeps Christmas well on her new Yuletide CD, CHRISTMAS TIME, featuring a moving vocal-and-piano 'Christmas Medley'
by David McGee