A DJ’s HOLIDAY PLAYLIST: TEN GREAT SONGS YOU MIGHT NOT HEAR ON THE RADIO

18 Dec
     Having worked in my father’s Brooklyn record shop Music Factory since before I could even see over the counter, the passing of Thanksgiving meant the day all retailers dream of (and the day all employees dread, hence the aptly named), Black Friday. Up until my father was forced to close up shop due to the booming online market, this day would mark the beginning of the holiday season. For me it meant a great deal of in-store sign designing for the great x-mas window display, and the onslaught of holiday music.
     I’ve always been sort of the ‘black sheep’ in my family, and would argue with my Dad day in and out about the music played in the shop. My father would be furious that I would want to play tracks nobody had ever heard of in the store, when it was Britney Spears or Debbie Gibson that was putting food on our table, LOL. He wasn’t wrong, but I always felt kind of cheated by the radio’s five song  playlist even early on. My 1975 discovery and love of Kiss (you know, the band with the four drag queens in kabuki makeup that spit blood, breathed fire, flew around the stage in 7 inch heels and eventually blew the entire stage up) and the public’s complete disregard and disgust of them made me realize if I wanted to find new and different music, it was going to take a lot of work. With the exception of ‘Rock & Roll All Night‘, Kiss survived for over 35 years with virtually no radio support whatsoever, and are arguably one of the most successful and influential rock and roll bands in the world. Impressive.
      It was this argument with my father and interest in non-radio friendly music that really drove me to seek out the weirdest and most exciting new sounds I could find (to drive Dad crazy) and more importantly it lead me to become the DJ that I am. I don’t know about you guys, but if I never hear ‘Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer‘ again it’ll be too soon.
     Now don’t get me wrong, I love holiday music! I still play Mariah Carey‘s Christmas album just as much as the next guy, and you will occasionally hear some of the songs on my playlist on the radio, as many have now acquired cult status, but here it is complete with iTunes size artwork to download, my official ‘Off the Wall Holiday Favorites’ Christmas Playlist:
YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH – THURL RAVENSCROFT – Probably my all time favorite, I love dry, sarcastic humor and I loved the Grinch as a kid because he was always so annoyed with everyone for being happy. What can I say, I was a weird kid, lol.

THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY OF THE YEAR – VIDEOCRAFT CHORUS

– Being a misfit myself, I’ve always identified and loved the misfit toys (especially the fish that swam in jelly!). What a sweet song!

CHRISTMAS JOLLIES – THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA – A Music Factory holiday staple, somehow I still love listening to this album on Christmas though we must have heard it 500 times a day during the holiday season. The greatest Disco Christmas album by one of the greatest Disco bands of all time – The Salsoul Orchestra!

DAVID BOWIE AND BING CROSBY – LITTLE DRUMMER BOY – I could watch David Bowie blow his nose and still be mesmerized. This is a beautiful rendition of the classic Christmas performed by the odd but brilliant combination of two great singers, Bowie and Bing (Ba-Ba-Ba Boooh) Crosby.

THE KINKS – FATHER CHRISTMAS – As I’ve said before, I have a really dry, sarcastic sense of humor. I love this hilarious song, where Ray Davies tells Santa he’s got no time for silly toys and to fork over some money! Can’t imagine why you don’t hear this one on the radio.
THE WAITRESSES – CHRISTMAS WRAPPING – I’ve always been a big fan of The Waitresses ever since I first heard “I Know What Boys Like” way back in 1982. This is another cleverly written song that has become a cult Christmas classic. The Waitresses also wrote and performed the theme song for one of my favorite 80’s TV shows, Square Pegs. Sadly, lead singer Patty Donahue died of lung cancer back in 1996. She was a good friend to my old pal musician/producer Greg Cohen, and will be forever missed.
PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION – ANOTHER LONELY CHRISTMAS – Hello, my name is DJ Uri Dalal and I am a Princeaholic. This beautiful and ridiculously sad song falls under the ‘If Anyone but Prince wrote this I would never listen to it‘ category which I think contains some of the best music ever written.
HEAT AND SNOW MISER THEME – I had to rip this from the DVD to create an MP3 to play at parties, but it is out there somewhere. Brilliant and funny as hell, great for the kids to dance around to.
SLEIGH RIDE – THE RONETTES – In my own humble opinion, the greatest Christmas album of all time. There just isn’t a bad track on this one folks. Often imitated, never duplicated, the genius production of Phil Spector and his ‘Wall of Sound“. Something about the sultry, sexy voice of Roni Spector just makes the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up. I also LOVE they way she did her eyeliner lol! Super-duper HOT. This is what it’s all about for me. American Pop music at one of it’s finest moments.
CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME) – DARLENE LOVE – With a name like Darlene Love, how can you go wrong? As I just said, often imitated and covered, but never duplicated is this version of the Christmas classic on what is my personal favorite Holiday album, “A Christmas Gift to You From Phil Spector”.
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