Whole Lotta Yuletide Love

by Claire Hamilton

I don’t know about you but there is only one record I reach for at this time of year – Phil Spector’s ‘A Christmas Gift for You.’ From the ‘ringadingadingdongding’ of Sleigh Ride to the multi layered Frostie the Snowman, it’s the only soundtrack you’ll ever need for wrapping, baking and decorating. Now I don’t want to dwell on the distinctly un-festive things which have happened to Phil since he produced the jingly jangle yuletide wall of sound in 1963, but if you’re in NYC this month you can see and hear two of the biggest stars of the classic record live at the B.B King Blues Club and Grill.

Darlene Love (whose White Christmas opens the album) performs this Sunday December 13th. Her song Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) was the only original number on the album and a big hit for her as a solo artist after singing with the Chrystals. Ronnie Spector – with arguably one of the most powerful sets of lungs in music – performs on Dec 19 / 20. Collaborating lately with artists like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, in recent shows she’s added Amy Winehouse numbers to her set, which makes perfect sense as Ms. Winehouse seems to owe so much more to Love and Ronnie Spector than excessive eyeliner and wayward beehives. Ronnie is an iconic woman who survived manipulation and jealously and can still evoke the excitement and anticipation of Christmas with one ‘ringading.’ I sure would love tickets for both these concerts as a pre-Christmas treat! (Ronnie Spector is on tour – check to see if she’s coming to a city near you at her website.)

Photo courtesy NY Daily News

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