Category Archives: christmas

Christmas Carol Kun-NECK-shun, Part Deux

The last kun-NECK-shun ended with Barenaked Ladies and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

kun-NECK-shun: The Barenaked Ladies released a single in 1998 called Brian Wilson, about a guy whose life parallels the life of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. The Beach Boys released a Christmas album in 1964 with an original first track, entitled Little Saint Nick, done in typical Beach Boy style:

Little St. Nick

kun-NECK-shun: The Beach Boys covered one of my favorite Stevie Wonder hits, I Was Made to Love You, on their Wild Honey album in 1967. The same year, Stevie introduced a Christmas song of his own, What Christmas Means to Me. I absolutely LOVE this song. It is one of my absolute favorite Christmas songs and gets me movin’ and groovin’.

What Christmas Means to Me

kun-NECK-shun: The incomparable Stevie Wonder wrote and produced Til You Come Back to Me for the divine Aretha Franklin. Aretha was a very good friend of Billy Preston of Get Back fame. Here is Ree Ree doing one of the loveliest Christmas ballads ever, O Holy Night, accompanied by Mr. Billy Preston:

Link to Youtube —->            O Holy Night

kun-NECK-shun: Aretha’s legendary Live at the Fillmore West album from her San Fransico concert in 1971 included a spirited appearance by Ray Charles who sang a reprise of Spirit in the Dark with The Queen of Soul. One of Ray’s best Christmas songs is Baby, It’s Cold Outside with Betty Carter:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Betty Carter)


Posted by on December 6, 2007 in christmas, holidays, kun-neck-shuns


Christmas Carol Kun-NECK-shun

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..hope you like the Christmas decorations.To appropriately ring in the Christmas season, I’m starting a new feature. Every couple of days, I’m going to feature Christmas Carols with their associated kun-NECK-shuns. I hope you enjoy it and the season.

Here is Sir Paul McCartney to kick us off…

Wonderful Christmas Time

Released in 1979, Wonderful Christmas Time, was offered as a bonus track on Wings’ Back to the Egg album. The “B-side” of this single is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae. Shortly after this release, McCartney was arrested in Tokyo for traveling with a 1/2 lb. of marijuana and spent 10 days in jail.

kun-NECK-shun: Of course, Paul was one of The Beatles and the writing partner of John Lennon. Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote Happy Christmas in October of 1971 and although it was released for Christmas in 1971, it didn’t receive any significant attention until it was re-released in December, 1980, shortly after John Lennon was killed.

Happy Christmas (The War is Over)

kun-NECK-shun: The Beatles’ created and performed on the Apple label. They also signed, recorded and produced other artists. Among the artists that were part of the Apple label in 1969 was one, James Taylor.

JT does a wonderful rendition of Go Tell it on the Mountain, an old African-American Spiritual from 1865.

Go Tell it on the Mountain

kun-NECK-shun: James Taylor is a close friend of Joni Mitchell, who wrote River — beautifully covered by Sara McLachlan.


Originally included on Mitchell’s watershed album, Blue, River evoked memories of Joni’s Canadian winters as she reflected upon them from her sunny California home. Bonus kun-NECK-shun: Stephen Stills and James Taylor performed on the Blue album.

kun-NECK-shun: Sara McLachlan recorded the traditional God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen with Barenaked Ladies.

More to come……….


Posted by on December 2, 2007 in christmas, holidays, kun-neck-shuns