Vacation songs from Cher and the Cowsills carry heat and cheer to the season : NPR


Yearly, a sleigh-full of Christmas music will get launched. Cher and the Cowsills got here to prominence within the ’60s, however they nonetheless possess the distinctive sounds that introduced them their preliminary success.



TONYA MOSLEY, HOST:

That is FRESH AIR. Yearly, a sleigh stuffed with Christmas music will get launched, and rock critic Ken Tucker has been listening to plenty of it. He is narrowed down his listing to 2 new releases. Cher has put out her first Christmas album, which can be her first assortment of unique materials in a decade. Ken additionally actually likes the brand new three-song vacation EP from The Cowsills, the household group that first gained fame within the Sixties and was the inspiration for “The Partridge Household” TV present. This is his assessment.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “DJ PLAY A CHRISTMAS SONG”)

CHER: (Singing) Nobody on the streets, and town is quiet. I must be asleep by the warmth of the fireplace, however I am on my manner out. And I’ll keep out. I can really feel the heartbeat as I stroll within the door. Take me by way of the gang to the center of the ground. The crimson and the inexperienced lights are hitting me excellent. Nothing extra. Nothing much less. I obtained one request. DJ play a Christmas track. I need to be dancing all night time lengthy. It is chilly outdoors, however it’s heat in right here. And that is the one factor I need this yr. DJ…

KEN TUCKER, BYLINE: What’s that autotune I hear? Why, it is Cher coming down our chimneys with a brand new album referred to as “Christmas.” Its lead off minimize is the track I simply performed referred to as “DJ Play A Christmas Track.” It is designed to remind you of her final enormous hit 25 years in the past, “Consider.” This album is full of visitor stars together with Stevie Surprise, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Buble, however I most loved her solo crooning on a properly wistful tune referred to as “I Like Christmas.”

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “I LIKE CHRISTMAS”)

CHER: (Singing) I like Christmas. I like an actual Christmas tree. I like a mall Santa Claus that lets me sit on his knee. I like an enormous, crimson bow and mistletoe with you beneath. ‘Trigger I do know it means you may be kissing me. I like Christmas, I like a jingle bells track. I prefer it greatest when my mates are there to jingle alongside. You and me in concord with everybody the singing on the high of my lungs. Christmas time…

TUCKER: Oh, positive, there are a number of clunkers right here. Sorry, Cher. Nobody however Chuck Berry can rock it by way of his “Run Rudolph Run.” And I am afraid she’s put within the shade of Darlene Love’s radiance on their duet of “Christmas (Child Please Come House).” However that is no low-cost, throwaway effort. Cher’s phrasing, particularly with out the autotune, is terrific, and the preparations aren’t sticky with candy-cane sentiment. Plus, she affords one thing totally different for a vacation album – a New Yr’s track.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THIS WILL BE OUR YEAR”)

CHER: (Singing) The heat of your love’s like the heat of the solar. And this might be our yr. Took a very long time to return. Do not let go of my hand now the darkness has gone. This might be our yr. Took a very long time to return. And I will not neglect the way in which you held me up after I was down. And I will not neglect the way in which you stated, darling, I like you. You gave me religion to go on. Now we’re there, and we have solely simply begun. And this might be our yr. Took a very long time to return.

TUCKER: The Cowsills was a household pop group that had an enormous hit in 1967 referred to as “The Rain, The Park & Different Issues.” After they began out as children and had that hit, their mother, Barbara, went on the highway with them after they toured, which impressed the Nineteen Seventies sitcom “The Partridge Household.” The present model of The Cowsills are siblings Susan, Bob and Paul Cowsill, they usually’ve simply put out a three-song EP titled “A Christmas Providing From The Cowsills” that features this pretty track referred to as “Christmastime (Track For Marissa).”

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “CHRISTMASTIME (SONG FOR MARISSA)”)

THE COWSILLS: (Singing) It is Christmastime, a particular time when all of the world shares the marvel of the vacation with evergreens and caroling and logs by the fireplace, the sensation that love is all over the place. Now the snow falls so softly and silent tonight because it blankets a peaceable world. Yuletide…

TUCKER: Through the years, Susan Cowsill has carried out backup vocals for a few of my favourite acts, similar to Carlene Carter, Dwight Twilley and The Smithereens. She had a duo act with Vicki Peterson of The Bangles and has put out a number of solo albums. The present Cowsills lineup does a high quality job of reproducing the household’s unique, stunning, shut harmonies, as may be heard on their model of “Winter Wonderland.”

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “WINTER WONDERLAND”)

THE COWSILLS: (Singing) A wonderful sight, we’re completely happy tonight, strolling in a winter wonderland. Sleigh bells ring. Are you listening? Within the lane, snow is glistening. A wonderful sight, we’re completely happy tonight, strolling in a winter wonderland. Gone away is a bluebird. Right here to remain is a brand new hen. He sings a love track as we go alongside, strolling in a winter wonderland.

TUCKER: Each Cher and The Cowsills got here to prominence within the Sixties, however they nonetheless possess the distinctive sounds that introduced them their preliminary success. Our heat emotions towards them are rekindled by these new releases, which is in itself acceptable because the chilly season settles in from a lot of the nation. Glad holidays to you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “CHRISTMAS AIN’T CHRISTMAS WITHOUT YOU”)

CHER: (Singing) It is Christmas Eve, and I will not sleep tonight. I have been a superb lady. Nicely, not less than I’ve tried. So come on, hurry down the chimney with a kiss for me. And let me wrap my arms round you. I am so fortunate that I discovered you.

MOSLEY: Ken Tucker reviewed Cher’s new album referred to as “Christmas” and the digital three-song EP referred to as “A Christmas Providing From The Cowsills.” And there might be extra Christmas music on Wednesday when David Byrne, co-founder and frontman of The Speaking Heads, joins Terry to play a few of his favourite Christmas recordings. His playlist consists of songs by Prince and Run-DMC. And so they’ll play considered one of Terry’s new favorites, a track written and sung by David Byrne. If you happen to get depressed round Christmas, there might be songs for you, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOSLEY: Tomorrow on FRESH AIR, we keep in mind actor Andre Braugher, who died final week on the age of 61. He is greatest identified for his roles within the TV sequence “Murder” as a police detective and within the comedy sequence “Brooklyn 9-9” as a police captain. He was additionally acclaimed for his stage performances in Shakespeare performs. We’ll characteristic interviews with him from 1995 and 2006. I hope you’ll be able to be part of us.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOSLEY: To maintain up with what’s on the present and to get highlights of our interviews, observe us on Instagram – @nprfreshair. FRESH AIR’s govt producer is Danny Miller. Our technical director and engineer is Audrey Bentham. Our interviews and opinions are produced and edited by Amy Salit, Phyllis Myers, Roberta Shorrock, Sam Briger, Lauren Krenzel, Heidi Saman, Ann Marie Baldonado, Therese Madden, Seth Kelley and Susan Nyakundi. Our digital media producer is Molly Seavy-Nesper. Thea Challoner directed immediately’s present. For Terry Gross, I am Tonya Mosley.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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