12 Days of Random Christmas Songs: “The Season’s Upon Us” by Dropkick Murphys (Born & Bred Records 2013)


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Boston’s Dropkick Murphys are an Irish punk-rock band whose foot-stompin’, hell-raisin’ concerts are always a rowdy good time! Their 2013 release “Signed and Sealed in Blood” features the holiday tune “The Season’s Upon Us”, celebrating a typical family Christmas, South Shore style. If you’ve never heard them, you’re in for a treat! Enjoy, and Nollaig Shona!:

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12 Days of Random Christmas Songs: “Silver Bells” by Bob Hope & Marilyn Maxwell (from THE LEMON DROP KID)


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The holiday classic “Silver Bells” by songwriters Jay Livingston & Ray Evans has been covered by everyone from Dean Martin to Perry Como, The Supremes to Bob Dylan, Blake Shelton to Sarah McLachlan, but it made it’s debut in the 1951 film THE LEMON DROP KID, starring Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. See how many Familiar Faces you can spot as Bob and Marilyn stroll down the snowy New York street and introduce the world to “Silver Bells”!:

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Young Frontier: John Wayne in THE COWBOYS (Warner Brothers 1972)


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THE COWBOYS is not just another ‘John Wayne Movie’ from the latter part of his career. Not by a long shot. Duke had read the script and coveted the part of Wil Andersen, who’s forced to hire a bunch of wet behind the ears adolescents for a 400 mile cattle drive across the rugged Montana territory. Director Mark Rydell wanted George C. Scott for the role, but when John Wayne set his sights on something, he usually got what he wanted. The two men were at polar opposites of the political spectrum, and the Sanford Meisner-trained Rydell and Old Hollywood Wayne were expected to clash. They didn’t; putting their differences aside, they collaborated and cooperated  to make one of the best Westerns of the 70’s.

Andersen’s regular hands have all deserted him when gold is discovered nearby, leaving the aging rancher in the lurch. He heads for Boseman to look…

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12 Days of Random Christmas Songs: “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (from DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS)


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“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was first broadcast on December 18, 1966, and has become a TV staple ever since! Directed by Looney Tunes animator Chuck Jones and narrated by the great Boris Karloff, one of the highlights is voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft (the original Tony the Tiger… “They’re grrrrrreat!) singing “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, an ode to the odious Grinch, and here it is! Enjoy, and save me some Roast Beast!:

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12 Days of Random Christmas Songs: “O Come All Ye Faithful” by Twisted Sister (Razor & Tie 2006)


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Dee Snider and his band released “A Twisted Christmas” in 2006, a heavy metal rendering of Christmas classics. The best of the bunch is “O Come All Ye Faithful”, using riffs from their hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” to rock the traditional holiday hymn. There’s even an official video, and here it is! Enjoy “O Come All Ye Faithful”… and rock on, Dee!:

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12 Days of Random Christmas Songs: SNOOPY’S CHRISTMAS by The Royal Guardsmen (Laurie Records 1967)


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Florida rockers The Royal Guardsmen soared up the charts like a Sopwith Camel with their 1966 hit “Snoopy Vs The Red Baron”. A year later, the band released ‘Snoopy’s Christmas”, a holiday follow-up featuring everyone’s favorite WWI flying ace and his arch enemy The Red Baron calling a yuletide truce on Christmas Eve. The song went to #1 on Billboard’s Christmas specialty charts, and still gets airplay around this time of year! Enjoy “Snoopy’s Christmas”!:

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Confessions of a TV Addict #5: Aaron Ruben, Man Behind the Laughter


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So what could a Jewish kid from Chicago possibly know about life among rural Southerners or the black experience in Watts? Probably not a whole heck of a lot, but if that kid’s name is Aaron Ruben, there’s one thing he  does know – funny! For Aaron Ruben was the producer/writer behind such classic sitcoms as THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and SANFORD AND SON, who used his comedic talents behind the scenes keep America laughing while glued to the boob tube for over forty years!

Milton Berle in his radio days

Ruben was born on Chicago’s West Side in 1914, and after service in WWII began his show biz career writing for comic Wally Brown on Dinah Shore’s radio show. He was soon hired by Burns & Allen for their program, and then wrote for Milton Berle alongside Nat Hiken, who would play an important role in Ruben’s later career…

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