Tag Archives: Brian Wilson

The Beach Boys' Christmas 1964 Album, originals plus holiday standards, 196



By Alan Chrisman, copyright.

The Beach Boys Christmas Album is still a yuletide favorite.  It combined The Beach Boys’ harmonies with traditional holiday standards, but Brian Wilson also wrote or co-wrote with Mike Love, five original songs about Christmas. The album was released in Nov. 1964.

Their first original Xmas song, included on it, “Little Saint Nick”, had been recorded during their All Summer Long album sessions the previous summer. Reacting to The Beatles’ Invasion, Wilson was trying to expand his song writing and subjects past the just California beach boy culture. Something he would follow through with his landmark Pet Sounds album a couple years later in1966.

“Little Saint Nick” had been a Christmas hit the year before, so Wilson decided to record a whole album of Christmas songs for the next holiday season . The song, has also too, especially, become a Xmas-rock classic and is similar in structure to their earlier released tune, “Little Deuce Coup”.   For this album, he and Mike Love wrote four more originals for the first side:  “The Man With All The Toys”,  “Santa’s Beard”, “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Christmas Day”,  as well as including, “Little Saint Nick”.

The other five holiday standards on the second side are done Beach-Boy style.  Wilson even sings solo on Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and Al Jardine, for the first time, sings solo on the Wilson original, “Christmas Day”.  They are also accompanied by a 40 piece orchestra, so it’s a winning combination of The Beach Boys’ sound and the traditional, which, as I say, has become a holiday pop classic.

THE BEACH BOYS, posing for Christmas, 1964

BEACH BOYS, posing for Christmas, 1964

Hear Beach Boys do their Xmas classic,” Little Saint Nick”:


Jeff Lynne was the leader of ELO , which had many hits in 70's & 80's



By Alan Chrisman, copyright.

One of a series of articles about musicians and groups and some of the perhaps lesser-known songwriters and players behind some of rock’s classic artists and songs. So far: Bob Seger, Long John Baldry, Tony Joe White, Harry Nilsson, Glen Campbell, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Johnny Rivers, The Rascals, Rick Nelson, Del Shannon, Badfinger, Bob Marley, etc.

“Eldorado”, ELO’S classic album with hit, “Can’t Get IT Out of My Head”, 1974

Jeff Lynne was in bands: ELO, TRaveling Wilburys, The Move & Idle Race

Jeff Lynne’s bands: Idle Race, The Move, ELO, & Traveling Wilburys and later producing Beatles’ songs

Jeff Lynne was the brains behind Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and their many hits in the 70’s & 80’s.  But he is also one of rock’s most respected producers, having produced albums for the ex-Beatles, Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys, Roy Orbison, Dave Edmunds, Brian Wilson, Randy Newman, etc.

Lynn was originally from Birmingham, England. He was in an early band, Idle Race, which put out two albums in ’69.  But in 1970, he joined The Move, led by Roy Wood.  The Move were well respected and popular in England and known for their theatrical performances, but were not known very much in America at the time.  They recorded 4 British albums: The Move, Shazam, Looking On and Message from The Country and several great singles, “I Can Hear The Grass Grow”, “Flowers in The Rain”, “Brontosaurus”, “California Man” and “Do Ya”, from 1966-‘72.

Then Roy Wood and, now Jeff Lynn who joined The Move in 1970, had this idea to combine rock and classical, which led to ELO. Wood left around that time to form his own band, Wizard, which had some success in England.  But Lynne carried on with the original drummer, Bev Bevan, from The Move, and added Richard Tandy on synthesizer and others on string instruments.  Lynne, Beatles-influenced, said he hoped to create the kind of sound used in John Lennon’s, “I Am the Walrus”.

ELO’s first album, contained their first hybrid classical-rock hit, “Roll Over Beethoven”, in 1972. They were to go on to have many successful: On the Third Day (‘73), Eldorado (’74), Face The Music (’75), New World Record (’76), double Lp Out of The Blue (’77), Discovery (’79) and several more into the 80’s.  And off these albums they would have several, especially in America, massively popular hits, “Evil Woman”, “Livin’ Thing”, “Strange Magic”, “Telephone Line”, “Mr. Blue Sky”, “Hold on Tight”, “Don’t Bring Me Down”,  and many more.

But in the mid-1980’s, Jeff Lynne (who wrote the songs and was basically ELO), disbanded them to concentrate on his other love, producing. In 1987, he produced and co-wrote songs for George Harrison’s, Cloud 9, and co-wrote his “This is Love”.  Then as part of the supergroup, Traveling Wilburys (Harrison, Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Lynne), he co-produced with Harrison their two classic albums.  This led to Lynne producing Orbison’s Mystery Girl in ’88 and  co-producing Tom Petty’s next two albums, Full Moon Fever and co-writing hits, “I Won’t Back Down”, “Free Fallin’”, and  Into The Great Wide Open (“Learning to Fly”)  in 1989 and ‘91.  He also produced songs for Brian Wilson, Duane Eddy and Randy Newman., and a posthumous album for Del Shannon, Rock On.

Lynne put out his first solo album, Armchair Theatre, with the single, “Every Little Thing”, in 2001, including George Harrison and old ELO bandmate, Richard Tandy. But it was when he was chosen to produce two left-over John Lennon songs, ”Free As A Bird” and “Real Love”, with the remaining Beatles for their Anthologies in ’95 and ’96, that he finally got to work with all his long-time heroes, The Beatles.  He then produced one of Paul McCartney’s best recent albums, Flaming Pie, in ’97.

In 2001, Lynne put out one more ELO album, Zoom, with guests George Harrison, Ringo and Richard Tandy.  And he produced George Harrisons excellent last album, Brainwashed, before Harrison died in November, 2001 and produced the live tribute CD, Concert for George, in 2003.   He produced an album, Analogue Man, for Joe Walsh in 2012 and Lynne released his second solo album, Long Wave, in 2013.  He also provided a song for the Hollywood film, American Hustle.

For the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to America Grammy Tribute, in Feb, 2014, Lynne performed “Something” and “Hey Bulldog”.  It’s also been announced that he is producing Bryan Adams new CD.

Lynne re-visited his hometown, Birmingham, England and received an award in September-not bad for a Birmingham lad, who realized his dream of combining rock and classical and getting to work with some of rock’s biggest artists. Jeff Lynne also has the distinction of being one of the few producers to work with The Beatles, besides their long-time producer, George Martin, and legendary producer, Phil Spector, and to become one of their close friends.

I was fortunate to see Jeff Lynne and ELO three times: The first for their 1st album with “Roll Over Beethoven” in 1972. At that concert they did a version of the original Move rocker,“ Do Ya”, originally written for The Move.  I remember they also did a great cover of The Beatles,“Daytripper” too.

I next saw them in ‘80 in Montreal at the Man & His World, former Expo ’67 site for their album, Eldorado.  It was a beautiful summer night, and the first time I saw lasers used in a concert.

And again at the Montreal Forum in ‘77 for their double album, Out Of The Blue, with their ‘Flying Saucer’ stage.  ELO always had a very theatrical part to their live shows. They were always one of my favorite bands, besides The Beatles.

See ELO perform “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” from their Abbey Road-like 1974 Eldorado album:



See ELO perform Jeff Lynne’s, “Do YA”, originally written for THE MOVE:

Glen Campbell had many hits, manty written by Jimmy Webb.


Jimmy Webb wrote several of Glen Campbell's hits.

A lot of Glen Campbell’s hits were written by Jimmy Webb: ” By the time I Get to Phoenix”, Galveston”, and “Wichita Line Man”.

GLEN CAMPBELL: “RHINESTONE COWBOY”, GUITAR PLAYER, & JIMMY WEBB,Songwriter of many of Glen Campbell’s hits

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them). 

(This is part of a series of blogs I’ve been doing on some of the groups and on some of the perhaps lesser-known songwriters and players behind some of rock’s classic artists and hits-so far:  Paul Revere & The Raiders, Johnny Rivers, Rick Nelson, The Rascals, Del Shannon, Badfinger, etc.)

Glen Campbell has recently announced that because he has Alzheimers, he has recorded his last songs and a documentary on him, called I’ll Be Me is being released. He had many hits throughout the late 60’s and 70’s, among which are:  “Gentle on my Mind”, “ By The Time I Get To Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston”, “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights”.  But some people may not know that before that, he was also a session guitarist as part of “ The Wrecking Crew” , a much-used L.A. collective of musicians, which also included Leon Russell, Dr. John, James Burton, Jack Nitzche, among others, and who played on many  artists’ recordings and hits: The Mamas and The Papas (“ California Dreamin’”), Beach Boys (”Good Vibrations”, “California Girls” , Pet Sounds album, The Byrds’ (“ Mr. Tamborine Man”), Simon and Garfunkle, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Carpenters,  Phil Spector, The Monkees, 5th Dimension, and many, many more.

Glen Campbell grew up in Arkansas in a sharecropping family of 12. He was a later part of The Champs, who had an instrumental hit, “Tequilla” in 1958 and in ‘64 he toured with the Beach Boys, replacing Brian Wilson.  But in 1967, Campbell had his first big hit with John Hartford’s “Gentle on my Mind”.  Then he followed up with the best sellers, “By the Time I get To Phoenix”, and” Wichita Lineman”, both written by Jimmy Webb.  I mentioned Jimmy Webb in my earlier article on Johnny Rivers.  As I said, Rivers first discovered Webb, recording the first version of “Phoenix” in 1966 and with “Up Up and Away” for the 5th Dimension, which Rivers produced.  Webb would also write a giant hit for actor, Richard Harris, “McArthur Park”, a seven minute extravaganza in ’68.

In 1968, Campbell would be a summer replacement for the very popular Smothers Bros.TV Show, which would lead to his own show from ’69-’72, in which he had many musical guests like John Hartford, Anne Murray, and Jerry Reed.

“Galveston”, another Jimmy Webb composition was a chart-topper too. And in the mid-70’s, Campbell hit with his biggest seller, “Rhinestone Cowboy” and with New Orlean’s Allen Toussaint’s “Southern Nights”.  Campbell also did some acting, appearing in John Wayne’s film, “True Grit” in ’69.

Jimmy Webb, songwriter, would continue to write songs for Linda Ronstadt, Barbra Streisand, John Denver, etc. He also wrote “The Highwaymen” for Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson. He also released several solo albums throughout the 70’s of his own songs, including Words and Pictures (’70), which includes a reference to fellow songwriter ,“P. F. Sloan”, (“Eve of Destruction”, “Secret Agent Man”) whom I also talked about in my article on Johnny Rivers.  Jimmy Webb had both a book (1993) and album (2003) written about his work, Tunesmith.

Glen Campbell, singer and guitar player, had several hits and played on many others, often not credited.  Not bad for a southern boy and guitar picker!  Campbell, because of his advancing Alzheimers, doesn’t always recognize some people, but can still, evidently, sometimes play his guitar.

See GLEN CAMPBELL doing Jimmy Webb songs medley