Friday, December 23, 2005

Every Christmas should swing this

Play it: Ella Fitzgerald Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

Truly... if you listen to only one Christmas album (and there have been many past holiday seasons where I've somehow managed to do just that,) the one to listen to is Ella Fitzgerald's Wishes You a Swinging Christmas. When I first discovered it seven years ago, it was out of print, and had been looking for it in Rhapsody the past three years. Well Verve finally got around to re-releasing it three years ago (remastered with bonus tracks) and it's now in Rhapsody.

This one definitely swings, and captures Ella at her vocal peak with Verve (it was the only Christmas album she did during her Verve heyday.) With arrangement and conducting by the great Frank DeVol, Ella sings, what I consider, the definitive versions of "Jingle Bells," "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" and "Winter Wonderland." Even the worst of us grinches find it hard not to feel the Christmas spirit when listening to this holiday classic.

BTW: I noticed that Rhapsody was trying to feature this album, but the album data they have linked to (for the remastered version) only plays the bonus tracks that weren't on the original release (and they don't swing, my friend.)

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drake leLane said...

1. Jingle Bells
2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
4. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
5. Sleigh Ride
6. The Christmas Song
7. Good Morning Blues
8. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
9. Winter Wonderland
10. Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
11. Frosty The Snowman
12. White Christmas

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J Shifty said...

I must concur, my good man. This is one of a handful of Christmas records that get in the rotation in this household.

In fact for the last week I find myself exclaiming "I'm just wild about horses!" two or three times a day. Certainly one of the more goofy exclamations to end any song...

A Happy one to you!

drake leLane said...

How about when she goes into "Tom Dooley" during "Rudolph the Reindoor," that was a little unexpected.

My favorite, for some reason, is the backup singers singing "big daddy's watching" during "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," ending it with "it's in the bag!"

Hope you had a Merry one, J

thomas_oneworld said...

love the blog - and while I'm here and thinking about putting away all that Christmas stuff this weekend - I thought I'd thrown in a comment on your Ella Christmas tunes. Have to say that nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like great Christmas music - especially with so much junk out there. Here are two that are right in line with Ella: 1) a Chicago swing band that had it all going on and went nowhere - The Might Blue Kings, The Christmas Album - just a greta selection of tunes that swing, rock and put a smile on your face - it's mostly unavailable but search for it on or other 2nd had sites; and 2) Squirrel Nut Zippers provide endless fun on their Christmas Caravan cd - they are still working and it's still in print - go to