The Voice



October 14, 2013 seemed so far off when Linda’s fans first heard the news they had been awaiting for years… Linda was going to be recording a new Christmas CD. Since she released CHRISTMAS STAYS THE SAME in October, 2000, her fans have not been shy about letting her know how much they loved this recording and wished she would record a follow-up Christmas CD. Not only did Linda listen to the wishes of her fans, she invited them to be part of the process in choosing some of the songs that would be included. Let the excitement and anticipation begin!

Linda herself thoroughly enjoyed this entire ride from the first tease to the completion of the final product, and her unique and special handprint can be seen on every aspect of CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE. She had a wonderful time choosing songs and collaborating with her friends, who just happen to be two of the most talented professionals in the business, Billy Stein and Kim Scharnberg. And, of course, the actual recording process is always a blast for Linda!

Yes, CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE is a gift from Linda to her fans, but it also is an incredible gift to herself that will last a lifetime… the priceless duet with her son, Jake, on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

At long last, October 14, 2013, has finally arrived! The EDER-tors of THE VOICE know how much Linda’s legions of fans are going to enjoy the new music. To go along with the CD, we have published this Special Edition of THE VOICE to provide you with exclusive liner notes from Linda as well as background information on each song.



If you ever want to find a magical combination in the recording studio, look no further than Linda Eder and Billy Stein! Billy has moved his Strange Cranium Studios to a new location with cutting edge equipment, and this studio proved to be the perfect location for all aspects of recording and producing CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE. Billy shares his thoughts on collaborating on this project with Linda.

“Working with Linda on the Christmas album was great fun - working with Linda is always fun, and such a pleasure. She's a consummate professional - knows exactly what she likes and sings everything perfectly practically every time. We did some unique versions of some classic Christmas songs that I think everyone is going to really enjoy. Linda sings with Jake on one song, which was very special, and my two daughters sang chorus on another, which was a thrill for me. Working together in my new studio was very different from working in my last, where we finished THE OTHER SIDE OF ME album. I have an amazing setup - cutting edge equipment and the space has a great energy, making the work flow really well. I'm really proud of the work Linda and I did on CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE. I'm excited and look forward to giving this CD to my friends and family for the holiday - a Christmas album people will really love year after year.”     -Billy Stein

If you are familiar with Linda’s previous recordings over the years, then you know to expect wonderfully unique and special arrangements when you see the name Kim Scharnberg listed in the credits. Once again, Kim has proven to be a master of his craft as he worked on unique arrangements for songs that have been recorded over and over by other artists. As always, Kim is very enthusiastic about sharing his thoughts with THE VOICE.

VOICE: How much input did you have from Linda as you began to work on the arrangements for CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE?

KIM: Well... she came up with what songs she wanted (some chosen by fans) and some ideas about a couple of songs that could be put together and asked me to “make them fresh sounding,” which is always the arrangers quest with Christmas music! Linda and Billy also had some of the basic ideas on two of the six songs that I arranged.

VOICE: Is there one arrangement that you had to really pitch to Linda before she was comfortable with it?

KIM: No, not really. I pitched a couple of arrangements that she rejected though!

VOICE: Before working on the arrangements for CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE, did you listen to recordings by other artists to get an idea of what had been done previously?

KIM: I figure part of my job is to come up with new versions of some of these classic songs, but I did listen to other versions of “Grown-Up Christmas List.”   Linda and Billy came up with a different way to do the very first chorus (to not modulate like other versions do), and I had to try and figure out how to make this work. At first I wasn't sure if I liked it, but now I love it!

VOICE: Which song proved to most challenging to arrange? What challenges did it present for you?

KIM: Probably “Silence of Snow,” which sort of evolved from just a piano and vocal track. I added brass and then strings, and the challenge was to try to let the lyric have room to say what it needed to say but still have power in the bigger sections.

VOICE: What song did you have the most fun with as you worked on the arrangement? Which one was the most fun to record?

KIM: I really enjoyed coming up with something totally different for “O Come All Ye Faithful” and also making “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” into a samba!  Recording the choir for “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree/Holly Jolly Christmas” was fun. I wanted them to sound like the Jordanaires (Elvis' backup group) did for the movie “Blue Hawaii.” They get to repeat “rockin’ hey, rockin’ hoo” over and over!

VOICE: Do you have a favorite song from this CD?

KIM: That's a hard one to answer since they're all great in their own way! I do have to say that Linda sounds AMAZING on this CD. She never ceases to astound me as her vocals get warmer and richer and the interpretations of the lyric get deeper and deeper. Like really good hot chocolate on a cold winter night!

 



“CHRISTMAS WALTZ/IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR” (Medley)

“CHRISTMAS WALTZ”


“‘Christmas Waltz’ came in at Number 3 in the fan voting. I had never sung the song (even at home), so when I saw it on the list I wasn’t sure how I would use it on the CD. The original arrangement concept was a little different from how it turned out, but it’s because I discovered for myself what a beautiful melody it was all by itself… pure like the falling snow… and a perfect way to start the album.”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

TRIVIA

  • Music by Jule Styne
  • Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
  • Styne asked by Frank Sinatra to write a Christmas song
  • Cahn asked by Styne to write the lyrics
  • Cahn resisted because the highly successful “White Christmas” was just released but he eventually gave in
  • Cahn told Styne to play one of his waltzes and wrote the lyrics while listening
  • Sinatra first recorded the song with a chorus and arrangement by Nelson Riddle in 1954
  • Song became the B Side of “White Christmas” for Sinatra
  • Version arranged by Gordon Jenkins with the  Ralph Brewster Singers recorded by Sinatra in 1957 for A JOLLY CHRISTMAS WITH FRANK SINATRA
  • Arranged again by Nelson Riddle with The Jimmy Joyce Singers and recorded by Sinatra in 1968 for THE SINATRA FAMILY WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Peggy Lee – CHRISTMAS CAROUSEL – 1960
  • Pat Boone – CHRISTMAS IS A COMIN’ – 1966
  • Robert Goulet – ROBERT GOULET’S WONDERFUL WORLD OF CHRISTMAS – 1968
  • Sammy Cahn – AN EVENING WITH SAMMY CAHN – 1972
  • The Carpenters – CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT – 1978
  • Johnny Mathis – CHRISTMAS EVE WITH JOHNNY MATHIS – 1986
  • Andy Williams – I STILL BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS – 1990
  • Kathie Lee Gifford – CHRISTMAS WITH KATHIE LEE GIFFORD – 1993
  • Rosemary Clooney – WHITE CHRISTMAS – 1996
  • Natalie Cole – CHRISTMAS WITH YOU - 1998
  • Barry Manilow – A CHRISTMAS GIFT OF LOVE – 2002
  • John Travolta – THIS CHRISTMAS - 2012

“IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR”

“‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ ranked at Number 10 for fan favorites. Because it wasn’t in the top 6, I did not know I would be singing it until I had Kim over to talk about arrangement concepts. He saw it on the list and that is when we came up with the idea of partnering it with ‘Christmas Waltz.’”


MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

TRIVIA

  • Began as a poem
  • Music and lyrics written in 1963 by Edward Paola and George Wylie
  • All the arrangements for the chorus, duets and songs done with guests for The Andy Williams Show written by Wylie
  • Written for Williams’ second Christmas show, “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
  • Recorded by Williams and released on his first album, THE ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS ALBUM
  • Used as a theme song for Christmas Seals in 1968 and 1976
  • Written in 1997 as a parody by Richard Simmons and Bob Rivers titled “It’s the Most Fattening Time of the Year” for the album MORE TWISTED CHRISTMAS
  • Recorded as a duet by Williams and Kathy Trocolli in 1999
  • Used by Staples for its “Back to School” advertising for a number of years
  • Took over 30 years to be considered a Standard
  • Finally reached #5 on Billboard’s Top Ten Holiday Songs in 2009

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Pete Jolly – SOMETHING FESTIVE (instrumental version) – 1968
  • Johnny Mathis – CHRISTMAS EVE WITH JOHNNY MATHIS – 1986
  • Amy Grant – HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – 1992
  • Garth Brooks – GARTH BROOKS AND THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS – 1999
  • Plus One – CHRISTMAS – 2002
  • Gonzo the Great and Rizzo the Rat – THE MUPPETS: A GREEN AND RED CHRISTMAS – 2006
  • Harry Connick, Jr. – WHAT A NIGHT! A CHRISTMAS ALBUM – 2008
  • Celtic Thunder – CHRISTMAS – 2010
  • Chicago – CHICAGO XXXIII: O CHRISTMAS THREE - 2011


“THE SILENCE OF SNOW”

“In the early summer of 2013, I asked Frank to write a couple melodies for possible inclusion on my upcoming Christmas CD. True to form he quickly sent me two. I listened to the songs but kept putting off writing the lyrics because nothing was immediately popping into my head. I usually get an idea for a lyric after just a few listenings. So I basically had them on the back burner while Billy and I started work on the CD. As the weeks went by, Frank kept asking me if I had written the lyrics to either of the melodies, and I watched his face fall every time I said, ‘No… not sure I’ll be able to.’

Then one evening I felt guilty so I decided to give it a go. I chose the melody I liked best and got out a pencil and paper and… I stared at the paper. I played the track over and over waiting for something, anything to pop into my head. The paper was blank. I was about to give up when these words popped into my head… ‘There’s no sound to the snow when it’s falling….’ And that was the key that unlocked the song for me. Billy and I laid down a piano vocal, and then Kim Scharnberg worked his magic with an incredible horn and string arrangement. Needless to say… Frank is smiling.”


MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

TRIVIA

  • Music by Frank Wildhorn
  • Lyrics by Linda Eder
  • Written in 2013
  • “When the day came to record this song, I said to Billy, ‘I’m just going to go in the booth and start singing. You play and we will find it together.’ Billy knew the basic chords and that was it. I like to do piano vocals this way.”
  • “My concept for the arrangement of this song was going to be something very quiet and intimate. I wrote the lyric with that in mind, but it just seemed to want to ‘grow.’”
  • “As I was recording the vocal, I paused at one moment and said, ‘This might be cool with that sort of classical, small horn section sound.’ There is a lyric in there with the word trumpet, and that is what led me to the idea.”
  • “So I asked Kim to come on board, and he wrote a great horn arrangement. I loved it and then sent him an email asking, ‘Can you write some strings?’ And that was it. This lush arrangement was born and the song came to life.”
  • “This song was originally going to go somewhere toward the end of the CD. I ended up liking it so much that I moved it to the second spot in the lineup.”


“O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL”

“‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ came in at Number 9 in the fan voting. I have always loved this Christmas classic and remember singing it in my high school choir. I gave this arrangement to Kim Scharnberg and he blew us all away with his upbeat take on the song. I love it! The choir sounds great and this version is really fun to sing. I think we all had a great time with this one!”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG


CHOIR ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

TRIVIA

  • Often sung with Latin lyrics and the title “Adeste Fideles”
  • Conflicting information about its place of origin differs from source to source
  • Confusion exists as to who wrote the words and music
  • Latin lyrics traced to the 13th century by some scholars
  • Latin words and music believed by many to have been written by an Englishman, John Francis Wade in 1744
  • Thought to be written by King Joseph or King John of Portugal by others
  • Music sometimes attributed to Samuel Webbe and dated 1782
  • Original version had 4 stanzas
  • Additional 4 stanzas were added at a later time (8th stanza is never used)
  • Translated into English by Frederick Oakeley, a Catholic priest, and William Thomas Brooke
  • Eventually translated into over one hundred languages

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Anne Murray – ANNE MURRAY CHRISTMAS – 1988
  • Amy Grant – HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – 1992
  • Mahalia Jackson – SILENT NIGHT HOLY NIGHT (“Adeste Fideles”) – 1995
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – THE MUSIC OF CHRISTMAS – 1995
  • Robert Goulet – A PERSONAL CHRISTMAS COLLECTION - 1997
  • Celine Dion – THESE ARE SPECIAL TIMES (“Adeste Fideles”) – 1998
  • Nat King Cole – THE CHRISTMAS SONG (“Adeste Fideles”) – 1999
  • Charlotte Church – DREAM A DREAM – 2000
  • Stacie Orrico – CHRISTMAS WISH – 2001
  • Josh Groban – NOEL – 2007
  • Faith Hill – JOY TO THE WORLD - 2008


“GROWN-UP CHRISTMAS LIST”

“‘Grown-Up Christmas List’ tied for 4th in the top six on the fan voting. When I saw it on the list, I got really nervous because the song has been recorded by some heavy hitters over the years, and the best known arrangement is David Foster’s very pop version. After listening to several versions and actually studying the lyrics for the first time, I came to the conclusion that although Foster’s recording (he wrote the song) is wonderful, it seems to focus more on the music and the beauty of the words is perhaps lost. I hope and I believe that this new arrangement preserves all the beauty of the melody and allows the heartfelt words to be front and center. Their meaning has never been more important.” 

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG


CHOIR ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

BACKGROUND VOCALS BY LINDA EDER


TRIVIA

  • Music by David Foster
  • Lyrics by Linda Thompson Jenner
  • Tells of an adult’s visit with Santa Claus, not asking for material gifts but good things for all people instead
  • Originally recorded by Foster with Natalie Cole in 1990
  • Released as a single but wasn’t a hit
  • Some different lyrics and an additional verse by Amy Grant in her version
  • Grant’s version released as a single and did better than Foster’s original version
  • Gained renewed life when performed by American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson in 2003

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Natalie Cole – RIVER OF LOVE – 1990
  • Amy Grant – HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – 1992
  • Donny Osmond – CHRISTMAS AT HOME – 1998
  • Barbra Streisand – CHRISTMAS MEMORIES – 2001
  • Michael Buble – LET IT SNOW – 2003
  • Lea Salonga – THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM – 2004
  • Jane Monheit – THE SEASON - 2005
  • Clay Aiken – SONGS FOR CHRISTMAS – 2006
  • Ali Lohan – LOHAN HOLIDAY – 2006
  • Aretha Franklin – THIS CHRISTMAS, ARETHA – 2008
  • Rodney Carrington – MAKE IT CHRISTMAS – 2009
  • Charice – GROWN-UP CHRISTMAS LIST – 2010


“ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH/HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING” (Medley)

“‘Angels We Have Heard On High’ came in at Number 7 on the list and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ came in at number 25. I thought they would make a great medley. Kim Scharnberg agreed and he truly made this a great medley.  The choir did a fantastic job, and I had to shake the dust and cobwebs off my ‘classical’ voice in order to sing this one. Kim made me work! Boy… did he ever! But I love the result and I love the unique color this brings to the whole CD.”

“ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

CHOIR ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

TRIVIA

  • Originated in France in the 18th century
  • Appeared in England by 1816
  • Included in first known compilation of English Christmas carols published in 1828
  • First formally published in France in 1855
  • First English translation with the current lyrics in 1862 by James Chadwick, a Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Words based on French carol, “Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes”
  • Tells of the shepherds near Bethlehem meeting angels singing the praises of the Baby Jesus from the Gospel of Luke
  • Most frequently sung to the tune “Gloria,” arranged by Edward Barnes
  • Became the inspiration for the English carol “Angels from the Realms of Glory”
  • First modern version appeared in 1916

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • The Carpenters – CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT – 1978
  • The Carpenters – AN OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS – 1984
  • Christina Aguilera – MY KIND OF CHRISTMAS – 2000
  • Josh Groban – NOEL – 2007
  • Brian McKnight – I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (Duet/Josh Groban) – 2008
  • Christian Bautista – A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS – 2009
  • Andrea Bocelli – MY CHRISTMAS – 2009
  • David Archuleta – CHRISTMAS FROM THE HEART – 2009
  • Linda Lampenius – ANGELS – 2010
  • Glee Cast – GLEE: THE MUSIC, THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM - 2010
  • Michael Castaldo – EXTRAVERGINE – 2012
  • Pentatonix – PTXMAS - 2012

“HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

CHOIR ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

TRIVIA

  • Written by Charles Wesley in 1739
  • Charles the brother of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church
  • Opening lines changed by George Whitefield
  • Wesley insisted on slow, serious music
  • Original music much different than what we know today
  • Published in Hymns and Sacred Poems
  • Remained the same for just over 100 years
  • Cantata to commemorate invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg written by Felix Mendelsshon in 1840
  • English musician, William H. Cummings, adapted Mendelsshon’s music to fit the lyrics
  • Cummings version more joyful than the original
  • First performed on December 25, 1855 by the Waltham Abbey Choir
  • First released in 1904 by the Columbia Male Quartet

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Trinity Choir – “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (recorded as a single) – 1911
  • The Ames Brothers – SING A SONG OF CHRISTMAS – 1950
  • Ella Fitzgerald – ELLA FITZGERALD’S CHRISTMAS - 1967
  • Andy Williams – ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS PRESENT - 1974
  • Mario Lanza – LANZA SINGS CHRISTMAS CAROLS - 1976
  • The Bach Choir – FAMILY CAROLS – 1991
  • Neil Diamond – THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM - 1992
  • Choir of Kings College, Cambridge – NOEL – 1995
  • Luciano Pavarotti, Kurt Adler and London Voices – SIMPLY CHRISTMAS – 2003
  • Clay Aiken – MERRY CHRISTMAS - 2004
  • Leontine Price and Herbert Von Karajan – CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS – 2004
  • Carrie Underwood – A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS 7 - 2009


“BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE”

“‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ came in at number 5 on the top 6 fan picks. I was not happy when I saw it because, to be very honest, I have never liked the song! I was making a lot of ‘noise’ about the fact that I was going to have to sing it, and one of the things I complained about was the fact that the guy in the duet gets the better melody. It was Maureen Smith who then said, ‘Well, sing the other part then.’ That was the catalyst that started this track on its way to becoming something that will be forever precious to me. I knew I needed a duet partner, and that’s when I got the idea to turn it into a Mother/Son parody of the original song. Of course, it all hinged on whether or not I could convince Jake to sing it with me. To my surprise, relief and delight… he actually said yes. He helped me with ideas for the lyrics. I always knew he could sing, and even though he was shy you can hear the budding crooner in my big kid! So… a song that I started out not wanting to record at all has become a Christmas gift for me forever.”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG AND LINDA EDER

LYRICS ADAPTED BY LINDA EDER

TRIVIA

  • Lyrics and music written in 1944 as a duet by Frank Loesser and his wife, Lynn Garland
  • Written at their housewarming party and performed by them when it was time for guests to leave
  • Considered to be their special song by Lynn
  • Lynn was angry when Frank sold the song to MGM in 1948
  • MGM included song in NEPTUNE’S DAUGHTER in 1949
  • Performed  twice in NEPTUNE’S DAUGHTER by Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams and then by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett
  • Loesser won Academy Award for Best Original Song
  • Sung at the Academy Awards by Mae West and Rock Hudson
  • Sung as a comedy by Bing Crosby and James Stewart on Bing’s radio show in 1949
  • Sung by Sigourney Weaver and Buster Poindexter on Saturday Night Live in 1986
  • Sung by Ray Charles and Dionne Warwick at the 1987 Grammy Awards
  • Sung by Bette Midler and James Caan in FOR THE BOYS in 1991
  • Sung by Rudolf Nureyev and Miss Piggy in a steam bath on “The Muppet Show”

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Dinah Shore & Buddy Clark – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (recorded as a single) – 1949
  • Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer -  “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (recorded as a single) - 1949
  • Laura Leslie & Don Connell – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (recorded as a single) – 1949
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (recorded as a single) – 1949
  • Pearl Bailey & Hot Lips Page – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (recorded as a single) – 1949
  • Dean Martin – A WINTER ROMANCE – 1959
  • K.T. Oslin & Barry Manilow – BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS – 1990
  • Lee Ann Womack & Harry Connick, Jr. – THE SEASON FOR ROMANCE - 2002
  • Natalie Cole & James Taylor – JAMES TAYLOR AT CHRISTMAS – 2006
  • Lady Antebellum  - NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS – 2009
  • Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta – THIS CHRISTMAS – 2012


“CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE”

“I wrote ‘Christmas Where You Are’ one day when I was sitting in an airport waiting for yet another flight. The words started forming in my head without me even really trying, so when I got on the plane I took out a pen and spent that flight working to turn it into a song. When I got home I pulled out my guitar and because I already had a melody, it was a matter of finding the chords that matched what was already in my head.”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY BILLY STEIN AND LINDA EDER

BACKGROUND VOCALS BY LINDA EDER


TRIVIA

  • Music by Linda Eder
  • Lyrics by Linda Eder
  • Written in 2008
  • First performed live at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on December 7, 2008
  • Became a staple in Linda’s Christmas concerts over the past several years
  • Original demo version (recorded with Billy Stein) released in 2012 by Linda as a Christmas gift to her fans
  • Rerecorded in 2013, raising the key by ½ step


“ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE/HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS” (Medley)

“Neither of the two songs in this medley was on the list, but I knew I would get a lot of fan choices that were ballads so I wanted to find some fun up tempo songs to balance out the CD. These are two of my favorites. I gave this arrangement to Kim and he came back with something that had us all smiling. It was a hoot watching the choir record their part. Let’s just say the butts were bopping and swaying!”

“ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

CHOIR ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

TRIVIA

  • Music and lyrics by Johnny Marks
  • Recorded in 1958 by Brenda Lee
  • Lee only 13 years old at the time of recording
  • Released as a single by Lee in 1958 and 1959
  • Became a hit in 1960 when Brenda Lee became more popular
  • Peaked at # 14 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart in 1960
  • Peaked at # 5 on Billboard’s Christmas Chart in 1964
  • Only Lee’s version was played on the radio for decades

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Lynn Anderson – THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM – 1970
  • The Partridge Family – A PARTRIDGE FAMILY CHRISTMAS CARD – 1971
  • Mickey Gilley – THE NASHVILLE CHRISTMAS ALBUM – 1986
  • Amy Grant – HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – 1992
  • Alvin & the Chipmunks & Patty Loveless – A VERY MERRY CHIPMUNK – 1994
  • Cyndi Lauper – MERRY CHRISTMAS… HAVE A NICE LIFE – 1998
  • Alabama – CHRISTMAS VOLUME II – 1999
  • Jessica Simpson & Rosie O’Donnell – ANOTHER ROSIE CHRISTMAS – 2000
  • LeAnn Rimes – WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD – 2004
  • Rhonda Vincent – BEAUTIFUL STAR: A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION – 2006
  • Toby Keith – A CLASSIC CHRISTMAS – 2007
  • Chicago – CHICAGO XXXIII: O CHRISTMAS THREE – 2011

“HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

CHOIR ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG


TRIVIA

  • Music and lyrics by Johnny Marks in 1962
  • Originally recorded by the Quinto Sisters as a single in 1962
  • Marks’ other song, “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer,” was very popular
  • Animators Rankin-Bass created a TV special based on “Rudolf” in 1964
  • Sam the Snowman played by Burl Ives in TV special
  • “Holly Jolly Christmas” sung by Ives in the TV special
  • TV special made “A Holly Jolly Christmas” very popular
  • Released by Burl Ives as a single in 1964 and 1965

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Alan Jackson – HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS – 1993
  • Michael Buble – CHRISTMAS - 2011
  • Lady Antebellum – ON A WINTER’S NIGHT – 2012

RECORDINGS WITH BURL IVES’ VERSION

  • THE TIME-LIFE TREASURY FOR CHRISTMAS – 1987
  • RUDOLF, FROSTY & FRIENDS’ FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONGS – 1996
  • CHRISTMAS JOY - 2002
  • A COLLECTION OF SOUNDS & RECIPES FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON – 2004
  • NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS – 2009
  • THE GOLDEN AGE OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC - 2010


“THE FIRST NOEL”

“I think the whole idea of doing a new Christmas CD started with this song. I’ve been performing it every Christmas for years and had been asked many times to record it. The arrangement is adapted from a lovely one that John Oddo did for me. The cello work is by Dave Eggar and it is stunning. Billy and I again stacked my vocals to create a choir effect that takes the place of a string section. It’s a classic melody that holds so many of my Christmas memories.”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY BILLY STEIN


BACKGROUND VOCALS BY LINDA EDER

ORIGINAL ARRANGEMENT BY JOHN ODDO


TRIVIA

  • Original melody dates back to 13th century France
  • Original version with lyrics dates back to at least the 17th century
  • Original composer and lyricist are anonymous
  • Thought to have been brought across the English Channel by wandering troubadors
  • Origin of the current melody not known
  • New version edited and arranged by William B. Sandys and lyrics added by Davies Gilbert in 1823
  • First published in Carols and Ancient Lyrics in 1823
  • Title sometimes written as “The First Nowell”
  • Nowell is the English word from the French word, Noel (Christmas), which is from the Latin word natalis (birthday)
  • Lyrics tell the story of the birth of Jesus
  • Repeating of “Noel” in the chorus similar to singing “Happy Birthday”
  • Became popular in England when whole villages would sing as they brought in the Yule log
  • Sometimes known by an alternate title, “For Christmas Day in the Morning”
  • The four-part arrangement usually sung today published by John Stainer in his 1871 Carols, New and Old
  • John Oddo’s original arrangement first performed live by Linda on December 7, 2008 at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • The Supremes – MERRY CHRISTMAS – 1965
  • Elvis Presley – ELVIS SINGS THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CHRISTMAS - 1971
  • Charlotte Church - DREAM A DREAM – 2000
  • Anne Murray – WHAT A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS – 2001
  • Whitney Houston – ONE WISH: THE HOLIDAY ALBUM – 2003
  • Josh Groban – NOEL – 2007
  • Tori Amos – MIDWINTER GRACES – 2009
  • Bob Dylan – CHRISTMAS IN THE HEART – 2009
  • Susan Boyle – THE GIFT – 2010
  • Mariah Carey – MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU – 2010
  • Jackie Evancho – HEAVENLY CHRISTMAS – 2011
  • Lady Antebellum – ON THIS WINTER’S NIGHT – 2012


“MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING”

“’Merry Christmas Darling’ was the number 1 pick of the fans! A song I had never sung. It is a classic written by Richard Carpenter with the quintessential vocal performance by Karen Carpenter. I decided that there was really no way and no point to try to recreate that standard arrangement. It had been done to perfection and was so ingrained in people minds. So we added a jazz feel and the icon of a jazz feel… the saxophone… played so beautifully by Dave Mann, who has been a fixture on almost everyone of my CDs. So this track is a ‘cozy up to the fireplace with someone you love!’”

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY KIM SCHARNBERG

TRIVIA

  • Lyrics originally written in 1946 by Mark Pooler, Choir Director at California State University
  • Based on a letter he wrote to his fiancé when he was in the Army during World War II because he missed her
  • Karen and Richard Carpenter were in Pooler’s choir
  • Music composed by Richard Carpenter in 1966
  • Originally recorded by The Carpenters in 1970
  • Original version one of Karen Carpenter’s best vocals according to her brother
  • Number one on Billboard’s Christmas Singles Chart in 1970, 1971 and 1973
  • New remix of the song on the Carpenters’ album, CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT
  • New remix contained new vocals by Karen Carpenter
  • Sung by Lea Michele on Glee

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Glenn Medeiros - THE GLENN MEDEIROS CHRISTMAS ALBUM – 1993
  • Amy Grant – A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER – 1999
  • Deanna Carter – FATHER CHRISTMAS – 2001
  • Jane Monheit – THE SEASON – 2005
  • Vanessa Williams – SILVER & GOLD - 2006
  • Kimberly Locke – KIMBERLY LOCKE CHRISTMAS – 2007
  • Lea Michele – GLEE: THE MUSIC, THE CHRISTMS ALBUM - 2010
  • Chicago – CHICAGO XXXIII: O CHRISTMAS THREE – 20011
  • Phil Vassar – NOEL - 2011
  • Christine Perry – A VERY MERRY PERRI CHRISTMAS - 2012


“MARY, DID YOU KNOW?”

“‘Mary, Did You Know?’ came in 2nd place in the top six fan picks. I had never even heard of the song let alone listened to it. I was relieved and pleasantly surprised to find out what a great song it is. This is another track where I had fun doing all the background vocals. Actually… recording background vocals is always the most fun I have in the studio when I am working on a record.  Jerry Marotta also got to bring out some of his really interesting drums and percussion ‘toys’ as I like to call them.” 

MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY BILLY STEIN AND LINDA EDER


BACKGROUND VOCALS BY LINDA EDER

TRIVIA

  • Music by Buddy Greene
  • Lyrics by Mark Lowry
  • Lowry was a comedian and singer in a Gospel group
  • Lowry was asked to write a Christmas musical for his church in Nashville, Tennessee in 1984
  • Thought of questions he would like to ask Mary as she was holding Baby Jesus on Christmas morning
  • Questions were first spoken by the actors
  • Discussed idea of having these questions be lyrics to a song with harmonica player Buddy Greene
  • Greene wrote the music in 1990
  • Lowry recorded “ Mary, Did You Know?” on three albums
  • Musical titled MARY, DID YOU KNOW? based on the song written by Bruce Greene
  • Dove Award won by Bruce Greene in 1999 for Musical of the Year

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Michael English – MICHAEL ENGLISH – 1992
  • Kathy Mattea – GOOD NEWS – 1993
  • Kenny Rogers (duet with Wynona Judd) – THE GIFT - 1996
  • Michael Crawford – A CHRISTMAS ALBUM - 1999
  • Natalie Cole – THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS – 1999
  • Reba McEntire – SECRET OF GIVING – 1999
  • Lea Salonga – THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM - 2000
  • Haley Westenra – MY GIFT TO YOU – 2001
  • Vikki Carr – THE VIKKI CARR CHRISTMAS ALBUM - 2001
  • The Von Trapp Children - CHRISTMAS WITH THE VON TRAPP CHILDREN -  2003
  • Mark Lawry – MARY DID YOU KNOW – 2004
  • Tony Orlando – CHRISTMAS REUNION – 2005
  • Rascal Flats – A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS – 2012


COVENTRY CAROL”

“‘Coventry Carol’ was not on the fan list but it was always on mine. We sang this song in my high school choir, and I have always been touched by the haunting melody. I knew I wanted to do an arrangement that had me singing with myself. I went into the studio and Billy played the piano while I sang the lead vocal. Then I laid down a harmony track. We let the song rest for a while and worked on other songs over the course of many weeks. When we finally went back to work on it, Billy and I worked out all the harmonies and layered my voice over and over so I sound like a choir.

The lyrics come from the 1500s and are about a dark and tragic event having to do with children. Christmas is all about children… and Christmas of 2013 and every one to follow will be sadly different for the families of Newtown and for two families in North Salem. This song is for them.”


MUSIC ARRANGEMENT BY BILLY STEIN AND LINDA EDER


BACKGROUND VOCALS BY LINDA EDER

TRIVIA

  • Dates back to the 16th century
  • Oldest known text written down by Robert Croo in 1534
  • Oldest known copy of the music is from 1591
  • Performed in Coventry, England
  • Part of a mystery play, THE PAGEANT OF THE SHEARMEN AND TAYLORS
  • Performed on sets drawn by horses called “pageant wagons”
  • Tells the Christmas story from the Gospel of St. Matthew
  • Refers to the time when all male babies under the age of two were to be killed by King Herod’s order
  • After killing of children, women mourn for them by singing this song as a last lullaby
  • Copy of text was burned in 1875
  • Lyrics based on two poor quality copies from the early nineteenth century
  • Transcribed words often difficult to make sense of so there is doubt about many of the words
  • Words differ from one recording to another

RECORDINGS BY OTHER ARTISTS

  • Mitch Miller – CHRISTMAS SING ALONG WITH MITCH – 1958
  • Norman Luboff – SONGS OF CHRISTMAS – 1958
  • Mormon Tabernacle Choir – THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS – 1959
  • Dinah Shore – SEASON’S BEST – 1960
  • Eileen Farrell – CAROLS FOR CHRISTMAS EVE - 1960
  • Joan Baez – NOEL – 1966
  • John Denver – ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS – 1975
  • Alison Moyet – 1987 – A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS CD
  • Jessye Norman – CHRISTMASTIDE – 1990
  • Charlotte Church – DREAM A DREAM – 2000
  • Elisabeth Schumann – CHRISTMAS FROM A GOLDEN AGE – 2000
  • Annie Lennox – A CHRISTMAS CORNUCOPIA – 2010

 


 

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