THOSE SPECIAL CHRISTMAS MOMENTS: Starting 2011 out in style, courtesy of my partner.......

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 17, 2011 6:17 PM GMT
    Christmas has always been a very special season in my life..... I love it when I have guests into my house at this time of year and they can see and sense it.
    I have a ton of great decorations that go back to when I was born... some my mother made (like the tree shirt, stockings (my stocking for my first Christmas)
    and a few that were around when my parents first got married. My mother made it an event in our household. They were happy, special times. I remember how
    tough it was after she died when I was 24, but most since have been really awesome). My Dad went out of his way to see that all have been great since.

    Christmas memories have always been so huge. I look at pictures taken on Christmas morning when I was 5 or 6... I can remember my Mom taking those pictures! She always had music blaring on the stereo... usually on a station
    called 92.3 KBRA in Wichita (which was kind of a boring "elevator music" station, so I recall), except that they played some really great Christmas music. I even had that music playing on the radio in my barn until the station left the air.

    Mom and my grandmother loved music in the genre of "Ray Conniff", Frank Sinatra, etc.... I think that station must have played some of that kind of music and I remember a special one called "Happy Holidays" that had bells ringing.
    It was always on when we were opening gifts it seemed for several years. My mother loved that song.... When the station left the air, I never heard it again..
    I was probably 18 or 19 at the time.

    So for years I've talked about that song. I've mentioned it to my partner. Who did that song???? So many times I told him, I wish I could figure it out! The only hint I've ever had is that the Wichita newspaper "Wichita Eagle" published all the songs that would be played each hour (for 36 hours) at the back of the main section of the paper, They did that for a number of holiday seasons back at that time. As a kid, I recall looking at those lists.

    So over Thanksgiving, Will came down from Salina (we have a long distance relationship) and told me he had a surprise for me. Of course I thought he was just pulling my leg as usual... He said, "I know the song you wanted". I knew immediately what he was talking about even though it had been a year since we've even talked about it. I asked him "how". He told me he had spent time going through the archives of the paper (at those holidays) back in the late 70's and 80's when the song would have played. He found the lists and knew about the time we would have been opening gifts. He got it right!. Of course he pointed out "it wouldn't be a song I'd particularly remember".... I just laughed. It was about the experience and the memories and how it made me feel.. not the artist.

    So we went to the internet and he pulled up the source he found... The artist was
    the "Living Strings" (which I've heard of) and found the album with the song.
    The moment I heard the song I just couldn't believe it.... I just sat and listened to that song. There was my mother again... all those memories... those awesome memories. By the end of the song, there I was, with tears rolling down my face (and that doesn't happen very often)!

    I just hugged my partner.... he didn't have to give me anything else... the time and effort he made made the whole season!

    Merry Christmas everybody!
    The song "Happy Holiday" by the Living Strings starts at 3:30 on the album.





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  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Dec 17, 2011 6:22 PM GMT
    Ahhhh! It's that song!! You hear this EVERYWHERE! That's so creepy!

    Cute story though icon_smile.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Dec 17, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    My Christmas wish for all my friends here at RJ is that you wake-up Christmas morning with something like this guy in your stocking

    Happy Holidays to ALL!!! icon_lol.gif

    393964_10150474268883606_839663605_85083
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 17, 2011 6:51 PM GMT
    Well I've heard the song a number of times over the years, just not by this particular artist. Really awesome to hear it again!

    And thanks Todd for the cowboy.... lol
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    Dec 17, 2011 7:03 PM GMT
    Chris, this is truly amazing. My dad loves Ray Conniff, and it was his songs I grew up listening to during Christmas. We had a couple of albums by him. The other albums we always listened to were Al Hirt (Nutty Jingle Bells, below, is still one of my favorite Christmas songs), and... this very one by Living Strings! Just seeing the cover art gets me in the Christmas spirit.



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    Dec 17, 2011 7:05 PM GMT
    More Ray Conniff:

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 17, 2011 7:08 PM GMT
    Well Constantino... that is interesting! One of my best Christmas memories from my mother was when I was 4 or 5 years old. I was being a Christmas "nut" even then... and to appease me, she gave me an old "Christmas by Conniff" album
    and told me basically to listen, play.... whatever with it, thinking if it got smashed or scratched up it didn't matter....

    I have that album downstairs today... 1 scratch!

    Jingle Bells was my 1st favorite carol!!

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    Dec 17, 2011 7:17 PM GMT
    Wow, thanks for sharing these albums. They remind me of my grandparents - I lived with them and this is the music we listened to on their 1968 Packard-Bell console stereo. These songs really bring home the feeling of Christmas - when I was a kid and my grandparents were alive. Nice.

    icon_cool.gif
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    Dec 17, 2011 7:22 PM GMT
    This is one of the earliest that excited me as a kid!

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    Dec 17, 2011 7:32 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidWell Constantino... that is interesting! One of my best Christmas memories from my mother was when I was 4 or 5 years old. I was being a Christmas "nut" even then... and to appease me, she gave me an old "Christmas by Conniff" album
    and told me basically to listen, play.... whatever with it, thinking if it got smashed or scratched up it didn't matter....

    I have that album downstairs today... 1 scratch!

    Jingle Bells was my 1st favorite carol!!

    Is that the one with the wreath? We had that one, and the one with the singers dressed in Santa costumes. My grandfather did his residency in obstetrics in NYC in the late 1940s / early 50s, when my dad was in elementary school. I think that's when they got into these artists, and brought the tradition back to Guatemala with them.

    I love their version of Jingle Bells too.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 17, 2011 9:10 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidWow, thanks for sharing these albums. They remind me of my grandparents - I lived with them and this is the music we listened to on their 1968 Packard-Bell console stereo. These songs really bring home the feeling of Christmas - when I was a kid and my grandparents were alive. Nice.

    icon_cool.gif



    Well I remember asking my mother as a teenager about the interest in Ray Conniff, because it seemed pretty dated then.... I think she heard Conniff when she was younger. My grandmother really was a fan as well.

    I know that B-98 here in Wichita plays "Carol of the Bells" by Conniff with their mix of Christmas music even now.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 17, 2011 9:41 PM GMT
    19c79 saidChris, this is truly amazing. My dad loves Ray Conniff, and it was his songs I grew up listening to during Christmas. We had a couple of albums by him.


    The sleigh ride song video was a part of the "Christmas by Conniff" album..
    I heard that song constantly as a 5 year old child. I could see these adults
    and kids sleighing around... I had a good imagination even then!

    Thanks for that! I hope your Dad is doing better, Constantino!