Hark the What? Ironies of a Beloved Carol

REV. MARK D. ROBERTS knows 'If you don’t want to tick people off, then don’t change the words of the hymns and carols.' As he explains, 'HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING' is a perfect example of this maxim.
by David McGee
 

 
 

How Mr. Chokepear Keeps A Merry Christmas.

From a December 25, 1841 issue of the British humor and satire magazine PUNCH, a story satirizing a heartless one-percenter's self-absorbed Christmas rituals.
by David McGee
 

 

 

The ‘Quiet Ecstasy’ of Harry Simeone’s ‘Little Drummer Boy’

The story behind THE HARRY SIMEONE CHORALE's classic 'THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY' begins in 1941 with KATHERINE KENNICOTT DAVIS'S 'CAROL OF THE DRUM' and includes a classic Christmas album featuring the oft-covered seasonal favorite.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Christmas in Verse, 2021

Timeless Christmas poems by ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON, DOLLIE RADFORD, ROBERT SOUTHWELL, et al. plus Christmas music videos featuring THE POGUES, THE PRETENDERS, THE ROYAL GUARDSMEN, THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA and THE SUPREMES.
by David McGee
 

 

 

A Half-Century+ of Classic Animated ‘Rudolph’

On Dec. 6, 1964 NBC premiered an animated version of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER with BURL IVES as host. It drew a 50 share and was an instant holiday classic. From a 50 share to 50+ years as a holiday staple, we pay tribute...
by David McGee
 

 
 

The Deep Roots 2016 Yuletide Baedeker

A guide to the Christmas content published over the years in TheBluegrassSpecial.com and Deep Roots, including our 2016 Christmas album picks.
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
 

 
 

‘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
 

 

 

This American Yule

With conductor/artistic director HARRY CHRISTOPHERS at the helm, the HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY offers a journey through traditional carols using American tunes.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Nnenna’s Unconventional Yule

An optimistic, upbeat, celebratory outpouring of emotion and spirit completely in tune with the season that inspires its unconventional approach.
by David McGee
 

 

 

Tchaikovsky, Straight & Ellingtonized (Or, ‘Let’s Play Two!’)

TCHAIKOVSKY wrote THE NUTCRACKER SUITE, DUKE ELLINGTON and BILLY STRAYHORN reimagined it, and HARMONIE ENSEMBLE NEW YORK offers both versions on a must-have holiday album.
by David McGee
 

 
 

The Ellingtonian ‘Nutcracker’

An appreciation of THE NUTCRACKER SUITE as DUKE ELLINGTON & BILLY STRAYHORN reimagined it in 1960 and of a new take by THE HARMONIA ENSEMBLE conducted by STEVEN RICHMOND.
by David McGee