I was planning on posting this entry for the Sabbath, but the snow's getting deep outside, and in my rural area, that often means long-term network outages. Hope no one minds getting this "Friday" post a bit early...
Today we celebrate the holiday coversongs of Jewish-American songwriters, most notably the prolific Johnny Marks, who is best known for penning a holy host of non-canonical Christmas songs, and lesser known for being the head of ASCAP from 1957 to 1961.
Familiar carols written by Marks include Holly Jolly Christmas, which most of us imagine in the voice of Burl Ives, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which is based on the story by Marks' brother-in-law, and I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, which Marks adapted from a Longfellow poem. He also wrote Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree; I was hoping to share some folkcovers of that song, too, but for some reason, I can't find any. Wonder why?
In fact, a significant percentage of "traditional" Christmas tunes turn out to have been written or co-written by "verifiably Jewish artists". Here's a few more, mostly from the country and alt-pop ends of the folk spectrum, though the list runs the gamut from urban folk to indiefolk:
No purchase links today, kids: many of these songs are in the public domain, and even those that aren't are hard to avoid this time of year. (Plus, how the heck do you link to a songwriter?) Just keep on buying your Christmas music from artists and labels directly, and we'll call it square, okay?