Not all Christmas songs are created equal. Sure, the words and tune may be the same, but the delivery can be very different.
Here are my ten favorite versions of Christmas songs.
This wasn’t always my favorite tune, but when Pentatonix performed it, I moved this from one category to another. I’ll start my list at Number 10:
How can a favorite performance list not include Frank Sinatra? But which one is tough to narrow down. Maybe this will clear it up at Number 9.
I like the Vince Guaraldi Trio so much, I could probably listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas album on repeat for hours. This nominee came from our friend Romelle Slaughter at Number 8:
And the same could be said about Harry Connick, Junior in our house. Harry’s holiday tunes are outstanding. I’m going with “Blue Christmas” at Number 7.
“O Holy Night” will bring tears to any eyes at the right moment on Christmas Eve. (Or at Julefest). Selecting one performance wasn’t easy as most of the great albums have a version of the song. An operatic version is good, but Josh Grobin’s is my selection at Number 6.
Number 5: John Denver and the Muppets with “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” We had this vinyl as a kid and I loved most of the album. There’s a folkiness to it that helps scale back the production of many tunes and easy to listen to.
Michael Buble has done so many great Christmas songs on albums and on TV specials. But the World War II ballad, “I”ll Be Home For Christmas” is my choice.
Number 3: “Christmas Time is Here” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. No other introduction is needed.
Number 2: Ray Charles – “The Spirit of Christmas.” This is featured on the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie. This is the perfect soundtrack for reminiscing with Clark watching old family films.
I will likely forever have a soft spot for my top pick. This was appointment viewing for me each year. The set was spectacular. Jay Thomas would tell the Lone Ranger story and Darlene Love would take over the stage for “Baby Please Come Home.” Here is Love’s appearance in Letterman’s final season at Number 1:
Others receiving votes: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”: Brenda Lee. Andy Williams’ “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”. Also Diana Krall’s “Jingle Bells.”