The Last The Week That Was of 2015

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by André Champagne and Cold Duck, for the holidays and all year ’round.

My family always got André Champagne for the holidays, because it was usually on sale at Dominick’s (a now-departed grocery store chain in the Chicago area) this time of year. We were hardly connoisseurs, so what did we know?

The Week That Was

The Christmas extravaganza for Monday’s Music Moves Me continued, and I posted six songs, including an a capella version of the Spanish villancico “Ríu Rí Chíu” sung beautifully by The Monkees, Leon Redbone and Dr. John singing “Frosty The Snowman,” Judy Garland with the movie version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (a bit more melancholy than the one popularized by Frank Sinatra a few years later), a couple of Christmas classics by Burl Ives, and a song by a Filipino rondalla group that a couple we’ve known since my days with Music Ministry are members of. Elen liked the video of Leon Redbone and Dr. John. As I told her, Leon Redbone by himself is great, Leon and Dr. John reach new levels of greatness.

Two for Tuesday featured the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Boudleau and Felice Bryant, best known by those of us not as familiar with country music as the writers of many of the hits by The Everly Brothers. My dear blogging friend Louise is a country music fan, and she says they were legendary. I looked it up: They’re members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Rockabilly Hall of fame, and earned 59 BMI country, pop, and R&B music awards. I also didn’t realize they wrote “Rocky Top,” used by the University of Tennessee as their fight song. I thought it was an old folk song or something. The things you learn in this job. Another thing I learned was that Nazareth’s song “Love Hurts” had been written by the Bryants, and the Everlys did it originally, something that also surprised Lauralynn.

On Wednesday For My Wife, Mary asked for the story of putting up the first Christmas tree in our new home in the suburbs of Chicago. Brother Kip corrected my memory, saying that Tex had, in fact, tied the tree up, but in a manner that nevertheless allowed it to fall. Brother Pat on Facebook corrected me on the height of the living room ceiling (eight feet, not nine). Both remembered him as a wonderful man (and he was) but no engineer (and he wasn’t). He wasn’t much of an electrician, either; he once installed an outlet in the kitchen so that, when you pushed down the lever on the toaster, the lights went on. Shanjeniah said their cat knocked the tree over one year, after which they’d string theirs up with picture wire. People ask why we don’t decorate for Christmas. That’s why. Michele commented that every family needs a story like that one. As you’ll see over the next year, we’ve got a million of ’em.

One-Liner Wednesday featured a line from a Facebook post by our pastor, Father Fernando. He was offering his thoughts on what appears to be an apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe that appeared in one of the windows of the parish center on December 12. My post for the day has links to it as well as to a news story done by the local CBS affiliate about it. Father Fernando was very diplomatic about it; I understand the pastor emeritus, who said one of the Masses Christmas Eve, was a little more blunt. He said in his homily that, if people needed an apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to repent, pray, and be charitable, there was something wrong with them. (Monsignor is a wonderful man and well-loved by the members of the parish, but doesn’t mince words. That’s why he’s well-loved.) Madilyn said she was certain there was a non-supernatural explanation for it, but if it inspires people to do good, it doesn’t matter. I feel the same way.

For Writer’s Workshop, I listed seven of my favorite nostalgia channels on YouTube. Some were music-oriented, some TV-oriented, and several had videos that provide a unique view of the world as it was. Check them out, I think you’d like them.

Friday was Christmas Day, and I gave The Friday Five a rest. I did share my favorite scene from my favorite Christmas movie, The Bishop’s Wife, starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, and Monty Woolley. Robert Nathan, the author of the original novel, and Robert E. Sherwood and Leonardo Bercovici, who wrote the screenplay, deserved an Oscar. The movie was nominated for Best Picture in 1948, along with Miracle on 34th Street, Great Expectations, Crossfire, and the eventual winner, Gentleman’s Agreement.

Wow. They don’t make them like that anymore, do they?

Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “socks.” I used the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite topics, the Chicago White Sox. Bee Halton said that, as a German living in the UK, she had no idea what I was talking about, which I fully understand; I’m just as befuddled by football, be it American, Rugby, Australian Rules, or soccer. And cricket? No clue. An Australian friend of mine said that cricket was what you watched on Sunday afternoon when you were lying on the couch…

So, that’s it for this week. Join me this week for some aprés Christmas music, another songwriting team, another one-liner, and other assorted madness. See you soon!