Oak Ridge Boys
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Christmas Music Playlists with Oak Ridge Boys Songs
Keep It Country This Christmas With The Oak Ridge Boys
As is our want at Yuleplay we get to listen to a lot of artists making Christmas music and we can safely say that no group comes close to measuring up to the Oak Ridge Boys in term of their festive output. It might be well to do with the fact that this gospel country act has been around in some shape or form since the 1940's but the season seems to have become woven itself inextricably into their psyche. Christmas round their homes really must be something to savour with their prolific festive output more than enough to keep folks entertained over the 12 days. The current Oak Ridge Boys incarnation has been together since the early seventies and it is this iteration of the band that has produced the vast bulk of the band's seasonal material.
To record one Christmas album for most bands is a feat but the Oak Ridge Boys have seen fit to record 6. So a good starting point and a nice way to get a good overview of what they are capable of when dressed all in red are a pair of compilations. 2001's 'Holiday Essentials Series: I'll Be Home for Christmas' is perhaps the most indispensable of the collections with 'The Christmas Collection: Oak Ridge Boys' from the 20th Century Masters series a close second. For Oak Ridge Boys fans though you have to journey with them through their half a dozen dedicated Christmas albums to appreciate the scope of their festive achievements.
The Oaks’ first Christmas album was simply called ‘Christmas' and came out 1982. With 12-tracks evenly split between old time favourites like 'O Holy Night', 'Silent Night' and 'Silver Bells' and lively new numbers like the album's main single 'Thank God For Kids' which was written by band member Eddy Raven. 'Christmas' was an album with a bit of everything from original party tinder like 'Christmas Is Painting The Town', 'This is His Birthday!' and 'Christmas Carol' to quieter moments like 'Happy Christmas Eve' and 'Little One' which paint those idyllic Christmas scenes we all crave each year.
The Oaks' sought to repeat their festive trick in 1986 when their new 10-track LP 'Christmas Again' attempted to set the season alight. Split over two sides (remember this was a time when vinyl ruled the world!) with the first half of songs integrating old carols into more original Oak Ridge Boys tunes. So we had 'First Christmas Day' starting out as 'The First Noel' and a sumptuously reworked 'There's A New Kid In Town' twinned with 'Away In A Manager'. Side Two was a little lighter as tracks such as the hilarious 'Santa Bring Your Elves' tells the story of frantic parents trying to have the presents wrapped before the kids wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morn. While 'Christmas Again' is less likely to be available on record store shelves as its predecessor it is worth seeking out for wholesome numbers such as 'That's What I Like About Christmas'.
Nearly a full decade would pass before the Oak Ridge Boys yuletide follow-up 'Country Christmas Eve' was released in 1995. Their pleasing mix of old and new standards was hardly a surprise but then for many Christmas without the Oaks' on the stereo would just not be the same. And they can never be labelled as not giving it their all because amongst the usual material like 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' and 'Blue Christmas' were originals like the Joe Bonsall written 'Daddy's Christmas Eve' and a reprise of 'Thanks God For Kids' which had originally appeared many years before on 'Christmas'. With 'Jesus Is Born Today' triumphantly closing the album 'Country Christmas Eve' saw the Oak Ridge Boys consolidate their position as contemporary Christmas greats.
In 2002 the Oaks' were back with their fourth Christmas album 'An Inconvenient Christmas' as the hirsute foursome offered yet another batch of old and new (many of which were written by crooner Harry Connick, Jr.) festive tunes with their patented harmonies in evidence throughout. The album's promotional single was a rendition of 'Winter Wonderland' which as you might expect was dispatched in an uptempo country manner. The good times also played out merrily on new tracks 'The Most Inconvenient Christmas' and 'Hallelujah Chorus'. 'An Inconvenient Christmas' also houses religious moments like 'I Pray On Christmas' and 'My Son' which was written from the point of view of Mary during the nativity and 'Beneath the Christmas Tree' which implores people to reach out to those less fortunate than them over the holidays. Over 11 tracks the Oak Ridge Boys offered a plethora of engaging angles on a traditional season that never fails to brighten up our lives.
'Christmas Cookies' gave fans of the Oak Ridge Boys more than a crumb of festive comfort when this 2005 album became their 5th Christmas LP. Over an epic 14 tracks the boys tackled old chestnuts like 'Away In A Manager', 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' and 'Jingle Bells' and unveiled plenty of new stuff in 'Uncle Luther Made the Stuffin' and a banjo laden 'Back To Tennessee' in their familiar hoedown style. The album's headlining single 'Ordinary Days' proving that these Tennessee lads are always on the lookout for new ways to brighten up the season as well as providing moments for the rest of the year with their universal warm hearted charms. 'Christmas Cookies' was a collection of Christmas tracks destined for family airtime over the 2005 season and many more that followed in its wake.
The 12-song 2012 release 'Christmas Time's A-Coming' was the 6th entry in the ORB's roster of Christmas albums. By then just about everyone knew what to expect from the cherisable four-piece but that didn't stop their snow-filled charm offensive from winning over new fans. With proceedings leaning a little bit more towards renditions of old classics ('Santa Claus Is Coming to Town', 'All I Want for Christmas Is You', 'Here Comes Santa Claus') rather than new compositions making this one of the more immediate of the boys Christmas albums. As usual the fare on offer is well meaning and lively with the four-part harmonies giving the standards a brand new personality. It all added up to something that paved to way to the anticipated arrival of Christmas album number 7 from the country rocking Oaks!Author: Kevin