We are not expected snow in NYC.

Which I’m not complaining about! (I’m not even complaining about the rain we’re supposed to get later in the week, because, drought-like here.) So don’t take this as an order or even a request, please, but…

“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”, by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, sung by Carly Simon:


Video from Carly Simon-Topi, “Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment.”

BTW: Do you know who has covered this song? EVERYBODY. (Just search for “Let it Snow” on YouTube, you’ll see.) Which includes the cast of Star Trek: TNG.


Video by jamescovenant. (FYI: The song runs from the beginning until about 1:11; following is an ad for a game by the clever person who put together the video.)

And as long as we’re looking at a holiday song by Cahn and Styne, here’s another–“The Christmas Waltz,” by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, sung by Kristin Chenoweth:


Video from Kristin Chenoweth-Topic; “Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment.”

It was not covered by Captain Picard.

Despite that lack, the two songs do have something else in common–according to Sammy Cahn, they were both written during hot California summers. “Let it Snow” was written to take their minds off the heat, and “The Christmas Waltz” was written because Frank Sinatra called and asked for a Christmas song.

Continue reading “We are not expected snow in NYC.”

If it’s December…

…it must be time for my parade of Jewish winter-holiday-season music. Chanukah songs, of course, and Christmas/generalized-winter-holiday-season songs written by Jews.

(If you were not expecting this, then welcome! You must be new to Castrocopia, always good to see a new face.)

 

I started with this song last year, too, because it makes such a nice segue from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, especially since both Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to have continued just-all-week-long. The song? “The Christmas Can-Can,” music by Jacques Offenbach (with a judicious amount of mash-up included), lyrics and arrangement by Walter Chase, sung Straight No Chaser:


Video by Straight No Chaser

 
*If you are interested in details, I will be putting some info behind the jump–you don’t have to see it if you’d rather just enjoy!
Continue reading “If it’s December…”

Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789

*ahem*

Could I have a moment of your attention before you disappear into a blizzard of parades/football games/cooking/eating/otherwise celebrating Thanksgiving?

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be–That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks […] for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

[…]

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington
George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress

 

thanksgivingcornucopia

(un)Official CastroCornuCopia

 

Some cooking tips:


Video courtesy of Snoopy

 

And because I find this song appropriate:


Video by MusicCityRoots

(Yes, I am that corny. Be thankful I did not grace you with The Wiggles’ version–on autoplay.)

 

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

 

*Yes, this is pretty much the same Thanksgiving Day post as last year (and the year before, through time immemorial) (or at least two years back). This makes it a Copia TRADITION, up to and including this note, which is nothing at all like me being lazy. Happy Thanksgiving!

About that Mesquite show

You know, the one that Castro did this past Saturday? Well, it resulted in this quite nice article in the Mesquite News:

“We all have very diverse musical interests that we kind of combine to make us what we are,” Jason said.

[…]“I think we are better together, and this is too special not to try.”

 

For the full piece, click on over to the website!

RIP, Leonard Cohen

For more about that “part of our journey,” click on over to these…

This really was the “Hallelujah” TV cover that started it all. In 2008, when Castro performed a vulnerable acoustic version on Idol’s top 16 week, judge Simon Cowell noted that the late Jeff Buckley’s 1994 rendition was one of his favorite recordings of all time. This resulted in a huge sales spike for Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” propelling it to the top spot on the iTunes singles chart. The single was later certified platinum, 14 years after its original release and 11 years after Buckley’s death; at the time, this was the biggest digital sales spike for a song performed by an Idol contestant. Cohen’s original and a version by Rufus Wainwright also received sales boosts, and Castro himself appeared briefly in the top spot on iTunes chart (he was removed due to Idol producers not wanting to favor any one contestant; it was a very different world then). Eight years later, Castro’s “Hallelujah” is still considered one of the greatest performances in American Idol history.

Yahoo Music

 

“Hallelujah” has also been recorded by Rufus Wainwright, Bob Dylan, k.d. Lang, Bon Jovi, and countless contestants on American Idol (including season seven contestant Jason Castro, who had a minor hit with it and created another moment for Buckley’s version).

EW.com

 

In March 2008, after American Idol contestant Jason Castro sang Buckley’s arrangement of “Hallelujah” on Fox’s talent competition, Buckley’s recording shot to #1 on the Top Digital Songs chart.

Yahoo News

In 2008, during the seventh season of American Idol, Jason Castro performed Buckley’s version of the song, which propelled the late singer’s version to the top of download charts

People

 

And you definitely want to check out Billboard’s list of 12 Most Memorable Covers of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, because it wraps up with Leonard Cohen’s own original version.

RIP, Mr. Cohen. The world has lost a poet.