Yes its got to be done, we may have lost Top of the Pops on a weekly basis but Christmas would not be Christmas without a special edition of the classic Top of the Pops.
I was a bit worried about watching it to be honest as I thought I wouldn't know any of the music on it but I did. If you've been listening to the radio throughout the year then you too will recognise many tunes. There was a Christmas special on Christmas Day and a New Year special on 29th December. You can catch up on the iplayer if you missed them.
I always loved Top of the Pops as you could see what the artists looked like. If you are anything like me I listen to may popular tracks on Radio 2 and sing along but then always want to put a face to a name. Well with TOTP you can, well could do. I always remember seeing Boy George for the first time in the 80's on TOTP and thought.....oh yes!!! While the rest of the country were wondered whether he was a girl or a boy.
Well these festive editions reviewed all the great tunes of 2018. The programmes were presented by Fearne Cotton and Radio 1's Clara Amfo and included artists such as Clean Bandit, Rita Ora, George Ezra, Sigrid, Tom Odell & Rae Morris and Christine and the Queens. Jess Glynne featured a lot and Freya Ridings who I didn't realise was the daughter of the voice of Daddy Pig from Peppa Pig, the things you learn eh?
I was excited to see Lennon Stella make an appearance with Jonas Blue and Liam Payne. If you are an avid fan of Nashville you will know Lennon Stella plays Maddie in the series, she looked fab and so different with dark hair. I think we will hear more from her in 2019, well I hope so. I'm a big Years & Years fan, they were my favs, but I did enjoy the dancing Santas and of course we all had to sing along with Ladbaby to the Christmas number one 'We Built This City On Sausage Rolls'.
What a year for music and I would struggle to follow a regular TOTP I think as I don't keep on track on some popular music of today's age. I'm not a big Radio 1 listener and tend to settle for the smoother tones of Radio 2 but hey I think I do ok. It doesn't matter really does it? Music is pretty universal and with You Tube etc we all get to tune in to all sorts of music.
I loved seeing TOTP back and enjoyed celebrating this years music. I do hope it makes a come back every year as life would just not be the same without a Top of the Pops now and again. Well I wish you a Happy New Year from Music Monday and please join me again in the new year. I will be back tomorrow for a New Years Day Teapot Tuesday so join me then.
For now though, stay safe, have fun and take care of yourselves.
Oh this is the most beautiful tv series I've seen in a while. This is where we get to see how music not only brings people together but how it acts as therapy and a great healer too. When I sing with a choir (well try to sing) I can feel every single worry go away even if it's just for a while. My mind is transported into a place where nothing else matters except the song I'm singing and receiving a great feeling of satisfaction when the learning of a new song comes together.
I suffer from anxiety and I feel singing helps to relax so when I saw thirteen year old Jasmine overcoming her chronic anxiety in episode one of 'This Is My Song' I could totally relate to how she felt. Blimey I was in tears, she was so good. You could see how worried she was but all that seemed to fall away when she sang Andra Day's 'Rise Up' and what a song to sing. She felt this was the song that had helped her through some tough times and the lyrics are just so apt for her story.
This episode also saw twenty three year old Jordan team up with his grandad Ronnie to sing and record Ben E King's 'Stand By Me'. Ronnie has trouble remembering things at present and worried about not being able to remember the lyrics but when they started to sing he just never had a problem at all.
There are only two episodes in the series and the next one featured Charles who wanted to record a song he had learnt on his guitar after receiving a life saving double lung transplant. This would be his first real performance with his new lungs and my goodness they were in fine form. He belted out Ella Henderson's 'Yours' only twelve weeks post op which I think is a blooming brave thing to do but what a way to celebrate this new lease of life.
Bethany's story got me blubbing like a baby as she recorded 'I'm Your's' by Jason Mraz. She lost her father a few years ago and was about to get married so she wanted to include her dad in some way on her big day. Bethany had some old recordings which she had made singing with her dad and some of the recording with him playing guitar was able to be mixed in with the track she would sing in the studio. This track was then played as the first dance at her wedding. I know right....how lovely is that?
There were other stories such including a reunion of the 60's band Earl Preston and the TT's whom came together again to record a track and another lovely lady who wanted to record a track for her father complete with steel drums, I just love the sound of steel drums.....that was awesome and a lovely proud moment for that family.
With the help of big music producers such as Sister Bliss from Faithless, Andrew Hunt, Naughty Boy and vocal coaches such as Mark De-Lisser and CeCe Sammy all these people were able to fulfil a dream using the power of music. These big names in the music business gave these amateur musicians the confidence to go and stand up to a mic in a recording studio and record a song that would be there for them as a memory forever.
If you get the chance to catch up with one series over the Christmas period then do take a look at this as it's just brilliant. You can find it on the BBC iplayer but do have your tissues ready as there are some very precious moments which will make you blub a bit.
Great isn't it? Music.....it is just an amazing thing. We listen to it for enjoyment, it can make us happy and also help us through tough times too. It can act as therapy to those who need it and some songs can make us laugh so what is not to like? I cannot imagine my life without music.
As one of my all time favourite song goes 'music was my first love and it will be my last, music of the future and music of the past.....to live without my music would be impossible to do, in this world of troubles, my music pulls me through'
(Music by John Miles)
I will be back tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday (yes even on Christmas Day) but for now take care and have a lovely Christmas.
I'm going to so surprise you with one of my favourite Christmas songs. It's only the Hawaiian Christmas song 'Mele Kalikimaka'. I love this song, it just makes me smile and I think it helps with all the dull winter weather by bringing a little bit of sunshine to my Christmas.
It has been covered by so many people but I prefer the Bing Crosby version. This is where I may divide my parents as it features the Andrews Sisters who my mum doesn't care for too much but it has that Hawaiian sound which my dad would be so proud of me for liking. He was a big fan of the odd Hawaiian tune as we were growing up before progressing onto to Herb Albert and Tijuana Brass, ask my brothers they will pull the same face as I am now thinking about it.....probably a good thing I'm not on You Tube right now.
When you need break from the ordinary and don't get me wrong I love the traditional songs but I like a break so I'm escaping to the sunshine. It must be so lovely to spend Christmas in Hawaii and to be fair if I do go I know how to say Merry Christmas in Hawaii. I'm off to make a grass skirt and ditch the snow. Cocktails all round. Oh ya can't beat a bit of Bing Crosby at Christmas.
So hey have a very Mele Kalikimaka and a happy new year, not sure how to say that yet. Bing really needed to make a sequel to this song didn't he? Maybe they don't care too much for new year and Christmas just goes on and on, maybe I need to go and find out.
Oh stop dreaming Sue from the Brew and get back to worrying about whether Chris Rea is actually ever going to make it home for Christmas. It's been years and I say give us three rings when you get home Chris but no not heard anything yet. Got to love a trier, he's probably still going round the M25. I've been married had two kids and been separated in the time it's taking him to drive home. Poor lad.
Let me know what your favourite Christmas song is, bet it's not from Hawaii....oh no but I'd be interested to know. I will be back tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now you take care.
My son wants a piano. I don't know who to blame, Elton for his Christmas advert or Freddie Mercury and Queen. It did start initially with the first viewing of Bohemian Rhapsody and he is learning Bo Rap on his keyboard. Yes he had a keyboard a few years ago and didn't play it for ages until just recently. We went to see Bohemian Rhapsody again and yes the love is definitely there for the keys.
I have listened and he sounds pretty good so far and the inspiration is spreading to songs like 'Let It Be' by The Beatles so I'm thinking this may be getting serious. Of course Elton goes and confirms the power of the piano along with John Lewis (bet they sell pianos) and stating that some gifts are more than a gift so what if there was no piano and no Elton.....woah!
I asked Son from the Brew what was the difference though, he had a keyboard that was enough but he came back with of its the pressure and the depth of the sound, it's just so different. OMG he's even starting to sound like Elton and Freddie. The jury stays out for now I mean I may be denying the next rocket man but hey can he not write that on a good old Yamaha? He has started reading music which I'll give him full marks for, he said it's like learning another language, which it is, I've done it myself. I secretly wouldn't mind to learn myself, blimey we could end up reciting a rendition of chopsticks (classic piano tune), that could be worth a watch.
I'll have a think for a bit longer and just keep an eye out on the auction sites of the UK for a bargain but for now he can carry on as he is. The keyboard fits in his bedroom easy, if we had a piano I would have to forfeit my dining room table. I can see us all eating our dinner on a piano, nobody eats at it now to be honest, it just gets the post and magazines stored on it. There's always room for a TV Times on the top of a piano though and the junk mail.
Thanks Elton and John Lewis for the dilemma but thank you also for the music of Queen because if there is anything to come of all this then my son has learnt to love music, all their music still carries on through generations and that is a beautiful thing. Worth everything.
Thanks for reading today, join me again tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now......
This is me all ready to go out and sing with Rock Choir this weekend. We performed a flash mob in the centre of Derby at the Market Place and then we walked up the road to Derby Cathedral and sang outside there too.
It was a bit cold but what you can't see in this picture is the layers underneath my jacket. You have to go prepared for all weathers when you're a Rockie especially with the outdoor performances We certainly Don't Stop Believin' and Can't Stop The Feeling of wanting to sing.....ha ha see what I did there?
We did actually sing Can't Stop The Feeling, yes it's a new one but we managed to get all those lyrics wrapped around our tongues and I think they came out in the right order and sounded ok. Funnily enough I worried about that song the most as it has so many lyrics to remember but it was actually All I Want For Christmas that was the one I felt a bit stuck with.
When I'm having my moment with Mariah in the kitchen while listening on the radio I could just fuddle through but now I've got to really remember if I want snow or not and whether I've sent my list to the North Pole for St Nick......oh heck. I sing bass in choir so at least I don't have to go full on Mariah, I can stay low....phew. My hat goes off to the sopranos on some of the songs we sing, I would need lemon and honey on a constant drip to prevent with my vocal pipes from bursting.
Not only did we do those two performances on Saturday but we were back in Derby at Markeaton Craft Village for more on the Sunday. It didn't seem so cold on this day and the rain stayed away which was nice. In fact the sun shone quite a bit and I truly believe that may have been due to us, ya welcome Derby folk! A lovely lunchtime singing session and I really enjoyed it. There is something about singing Christmas songs, I feel I may be getting into the mood now. It always takes me a while.
So what did we sing over the weekend, well I'll tell you......
First Noel/Silent Night
Merry Christmas Everyone
Can't Stop The Feeling and....
All I Want For Christmas
Great eh? I do smile when singing Silent Night as I have to remember not to sing sleep in heavenly peas instead of peace, I mean I've never heard of heavenly peas and definitely never thought of the garden variety being particularly heavenly but hey it makes me smile. I also have to smile at Jennie our choir leader who does everything to mouth and mime the lyrics to us so we remember. You would never beat this girl at a game of charades let me tell you. I bet she suggests a game at Christmas and everyone goes 'nooooooo' ya too good, not a chance........oh go on then......it's a film, one word.........two syllables........FOOTLOOSE!!!
There is one thing for sure Rock Choir is so much fun so keep an eye out around your area for your local choir and go and support them if you can. You may be shopping and not notice them if they are in flash mob disguise so be aware.........there may just be a Rock Choir singing somewhere.
Thanks for reading today, please come back tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now you take care.
Today is about anything to do with my love of music.