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Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

Soon It Will Be Christmas Day

Afterglow pays a Christmas call this week, bearing musical presents from Bing Crosby, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, and other carolers of American popular song.

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Christmas gifts

Photo: Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Unwrapping some songs of the season.

Afterglow rings in the holidays this week with music from Billy Eckstine, Frank Sinatra, Lou Rawls, Julie London, Peggy Lee, and more. We’ll also hear:

  • The story of how “The Christmas Song” came to be written
  • The inspiration for “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” taken from the work of a great American poet
  • Some late-1940s holiday radio broadcasts
  • A little-known Christmas original by Indiana bandleader and composer Al Cobine

Happy holidays to radio listeners everywhere!

Music Heard On This Episode

Ring Those Christmas Bells
Peggy Lee — A Traditional Jazz Christmas (GRP, 1997)
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Ring Those Christmas Bells
Peggy Lee — A Traditional Jazz Christmas (GRP, 1997)
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Silent Night
Dinah Washington — Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas (Verve, 1989)
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I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day
Bing Crosby — The Voice of Christmas (Decca, 1998)
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Silver Bells
Johnny Mathis — The Christmas Music of Johnny Mathis (Sony , 1993)
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This Christmas Eve
Al Cobine — (45) (Midland)
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Christmas Eve
Billy Eckstine — Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas (Polygram, 1989)
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White Christmas
Charlie Parker — Complete Savoy Live (Savoy, 1998)
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Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Perry Como — Swingin' Songs for Santa (Collector's Choice, 2003)
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Christmas Time Is Here (midpoint music bed)
Brad Mehldau — Warner Brothers Jazz Christmas Party (WEA, 1997)
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It's Christmas Time Again
Peggy Lee — Christmas With Peggy Lee (Capitol, 2006)
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Christmas Is
Lou Rawls — Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails (Capitol, 1996)
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That's What I Want for Christmas
Nancy Wilson — Ultimate Jazz Christmas (Blue Note, 2006)
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I'd Like You for Christmas
Julie London — Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails (Capitol, 1996)
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My Little Christmas Tree
Nat King Cole — Christmas For Kids: From One to Ninety-Two (Capitol, 2000)
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The Christmas Song
Mel Torme — Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas (Polygram, 1989)
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Away in a Manger
George Shearing — Top Drawer (Concord, 1990)
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It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Frank Sinatra — A Jolly Christmas (Capitol, 2007)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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