Music Box: On The 7th Day Of (Jeffrey)Christ-mas…
…Jeffrey gave to you…“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” by the Pointer Sisters, one of the most joyous versions of the song.
And what a wonderful song it is to capture the holiday week and the buoyancy after New York’s first big snowfall…outside my window, kids are playing, snow plows are rumbling, dogs are scrambling. Some folks are grumbling and others are whining about the weather, as if the fact that it’s December never entered their stream of consciousness mumblings.
I’d say it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but it hasn’t snowed in NY on Christmas in years. But it definitely feels like an old-fashioned kind, the Christmases that they wrote about in songs, though rarely seen here in New York nowadays.
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” is a grand ol’ tune, of course, and everyone young and old can sing the hook. Overplayed and over-covered by hundreds of performers, sure, but still a staple for any Christmas collection. My favorite renditions, though, are those not performed in the more traditional, original arrangement, but the funkier, more soulful approach that adds more to the fundamental bliss of the lyrics. The Pointer Sisters version, from the first – and still best – volume of the A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS series of charity releases benefiting the Special Olympics, is possibly the most jubilant of versions and probably my favorite.
Their arrangement is pretty much a cover version of the Crystals reading from the classic A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU FROM PHIL SPECTOR (look for a special posting about this soon), the greatest Christmas CD of all time. Other artists reinterpreting the Crystals classic include the awesome Jackson 5 cover from their classic THE JACKSON 5 CHRISTMAS ALBUM, and the great Bruce Springsteen live track so often played during the holidays.
But it’s the Pointer Sisters, and A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS as a whole, that’s put into heavy rotation at my home every holiday.
The Pointer Sisters peformed the song live on the Johnny Carson show to promote the album~