#MusicMonday – November 30, 2020

At Allison’s Written Words, it’s beginning to look a lot like Music Monday…the Christmas edition!

Or is it “at Music Monday, it’s beginning to look alot like Christmas?”

Oh, we’ll just run with both, because that’s how we do it around here.

And speaking of how we do it around here…

Now, you’re probably thinking “why doesn’t she choose a ‘nicer’ photo of Michael Buble,” and well, this one made me laugh. It’s not Christmasy, but it is a picture of the subject of today’s article, in his natural habitat, doing what he does best – crooning and making ladies swoon. I took it in July 2014 when I saw Michael Buble in concert, from the nosebleeds at Atlantic City’s Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. This isn’t the furthest I’ve ever sat from the stage – both Bon Jovi concerts I’ve been to (2001 at the former Giants Stadium, and 2003 at the Wells Fargo Center – at the time First Union Center) were in the absolute last row of the top section. I also saw my first Broadway show (Movin’ Out, 2004) from the absolute last row of the top section of the Richard Rogers Theater.

Since I seem to only run for lower level seats at concerts these days, you’d think I was snobby about where I sit. I only became that way after I saw Michael Buble, but all the concerts I’ve been to since 2014 were at much smaller (by comparison) venues. Still large, but not nearly as large as Boardwalk Hall, which was home to our local arena football team last year, and a hockey team years earlier. And once you’ve sat five rows directly in front of Daryl Hall, well, the nosebleeds aren’t as fun.

They’re kind of dizzying, actually.

But enough about choice seating and if you’re not careful, you’ll take a header in Boardwalk Hall’s nosebleed section (steep stairs are the struggle, friends). It’s the holiday season, and kicking off the holiday season right means picking a song for Music Monday that sets the standard for the remainder of the Music Mondays during the holiday season.

So, as I was saying…

“It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” is a Christmas song written in 1951, and originally titled “It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas.” Written by  flutist, composer, conductor, musical arranger, bandleader, playwright, and author Robert Reiniger Meredith Willson (who went by Meredith Willson). The song makes reference to the Grand Hotel, as well as the “five and ten,” which. It is widely believed by those in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, that Willson wrote the song at the Grand Hotel (which still operates). However, it may be a reference to the Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa, Willson’s hometown. Both Grand Hotel and Park Inn Hotel still stand, which Grand Hotel in an updated building on the same property, and Park Inn Hotel being the last remaining structure built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the world.

All Christmas songs have a story, just this one is a little more mysterious about what the story actually was.

The song was originally released by Perry Como and The Fontane Sisters and Bing Crosby, both in 1951 (released several weeks apart in September and October of that year). The song has seen several covers, including a version by Johnny Mathis in 1986, that picked up steam in 1992 as part of Home Alone 2: Lost In New York‘s soundtrack. But for the purpose of this Music Monday, I’m going with the Michael Buble version, released on Buble’s 2011 album Christmas. Nothing against Como or Crosby, but you saw the picture of Michael Buble, so you knew where this was going.

The song kicks off Buble’s Christmas album, which I received as a Christmas present in 2011. I listen to this album in the same rotation that I reserve for my Chicago and All-4-One Christmas album. And don’t judge on the latter, I’ve had that album since I was 14 years old – All-4-One was as big a deal then to me as Chicago is now!

This is such a beautiful and perfect way to start off your Christmas album, don’t you think?

There’s really only two songs Christmas albums should ever start with – Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” and this song. I have one compilation that has both of these back-to-back (albeit, this song is the Bing Crosby version, which was the one I grew up with), and we had a cassette when I was growing up (from Exxon) that started off with Nat King Cole.

There really is no other way. Fight me on it.

Michael Buble’s version of “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” was released on October 24, 2011, the second single released from this album (behind “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” because someone tried to wrestle this away from Mariah Carey). However, she’s no match – “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” was the more successful single, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Chart, #96 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #10 on Billboard’s Holiday 100. Christmas reached #1 on the Billboard 200 chart for a stay of 10 weeks that stretched into January 2012 (his most successful album as of January 2019), and has seen several re-releases in 2012 and 2019 with bonus tracks (something to look for!), as well as a bonus DVD with the Deluxe Edition. The original version was the second-best selling holiday album of 2012, behind Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas, Baby.

My mom and I were really starting to get into Buble right around this time of this album’s release, and I gifted her with Crazy Love (pretty sure that’s our favorite Michael Buble album together – I know it is my favorite!) that same Christmas. It took a few years, and several more purchased albums, before we got to see Michael Buble, but it was worth the wait to see the guy we have referred to as “Jelly Legs” dance on stage. But he really is such a charismatic performer, and super cute to boot.

And I thought my screenshots were always appropriately timed. It wouldn’t (and won’t!) be the last time I capture those extra special concert moments. I’m hoping I’ll get to see this guy again at some point!

But the prettiest sight to see, is the Christmas treats I’m planning, on your Twitter and Facebook feeds!

Sure, it’s Christmas once more!

I’m just getting started, and until the next article, have a great Monday, and enjoy the Christmas music!

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