Snow in East Hampton Village
For the past twenty years I have enjoyed the good fortune of living in a small village – often called one of the most beautiful in America – warmed by ocean waters and surrounded by pristine sandy beaches. As the winter approaches, nor’easters and snow squalls threaten to invade the calm and quiet we often take for granted. Not to worry – there is a magic that watches over the East End; it is a special place to live and a delightful one to visit.
Sylvia’s pictures will affirm that there is as much beauty in a winter blizzard as a moonlight walk down Main Street. Shop windows adorned with seasonal trim and trees decorated with shimmering lights and ornaments. Snowflakes driven by a north east wind spin and sparkle under a winter full moon. All are indications that the Holidays are around the corner.
Bing Crosby sings White Christmas in Holiday Inn
The very first time I watched Bing Crosby declare that he was giving up the hustle and bustle of New York City and moving to the country, I was captivated by the 1942 movie Holiday Inn. Few would call Connecticut “The Country” today, but in 1942 the horse and carriage ride to the Inn was classic New England country. White Christmas – all 100 million copies of the best selling single of all times – reminds us how the distinctive voice of Mr Crosby made Irving Berlin’s song soar to the top of the charts again and again. I think it’s all about Bing’s pipes tapping out the notes of White Christmas on the bells of Holiday Inn’s Christmas Tree as he sings with Marjorie Reynolds!
Watching Holiday Inn over the years played a large part in my dedication to finding my very own ‘Holiday Inn.’ After almost 20 years of searching, the Mill House Inn finally became our reality in 1999.
Bing had another holiday hit, from what would be his final Christmas Special. He said of his “Merrie Olde Christmas”” special guest: ‘I think he is a clean cut kid, a real fine asset to the show who sings well with a great voice, who also reads his lines well‘. In September 1977 Bing Crosby was speaking of David Bowie! Now, 25 years later, what many call the best holiday season duet ever recorded still continues to chart.
David Bowie and Bing Crosby on the 1977 ‘Merrie Olde Christmas Special’
“Little Drummer Boy is a Christmas song written in 1957, while the “Peace on Earth” tune and lyrics were added to the song especially for Bowie and Crosby’s recording. Peace on Earth was composed just before the recording because Bowie did not picture himself singing the Little Drummer Boy. The song was recorded on September 11th for Crosby’s 1977 television special, Bing Crosby’s ‘Merrie Olde Christmas’. Bing left us on October 14th 1977, before the first airing of the show that November.
The Bowie-Crosby duet became infamous when Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly filmed a hilarious shot-for-shot remake that adhered to the original dialogue.
Along with Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, a few additional classics make the Holidays shine for me. The Christmas Song (or Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire), most often associated with the distinct vocals of Nat King Cole, was actually written as a cure for the summer heat in LA’s Toluca Lake!
Nat King Cole
Aaron Neville Sings ‘The Christmas Song’
A Charlie Brown Christmas - Music by Vince Guaraldi
Blue and White are my favorite Christmas Colors!
The number one all time Holiday Christmas Album is all about unrequited love. Looking at the faces of his fans as Elvis speaks to them like a friend, would speak to his loved ones tells the beginning of the story. The intimacy of sitting with his fans and letting them know he wanted to sing his favorite Christmas song for them made Elvis real, he was a part of their Christmas. Blue Christmas was recorded in Hollywood CA 1957
I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on our green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me
And when those blue snowflakes start fallin’
That’s when those blue memories start callin’
You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas
In 1957 Martina McBride was 2 years old when the TV Special was first recorded. The magic of technology allowed Elvis and Martina to sing Blue Christmas as a duet.
Elvis Presley poses with Colonel Tom Parker dressed as Santa Claus in this Christmas card circa 1965
All the Music mentioned here, and more, can be found on Spotify in “A Mill House Inn Christmas ’18“. Call it my Christmas Present to you!
A lagniappe is truly that something extra a gift given from the heart.
I heard this song often, not on the radio. It played in my head when I lived in Jersey City.
Please have a listen. It’s might not be so happy, unless of course you do something about it.
From Elvis in Memphis 1969
People, don’t you understand
The child needs a helping hand
Or he’ll grow to be an angry young man some day?
Take a look at you and me
Are we too blind to see
Do we simply turn our heads, and look the other way?
Elvis Sings ‘In the Ghetto’
We fed people because they were hungry and afraid to ask
We found a place for them to sleep because they were cold and tired
We learned to share our passion for food, so they could work
We made a difference, for the forgotten ones, the invisible people
We promised our friendship and empathy
You can make a difference, you can make a better world
Find your way and give it a try, I promise it will be your very best Christmas