I want to expose people (especially young people) to all kinds of music. I chose the 20th century because it produced an eclectic taste of many styles of music. At the end of most of my short descriptions it will say, check out their music. I can only scratch the surface of all the great music, you must explore for yourself. Luckily, you have 21st century technology to help you. Enjoy the adventure. Please comment, make requests, or ask questions.
Lets jump to the 21st century for a treat. I thought the piano was going to start smoking. This guy is good! Enjoy!
Luca Sestak is a worldwide, award winning Boogie/Jazz pianist. He started playing piano when he was eight. A true talent, a real prodigy. His parents gave him piano lessons in classical music. Luca was bored and quit. Then Luca heard Boogie piano music, and he loved it. Luca started video recording himself playing Boogie piano music, and posting his videos on YouTube when he was only 13. In a short time he was a YouTube sensation and now considered one of the best. Here is a sample of Luca Sestak's Boogie piano. It's called, "Joogie Wazz."
That was so good I added another number by this talented man. This one is called "Boogie Woogie Stomp." I wonder if that refers to his legs constantly moving?
"Carol of the Bells" (also known as the "Ukrainian Bell Carol") is a
choral miniature work originally composed by the Ukrainian composer
Mykola Leontovych. Throughout the composition, Leontovych used a four
note motif as an ostinato which was taken from an ancient pagan
Ukrainian New Year's chant known in Ukrainian as "Shchedryk" [the
Generous One]. The composer created the piece as an assignment for a
harmony course he was taking by correspondence in the use of an
ostinato. The original work was intended to be sung a cappella by mixed
choir. Two other variants of the composition; one for woman's choir and
another for children's choir with piano accompaniment were also created
by the composer.
The "Carol of the Bells" was premiered in December
1916 by a choral group made up of students at Kiev University. It was
introduced to Western audiences by the Ukrainian National Chorus during
its concert tour of Europe and the Americas, where it premiered in the
United States on October 5, 1921 at Carnegie Hall.
"Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", also known as "Let It Snow", is a song written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne in July 1945. It was written in Hollywood, California during a heat wave as Cahn and Styne imagined cooler conditions.
Although the song's lyrics make no mention of Christmas, it is played
on radio stations during the Christmas season and is often covered by
various artists on Christmas-themed albums.
This version was recorded by Dean Martin in1959 on his album "A Winter Romance." It is by far the most popular recording of this song.
The most popular and famous recording was this version by Bing Crosby released in October of 1963. It was an immediate holiday hit and will be for decades, maybe centuries to come.
"Do You Hear What I Hear?" is a song written in October 1962, with lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker. The pair, married at the time, wrote it as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Regney had been invited by a record producer to write a Christmas song,
but he was hesitant due to the commercialism of the Christmas holiday. It has sold tens of millions of copies and has been covered by hundreds of artists.
"O Holy Night" (French: Cantique de Noël) is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" (Midnight, Christians) by a wine merchant and poet, Placide Cappeau (1808–1877).
The modern day version are not the words of the original poem, but the meaning remains the same. It is the story of the night of the birth of Christ. Purely a religious song. Many great singers have sung a version of this song. It is one of the most popular Christmas songs of the last 150 years. One of the first versions recorded was by Caruso in 1916, which you can still hear. The most popular version is this 1960 recording by Nat King Cole.
"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" is a Christmas song with lyrics by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, released in 1971 as a single by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir. The lyrics are set to the traditional English ballad "Skewball". Lenon borrowed many of the words from many other songs. So slight that it never ran into copyright problems. Basically a protest song against the Vietnam war, it has now become a Christmas classic.
"White Christmas" a secular song written by the Jewish-American songwriter Irving Berlin. First publicly performed by Bing Crosby on Christmas Day in 1941 on his NBC radio show, The Kraft Music Hall. The song won The Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1942, performed in the movie "Holiday Inn." That was a duet version with Martha Mears.
The song still holds the record for the best selling single of all time, selling more than 100 million copies. The song was a perfect fit for Crosby's voice. Crosby recorded the song many times. This is his most famous version recorded in 1947.