I’ve moved around the country quite a bit in the past 20 years and so when it turns to Christmas time I, naturally, feel sentimental for Christmas in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA.
I have so many great memories of shopping in Center City with my grandmother: lunch with Santa (and snowball ice cream!), Dickens Village, riding the monorail above Wanamaker’s toy department, the boar statue at Strawbridge’s. But the pinnacle of it all was the Wanamaker’s light and fountain show. The voice of John Facenda meant Christmas to me (though it means football to most folks…).
And so I decided to put together a mix that would celebrate Christmas in Philly. The focus is on artists from (or associated with) Philly.
Here’s the track list:
01 – Mel Torme – One Little Snowflake
02 – Facenda Intro
03 – The Four Aces – The Christmas Tree
04 – Quaker City String Band Featuring The Quaker City Kids – Happy Holiday and White Christmas
05 – Facenda – Nutcracker
06 – Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra – Waltz of the Flowers
07 – Mike Douglas – Silver Bells
08 – Nelson Eddy – Jingle Bells
09 – Philadelphia Brass Ensemble – The Twelve Days of Christmas
10 – Facenda – Hop aboard…
11 – Greater Kensington String Band – Winter Wonderland
12 – Eddie Fisher – Here Comes Santa Claus
13 – Pearl Bailey – A Five Pound Box of Money
14 – Larry Ferrari – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Let It Snow!
15 – Al Martino – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
16 – Kitty Kallen – The Spirit of Christmas
17 – Facenda – Thrill to…
18 – Larry Ferrari – Sleigh Ride
19 – Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
20 – Eddie Fisher – Christmas in My Hometown
21 – Barron Smith at the John Wanamaker Organ – Deck The Halls
22 – Facenda – Happiest Holiday ever…
23 – Philadelphia Brass Ensemble – We Wish You A Merry Christmas
The Torme piece is from a promotional 45 that he did for WCAU radio/TV in which he adds some local color to his song, One Little Snowflake.
What makes me smile most is the sound of the Philly kids singing with the Quaker City String Band. Those Philly accents could cut through the Wall Women Bridge….
Enjoy this musical stroll through a Philly Xmas.