Thursday, December 23, 2021

Song of the Day: 'It's Christmas Once Again' by Ronnie Spector


With B.B. King's concert venue in Times Square long closed, it's been a number of years since I've been able to see Ronnie Spector's Christmas Party. To help fill void, here's one of the show's annual highlights, her cover of Frankie Lymon's holiday gem from 1957. Lymon, who along with his backup group the Teenagers had a smash with "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," was a childhood friend and inspiration of the Ronettes singer. Tragically, he died of a heroin overdose at 25 back in 1968, something I could see haunts Ronnie all these years later.

Ronnie told the Wall Street Journal she loved Christmas as a child in Spanish Harlem, but admitted it caused her worry and confusion. "I'd go to Gimbels, Alexander's and Bloomingdale's and see all these Santas," she recounted. "I got so upset. How could there be more than one Santa?" She also took note that her family's apartment building lacked a chimney to allow Santa entry to the family's home. "My father said, 'Butchie' -- he called me Butchie -- 'Butchie, he's coming down the fire escape.'" Don't believe it? Ronnie recounts the story during a spoken interlude on her song "It's the Time (Happy Holidays)."

1 comment:

B said...

Im so glad I got to see her do her show at City Cellars downtown after the BB King spot closed. She was absolutely amazing.