Another wonderful recording of “O Holy Night”

O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas carol.  In an earlier post, I put up a video of Josh Groban singing it.  Old Buckeye responded with a link to this beautiful rendition by Ernie Ford (whom I always knew just as a funny guest on the I Love Lucy show, and Gordon MacRae, one of my favorite sing movie stars of the late 40s and early 50s.  It’s so lovely, I had to share it with you.

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  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    An interesting historical fact…maybe…about this carol. I posted the following story several years ago:

    On Christmas eve 2006, a few shipboard radio operators–listening through the static for signals in Morse code–heard something that they had never before heard on the radio, and that most had never expected to hear. A human voice. 

    The first voice radio broadcast was conducted by Reginald Fessenden, originating from his experimental station at Brant Rock, Massachussetts. After introducing the transmission, Fessenden played a recording of Handel’s “Largo” and then sang “O Holy Night” while accompanying himself on the violin. Fessenden’s wife and a friend were then intended to conduct a Bible reading, but in the first-ever case of mike fright, they were unable to do it, so the reading was conducted by Fessenden as well. 

    The signals were created by a high-frequency AC generator, an electromechanical device created by Ernst Alexanderson of GE and modified by Fessenden. The transmission took place at around 80KHZ. (Low frequency compared to today’s normal radio, where the AM band starts at around 500KHZ; high frequency compared to the 60HZ that rotating machines normally produce.) I believe that the generator was powered by a steam turbine. 
     
    More recently, questions have been raised about whether this broadcast really took place…Fessenden didn’t write anything about it until many years later…but the preponderance of historical evidence seems to be that it is a true story. 

  • NancyB

    Dear Bookworm,

    This is my most favorite Christmas (Advent) music of all time – O Come, O Come Emmanuel – the video is done with gorgeous computer graphics and Wynnona Judd sings.  It gives me chills………listening and watching
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOAtLJeV7yk&list=FLQpSn0Y5GnMkJYzZdtgHdTQ&index=63&feature=plpp_video
     
     

  • Danny Lemieux

    This is post-Christmas, but “In the Bleak Midwinter” is my contribution of favorites. I know that my fellow Episcopalians /Anglicans on this blog will appreciate this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRobryliBLQ

     

  • NancyB

    To Danny:

    That was beautiful – the music and the videography.  The music has a quiet quality – like that of being in the woods during winter when all is muted by snowfall and the outside world has receded.
     

  • Danny Lemieux

    That is what I like about this hymn so much, Nancy. It seems perfect for those crisp, clear midwinter days when we enter into quiet contemplation even as we begin to yearn for the first signs of renewal. Our church always plays this hymn in frosty, frozen January on the Epiphany. It is very contemplative. Thank you for your comments. 

    Here is “O Holy Night”, sung by the Kings College (Cambridge) Boy’s Choir:

  • Danny Lemieux

    Here is another favorite: how many remember “walking in the air”? Here is Welsh treble Aled Jones singing a duet with his younger self, the one that made this song famous. This song has alway been so uplifting to me. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    Whoops! I meant “with his grown-up self”. 
     

  • Caped Crusader

    David Foster
    An interesting historical fact…maybe…about this carol. I posted the following story several years ago:
    On Christmas eve 2006, a few shipboard radio operators–listening through the static for signals in Morse code–heard something that they had never before heard on the radio, and that most had never expected to hear. A human voice.


    ??????  Morse code in 2006 and Fessenden’s death in 1932????–truly a Christmas miracle !!!!!

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Good catch…1906!

     

  • Caped Crusader

    Gesu Bambino one of my favorites; 3 versions and lyrics.
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhNahhK1I20
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naY5GgnF-q0
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nChsp_KuCZQ
     
    When blossoms flower e’er ‘mid the snows,
    Upon a winter night,
    Was born the child, the Christmas rose,
    The king of love and light.
    The angels sang, the shepherds sang,
    The grateful earth rejoiced;
    And at his blessed birth the stars
    Their exultation voiced.

    O come let us adore him
    O come let us adore him
    O come let us adore him
    Christ the lord.

    Again the heart with rapture glows
    To greet the holy night,
    That gave the world it’s Christmas rose,
    Its king of love and light
    Let ev’ry voice acclaim his name,
    The grateful chorus swell
    From paradise to earth he came
    That we with him might dwell.

    Chorus

  • Ellen

    I have lots of Christmas favorites, but I have heard O Holy Night butchered so often that I’ve grown to dislike it.  I rather like Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence and Creator of the Stars of Night.  Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols is lovely.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    My grandmother LOVED Tennessee Ernie Ford, so we watched his show whenever I was up at her house on the right night (which I forget).  It was great – a variety show with emphasis on music, and Ernie always sang with his guests, and there were also soloes.  I’ve loved him ever since.
     
    At the end, he closed with (something like)….”Good Night, and if the Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise, we’ll see y’all back here next week…..and Bless your little pea-pickin’ hearts!”
     
    Anybody else remember that?
     
    :-)

  • Caped Crusader

    For Sure!!!