theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Entertainment

December 19, 2012

Slate's definitive Christmas playlist

There are plenty of people who loathe Christmas music or tire of it quickly, and it can be easy to see why: Every year brings fruitless attempts to introduce a new song into the canon or put a new spin on a holiday classic, and that can be a drag. But what about that perfect rendition of the holiday standard you otherwise hate? Or that Christmas song that has many great versions, but you can't decide which one is the best?

Here at Slate, we've compiled a playlist of the definitive covers of Christmas standards, those songs that have been interpreted countless times, but have only one, true performance we can call the must-listen-to classic.

Sometimes, the traditional version of a Christmas song remains the best. First, there is the one that started it all, "White Christmas," as performed by crooner Bing Crosby. While there have been many notable covers, the original (along with the many versions recorded by Crosby) still stands the test of time. As Slate pop critic Jody Rosen puts it, "There weren't really any Christmas pop songs until Bing. He created the genre."

Likewise, Judy Garland's introduction of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the 1944 film "Meet Me in St. Louis" remains the quintessential version of the tune, both for her subdued yet powerful performance and the underlying tinge of sadness that brings some variety to the normally cheerful Christmas canon. (The song's original lyrics were "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow" supplanted by the awkward "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough" more than a decade later.)

Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" still holds up as the best, despite being performed by artists as varied and talented as Bob Dylan, the Carpenters and Aretha Franklin — his simple phrasing and charming musical accompaniment continue to make his version a classic.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Entertainment
  • 887805_56493274.jpg Slate: The 10 best movies of 2012

    For the second year in a row, there weren't that many movies jostling behind the velvet rope to get onto my 10-best list. Still, when it came down to distilling a whole year's worth of viewing into just 10 titles, I found with relief that it was impossible to remain stingy with my accolades: There were enough films that genuinely thrilled me this year to fill up a list, and then some.

    December 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 512141_85489295.jpg Slate's definitive Christmas playlist

    There are plenty of people who loathe Christmas music or tire of it quickly, and it can be easy to see why: Every year brings fruitless attempts to introduce a new song into the canon or put a new spin on a holiday classic, and that can be a drag.

    December 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • 800px-Obama_and_Biden_await_updates_on_bin_Laden.jpg In movie, she's a hero. In real life, it's complicated.

    She was a real-life heroine of the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden, a headstrong young operative whose work tracking the al-Qaida leader serves as the dramatic core of a Hollywood film set to premiere next week.

    December 12, 2012 1 Photo

  • Keeping Pace Acclaimed historical interpreter to portray American humorist

     

    Acclaimed Chautauqua historical interpreter Charles Everett Pace will portray American humorist and poet Langston Hughes as part of East Central University’s 17th Annual Literary Arts Festival on Nov. 8.

     

    November 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • MEXICO OPERA182.jpg Opera takes hold in Mexico's dangerous cities

    In high times and low, Mexicans turn to their music. To love, to lament, there's Mexican music for every occasion: poetic ballads, bouncy polkas, rodeo rancheras, plus goth rock, marimba, Mexican metal, you name it.
    And then there's opera.

    October 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • DEGENERES18.jpg DeGeneres receives Mark Twain prize for American humor

    It's hard to remember now, but about a dozen years ago, Ellen DeGeneres was dead in the water.
    The nice girl from New Orleans with the sunny disposition and the squeaky-clean comedy act had been a star with her own sitcom, "Ellen." But then she had come out as gay, such big news at the time that it landed her on the cover of Time magazine. Then her character on the show came out. Then she and her partner at the time, actress Anne Heche, were very kissy-kissy in public.

    October 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • Microsoft to begin rolling out Xbox music service

    Microsoft's Internet music service will roll out starting Tuesday on Xbox and next week on computers with Windows 8, as the company looks to compete against Pandora Media and Spotify.

    October 17, 2012

  • 98348_8148.jpg SLIDESHOW: America's 13 best haunted houses HauntedHouseRatings.com has released its list of the best haunted houses in America. Here are the top 13.

    October 17, 2012

  • Screen shot 2012-10-10 at 4.56.36 PM.png Slate's Explainer: Why isn't Big Bird on a major network?

    Big Bird has emerged as the surprise star of the 2012 campaign. Mitt Romney says he likes Big Bird but wants to cut federal funding to PBS, while the big yellow bird has appeared in an ad made by President Obama's campaign. Why is "Sesame Street" on public television, anyway?

    October 17, 2012 1 Photo

  • Study: Politically outspoken celebrities will see likability ratings fall


    In this presidential election season, when celebrities endorse candidates while talking to empty chairs, engage in political debates on Twitter and encourage the rest of us to vote via cleverly edited YouTube clips, a new university study suggests that, perhaps, they might all be better off keeping their mouths shut.

    October 9, 2012

AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Stocks
Poll

Who do you blame more for the trouble in Gaza?

The Israelis
Hamas
     View Results