Somehow, I managed to pull off another one.
At a time of year when commitments and gatherings and parties consume my calendar, I decided to add on traditions that are incredibly time-consuming, but oh, so rewarding.
One of them is an annual Christmas CD, that I gave the name Ho Ho Brother. In the late 1990s, I was working with an I.T. guy named Rick Taylor at KLSY. Rick was my ambassador to the techie world, which I had a fascination with, but limited time to explore. I believe it was in 1998, he gave me a Christmas collection of songs that he had rounded up and burned to a CD. Some odd ones, some funny ones and some sentimental favorites. The following year, he burned a Christmas CD complete with fancy label that featured all Jewish singers that sang Christmas songs. Bottom line, the technology existed that we could collect songs or anything pre-recorded, put it together and then give to family and friends to spread Christmas cheer.
I loved the concept, so in 2000, I produced my very first collection, Ho Ho Brother. This year (for those of you lousy at math), I’ve put the finishing touches on Ho Ho Brother 17. The secret formula isn’t that secret–it’s a blend of comedy bits, new and old, holiday classics, fresh new songs you may not even know existed and with a personal goal of not repeating any of the recordings I’ve used before. I think a couple of repeats have slipped in during the past 17 years, but I’m of the opinion if I don’t remember, why should you?
I know that the days of CD’s are waning, but I’m still burning them for those who have CD players. Reality hit me this year when I bought a new Hyundai Ioniq that didn’t have a CD player in it. The move is to digital, but since everyone is not there yet, I still hand out these CD’s to friends and family as a holiday spiff. Something festive and to a few, unexpected. It’s fun to watch the first-timers get a puzzled look and say, “So, what is this?” But I love giving it to the people who have been looking forward to the latest edition and comment that they were just listening to a previous year’s Ho Ho Brother while decorating their home.
One of the regular contributions I love to include in this mix is an original song and, this year, I’m sorry to say, that didn’t happen. Well, it did, but it didn’t. My regular singer, Alana Baxter, got her medical degree and headed off to Hawaii. We managed to record her voice last year while she was home and I had all the intentions of including our new song, “All I want for Christmas is booze.” But, after carefully listening to it, we weren’t pleased with the voice. So, thanks to connections over on the islands, I was able to sneak her into a studio last week to re-record the voice. I will have that song and matching video for you in next week’s blog, but it was just too late for this year’s CD if I wanted it to reach distant relatives by Christmas.
That’s how it was meant to be, I guess. I’m already working on next year’s CD and song in an attempt to be even more ready for 2018. And, of course, that is when I’ll include Alana’s latest holiday hit. I’ll get more into that next week.
For now, here’s this year’s Ho Ho Brother collection for you to download, put on your phone or computer and enjoy.
Apply generously and enjoy.
Merry Christmas to all!