Let Sandi Sing A Christmas Song For Every Festive Occasion
Sandi Patty is a Christian music artist who has successfully negotiated the crossover to a mainstream pop audience. Along the way she has become one of the most in demand performers commanding huge appearance fees. This is no doubt helped by television appearances of which some were seasonal in nature, one of which in 2006 called 'Sandi Patty's Yuletide Special' included performances from those seasonal specialists the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Sandi has also written a Christmas book called ‘Merry Christmas With Love’ which came out in 1994 and contains lots of her loving Christmas tales.
Sandi's romance with the season can be traced back as far as 1983 when her debut Christmas album 'The Gift Goes On' was released. This release was deeply religious in tone with no secular numbers to be found. For all that Sandi offered plenty of variety with new material rubbing shoulders with the classics like 'O Holy Night!' that we've come to love as well as a number of medley's that were just made for family sing-songs.
It would be 9 years before Sandi would record her next Christmas album and it was worth the wait as her 1992 release 'Hallmark Christmas: Celebrate Christmas!' saw her teaming up with the London Symphony Orchestra. With their lush backing Sandi's voice soared skywards and in the process gave the season a vivacious soundtrack. With her song choices erring on the side of caution there was still much to enjoy with the likes of 'The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)', 'Silver Bells' and 'Angels We Have Heard' always good for another rendition especially when they are marked by Patty’s brilliant vocals. This Hallmark Cards limited release (part of their much vaunted Christmas series) also included several tracks from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Canadian Brass which gave the release an added allure.
Given the limited run and distribution of Sandi's Hallmark Christmas album it was no surprise that her next festive offering in 1996 reprised much of the same material. 'O Holy Night!' came at a difficult time for Patti on a personal level but the one thing that shone brightly though this album (which included some extra bonus tracks like 'My Favorite Things') was her distillation of the true Christmas experience. If a medley containing 'There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays/I'll Be Home for Christmas' as song by Sandi doesn't cheer you up then perhaps Christmas is not the season for you. 1996 also saw Sandi release her second Hallmark Christmas album 'It's Christmas! Sandi Patty & Peabo Bryson'. With the king of R&B Peabo Bryson contributing this was another exemplary offering for the holidays. Sandi and Peabo both sang 4 songs individually with Sandi in typically ebullient form on her 'It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas', 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel', 'The First Noel' and 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'. There were also two duets on the album with 'How Great Our Joy!' and 'Go Tell it on the Mountain' offer a nice counterbalance to the 8 solo recordings.
In 2005 Sandi returned to the season with her 'Yuletide Joy' album which was bedecked in artwork of her dressed up as Mrs Claus. All tastefully done as you might expect, much like the music which portrayed Sandi as the consummate Christmas veteran that she was becoming. While her previous releases concentrated on a wide ranging spectrum of seasonal events 'Yuletide Joy' focuses on the Nativity. So songs such as 'Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child', 'Star of Bethlehem' and the medley 'A Christmas Carol /Worship the King' were the norm with the 'Jingle Bells Ala Sandra' (a wild and wonderful treat) and 'Home for the Holidays/I'll Be Home for Christmas' offering levity from the overtly religious tone.
With such a bulging catalogue of festive releases a compilation of Sandi’s best Christmas tunes was inevitable and in 2006 a collection called ‘The Voice of Christmas’ was released. This was a spellbinding listen with songs such as ‘I Wonder As I Wander’ and ‘I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day’ offering a gorgeous warm-up for the holidays. But one compilation would never suffice for a soprano as great as Patty and in 2012 ‘The Voice of Christmas, Volume 2’ sought to put a comprehensive bow on the singer’s best contributions to the season. In between these two retrospectives a CD/DVD called ‘Christmas Live’ was released in 2009. Sandy recorded some of her favourites Christmas numbers for the occasion with the backing of a full orchestra. Amongst the scattering of her biggest Christmas songs was a duet with her husband Don Peslis on ‘The Prayer’. And like the other numbers it was a huge treat.Author: Kevin