When David Letterman ends his 30-plus-year late night career in 2015, his smirking wit won’t be the only thing missing from television — it will also mark the end of an annual holiday TV tradition.
Every year since 1986, Darlene Love has performed her 1963 girl group classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” from the album A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector, on the last episode of Letterman before Christmas. In a recent interview with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Billboard asked Love if she would consider moving the annual performance to a different late night show.
She laughed and shook her head.
…”They couldn’t ask me not to sing ‘Christmas (Baby)’ on another show, but after 10 years, then 15 years, of doing this one song on this one show, I felt I had an obligation to be true to them.”
It was 50 years ago that Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector pitched a song to Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, who had had some minor success as the first “blue-eyed soul” duo, the Righteous Brothers. The song was a piece about a faltering relationship called “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and the duo recorded it even though they were dubious about its chances on the charts. But “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” not only became one of the biggest pop hits of the 1960s, but BMI eventually ranked it as having had more radio and television play in the United States than any song of the 20th century.
Read more at American Songwriter.
Phil Spector is featured at GQ.com for April 30, in the magazine’s daily look back at stylish men and women.
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Mike Ragogna at The Huffington Post:
Why do you think A Christmas Gift For You has become one of the most cherished holiday albums of all time?
Phil Spector: Because I turned Christmas songs into real music. This album made what was just once a year songs into year round songs. I really wanted to show that Christmas songs were really beautiful songs written for anytime of the year, and could be sung by anybody anytime of the year. I wanted to make masterpiece songs and prove a point that Christmas music was great music. I made each song like a hit record. I was not just making music that would be here today and gone tomorrow. I truly believed this about every record I made. That it was going to be elevator music and department store music. That I was going to be the Irving Berlin of tomorrow and I had to think of the future. That I was not just making music for today but for tomorrow. Philles Records’ moto was “tomorrows music today.” It was on each record jacket.
La La Brooks: I think Phil loved Christmas. It was a special holiday for him. The music on the album was so commercial that it will last for all time. He made the arrangements very “hip.” He put an upbeat spin on some of the more traditional songs. A lot of those songs were for an older generation; Phil recorded his for all generations.
Read more at The Huffington Post.