“Blue Christmas” (Elvis Presley acoustic Christmas cover song)

Originally posted 2011-12-16 04:00:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome, welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions in high definition!  Tonight, I bring you the second video from last week’s recording session.  This one is truly a classic off of one of my favorite all-time albums: Elvis Presley’s 1957 Christmas Album.

“Blue Christmas” is a song everyone knows.  And, I’m pretty sure that with tonight’s recording, that every single musician in the last 50 years has recorded a version of it.  I happen to do mine in Elvis’ style, but I love Brian Wilson’s version on the Beach Boys Christmas Album, too.  But, while Brian’s version is sad and melancholy, Elvis gives this song so much raw soul.  It’s his “uh-huh” singing at its best and is on my list of “perfect recordings”.  Those are the songs (like, for instance, the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows”) that couldn’t be any better- just the perfect blend of instrumentation, songwriting style, vocals, etc.

Of course, “Blue Christmas” was even recorded earlier than Elvis’s version- as early as 1948!  But, Elvis made it a rock song and that’s the version that everyone knows.

I got to use my colleague Noreen’s 12-string Gibson acoustic from 1967 on this one- what a great sound!  It was so much fun to play.  When you’re using that guitar in a room with good acoustics, you feel like you’re a one man band.  I’m loving this new setup.  And, this week’s video was much easier to edit- literally took just a minute until it was rendering.  It’s such a nice feeling to get something done right the first time.

On a personal note, things have never been busier.  Whether it’s decorating the house, going shopping, cooking, working, etc. I’m never just sitting and relaxing.  I have a feeling it’s going to be like this until after the New Year, but I tell ya- I need some more sleep!  I’m looking forward to a couple of work parties, a couple of get-togethers at the new house, and general Christmas cheer.

If you haven’t done it yet, head on over to WCJM Free Internet Radio at wcjm.com and click on the Moore Hits in the Morning radio in the center of the screen.  You’ll then be taken to all of our radio shows that you can listen to absolutely free- click on any of the numerous Christmas shows and get ready to laugh!  They’re really entertaining and I listen to each of them at least twice each Christmas season to get me in that yuletide mood.

Okay, off to bed now- make sure to keep checking back this week for more great articles and videos from the Only Music Blog- The Laptop Sessions!

“Holiday” (Bee Gees Cover)

Originally posted 2009-12-02 15:26:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to the first-ever Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music video in high definition, which I’ve dubbed, “LSHD”.  I’m so excited to be on the cutting-edge of technology and hope that more YouTube viewers will see my cover song music videos because of the enhanced new look.

But, what a project doing this for the first time…  Even on my fast Mac Pro, it still took almost an hour just to render this video, and then the audio and video sync kept going off.  So, it was a project that took WAY more time than anticipated.  I think I have a pretty good system going now, so I hope the future music videos will be a bit easier to produce.

Tonight, I enlisted the help of  my colleague Noreen’s 1967 Gibson 12-string acoustic guitar.  It’s pretty sweet, as you see in the video, but also sounds pretty great, as well.  It’s really easy to play and has a very powerful sound.  As soon as I picked it up a couple weeks ago, “Holiday” from the Bee Gees just popped into my head.  Something about that 12-string sound that just reminded me of this song.  So, I knew I had to have it for this video, and I knew I wanted something special for my first one in HD.

Actually, this is also my first music video from my new house, which I share with my new wife.  Yes, the awesome studio is long gone now, but I’ve got a pretty good setup here in one of our spare bedrooms.  Someday I’ll rebuild the studio, but I don’t think it’ll be in the house.  We’ll see.

“Holiday” is one of those songs I’ve known for all my 25 years.  My father put it on his famous Christmas compilation cassette tape set and we heard it every year.  It took me quite a long time to realize that this wasn’t necessarily a Christmas song, though I do hear it on the oldies stations during this time of year.  I thought it would be a nice way to usher in the “season”.  Actually, there are a lot of songs that aren’t really Christmas songs, but I’ll always consider them to be: “Another Morning” from the Moody Blues (off of Days of Future Passed, which is about “a child’s world”, which my father thought reminded him of Christmas), “Eyes of a Child” by the Moody Blues (off of To Our Children’s Children’s Children, which my father took to mean like the birth of a child, like Jesus), “Christmas” by the Who (which is only loosely based on the holiday of Christmas), and “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison (which is a song praising God, but says nothing about the holiday).  Again, they’ll always be Christmas songs to me.

I’m glad I got to know this song- it’s a good tune.  The early Bee Gees were really good and I enjoy many of their early hits.  They’re a band that really re-invented themselves in the seventies.  It’s almost like two completely different bands.  Plus, you know I love a group of brothers that write their own songs and sing in harmony, so it’s a perfect fit!

I never really understood the words to this song, but now I know why- it’s because I still had the kid’s understanding of the lyrics that I thought I “learned” when I was little.  I mean, I learned the words maybe 20 years ago, but my vocabulary then was not what it is now.  So, the line, “put the soft pillow on my head” always came out as “but there’s something upon my head”.  No wonder it never made any sense to me.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my first LSHD video and hope you’ll come back next week for another (and a REAL) Christmas classic!  Welcome to the new era of the Laptop Sessions.

“Same Old Lang Syne” (Dan Fogelberg Christmas Song Cover)

Originally posted 2007-12-20 00:59:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone. A somber Laptop Session today, as I pay tribute to Dan Fogelberg, who wrote one of the best songs of all time in “Same Old Lang Syne”. No matter what generation you’re from, I’m sure you can relate to this song. Meeting up with someone from your past that evokes such strong memories is one of those experiences that just seems like part of life.  I can’t explain how much I enjoy “Same Old Lang Syne”.  The song is really the anti-Christmas song because of how somber the tone/mood is.  Honestly, it isn’t really even a Christmas song.  It’s just a song about Mr. Fogelberg (which is clearly a Jewish name, isn’t it?) was out one Christmas Eve and how he ran into an old girlfriend.  The reminisced about the old times they had together and even though they had a good time, they both knew that they’d moved on in life.

When the woman leaves, Dan’s left with “that old familiar pain” that he felt back when he had relationships in his school years.  I remember that pain.  It’s a pain I never want to feel again.  Though, as I said in my song, “The Game” from Masters of the Universe’s “Homestead’s Revenge” album, “Don’t you tell me you don’t miss the game.”  You should really listen to that album- click here!  There’s a certain thrill about the “game” of it all- it’s exciting, but most times it leaves you heartbroken.  Of course, Dan Fogelberg talked about that sentiment perfectly in “Same Old Lang Syne” when he said, “The snow turned into rain.”

This song always made my brother and I think of Christmas being over.  And I guess that’s the realization Dan Fogelberg came to when he wrote this song, too.  He realized that his old flame had died.  Of course, growing up, our take on the song was this: all the presents have been opened and now we have to clean up!  Doesn’t exactly have the same sentiment, right? :-)

Of course, Dan wrote many other great songs, but his passing makes the song even more poignant now.

The one funny thing is that I was planning on doing this music video the day BEFORE he died anyway because it’s always been one of my favorite Christmas-time songs. Instead, I make this acoustic cover song music video a tribute.

To all Dan Fogelberg fans- I’m sorry for your loss and I hope, as I do with all the Laptop Sessions cover song videos, that I’ve done the song justice here.


“Jingle Bell Rock” (Bobby Helms Christmas Cover)

Originally posted 2007-12-16 19:29:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Part 4 of this four part Laptop Sessions extravaganza comes to you with another Christmas song!

This classic tune by Bobby Helms has been covered by almost every artist since the song came out. But, I figured the Laptop Sessions could use a jolt of a song everyone knows and can sing to.  But, you rarely hear an acoustic cover version of “Jingle Bell Rock”, though.  Most of the time, you’ll hear a country artist sing it or someone will try to turn it into a slow, crooning song.  Not me, though- I stay pretty true to the original song.  But, who says that you can’t rock out on acoustic guitar?  Of course, I’m using my nylon-stringed (or “gut” stringed) classical guitar that I bought while on vacation in Italy with one of my dearest friends.  I don’t think many people would associate a classical guitar with “Jingle Bell Rock”, but I like to make my acoustic cover videos have an intimate setting.  It allows me to sing at a nicer volume without having to worry about getting drowned out by my steel-stringed acoustic guitar.

As far as Christmas songs go, you can’t get more popular than “Jingle Bell Rock”.  Sure, some Christmas songs may be AS popular as this classic Bobby Helms tune, but this song is instantly recognizable.  Well, that’s kind of a given, seeing that you’ll probably hear it about a hundred times each Christmas.  A few years back, my free internet radio station, WCJM Internet Radio, did a Christmas show where we wanted to find out what the best original Christmas song was.  I chose the term “original song” because so many classic standards like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town are simply untouchable.  We at WCJM Internet Radio wanted to find out which Christmas song other than those standards was the best.  And, whatever song won would be “retired” as a classic itself.  Well, “Jingle Bell Rock” was very close to the top of the list.  Oh, you didn’t think I would just give the list of the Best Original Christmas Songs away here on the music blog, right?  You’re going to have to head over to WCJM Radio by clicking here to find out for yourself!  Remember, all WCJM Internet Radio programs are absolutely free to listen to online.  They’re hilarious and I know you’ll become an instant fan.

So, sit back and sing along to this Bobby Helms Christmas cover song music video- it’s another step on my journey to make your holiday season great!