‘Pretty Lights On The Tree . . .’

Originally posted December 20, 2007

As the pages in the daily calendar dwindle and the holidays draw closer, I find there’s really no question for me as to what I should post as this week’s video.

For seventeen straight Decembers, Darlene Love has visited David Letterman’s late night show and performed her holiday anthem, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” originally recorded in 1963 for the album A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector. Each year, Letterman’s music director, Paul Shaffer, augments the regular band with strings and a chorus, and the result – to my ears – is a live performance that comes closer to Spector’s Wall of Sound than anything else I’ve ever heard.

As a result of the writer’s strike, Love may not perform this year on Letterman’s show, although it would seem a given that Letterman will air a recording of one of Love’s earlier performances. This one is from 2006, and the video also includes a brief excerpt from Love’s commercial break rendition of “Silent Night.”

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