The Rat Pack were a group of hard drinking, lady chasing Hollywood stars from the 1960’s consisting of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. As well as acting together on various films and theatre productions the Rat Pack were known for their live appearances in Las Vegas together, often impromptu with Sinatra the headline act and Martin and Sammy Davis joining in as they saw fit. And it was these 3 that provide the bulk of the Rat Pack Christmas songs, most of which were recorded in a solo capacity. As well as the Las Vegas jaunts the Rat Pack made numerous TV appearances throughout the 60’s where they welcomed in the season together.
Of the songs included in this playlist you will probably be most familiar with that of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin but there are several loose limbed and vibrant number from Sammy Davis Jr. His brilliant ‘Jingle Bells’ is typical of the rich orchestral production values that you’d expect from a 1960’s Christmas record. Also featured is ‘Christmas Time All Over The World’ where he is joined by a child’s choir and his elaborate reworking of ‘The Christmas Song’. Both are lesser known Christmas songs that were deleted for many years before reappearing on ‘The Rat Pack Christmas’ compilation in 2002. Given the quality of Sammy’s tunes it is remarkable how they have slipped the attention of Christmas music enthuasists the world over.
Frank Sinatra is a staple of the Christmas music market and so his versions of the likes of ‘White Christmas’, ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ are certainties each year. You should also take a listen to his lesser known Christmas songs ‘We Wish You The Merriest’ (with Bing Crosby!) and ‘An Olde Fashioned Christmas’ which are delightful artefacts from that era. Dean Martin’s Christmas output is just as well-known as Sinatra’s, so much so that ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow’, ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ and ‘Christmas Blues’ have long since been certified as Christmas classics.
Published by SpiritOfXmas | g+ profile