Letting It Snow and Ho Ho Ho the New Orleans Way

As I write this and prepare for this week’s show, the forecast for New Orleans is a mostly sunny day with a high of 79 degrees. But close your eyes and start my show and we’ll conjure up this winter’s celebration with music by New Orleans musicians.

The 2021 Steve Martin Banjo Prize Winner Don Vappie kicks us off the show with a swinging “Please Come Home for Christmas.” Kenny Neal drives home that point with his “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” Whether you celebrate Christmas or Solstice or some other winter holiday or nothing at all, most of the messages of the songs I play on this week’s show are universal. And capturing one of my more hipper ideals is Kermit Ruffins with his “Crazy Cool Christmas.” But don’t worry, the show gets un-hip pretty quickly with an airing of the “12 Yats of Christmas.” A little about New Orleans accents in one of my earliest posts.

As a kid in New Orleans, a White Christmas was only a dream. I recall one snow day as a child and it was pretty wimpy. The Radiators sing about their first snow while Allen Toussant delivers is classic “The Day It Snows in New Orleans.” Here’s a previous Christmas week post that goes a bit more into memories of snow in New Orleans.

Next set goes into the struggles of holidays when its may be missing something or someone. Ted Hefko introduces “It’s Cold in Here” with how his partner had to always be away during the Christmas season cause of work while Kelcy Mae sings about the struggles couples have when they have competing family interests to satisfy during the holiday — a song that become even more poignant when it turns into a celebration of legal same sex marriage. Marva Wright drives home the relevant point with her powerful “Stocking Full of Love.”

At this point in the show, just over halfway, Santa makes an appearance with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington’s “Jingle Bells,” Earl King’s “Santa, Don’t Let Me Down,” Frankie Ford’s “Santa Won the Lottery,” Bo Dollis & Wild Magnolias with Bonerama give us “Shakana Santa Shake,” and two songs about Rudolph by Fats Domino and Debbie Davis and Matt Perriine.

If you made it through the show this far you will be rewarded by a great new Christmas single by Bon Bon Vivant “The Old Christmas Song” and some other treats — don’t want to ruin the surprise. And I always love to hear Smoky Greenwell’s rhythmic Frosty the Snowman. Check it out.

Y’all have a wonderful winter holiday whether its Christmas, Kwanzaa or just yelling at the radio . . .as long as you’re listening. Cheers.

Author: Tim Sweeney

Host of Sweeney's Gumbo YaYa - a two-hour radio show that featured the music of New Orleans. It aired from September 2014 through March 2022, broadcast live on KAOS in Olympia and as a recording KMRE Bellingham and some Pacifica Network stations. Maintaining blog for a while longer.

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