Jingle Bell Pop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.This Audible original program examines the evolution of popular Christmas songs. Starting with the creation of “Silent Night” a hundred years ago on Christmas Eve, it talks about how such songs as “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Baby” were written and recorded. It includes interviews with songwriters and others who explain how certain songs and albums were produced. In the background, you’ll hear snippets of these songs.

Being a musician and a music listener, I was fascinated to learn what inspired such songs as “All I Want for Christmas is You” and how these songs were written. I made a note of one or two of the Christmas albums mentioned, since no doubt they’re on Amazon Music, so I can ask my Echo device to play them. If you’ve ever wondered how and why these songs were written and sung, Jingle Bell Pop is where you’ll find this information. Even if the only thing you play is the radio, this production will enlighten you.

 

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My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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Saturday Song: O Christmas Tree

Some people decorate their homes for the holidays before Thanksgiving, but when I was a kid, we usually waited until the first or second week of December. In Tucson, Arizona, during the 1960’s and early 70’s, we drove to a lot each year where we picked out a tree. Despite my limited vision, I could see the trees and loved the smell and feel of the branches.

We didn’t have a truck, and I can’t remember how we got the selected tree home, but we did. My younger brother and I watched while Dad and Mother put the tree in the stand and strung the lights. Then the fun began.

My favorite task was hanging colored balls and candy canes on lower branches. We didn’t use garlands or tinsel because the cats wreaked havoc with them, but we had antique angels and other Christmas symbols that my mother hung on higher branches.

After we moved here to Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1973, we bought our trees from an indoor warehouse instead of an outdoor lot. Although my father could wield a chain saw with the best of them, I don’t know why we didn’t trek to the mountains and chop down a tree. I bet that would have been fun.

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What do you remember about decorating your home for the holidays? Did you ever go into the woods and chop down a tree? I’d love to hear about your memories and hope you find the perfect tree this year. Have a great Saturday.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

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A Brown or White Christmas

Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Walking in snow and ice can be treacherous, even for people with good eyes. Needless to say, I don’t do much walking in winter, now that I’m older and more fearful of breaking bones. Since I enjoy walking, I’ve often wished our winters could be without snow and ice.

A couple of months ago while strolling on a beautiful fall day, I was thinking about this and came up with a little ditty to a familiar holiday tune which you can hear Bing Crosby sing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGAosOoKFMs . I’ll paste the lyrics below and then a link to where you can hear me sing it with piano accompaniment.

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BROWN CHRISTMAS

I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas

so I don’t have to slip and slide.

Then I will be walking and won’t be talking

to folks, asking for a ride.

I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas

where snow and ice I will not fight.

Then I will be merry and bright.

In my heart, my Christmas will be white.

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I must admit, though, that Christmas isn’t the same without snow. Where will you be this year? Do you think your Christmas will be brown or white?

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Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

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Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

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Holiday Reading

I was recently invited to read some of my poems at a meeting of Akcita Win. This is a women’s organization that does community service projects and offers scholarships every year here in Sheridan, Wyoming. My grandmother founded this group in the 1940’s, and I didn’t know this until the night of the meeting which was held at the First Christian Church.

My presentation was preceded by a delicious fried chicken dinner catered by a local market and followed by a rousing game of Christmas bingo and door prize giveaways. I didn’t win, but that didn’t matter. It was still a lot of fun. I was invited to join the organization, and I suppose I should since my grandmother founded it, but I don’t have time.

One of the group’s money making projects I remember from years ago was a vending stand at the local fair grounds during our annual rodeo, county fair, and other events. When my brother and I were kids, Dad took us to the fair grounds for whatever event was going on, and we often stopped by the stand where Grandma gave us each a Coke, paying for it of course. At the meeting, I spoke to a lady who worked with Grandma at the stand, flipping burgers, and she reminisced about those days. She told me that too many safety regulations make it difficult for organizations to undertake such money making projects, and that’s too bad. However, it was nice talking about those good old days.

My reading lasted about twenty minutes. I sang a few songs, a Capella, incorporating them into my poems, finishing with a parody of “White Christmas” that I wrote. I then sang the original words with everyone joining in. The audience loved it, and I passed around business cards. I brought copies of my poetry books, but nobody seemed interested.

I was able to record my program, and you can click below to hear it. Because of the file size and limited Dropbox space, this recording is contained in a zipped folder so you’ll need to download and extract it. If you’re not sure how to do this, please leave a note in the comments field, and I’ll try to help you. Be sure to check the appropriate box so you’ll receive my reply by email. Enjoy! Happy holidays.

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https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/akcita%20win%20reading%2012-1-2015.zip

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Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Vote for my new book idea.