23 SLEEPS TO GO CHRISTMAS 2019

23 SLEEPS TO GO CHRISTMAS 2019

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Monday 2nd December 2019

 

  1. DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS PICTURE HEADING THIS POST

An unusual Drive Home For Christmas

  1. A CHRISTMAS LIST

 

25 CHRISTMAS FILMS TO WATCH

 

1              The Snowman (1982)

2              Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

3              The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

4              Home Alone (1990)

5              National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

6              Love Actually (2003)

7              The Night Before (2015)

8              Scrooged (1988)

9              The Polar Express

10           The Nativity

11           The Santa Clause (1994)

12           White Christmas (1954)

13           Bad Santa (2003)

14           The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

15           The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

16           Elf (2003)

17           A Christmas Carol (1951)

18           Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

19           A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

20           A Christmas Story (1983)

21           Miracle on 34th Street [1947] / Miracle on 34th Street [1994]

22           Father Christmas

23           The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)   – Michael Caine (Actor), Dave Goelz (Actor), Brian Henson           (Director, Producer)

24           Arthur Christmas [2011] Starring James McAvoy (Actor), Bill Nighy (Actor)

25           Frosty the Snowman (1969)

 

 

  1. CHRISTMAS WORDS

 

Interview

Chris Rea: how we made Driving Home for Christmas

Interviews by Dave Simpson

The story of Driving Home for Christmas is like a classic festive story. It was 1978, coming up to Christmas. It was all over for me: I was just about out of my record contract, and my manager had just told me he was leaving me. I just needed to get home to Middlesbrough from London, but the record company wouldn’t pay for a rail ticket, and I was banned from driving.

You do some crazy things when you’re young. My wife got in our old Austin Mini, drove all the way down from Middlesbrough to Abbey Road studios to pick me up, and we set off back straight away. Then it started snowing. We had £220 and I was fiddling with it all the way home. We kept getting stuck in traffic and I’d look across at the other drivers, who all looked so miserable. Jokingly, I started singing: “We’re driving home for Christmas … ” Then, whenever the streetlights shone inside the car, I started writing down lyrics.

We eventually got home at 3am. It was so cold inside the house that the snow tumbled on to the doormat and didn’t melt. There was one letter – from PRS America. My song Fool (If You Think It’s Over) had been a hit in the US, so there was a cheque for £15,000. We went from being down to our last £220 to being able to buy a house. The song went in my old tin full of unfinished stuff.

Some years later, my career had turned around and [keyboard player] Max Middleton and I were testing two new pianos. We started joking around, playing this Count Basie-type thing. I pretended I was Nat King Cole. Someone said: “That’s a great tune, that. You should get it down.” I went back to my tin, and the words to Driving Home for Christmas fitted perfectly.

I’d never intended to write a Christmas hit – I was a serious musician! So initially, the song came out on a B-side. Then a DJ flipped it over and started playing it, so Max suggested we re-record it and add some strings. Max played the distinctive jazzy intro, we did a classic 1950s Christmas carol-type arrangement and loved it. At first, it was another radio hit – but then it started re-entering the Top 40 every year.

I had big companies using it in adverts, and it was in a video for Shelter. I used to be terrified the song would ruin any credibility I had left, but now we have a laugh with it. If I’m ever stuck on the M25 – the Road to Hell – I’ll wind the window down and start singing, “I’m driving home for Christmas” at people in cars alongside. They love it. It’s like giving them a present.

I’d never played it live until one year at Hammersmith Odeon: the gig was on 21 December, so the road crew kept badgering me to do it. I went, “If I’m going to sing this fucking song, we’re gonna do it properly.” So we hired 12 snow cannons. When we started the song, you couldn’t hear it for the noise of the crowd, and we let go with the machines. We put three feet of artificial snow in the stalls. The venue charged me £12,000 to clean it up.

We recorded Driving Home for Christmas at Chris’s house near Maidenhead. He had a modest home studio – in what had been the garage, as I remember. As would often happen, I turned up for a coffee and a chinwag prior to doing something for him. The next thing I knew, I was in this little place laying down the drumbeat to this Christmassy track, even though it wasn’t Christmas. The song was already recorded and ready to go. I just overdubbed my parts: a bit of percussion, put some jingle bells in there, tucked away discreetly.

I thought it was a hooky little number, a pretty little song. I did lots with Chris, so at the time it was just another session, but it’s nice to be part of a song that’s turned out to be one of the most played Christmas singles of all time. You put on the radio or sit in the coffee bar, and it’s on. My daughter is 15. None of her friends know who the hell Chris Rea is but they know that song – as soon as it comes on, they start singing it. I’ve played with everyone from Status Quo to Talk Talk, but nothing impresses them as much as the fact that I play on Driving Home for Christmas.

 

  1. A LINE (or two) FROM DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

 

I’m driving home for Christmas, yea

Well I’m moving down that line

 

  1. NICE LITTLE CHRISTMAS NUMBER

 

6      8 million real Christmas trees are consumed in the UK each year

7      The average family spends £170 on their Christmas dinner

8      370 million mince pies are sold in the UK over the festive period each year

9      Around 10 million turkeys are cooked in the UK each Christmas

10   In terms of weight, 120,000 tonnes of potatoes are typically eaten over Christmas

 

 

  1. CHRISTMAS TRACK OF THE DAY

Lonely This Christmas – Mud

Highest Chart Position: No.1 21st December 1974

  1. 14 - Lonely This Christmas Mud 3:31
  1. A CHRIST SHORT FILM VIDEO

House of Fraser 2015 Christmas Ad – Check it out here

This is the Christmas 2015 House of Fraser TV ad. It features the track  You Don’t Own Me (Your Rules) ft Grace & G Eazy which reached No.4 4th December 2015. The original was sung by Lesley Gore and didn’t chart in the UK. The song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. It remained at number two for three consecutive weeks on February 1, 1964, unable to overcome the Beatles’ hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

  1. A CHRISTMAS COMPILATION ALBUM

TOP OF THE POPS CHRISTMAS

37-track compilation 2CD, in a digipak case, issued by Spectrum.

Tracklist:

Disc: 1

  1. John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir:

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

  1. Band Aid: Do They Know It’s Christmas?
  2. Bing Crosby: White Christmas
  3. ABBA: Super Trouper
  4. Mike Oldfield: In Dulci Jubilo
  5. Elton John: Step Into Christmas
  6. The Beach Boys: Little Saint Nick
  7. Girls Aloud: Jingle Bell Rock
  8. Mel & Kim: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
  9. Showaddywaddy: Hey Mister Christmas
  10. The Waitresses: Christmas Wrapping
  11. Kurtis Blow: Christmas Rappin’
  12. The Goodies: Make A Daft Noise For Christmas
  13. Fat Les: Naughty Christmas (Goblin In the Office)
  14. blink – 182: I Won’t Be Home For Christmas
  15. Girls Aloud: Sound Of The Underground
  16. The Human League: Don’t You Want Me

 

Disc: 2

  1. Band Aid 30: Do They Know It’s Christmas?
  2. Chuck Berry: Run Rudolph Run
  3. Hanson: Merry Christmas Baby
  4. Stevie Wonder: What Christmas Means To Me
  5. James Brown: Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
  6. Jackson 5: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  7. Saint Etienne: I Was Born On Christmas Day
  8. Gilbert O’Sullivan: Christmas Song
  9. S Club 7: Perfect Christmas
  10. Engelbert Humperdinck: Winter World Of Love
  11. Tom Jones: Green Green Grass Of Home
  12. Squeeze: Christmas Day
  13. David Essex: A Winter’s Tale
  14. Chris De Burgh: A Spaceman Came Travelling
  15. Michael Andrews feat. Gary Jules: Mad World
  16. The Flying Pickets: Only You
  17. The Housemartins: Caravan Of Love
  18. Donna Summer: Winter Melody
  19. Boyz II Men: Silent Night
  20. Dina Carroll: The Perfect Year

 

 

9 HISTORY OF RADIO TIMES CHRISTMAS COVERS

 

  1. HISTORY OF TV TIMES CHRISTMAS COVERS

  1. IT’S A CRACKER

 How did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus was 7lb 6oz when he was born? They had a weigh in a manger!ACHRISTMAS CARD PICTURE

 

 

 

©2019 Phil M Robinson