Sunday, December 4, 2011

12-4-11 Christmas Song(s) of the Day #4: Winter Wonderland

Today's Christmas song of the day is, like yesterday's, and like Sleigh Ride, not technically a Christmas song. There isn't a mention of the holiday in the lyrics. 

"Winter Wonderland" was first recorded in 1934, almost as an outtake, when Richard Himber's Orchestra ran late and Himber had left the building. The lead vocalist, Johnny Nash, insisted they try recording it, just once, before everyone else went home. If they screwed it up, they'd call it day and forget the whole thing.

Recorded by at least 150 artists (by the wiki count) and I have only a paltry 16 versions in the iTunes? It's still enough to drive anyone but me to drink.

Most of them stick with the snowman as Parson Brown version, although a few combine the Parson and the circus clown together.

It's probably heresy to admit it, but of my 16 versions, Aretha's is the most annoying. Stop sliding around already.

Tony's version is fun, although I the bluebird might take exception to the idea that he is really "astray" instead of just "gone away".

Best mellow, slow version has to be Louis'. (Some nice vintage photos here, too.)

And Ella would probably be in my top five again, but since I just used her yesterday, let's go with Ray Charles for swinginest version:

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass:

Boston Pops:

And, with a video this time around, Glenn Miller's Orchestra:


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