It’s a little late but never too late to start a Christmas project
Last week I got a craZy idea to start a Christmas video project. We were going to record Blue Christmas, like in the studio and make a video for YouTube.
This is my mid-point diary because Christmas will soon be here. We have to finish.
The song was picked because I’m an old Elvis fan and can sing the song without the words. The chords were something else so I checked them out on the internet.
Ernest Tub recorded the Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson song in 1947. Elvis made this sad love song a hit in 1957. My older brother snuck a copy of the LP Elvis Presley Christmas Album into the house, over my mother’s Jehovah’s Witness prohibition against all things Christmas. How else would a young boy learn Peace in the Valley and Take My Hand Precious Lord?
Blue Christmas was the hit of the record with Elvis’ full-throated treatment. He repeated it again for the ’68 Comeback Special which is an easier version to do, since we couldn’t get the Jordinaires to Charlottetown for the recording.
Katzass Studio was almost ready to start recording on Monday. I’d just finished a near-field monitor smackdown project and things were more or less in place. I would discover how wrong that was. How did the studio get named Katzass? Some one looked at the gear and declared, “Your studio is going to be the cat’s ass.”
I sent out a few emails and Tom LeClair signed on. He got a Ronnie “Bunnie” MacLean of the Blue Crystals to drum and then I got Denis Larocque of Real Instruments for the country licks. Another friend who I jam with wanted to try it but he was busy Thursday night so he came on Friday afternoon.
I started checking on how to get clearance for the song. Yikes! It might cost $250 for one year plus 2 weeks. Pretty expensive. I dropped that for now and started thinking about the video.
The video would be made during the recording. What if we got some volunteers to do a chorus version or sing backup during Saturday night’s party? I floated the idea on Facebook and had volunteers in no time.
Cut to the future – here’s the recording.