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Catamount Community Radio - December 4, 2011

My goal today was to generate some holiday cheer through the power of radio. Let’s hope I was able to manage it, to some humble extent. I started the show off with John Lewis’s “December, Remember,” which I’ve played every December since I discovered the piece. I might even play it in July every once in awhile, that’s how much I like it.

Jonathan Coulton got the Christmas ball rolling with “Christmas is Interesting.”

So you're an elf, but you'd rather be a dentist
Maybe you're a train with square wheels
Maybe you're a squirt gun that only shoots jam
Now you know how Jesus feels
He is riding a sleigh he calls Rosebud
His mansion is lonely and cold
He can't remember a pleasant December
When he wasn't tired and old

Christmas is interesting
Like a knife in your heart
Christmas is interesting
How it tears you apart
Christmas is interesting
Like a stick in your eye
It's so freaking interesting
That it might make you cry

I trotted out one of my jokes: The place is Cleveland, the lobby of a hotel. I walk in and there are all these chess players bragging about their game: gambit this, and endgame that, and check and rook here, knight there, blah blah woof woof. I walk up to the desk where I ask the receptionist what’s going on. He tells me it's a convention of chess players. I tell him if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s ….

chess nuts boasting in an open foyer … (canned laughter).

All this to introduce Mel Tormé’s “Christmas Song.”

The other day in the grocery store I heard Ray Charles’s version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I thought to myself, that’s the baddest, most soulful version of the tune I’ve ever heard. So I had to play it today.

The spousal unit and the mother-in-law were listening again from India, so I played them a couple of tunes: Louis Armstrong, doing “Long, Long Journey” (which is what they have in store soon) and “Bindy” by Cowboy Bebop. A Bindy is the dot that the Hindu ladies wear on their foreheads to ward off the evil eye, or to signify that they’re married.

A couple of Christmas blues from Lowell Fulson, along with a sprinkling of other Christmas blues.

I got a kick out of Bull & the Matadors’ “The Funky Judge.” I quipped that whatever it was, I didn’t do it, judge. I was home, roasting chestnuts over an open fire, drinking eggnog, and standing under the mistletoe, waiting for the pretty girls to walk by. That’s my alibi, and I’m standing by it.

We listened to John Coltrane, for the third time in three weeks. Brilliant. “Why Was I Born?”

Neil Halstead, sang “The Man in the Santa Suit.”

He’s a big red cherry
But it’s hard to be merry
When the kids are all laughing
Saying, hey, it’s Jerry Garcia
Ain’t he cute?
The man in the Santa suit

And all the moms in town
They bring their brats around
But they can’t keep still
Or keep their root beer down
Now it’s up, hey how ‘bout that?
It looks like a milkshake

Jay Dee with “Hi,” and into the time machine to listen to Scott Joplin’s “Swipesy Cakewalk.” What a cool title.

Hank Snow has a got a tangled mind. He was the quintessential Nashville old-school country singer, even if he was from Canada. He would wear those sparkly, sequined suits, like Porter Wagoner. Somebody should write a paper about those suits.

I flew away with Sister Rosetta Tharpe to end the show.

Catamount Community Radio, whatever the season, I’ll be there. On the airwaves at 90.5 and all over the world on the internet. Sunday mornings 10-12 if you live on the East Coast.

1. John Lewis – December, Remember
2. Thelonious Monk – Just a Gigolo
3. Jonathan Coulton – Christmas is Interesting
4. Randy Newman – Marie
5. Jimmy Reed – Christmas Present Blues
6. Louis Armstrong – Long, Long Journey
7. Marcus Roberts – I’ll be Home for Christmas
8. Lowell Fulson – Christmas Party Shuffle
9. Mel Tormé – The Christmas Song
10. Ray Charles – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
11. Art Pepper – Mambo de la pinto
12. Hampton Hawes – Feelin’ Fine
13. Cowboy Bebop – Bindy
14. Bull & the Matadors – The Funky Judge
15. Charlie Parker – White Christmas
16. Larry John Wilson – Ohoopie River Bottomland
17. Jay Dee – Hi,
18. Roy Haynes Quartet – Moonglow
19. Lowell Fulson – Christmas Party Blues
20. The Beatles – I Will
21. Hank Snow – I’ve Got a Tangled Mind
22. John Coltrane – Why was I Born?
23. The Staple Singers – Go Tell it on the Mountain
24. Scott Joplin – Swipsey Cakewalk
25. Bob Mintzer – Saxophone Quartet #2
26. Freddie King – Christmas Tears
27. Sonny Rollins – You Are my Lucky Star
28. Neil Halstead – The Man in the Santa Suit
29. Claude Thornhill – Sometimes I’m Happy
30. Duke Ellington – Raincheck
31. Sister Rosetta Thorpe – Fly Away

Hank Snow

Lowell Fulson


bla bla woof woof

chess nuts. HA!
You sleigh me!!!

May 2019



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