Monday, December 7, 2009

Holidays With the Rat Pack

When I think of holiday tunes, I immediately think think of three albums albums above all others -- 'A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector', 'The Beach Boys' Christmas Album' and 'Christmas With The Rat Pack'. I will get to all of these this season, but let's start with some songs from Dino, Frank and Sammy. The tunes below are taken from three separate albums, and I highly recommend all of them.

First, Martin's songs come from an out-of-print collection called 'Making Spirits Bright'. I think this is Dino at his best because it is a combination of his Capitol and Reprise years. So, it covers the 1950s and 1960s quite well. The Reprise material is more well known because these were songs and arrangements he often did on his television show, but the Capitol tunes are a bit hipper, in my opinion.

Sammy's songs are taken from 'Christmas With The Rat Pack'. Obviously, if you don't own any holiday songs from these three, this recordis the place to start. These are some of their best tunes taken from eight Capitol albums during the years 1954-1966. Let me make clear that, for the most part, these are songs from each of them separately (not trios).

Finally, I went way back for these Sinatra songs. The album, 'Christmas Songs By Sinatra', is culled from 78s he recorded between 1944 and 1950. These are straight-ahead arrangements done in a big band/crooning style popularized at the time by Bing Crosby. You aren't going to get lyrics like "Merry Christmas, Jack". That would come much later. This one is out of print too, but you can find it very easily in the used Amazon section for about six bucks. Now that's a great stocking stuffer, Jack!

Dean Martin - Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (mp3)
Dean Martin - A Marshmallow World (mp3)
Sammy Davis, Jr. - Christmas Time All Over The World (mp3)
Sammy Davis, Jr. - Jingle Bells (mp3)
Frank Sinatra - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (mp3)
Frank Sinatra - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (mp3)

See Also: Holiday Gifts For You From NRBQ

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