Monday, December 24, 2007

Love Hangover

It hasn't been beginning to feel a lot like Christmas this year but I couldn't quite put my finger on why until I was goofing around on YouTube this morning and realized that although I've never watched "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI" or "Desperate Housewives," there was one valuable thing the writers strike had robbed me of this year: Darlene Love's annual visit to David Letterman to perform what must be the greatest Christmas song of all time, "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)."

I saw Darlene perform at the Bottom Line back in early '94 and it still ranks as one my favorite concerts of all time. Her critically acclaimed musical revue, "Portrait of a Singer: The Life and Music of Darlene Love," featured all of her legendary hits -- some of which she (understandably) is quick to point out that she wasn't credited as singing back in the day) -- like "He's a Rebel," ""Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," "He's Sure the Boy I Love," and my personal favorite, "Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry." The show also included riveting covers of "The Change Is Going to Come" and "Don't Make Me Over" as well as "River Deep, Mountain High," Phil Spector's $20,000 masterpiece. (Legend has it that she begged Phil to let her sing lead on the song but settled on singing backup for Tina Turner.)

After the show Darlene inadvertently slipped me her paycheck as she was autographing my program. I have no way of knowing exactly what the check was for, but it sure seemed that not a lot had changed since her days of being undercredited and underpaid back in the Phil Spector days. I ended up calling the venue and mailing it back to the address on the check only to have it returned to sender -- now permanently in my scrapbook.

So here it Christmas Eve and with no 2007 Letterman show to get me in the spirit I watch 2006's glorious performance to help get me in the mood. Darlene can still bring the house down with this one, as she has every Christmas for more than 40 years. By the time she hits "If there was a way/I'd hold back these tears," I've already got goosebumps. Like Ronnie Spector, Darlene does an annual Christmas show here in New York. Hers was on a "school night" this year so we went to see Ronnie again instead. But next year, come what may, we're going to see Darlene in '08. Seeing her live is long overdue ...

8 comments:

Michael Woyton said...

You know, I was just thinking that something was missing this year, and it was Darlene Love.

Thanks for posting the video.

It made my day.

Anonymous said...

I adore Darlene Love. I miss hearing her this year too.

Her "Christmastime for the Jews" from Saturday Night Live is great too. Look for it, it's worth it.

Bob Merrick said...

You can currently catch her live on Broadway starring with Lance in Hairspray... maybe that will help? Happy Holidays! xox

nojarama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nojarama said...

I agree. Darlene makes the holiday season brighter! I also enjoy the SNL short "Christmastime For The Jews" which, if I'm not mistaken, she sang for. He-he! Happy Holidays!

Ace620 said...

Great to see this video... She was on Regis and Kelly this year. I still got my fix this year but it wasn't the same as Letterman.

Merry Christmas...

Ace

Timmy said...

Thanx for posting the video. I love the song but I LOVE the way that only she can sing it.

lyonburke said...

Gee, now I am in the Christmas spirit after watching the awesomeness that is Ms Love. I'm a little late with my spirit, but better late and all that. Happy New Year!

Share This

Blog Widget by LinkWithin