Show #241: Christmas Becomes Eclectic Preview

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This week I present a little 8-song preview of my annual Christmas morning show, Christmas Becomes Eclectic, which has become a bit of a KCRW holiday tradition. I try to find music that hasn’t been plastered into the ambient soundtrack of a thousand shopping malls. I feature holiday music from around the world, in different languages, and even some quirky songs that might make people exit a mall or restaurant (my apologies in advance).

We start with Nick Lowe at the airport, move on to an a capella parody of the Nutcracker, then the late jazz pianist Paul Bley getting yelled at by the producer as he verbally runs through the changes of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” We’ll next hear Joseph Spence’s rum-soaked version of the same song, and other favorites of mine.


I love that Barbra Streisand includes the rarely recorded introduction to Irving Berlin’s classic “White Christmas,” and there’s also the timeless lyrics of the David Rasche song “Christmas in LA,” with Ashleigh Still’s lovely voice. Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo’s new album Winter Songs is in there too, before we head to the warmer climes of Hawaii for the Cazimero Brothers classic Hawaiian song, “Mele Kalikimaka Ei Nei.”

I hope you’ll tune-in on the radio dial or online to Christmas Becomes Eclectic, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. PST on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25th. Happy Holidays from all of us at Rhythm Planet!

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 12/15/17

  1. Nick Lowe / “Christmas at the Airport” / Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family / Yep Roc Records
  2. Straight No Chaser / “Nutcracker” / Under The Influence: Holiday Edition / Atlantic Records
  3. Paul Bley / “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” / The Christmas Collection / Fantasy Records
  4. Joseph Spence / “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” / Mas! A Caribbean Christmas Party/ Rykodisc
  5. Barbra Streisand / “White Christmas” / A Christmas Album / Columbia
  6. Ashleigh Still / “Christmas in LA” / Christmas in LA / Ashleigh Stil
  7. Ola Gjeilo, Choir of Royal Holloway & 12 Ensemble / “The Rose” / Winter Songs / Decca/London
  8. The Brothers Cazimero / “Mele Kalikimaka Ei Nei” / Cazimero Christmas Favorites / Mountain Apple