The little drummer boy duet between Bing Crosby a month before his death, and David Bowie, is the spirit of christmas immortalized (check out the SNL spoof as well). In those days, a music star would have a christmas special where friends and celebs would stop by. Who had them? The Osmonds, Perry Como, Elvis, see the full list below. Bing did his last one in 77 Como in 81. The Gen X-ers were the last to experience this. The new kids have no clue. Perhaps thats why black friday has spiraled out of control maybe if there were a modern day Bing christmas special on that night more would stay home. John Denvers Rocky Mountain Christmas gets special billion as it was done with the Muppets in 79 and the muppets have delivered a christmas special nearly every other year till today lord bless em. Surprisingly Kathy Gifford had several christmas shows although why or who she is seems weird. I guess she tried to take the mantle alone into the 90s. Scary.
Rankin and Bass took us on a wonderful innocent run starting in 1964 with Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. They followed up with Frosty the Snowman and my favorite, the year without a santa clause (the heat miser snow miser one!). And while they faded around the time of Nestor the Christmas Donkey and their 2008 A Miser Brother’s Christmas didn’t quite pull, they are what they are, permanent parts of our christmas legacy of peace and good will and charity and love.
Could Brittney Spears or Mylee Twerk my butt have a christmas special? Or would it flop like moons over Endor. No, somehow they aren’t “real” enough. And that’s maybe the big lesson of what we have lost.
So I ask you, Doesn’t David Bowie now have to do HIS christmas special, and pass it on to ? Justin Biebler? Justin Timberlake? Are there any other Justins?
Also, if the hipsters like Como and Martin made christmas specials, where the heck is Buble ? Who is today’s hipster? I can’t even name one. Or is music that is real just considered “old people’s stuff”
That’s exactly the problem. Too many kids named Justin and not enough real ones to carry on the Christmas tradition.
What really is Christmas? Christmas if our time when we teach our children that there is something higher. Something of grace. Something of love. When we teach them that the world is not all bad and materialistic. And that’s somethings these young-uns seem to never have learned.
One of the most successful duets in Christmas music history — and surely the weirdest — might never have happened if it weren’t for some last-minute musical surgery. David Bowie thought “The Little Drummer Boy” was all wrong for him. So when the producers of Bing Crosby’s Christmas TV special asked Bowie to sing it in 1977, he refused.
Just hours before he was supposed to go before the cameras, though, a team of composers and writers frantically retooled the song. They added another melody and new lyrics as a counterpoint to all those pah-rumpa-pum-pums and called it “Peace on Earth.” Bowie liked it. More important, Bowie sang it.
The result was an epic, and epically bizarre, recording in which David Bowie, the androgynous Ziggy Stardust, joined in song with none other than Mr. “White Christmas” himself, Bing Crosby.
Remember that the TV special did not air until after Bing Crosby died, which was about a month after taping his Christmas special in England and the duet with David Bowie. I remember very vividly watching that Christmas show. I always watched the Christmas specials of Crosby, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, and all of the others of that generation. My mother kept talking about how weird Bowie was, and she kept asking me if he was a homosexual. I was only 14 – so I had no opinion on such matters. At that time I was already a huge Crosby fan, and I had been since childhood. I think the song is touching and unique, and Bing’s baritone is well-set against Bowie’s tenor of his younger years.
8:58 pm on December 25, 2013 Email Karen De Coster
Julie Andrews: The Sound of Christmas (1987)
Early, Early, Early Christmas Special (1981)
Dave Foley’s The True Meaning of Christmas Specials
The Captain and Tennille Christmas Show (1976)
The Johnny Cash Christmas Special (1976–1979)
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All (2008)
John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Christmas (with The Muppets) (1975)
The Judy Garland Show: Christmas Special (1963)
The Mitzi Gaynor Christmas Show (1967)
Luther Vandross: This is Christmas (1996)
Freddie the Freeloader’s Christmas Dinner (1981)
The Carpenters at Christmas (1977)
The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait (1978)
Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee Gifford: Looking for Christmas (1994)
Kathie Lee Gifford: Home for Christmas (1995)
Kathie Lee Gifford: Just in Time for Christmas (1996)
Kathie Lee Gifford: We Need a Little Christmas (1997)
Kathie Lee Gifford: Christmas Every Day (1998)
The Donny and Marie Christmas Special (1979)
The Osmond Family Christmas Special (1980)
Marie Osmond’s Merry Christmas (1986)
The Andy Williams Christmas Special (1973)
The Andy Williams Christmas Show (1974)
Andy Williams’ Early New England Christmas (1982)
Andy Williams and the NBC Kids Search for Santa (1985)
The Andy Williams Christmas Show (1994)
The Daily Show Andy Williams Christmas Special (1997)
Happy Holidays: The Best of the Andy Williams Christmas Specials (2001)
The Bob Hope Christmas Special (1953, 1968, 1970, 1980, 1981)
The Bob Hope Christmas Show (1965, 1985)
The Bob Hope Vietnam Christmas Show (1966)
The Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the World with the USO (1969)
The Bob Hope Vietnam Christmas Show (1971)
The Bob Hope All Star Christmas Comedy Special (1977)
Bob Hope’s USO Christmas in Beirut (1984)
Bob Hope Winterfest Christmas Show (1987)
Bob Hope’s USO Christmas from the Persian Gulf: Around the World in Eight Days (1987)
Bob Hope’s Jolly Christmas Show (1988)
Bob Hope’s Christmas Special from Waikoloa, Hawaii (1989)
Bob Hope’s Christmas Cheer from Saudi Arabia (1991)
Hope for the Holidays – A Bob Hope Christmas (1993)
Happy Holidays with Frank and Bing starring Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby (1957)
The Bing Crosby Christmas Show (1961, 1962, 1965)
The Hollywood Palace with Bing Crosby (1965, 1966, 1967, 1968)
Bing and Carol Together Again for the First Time (1969) Bing Crosby, with Carol Burnett
Goldilocks (1969) Bing Crosby with Kathryn Crosby, Mary Frances Crosby and Nathaniel Crosby along with Avery Schreiber and Paul Winchell
Bing Crosby’s Christmas Show (1970)
Bing Crosby and the Sounds of Christmas (1971)
A Christmas with the Bing Crosbys (1972)
Bing Crosby’s Sun Valley Christmas Show (1973)
A Christmas with the Bing Crosbys (1974)
Merry Christmas, Fred, from the Crosbys (1975) Bing Crosby, with Fred Astaire
The Bing Crosby White Christmas Special (1976)
Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas (1977) with David Bowie
Dean Martin’s California Christmas (1975)
Dean Martin’s Christmas in California (1977, 1979)
Dean Martin Christmas Special (1980)
Dean Martin’s Christmas at Sea World (1981)
This is only a partial list of Perry Como Christmas programs. He would always include a Christmas-themed program every year while his television series was on the air.
Perry Como’s Christmas In New York (1959)
The Perry Como Holiday Special (1967)
Christmas At The Hollywood Palace (1969)
Perry Como’s Winter Show (1971)
The Perry Como Winter Show (1972, 1973)
Perry Como’s Christmas Show (1974)
Perry Como’s Christmas In Mexico (1975)
Perry Como’s Christmas In Austria (1976)
Perry Como’s Olde Englishe Christmas (1977)
Perry Como’s Early American Christmas (1978)
Perry Como’s Christmas In New Mexico (1979)
Perry Como’s Christmas In The Holy Land (1980)
Perry Como’s French-Canadian Christmas (1981)
Perry Como’s Christmas In Paris (1982)
Perry Como’s Christmas In New York (1983)
Perry Como’s Christmas In London (1984)
Perry Como’s Christmas In Hawaii (1985)
Perry Como’s Christmas In San Antonio ~ Perry Como’s Christmas Special (1986)
Perry Como’s Irish Christmas (1994)