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Newton's Laws of Christmas Commotion
Wayne Newton is known by many as Mr. Las Vegas for his long running entertainment shows in that city. His list of chart hit singles stretches as far back to the 1950's and includes 'Danke Schoen' which he recorded with the Newton Brothers. Given that he's all about the entertainment (credited with over 30,000 performances) it is no surprise that he has bolstered his armoury with Christmas songs over the years. This has resulted in 2 Christmas albums, a scattering of dedicated festive singles and an array of appearances on Christmas compilations down through the years.
His first venture into seasonal matters occurred in 1966 when his 12-track 'Song For A Merry Christmas' album laid a well-worn template that offered renditions on all the old favourites like 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer', ' Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! and 'The Little Drummer Boy'. Not that this should put you off because Newton's voice has such charm as to add plenty of individual nuance to a set of songs that have enchanted generation after generation. Apart from the old regulars there were also 2 new songs that rarely get an out in December. 'Christmas In Washington Square' is a loungey affair with sumptuous arrangements and Wayne’s slightly effeminate singing. 'Christmas Journey' is an equally slow march that might be perfect for those rare occasions over the holidays where a little bit of peace is all your crave.
In 1979 Wayne released a single called 'It Could Have Been Such A Wonderful Christmas' with the title track on the a-side and 3 further songs making up the b-side. 'Silver Bells' and 'The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire' had appeared on his debut Christmas album but the disco orientated 'Jingle Bell Hustle' was brand new. The same year Newton also released another 4-track vinyl single called 'Silent Night' which again pulled mostly from his earlier LP but did also include a new downtempo track called 'Christmas In The USA'.
Wayne released his second Christmas album 'Merry Christmas from Wayne Newton' in 1990 which gathered many of the tracks that had been released on his festive singles since his yuletide debut in the sixties. This time there was plenty of variety between old favourites and new Christmas ditties all delivered in Wayne's showy flamboyant Las Vegas style. It was all about the glitz and glamour and for a season like Christmas it is a perfect fit. And while 'Merry Christmas from Wayne Newton' had its fair share of previously released material there was plenty of new stuff such as 'It's the Season', 'Blue Snow at Christmas', and the ranch based 'Cowboy's Christmas'.
Outside of his single and album releases Wayne gave away several songs to compilations that were all collected on a 1995 release of his called 'Christmas Songs'. A compilation called 'Merry Christmas' in 1975 had contained his version of 'Blue Christmas', in 2003 he had 'Time Of The Season' on the otherwise non-festive ‘Who's Your Daddy?’, 2004’s 3-CD Christmas collection 'Essential Christmas' included his version of ‘Frosty The Snowman’ and the collection called 'Holiday Magic' released in 2012 contains a song called 'Remember Me At Christmas' by Wayne. Also included on 'Christmas Songs' were ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ and ‘Christmas Prayer’ which had initially appeared on a DJ only promo release from way back in 1968.Author: Kevin