Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas In May

Spending a lot of time with Elvis' 1971 Christmas recordings in December always helps me get into the Holiday mood, and this year is no exception. Of course, all the snow we have here in Sweden right now helps, too.

It must have been a lot harder for Elvis to catch the spirit of the season in 1971, arriving at RCA's Studio B on May 15 to record a new Christmas album. Not only was Christmas more than seven months away, I guess the weather was as far from snowy as it could get.

But according to Peter Guralnick Elvis' associates did their best to help Elvis along the way. This is how he describes it in his book Careless Love:

The studio had been transformed by Felton into a Christmas scene with brightly wrapped boxs (all empty) under a gaily decorated Christmas tree. Lamar even dressed up as Santa Claus, and the Colonel sent Elvis a Christmas card with
a picture of himself as Santa standing next to Frosty the Snowman...
I have no idea if this helped or not, but I do know that Elvis' 1971 Christmas recordings are played all around the globe every Christmas. Granted, the best songs are the ones that aren't strictly classic Yuletide music, like "Merry Christmas Baby" and "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day," both blues numbers Elvis obviously enjoyed singing, Christmas or not.

But that doesn't stop me from liking the more traditional Christmas material such as "Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees" and "If I Get Home On Christmas Day" as well. After all, Elvis knew what the wonderful world of Christmas was all about, and his Christmas music is the best.

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