From Traditional to Modern, Sampling This Year's Christmas Records

Download MP3   (Right-click or option-click the link.)

Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Barbara Klein.

Music is traditionally a big part of Christmas celebrations. This week on our program, we have songs from some of the new holiday albums that came out in two thousand seven.

This is singer Patti Labelle with "Nativity." Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote the song and produced her new album, "Miss Patti’s Christmas."

So when is a Christmas album not just a Christmas album? When it is also the top selling album on pop music charts: Josh Groban’s "Noel."

Here is Josh Groban singing "I’ll Be Home For Christmas."

Another singer with a new holiday album is Michael Buble.  Here he is with the title song from "Let It Snow."

From "Let It Snow" we move on to "Snow Angel," the new album from the husband-and-wife team of Over the Rhine. Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist wrote most of the songs on their new album. And even traditional Christmas songs like "O Little Town of Bethlehem" get surprise elements. Here is their version, called "Little Town."

Fans of the rock band the Smithereens can dance to the songs on their new release, "Christmas With the Smithereens." Here is "Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree."

The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley add a touch of romance to the season with their new album, "I’ll Be Home for Christmas." The Isleys have performed since the nineteen fifties, but this is their first holiday album. Here is "Winter Wonderland."

Among this year's Christmas albums, "My Holiday" from Mindy Smith might be the prettiest and it might be the best. This was the opinion of a New York Times critic. The recording artist Chely Wright wrote several of the songs. Mindy Smith wrote several others, including the title track.

Fans of traditional holiday music with a country feel could find lots of it on "A Classic Christmas" from Toby Keith. This two-disc set includes "Little Drummer Boy."

For a less traditional country Christmas, there is Raul Malo's "Marshmallow World and Other Holiday Favorites." Here is his version of the Spanish Christmas song "Feliz Navidad."

Our show was written and produced by Caty Weaver. I’m Barbara Klein.

We hope you can join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English, on the radio or at voaspecialenglish.com.

We leave you with a new version of one of the most popular holiday songs on American radio. Here is Johnny Mathis singing "The Christmas Song" on the new Mannheim Steamroller album, simply called "Christmas."