Got The Fever

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Haven’t got a whole lot of time lately. Between busting hump for work, making the angels happy, life altering decisions and a new dawn that’s been brighter than brilliant … I have no time, or I don’t make time?

In the meantime, let’s drop a few good ones here for pre-holiday frenzy.

Evidence One: Christmas Time (Is Here Again) – The Beatles
Where multiple tunes and goings-on are surrounded by one centralized theme.

Evidence Two: Funky Drummer Boy - Thornetta Davis
Clean, sassy, hypnotizing, reverent and essential.

Evidence Three: Hark, The Herald Angels Sing – Vince Giraldi
From the Charlie Brown Christmas. Angelic and spiritual. Filled with the innocence and respect for the meaning of Christmas.

Evidence Four: Silent Night – Charlie Musslewhite
A tar black night in the south woods, a full moon, gossamer flakes freefalling, a stroke before midnight … and this.

Evidence Five: We Three Kings Of Orient Are – The Beach Boys
This is for us Chuck. Possibly one of the best ever. And given the royal treatment by the boys from the west coast.

Add to the thoughts:
… so bad, it’s driving me mad …

Sunday, December 10, 2006

XMAS - beginning to look a lot like

I’m continuing with the Christmas theme this week. I have so many selections to choose from that I find it difficult to decide among them for want of always finding the next greatest and have to have. I decided among the relatively unknown, the true classic and must posts.

Evidence One: We Need A Little Christmas – Lynette Perry
This is from the Broadway production of one of my favorite movies of all time, Mame (the one with Rosalind Russell of course, not Lucille Ball). Anyway, this is a somewhat familiar song for the season that you never really hear. Although, I do catch it once in a while sung by one of those bland, mid-eighties so-called jazz singers. But, not done as well as how Lynette handles it.

Evidence Two: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – The Pretenders
Bar none, this is the definitive version for me. A truly heartfelt and sincere rendition by Ms. Chrissy Hynde that has not been equaled, before or after. It just has not happened. The instrumentation is top notch, the players in absolute pristine, perfect form, the gentle sway that tugs and adds to the tapestry of emotion … I say again, it has not been better than this.

Evidence Three: Christmas Moon – Jackie Gleason
Speaking of the gentle sway, it would not (emphasizing once more), would not be the Christmas season without the sultry sounds of Jackie’s Christmas sounds. Reminds me of the heyday of cocktail parties in Vermont during the snowstorm – the smell of roasting chestnuts, old-fashioned ornaments on the tree, fondue on the table and the purity of the falling snow muting civilization for many, many miles. Relax, lay back, make eye contact from across the sofa, raise the glass, wink with one eye and smile. How sweet it is!

Evidence Four: No Room At The Inn – Mahalia Jackson
Sister Mahalia brings soulful spirit just at the time when we need it most. Belting it out with her one of a kind authoritative vocal she sings matter of fact that as the time had come for the Savior to be born There Was No Room At The Inn. Simple in its elegance with only a piano, bass and vibes to accompany her, our most spiritual leader gathers us up to praise with song. Peerless and divine. Amen.

Evidence Five: Sleigh Bells – Johnny Mathis
A goofy looking brother in a sherbet-colored sweater with the voice to die for. This Arthur Fiedler penned Christmas themed jaunt is one of a handful of perfect version that just can’t be bested. His articulation is flawless, his pitch spot-on – the consummate blessed professional. This tune is the perfect accompaniment to placing those first few ornaments on the tree.

Lynette Perry: We Need A Little Christmas
From: A Broadway Christmas [1994]

The Pretenders: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
From: A Very Special Christmas [1989]

Jackie Gleason: Christmas Moon
From: 'Tis The Season [1967]

Mahalia Jackson: No Room At The Inn
From: Silent Night, Holy Night [1992]

Johnny Mathis: Sleigh Ride
From: Christmas Album [2003](CD)

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Season Begins

Already, that time of year! Well, if you’re a regular, you know that we here at Got The Fever do not revel in the “Same Ol, Same Ol”, so music for the season will not be from the usual Top 50 oldies format that make you roll your eyes and sputter contempt.

Evidence One: Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Ahhhh, Louis Jordan. Each and every Christmas season in this home has been officially rung in – since 1994 mind you – by this recording! Comment as you will. Though Louis, “The King of the Jukebox” was well known for his jump blues music, here he mourns and moans to the head elf that he is in misery and all he needs is his baby. Don’t we all?

I want you to tell your reindeer,
When you’re on your way -
Please, please, please be extra careful,
My baby’s on your sleigh!

Evidence Two: Away In A Manger
Sure, how many version of this have you heard? Let me tell you, this is the one that stops you in your tracks. Blind Boys of Alabama.

Anymore need be said? How about we throw in George Clinton just for giggles and candy canes? Need more? Then toss in pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph. Want more? Tune in carefully to the arrangement.

If you still require more, you better ask Santa for a gift certificate to a psych consult to begin taking back your raging and insipid impulses.

Evidence Three: Go Tell It On The Mountain
Mavis Staples, Pops Staples and the rest of the holy Staple stable show up in a show of strength for this saintly gift to The Child. A gently sloping holy roller that gives up its clumsy otherworldly confines to a devoutly spiritual and enlightening cause. A pure and defining sound that surely has the seasonal angels blushing in envy.

Evidence Four: Make Me A Present Of You
As if we can fit it in, let’s bring in even more class. The lovely and over-flowingly talented Dinah Washington belting it our in her inimitable style can crumble mere mortals with her very first phrasings. Luckily for us, this holiday bauble was captured so we can remain awed each and every time we hear it.

So, I’ll take my spire palace
And the sky for my room with a view
I know well both be very happy
If you got yourself up tied with a pretty ribbon
And make me, Lord make me a present of you

Evidence Five: Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year, Pts I & II
Squealing from the Soul, a set of backup singers that yields no talent to nobody, and an arrangement to kill for. It simply does not lend itself easily to comparisons. This is the church of JB and few are eager to try to preach from that pulpit. A refreshing original that no matter how many times you hear it, does not get worn. In fact, it’s almost a church tune, one that you can hear over and over and still come away smiling because, as an added present, James gives you screams, wails and pulses of joy that’ll have you screaming “Amen’ while awaiting the birth! A six-minute journey through the jugular of joyfulness that means Christmas!

Louis Jordan: Santa Claus, Santa Clause
From: Blue Yule – Christmas Blues and R&B Classics

Blind Boys Of Alabama: Away In A Manger
From: Go Tell It On The Mountain

The Staple Singers: Go Tell It On The Mountain
From: 40 Stars

Dinah Washington: Make Me A Present Of You

James Brown: Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year, Pts I & II
From: James Brown’s Funky Christmas

PS - I’ve had to deal with admin issues. Actually, they’re the same old Rapidshare issues everyone else who is using them has had to deal with. So, I’ve decided to try another method. Seems to work pretty well, so let’s stick it out for a while.