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Holiday Music Week: A Christmas Gift For You

Our next entry on the Holiday best list is often considered by others to be the greatest Christmas album ever produced. Phil Spector arranged his wall of sound and best singers to produce a classic album that should be in everyone’s collection. Unlike A Motown Christmas, A Christmas Gift For You was not cherry picked from previous recordings. Phil Spector masterfully crafted the album from the ground up. Darlene Love is sensational; the Crystals are amazing. While it was probably easy to pick and choose the best songs on the Motown album, building a classic from the ground up was probably a monumental task. 

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The World of Soul Music Loses Its Queen

The world of soul music has lost its undisputed queen. From the moment she stepped up on the altar of her father’s church and began singing, everyone knew they were in the presence of a future legend. Despite her young age, Aretha could sing and she would attract churchgoers from all around to hear her. That she was so young was amazing, but certainly her audiences must have realized that bigger things lay ahead for her. Little Aretha taught herself how to play the piano and amazed everyone around her, including motherly figure Mahalia Jackson, who was a gospel star herself. Her father began to see that his daughter could do more with her voice than just attract people to hear about the Lord- she could use her god given gift to sing to the world.

Her father avoided the obvious record company- Motown- as he felt his daughter would get lost among all the other African-American acts signed there. Certainly Columbia Records could advance his daughter’s career; she’d be one of their few “ra…

Ric Ocasek, 1944 - 2019

Dennis Edwards, 1949 - 2018

I wanna say I love the life I live.
And I'm gonna live the life I love.
Up here on Cloud 9.
Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, I'm riding high on Cloud 9.