Google Custom Search

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Top 40 Best Christmas Songs of All Time

When I first wrote the "top Christmas songs of all time" theme in 2009, I had 30 of the best--at least according to my informed opinion. I remember at the time thinking to myself that eventually I would have to expand that list. There are just too many excellent Christmas songs that have come along to exclude from such a list.

So, this year "the top 30" has expanded to "the top 40 best Christmas songs of all time." You will thus find 10 songs on the list that I have never included before.

When it comes to Christmas music these are some 'must-haves' for your collection. I'm sure I am going to inadvertently leave out a few, but in my view this list contains the very best Christmas music ever recorded, most of which is still available from various retail and online sources.

So, let's get to it...the best Christmas music of all time.

1. (Tie) 'O Holy Night' by Andy Williams, recorded 1965.
'Ave Maria' (Schubert version) by Perry Como, recorded in 1957, updated version 1983.

2. Handel's 'Messiah' recorded by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, 1970.

3. 'The Little Drummer Boy' original version, Harry Simeon Chorale, 1950s

4. 'Mary's Boy Child' by Evie Tournquist, 1976.

5. 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' recorded a capella, The Cathedral Quartet, 1985.

6. (Tie) 'I'll Be Home For Christmas,' The Florida Boys, 2000
'I'll Be Home For Christmas' by Perry Como

7. (Tie) 'White Christmas' by Bing Crosby
'White Christmas' by the Florida Boys featuring baritone Glen Allred.

8. 'Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire' by Nat King Cole

9. 'Mary, Did You Know?' by the Gaither Vocal Band, featuring Mark Lowry.

10. 'Heaven's Child' by The Florida Boys, 2000.

11. (Tie) 'Sleigh Ride' by Amy Grant
'Sleigh Ride' by Arthur Feidler and the Boston Pops

12. 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town' by Frank Sinatra

13. 'Silent Night' recorded a capella, The Florida Boys, 2000

14. 'The Bells of St. Mary's' by Bing Crosby

15. 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day' by Bing Crosby

16. 'There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays' by Perry Como

17. 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' by Re'Generation, 1975

18. 'Jesu Bambino' by Re'Generation, 1975

19. 'I Wonder as I Wander' by Perry Como

20. 'Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas' by Burl Ives

21. 'What Child Is This?' by the Harry Simeon Chorale

22. 'Jolly Old St. Nicholas' by the Ray Conniff Singers

23. 'Go Tell It On the Mountain' by the Harry Simeon Chorale

24. 'O Come All Ye Faithful' by Nat King Cole

25. 'Beautiful Star of Bethlehem' by Flatt and Scruggs

26. 'Frosty the Snowman' by Perry Como

27. 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' by Gene Autry

28. 'Christ is Born' by Perry Como

29. 'Happy Holidays/It's the Holiday Season'--Andy Williams

30. 'Winter Wonderland' by Johnny Mathis

31. 'Ave Maria' (Bach version) by Celtic Woman or Luciano Pavarotti

32. 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' by Andy Williams

33. 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' by Brenda Lee

34. 'Blue Christmas' by Elvis Pressley

35. 'Christmas Without You' by Dolly Parton

36. 'The Holly and the Ivy' by the Norman Lugoff Choir

37. 'Away in a Manger' by Lawrence Welk Band and Chorus

38. 'Carol of the Bells' by the Robert Shaw Chorale

39. 'Coventry Carol' by the Robert Shaw Chorale

40. 'Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella' by the Robert Shaw Chorale

I will add that if you can find anything by the Robert Shaw Chorale, get it. This world-renown choral group, under the direction of the quintessential maestro Robert Shaw, produced some of the finest music ever recorded, most of it a capella. Several of his songs are listed above, but in reality every single thing ever recorded by Shaw is excellent.

Another note is that the album from which came a good many of the songs on the list, a Florida Boys Christmas from 2000, may be out of circulation. I know that it became very hard to find only a couple of years after its release due to its popularity. I don't think it is available new. But, you may find some used copies on eBay. It is worth having. In fact, it is worth the price of the entire recording just to have Glen Allred's rendition of 'White Christmas.'

Why Peggy Noonan is wrong on how GOP must change

Famed Reagan speech writer and syndicated columnist Peggy Noonan staked out her territory in the newly launched debate among Republicans as to how the party must respond to two losses in a row in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Basically Noonan has cast in her prospects with the elitist establishment of the GOP, maintaining that the tea party has hurt Republicans overall by appearing to be "too angry" for most voters. Noonan maintains that the anger that voters ascribe to the tea party has been a turn off and that in order for Republicans to attract the people it needs to win, it needs to develop a positive message.

Thus, Noonan endorses the so-called Republican "big tent" that is inclusive of widely divergent points of view, which moderates claim is how Reagan won the White House in 1980...

Click here to continue reading at Anthony G. Martin's National Conservative Examiner.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The 2A News Roundup--Top Ten for Friday, Nov. 23, 2012

All guns and politics from the best gun rights and liberty bloggers on the Internet.

David Codrea reports that a major ATF whistleblower says that someone in the agency defaced and destroyed his badge while he was on medical leave--a deliberate act that is more indicative of a juvenile delinquent than a federal agent.

Kurt Hofmann has run across a rumor that says Obama is going to ban semi-automatic weapons, not by a law passed by Congress or a U.N. gun ban treaty, but by executive decree. Dictatorial tyrant.

Days of our Trailers wishes Happy Thanksgiving to Chicago, especially in light of the murder spree that continues there, in the most restrictive gun ban environment in the nation.

GunRights4US notes that the Obama-Democrat tax plan will force many smaller family farms out of business. The culprit? The "estate tax." It's going up to 55%.

John Jacob H presents a copy of George Washington's original Thanksgiving proclamation.

Nicki has a few choice words for the race baiters.

WRSA says get set for the "total domination control grid."

The Wandering Minstrel lets his views be known on the mayors who are against guns with his entry, "Gun Owners Against Illegal Mayors."

Stand Up America declares that ceasefire in Gaza only means reload for the Palestinian terrorists.

Mike McCarville notes that some Republican establishment elitists are blaming the Tea Party for the losses of the White House and more Senate seats. But Tea Party leaders are crying "FOUL!"

Experts say prepare now for massive 2013 tax hikes

As if to cast a dark cloud over the 2012 Christmas shopping season, financial and tax experts stated Thursday that now is the time to prepare for massive 2013 federal tax hikes.

Obamacare alone contains over $800 billion in tax increases, and the first wave of those increases are set to occur in 2013-14. In addition, unless Congress and the president act before Jan. 8, 2013, the Bush era tax cuts will expire, sending taxes skyrocketing in what will amount to the largest single tax increase in U.S. history.

The average middle class family of four will automatically pay an extra $2,000 in federal taxes alone, excluding Social Security and Medicare withholding, unless Washington moves quickly to extend or make permanent the Bush tax cuts.

But there is heavy Democrat opposition in Congress to either extending or making permanent the tax cuts...

Click here to continue reading at Anthony G. Martin's National Conservative Examiner.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Here is Glen Allred at His Best--even at 70 years of age

My earlier post will tell you all about my prayer request for Glen, but I wanted to show you a demonstration of why I think Glen Allred is the greatest baritone that gospel quartet music ever produced. Not only can he do that close harmony for which baritones are known, but he is an excellent soloist...and here, the Florida Boys are at their very best! Enjoy...

Prayers Needed for a Good Friend

I just found out today that a good friend of mine, a famed Gospel singer whom I have known since I was eight years old, had open heart surgery in Pensacola, Florida. I ask that you join me in praying for him.

Glen Allred was the famed baritone singer/guitarist for the legendary Florida Boys Quartet from 1952 to 2007, when the group retired and left the road. Glen is a true-blue icon in Gospel Music, having started his career on the Grand Ole Opry with the Oak Ridge Boys back in 1950. He played the guitar for the quartet, and then one night when the group's baritone was sick, Glen was tapped by the group's manager to fill in. It was then discovered that not only could the Oaks' guitarist sing, but he could sing exceptionally!

But in time the group's regular baritone returned, and Glen wanted to do more than just play the guitar. So, in 1952, he accepted the offer from Pensacola business magnate and Gospel promoter J.G. Whitfield to join The Florida Boys, a group that Whitfield started in 1948 under the name "Gospel Melody Quartet."

Allred's voice became THE anchor for the Florida Boys' sound, and there he stayed for 55 years. Quartet aficionados will tell you readily that it is the baritone that is most essential to the harmony of a four-part ensemble. Without a good baritone, the quartet's harmony falls apart, although not many listeners are aware of the part when they hear a quartet. It is not meant to be a major noticeable sound in a quartet but a carefully nuanced quieter part that is known for its flats, sharps, and naturals that set quartet music apart from other musical genres.

Very, VERY few people who have followed the gospel quartets for the past 50 years would disagree that Glen Allred is perhaps the best and greatest baritone to ever perform on a stage. Or at least they will say he ranks in the top three, along with Doy Ott of the Statesmen, and Mark Trammell of the Cathedrals and the Mark Trammell Quartet.

I happen to think Glen takes the top honors, although the other two were/are wonderful.

Glen befriended me when I was but a little boy attending a gospel concert in my hometown. Somehow I was able to get backstage to meet my favorite group at the time, the Florida Boys. I met Les Beasley, Billy Todd, Derrell Stewart, and my hero I had idolized by watching him on TV, Glen Allred. Glen was even nicer in person than he seemed on TV.

In those days the Florida Boys hosted a TV show on Sunday mornings that from 1963 to 1980 or so was shown in every major TV market in America, The Gospel Singing Jubilee. I got up early every Sunday morning just so I could see The Florida Boys and Glen Allred.

I never forgot how kind Glen was to a little boy with stars in his eyes that night back stage. And in time I was able to become friends with Glen and the rest of the Florida Boys through tracking them down at concerts, later starting and singing in my own group, and then doing some concert promoting along the way.

Glen is a Christian gentleman that I am proud to have gotten to know. I miss him and "the boys" out on the concert trail, but they deserved perhaps more than any other to park that bus and spend time resting at home in a comfortable bed.

Join me in praying for Glen Allred as he recovers from surgery. I'm sure his wife Shirley, and son Randy, and the other family members, will deeply appreciate it.

The story behind the story of the first Thanksgiving

Contrary to popular perception, Thanksgiving is in part a testament to the triumph of capitalism over socialism. In addition to the deep, abiding religious/spiritual significance of this uniquely American holiday, Thanksgiving serves as a shining example of how private property, free trade, and individual liberty always win over the collectivist mindset of socialism/Marxism.

Most of us are very familiar with the story of the first Thanksgiving, when the Pilgrims gathered with their new-found Indian friends to give thanks to God for not only sparing their lives but giving them the blessing of abundance after nearly failing to survive their first winter in New England.
What you might NOT know, however, is the story behind the story.

Click here to continue reading at Anthony G. Martin's National Conservative Examiner.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2016 campaign already in high gear behind the scenes

Word came from the Republican National Committee (RNC) today that the 2016 presidential campaign is already in high gear, albeit behind the scenes and out of public view.

The manner in which Americans go about choosing a president has necessitated a 24 hours per day, seven days per week cycle, 365 days out of the year, with little or no break after a national election. The reason for this turn of events is money. Barack Obama demonstrated in 2008 that with the right online and overseas strategy, some of which many believe is illegal, close to $1 billion can be raised for a campaign.

Click here to continue reading at Anthony G. Martin's National Conservative Examiner.

And a mighty fine afternoon to you...

Afternoon, friends. I wish all of you a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.

The 2A News Roundup will resume on Friday of this week. My schedule here has been abbreviated due to some holiday stuff I'm involved in.

Be sure to read my Examiner articles each day. Examiner pays by the number of readers I get. That means if you don't read I may not be able to keep food on the table. Thank-you kindly to those of you who are faithful readers here and over at the Examiner as well.

Just wanted to say that I'm thankful to God for those who of you have befriended me here and who continue reading my stuff here and at Examiner, although I am now just an ill-tempered old man who hates to lose. :)

God bless you one and all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Paul says secession is a 'deeply American principle'

Retiring U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, wrote on his congressional website Monday that the current growing secession movement among the states is a "deeply American principle" and is "a form of American freedom."

Paul made the comments in response to the fact that all 50 states in the union have sent a special petition to the White House requesting that the executive branch recognize their right to separate from the United States.

A state must have at least 25,000 signatures on the petition in order to get a response from the White House. But some states have more than enough signatures. Texas in particular has amassed 115,000 signatures.

Click here to continue reading at Anthony G. Martin's National Conservative Examiner.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The 2A News Roundup--Top Ten for Monday, Nov. 19, 2012

All guns and politics from the best gun right and liberty bloggers on the Internet.

Mike Vanderboegh points to a source of some excellent buys, surplus, for those wishing to save money on gear.

Kurt Hofmann, who continues to be hounded by the vermin at The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, notes an item in the news that certainly does anything but fit their commonly-used template to libel gun owners.

David Codrea says that a recent official government report indicates that there WILL be calls for drastic new gun control laws in the new Congress and in the second term of Obama.

WRSA has a must-read item that is worth every bit of your time. Read it all.

Way Up North posts several examples of why you can never trust "Monday, Mondays..."

And then to add to the meme, Tam provides a Monday "stream of consciousness."

Standing By declares "we are headed for an economic dictatorship."

Alphecca has an interesting read on women and concealed carry.

CLO comments on the fact that it is very likely Eric Holder will remain as Attorney General in spite of his numerous failings and ethical lapses.

Pamela Geller show us a heartwarming letter from an Israeli child who is in the midst of relentless attacks on his country from Palestinian terrorists.

Join Me on the Radio at 6 p.m. today

I will be a guest on Jo Anne Moretti's Underground Liberty Report on Blog Talk Radio this evening beginning at approximately 6:10 p.m. Her show runs from 6-8 p.m.

Here are the links and info:

Please tune in at 6pm EST to Moretti Underground/Liberty Report:
CC: JoJo Norton 
Today's special guest : .Anthony G. Martin

Prices rise sharply 2 weeks after election

In what some economists say is an omen of things to come, prices on various items such as prescription and over the counter drugs, and gasoline, have risen sharply just two weeks after the election.

"It really makes a person wonder," one pedestrian told the Examiner Sunday in Greenville, S.C., who commented on the hike in gas prices...

Click here to continue reading at Anthony G. Martin's National Conservative Examiner.

Musings After Midnight--"A Brief, Simple Explanation of Why Obama is Still President

Hello, my good friends.

Welcome to another after midnight session of these chats where we gather together as concerned patriots to muse over the state of the nation. Granted, we have had little to be happy about for the past four years. From what I can tell, we are going to become even more distressed as Obama's second term progresses.

And that is why these chats are more vital than ever and will become even more important as time goes on. We patriots MUST stick together. In fact, we must find a way to come together in some organized fashion so that we don't splinter off into   impotent subgroups that have little influence or impact.

Presently we are disorganized. There are many patriots out there who are doing great things to restore the Constitution as the ultimate law of the land. But they are split among dozens if not hundreds of groups. Maybe that is a good thing. There are some positive points to having smaller groups where authority is spread out. But there is also something be said for coming together to fight a common -- and very powerful -- enemy.

These things we will have to flesh out as we proceed.

But at the very least we can discuss issues here.

More about that later in the coming days.

For tonight's discussion I have some thoughts for your consideration that may help us forge a consensus as to where we proceed from here. I want to present a brief, simple explanation as to why Obama is still president.

You may wonder why I would want to focus on that since the subject appears at this point to be obvious to everyone and elementary to boot, a foregone conclusion. I know that various and sundry theories have been presented by various pundits as to why Obama won, and most of them have at least some merit. But it seems to me that the one thing missing is a comprehensive overview, a step by step understanding of the various components of the landscape in 2012 that led to this debacle. We need such a simple, easy to follow grid. For therein lies the seeds of our comeback as conservatives and patriots.

The way I boil it down is this: Obama is still president due to the following basic factors, all of which played a role in the 2012 election.

First, Obama and the Democrats successfully bought off millions of citizens with freebies, courtesy of the taxpayers.

It has been said that in Ohio, for example, the single issue that made the difference between an Obama win and a Romney upset was the bailout of the auto industry. That, in itself, is a bribe. Citizens in Ohio with connections to the auto industry were bought off by the Party in power in order to get their votes. It was a dastardly act as well, on several levels. Not only did they steal the money right out of the taxpayers' pockets to give to large corporations in Ohio, but they stole the companies right out from under investors who had sunk multibillions of their own money into those companies, and then turned around and gave it to the auto workers union. That is ABJECT THEFT, a criminal act. But it worked. Corruption buys votes if the money is right.

Second, Democrats have used immigration policy to overrun the country with millions of new votes on the part of Hispanics who are sold out to all Democratic candidates. Being the Party of amnesty works, although it is a slap in the face to honest, non-criminal immigrants who are willing to stand in line and wait their turn like everyone else.

But the Democrats have discovered another interesting tidbit about the Hispanic immigrants. They like big government and all the freebies that go with it.

Is it any wonder that they oppose any and all attempts to make immigration fair and balanced, that no attempt is made to thwart the onslaught against our country from the south? Republicans have their own skeletons in the closet in this regard. They like the cheap labor, off the grid. That is criminal, every bit as much as what the Democrats have done.

And if you are a Libertarian Party member reading this, let me say something straight to you right now, until you change the travesty of supporting "open borders" like you've always done, you can forget me giving you the time of day. You are every bit as bad as the Democrats and Republicans.

We need a complete moratorium on immigration until we get this cleaned up. And we need to roll back the number of people allowed in here from the south. If you stand for big government, you know nothing about our Founders and the Constitution, and thus, you don't need to be here at all. Go home.

Third, corruption was a huge factor in Obama's "win." I talked about this before in 2008 and got ridiculed and blasted by the so-called "pragmatists" who said there wasn't enough voter fraud to make a difference. BULL. If you think that, you are nutty as a fruitcake.

This year, there are too many precincts that showed ZERO votes for Romney for this not to be due to fraud and vote tampering. And it just so happened in Democrat bastions of corruption such as Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Chicago. There are also major discrepancies and eyebrow raising stats coming out of Florida showing nothing less than abject thuggery at polling places.

Political analysts have stated that a changeover of only 400,000 votes in four states would have given Romney the victory instead of Obama.

And never forget my friends the numerous reports we received indicating that machines registered votes for Obama although the voters had pushed the Romney button. THAT is unconscionable, and no investigation has been launched into it. That is but one more example of the current thugocracy.

And then fourth, Obama won because Romney was not the right man for the job.

Now let me say this clearly at the outset. I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man. I saw nothing from him but integrity, honor, truth, and goodness in this campaign. He is obviously an admirable human being, a great father and faithful husband, an excellent and skillful businessman. And so convinced I became that he is basically a good man that I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt about some of his past votes. I was willing to accept the premise that people can change their minds about issues. Reagan did. Others have done so. If he has become pro-life and is sincere, I applaud him for it. If he now believes in the Second Amendment along with its own stipulation that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED," then I can affirm him in that change of heart.

But still, I did not and do not believe he was the best candidate to go up against Obama. He was too soft, too accommodating, too willing to ascribe honor on the part of an opponent who has shown himself to be nothing but pure evil. We needed a hardnosed conservative who would have kept the heat on Obama from day one, and then never let up. We needed a much clearer differentiation between the two candidates. One is a progressive who implements elements of Marxism and Fascism. We needed a candidate who was the diametric opposite. Ron Paul would have been much better than Romney. So would Sarah Palin. Say what you will about Palin, but she will NOT back down from a fight. She will take the truth right to your face, like it or not.

THAT is the type of conservative we need at this dark time in our history. A truth-teller. One who speaks harsh truth to power. One who stands for smaller government and lower taxes and reductions in spending.

I never believed that Romney went far enough on these issues. I said so in 2007, I said it again in 2009, and I have preached it constantly since this campaign began. The one thing I did not do was to continue criticizing Romney once he became the nominee. No one can accuse me of not doing everything in my power to make sure Obama lost and Romney won. Once Romney got the votes at the Convention, I put all my energy into getting him elected in order to make sure we would rid the country of this scourge called Obama once and for all.

But it all fell on deaf ears. The early warnings about Romney were ignored. The incessant warnings about Obama since 2007 were also ignored. Thus, America will get what it deserves. Let the sane, astute Americans beware. We are in for a ride from hell due to the insanity of our fellow citizens.

Now, the Republican elitist establishment, and some very misguided faux conservatives such as Ann Coulter, sold us a bill of goods about Romney just as they did with McCain four years ago. The result was just as I predicted. LOSSES!

We cannot afford to do this again. In fact, we could not afford it this time.

So, as fine a man as Romney may be, he was not the right candidate for our message.

That's about it, in a nutshell. Four basic reasons why Obama is still in the White House. Obviously, my friends, we are going to have to do things very differently going forward. Unfortunately, the RINOS are already saying the GOP will need to move further to the left.

Now what sense does THAT make? We already have the Marxist Party (Democrats). Why do we need Marxist-lite? That is about as stupid as any hammerhead I have ever heard attempting to drool and blather his way through political philosophy. People who say such things should have their heads examined.

Why would having Marxist-lite be successful when you can just go ahead and vote for the real deal, the whole enchilada, by voting for the Democrats?

The only winning formula is to provide a clear alternative, the diametric opposite to the Marxists.

Now obviously we are going to have to figure out a way to present our message in fashion that is appealing to groups we need in order to win. For example, although Hispanics like big government, they also like the conservative values that we espouse. We can capitalize on that. How? I don't know. That's where you come in. Together we are going to need to hammer out a game plan that will win.

I know that some believe none of this matters anymore, that civil war is our only recourse. And while I do not disagree with that, I want to constantly seek for other options. I don't want to go to war. For one thing, you never know how such a thing will turn out. You may not get what you bargained for, and you will quite possibly come out with something much worse than we have right now.

Thus, those who believe we have passed the point of no return may well be right. War may be inevitable. But is is not my first choice, not even my second choice. I will accept it if this is our fate and do my part as a citizen who loves our Constitution. But I will always, always seek ways to save this Republic in a manner that does not involve war.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Thanksgiving Message

My Thanksgiving message for this year...

Access it here.