Merry Christmas To You!
Frank Sinatra – White Christmas
Les Paul – Jingle Bells
Dean Martin – The Christmas Blues
Nat “King” Cole – My Two Front Teeth
Johnny Mercer – Winter Wonderland
Les Baxter – Santa Claus’ Party
Nat “King” Cole – The Christmas Song
Billy May – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Mambo
Frank Sinatra – The Christmas Waltz
Yogi Yorgesson – I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas
Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely – Silver Bells
Les Paul and Mary Ford – Silent Night
Bobby Hebb (July 26, 1938 – August 3, 2010) was an American singer and songwriter born in Tennessee. Hebb’s parents, William and Ovalla Hebb, were both blind musicians.
On November 23, 1963, the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, his brother Harold Hebb was killed in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub. Hebb was devastated by both events and sought comfort in songwriting. Though many claim that the song he wrote after both tragedies was the optimistic “Sunny”, Hebb himself stated otherwise. Hebb also wrote many other songs for other artists, including Lou Rawls’ 1971 hit “A Natural Man” (co-written with comedian Sandy Baron).
“Sunny” was recorded in New York City, after demos were made with the record producer Jerry Ross. Released as a single, it reached #3 on the R&B charts, # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. When Hebb toured with The Beatles in 1966 his “Sunny” was as well received as any Beatles tune, as evidenced by tapes of the concerts. “Sunny” has been recorded by, among others Cher, Georgie Fame, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, The Four Seasons, the Four Tops, James Brown and Wilson Pickett.
Where Are You
Got You On My Mind
Yes Or No Or Maybe Not
Good Good Lovin’
Love Love Love
A Satisfied Mind
You Don’t Know What You Got Until You Lose It
I Am Your Man
“This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley. I don’t know if Ray was the architect of rock & roll, but he was certainly the first guy to do a lot of things . . . Who the hell ever put so many styles together and made it work?”
Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records.
He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business.”
Ray’s legacy continues to live on. His version of “Georgia On My Mind” was made the official state song for Georgia. In 1987, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004, and number two on their November 2008 list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. The biopic Ray, released in October 2004, portrays his life and career between 1930 and 1979 and stars Jamie Foxx as Charles. Foxx won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor for the role.
Honestly, I wish I had more of his albums, but these two will need to do for now:
What’d I Say
Paul Albert Anka, OC (born July 30, 1941 Ottawa) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor.
Anka first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like “Diana”, “Lonely Boy”, and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder”. He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones’s biggest hits, “She’s a Lady”, and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way” (originally French song “Comme d’habitude”).
In 1983, he co-wrote with Michael Jackson the song “I Never Heard”, which was retitled and released in 2009 under the name “This Is It”. An additional song that Jackson co-wrote with Anka from this 1983 session, “Love Never Felt So Good”, has since been discovered, and will be released in the near future. The song was also released by Johnny Mathis in 1984.
The Original Hits of Paul Anka
Put Your Head on My Shoulder
I Love You Baby
My Home Town
Adam and Eve
You Are My Destiny
Tonight, My Love, Tonight
Dance On Little Girl
Nelson Smock Riddle, Jr. (June 1, 1921 – October 6, 1985) was an American arranger, composer, bandleader and orchestrator whose career stretched from the late 1940s to the mid 1980s. His work for Capitol Records kept such vocalists as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney and Keely Smith household names. He found commercial and critical success again in the 1980s with a trio of Platinum albums with vocalist Linda Ronstadt.
The Best of Nelson Riddle
The Green Leaves of Summer
Naked City Theme
Younger Than Springtime
Route 66 Theme
I’m Getting’ Sentimental Over You
Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries
Louis Allen “Lou” Rawls (December 1, 1935 – January 6, 2006) was an American soul, jazz, and blues singer. He was known for his smooth vocal style: Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”. Rawls released more than 60 albums, appeared as an actor in motion pictures and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. He was also known for his frequently used expression,”Yeah buddy!”
See You When I Get There
Early Morning Love
Some Folks Never Learn
Some Day You’ll Be Old
We Understand Each Other
It’s Our Anniversary Today
All the Way
I know what you’re thinking, how does Memorial Day and remembering our troops tie into the music? Well, whether they’re creating protest songs about the war or traveling to visit the troops, musicians are impacted by the subject. Some, like Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis have even served in our military before starting their careers in music.
When I think of music and the miltary, the USO shows pop into my head immediately. The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) is a private, nonprofit organization that provides morale and recreational services to members of the U.S. military, with programs in 160 centers worldwide. Since 1941, it has worked in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), and has provided support and entertainment to U.S. armed forces, relying heavily on private contributions. You can check out their timeline here. It’s really amazing to see how far the shows have come! Below is a list of just some of the musicians and other celebrities who have performed overseas for our troops:
Sammy Davis Jr.
As the grills are fired up for the weekend, the pools are opened, and everyone is enjoying the sunshine, I ask that you take a moment to remember our troops. Not just those in the past, but those serving our country now. As much as you may be against the war, these men and woman are out there everyday doing the work so we can go about our normal, every day lives. At the very least, they deserve a thank you. If you want to do more than just say thanks, there’s a number of ways you can help:
Coalition for Iraq + Afghanistan Veterans
US Department of Veterans Affairs
United Service Organization (USO)
Help Our Military Endure