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Title: Dolores Hope Dies At 102
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BobbyCratchit
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(Date Posted:09/20/2011 05:13)

Bob Hope's wife Dolores passed away yesterday.  She was 102!  Some may not know that Bob and Dolores Hope made their own contribution to Christmas music.  I have a CD entitled Hopes For The Holidays which was released in 1994, although I do not know when the songs were actually recorded.  Here's the track listing...

Happy Holiday/Let's Have A Party
Deck The Hall/Jingle Bells
Christmas Eve
A Time To Be Jolly
Do You Hear What I Hear
Christmas Time Is Here
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Jesus Was Born Today
Snowbound
Jack Frost
Home (When Shadows Fall)
Silver Bells
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Forever

Don't you miss those old Bob Hope Christmas specials (...and Perry Como's ...and Bing Crosby's)?

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Jim in Philly
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FiremanFrach
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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/20/2011 12:19)


Oh yes, I miss them all!    It was part of what made the holiday season so fun when I was growing up.
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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/20/2011 15:40)


Jim,

The songs on Hopes For The Holidays were recorded the same year that the album was released, 1994.

Dolores Hope (aka Dolores Reade) began her professional singing career in the early 1930s, but it wasn't until 1992 that she released her first album, Now and Then. Aside from the subsequent 1994 Christmas album that she did with husband Bob, Hopes For The Holidays, she went on to release three more solo albums: Somewhere In Time, That's Love and Young At Heart.

I had the privilege of speaking to Mrs. Hope some years back when she called the St. Crispin Franciscan Friary here in New York to speak to a friend of hers, Father Benedict Groeschel. Father Benedict is a friend of mine and I assisted him at the St. Crispin Friary's Padre Pio Homeless Shelter.

Besides Bob and Dolores Hope, Father Benedict was also good friends with legendary Hollywood actress Loretta Young, and while on the West Coast he would often travel to the Hope's home for dinner and would perform Mass at the chapel that was on the grounds of the Hope's estate.

Christmas has certainly never been quite the same without the great annual Christmas television specials of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Andy Williams.


 


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BobbyCratchit
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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/21/2011 04:34)

I knew Chip would have more information on the Hopes CD.  Many thanks!

Ah yes, I forgot to add Andy Williams to that Christmas special list.  Somewhere in my collection are VHS releases of both Andy Williams and Bob Hope Christmas specials, but I think they are both montages of multiple shows rather than complete episodes.  Some full episodes of the Bing Crosby specials are now available on DVD, however.  Still waiting for something on the Perry Como front, though.

Back to Bob Hope... Was "Silver Bells" originally written for The Lemon Drop Kid, or did it come out before the movie?  I've seen some publication dates of 1950 for the song, but The Lemon Drop Kid was released in 1951, wasn't it?

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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/21/2011 07:20)

I have one of The Andy Williams Christmas Special Highlights that was done on PBS several years ago.  That I had recoreded onto a VHS Tape while we were still Analog and  they do repeat it from time to time and it even had Donny Osmond reminiscing about being on his shows.  Unfortunately, PBS stations only broadcast these during their pledge breaks and you don't get to see the entire program, unless you donate something like $150.00 - $250.00 for the DVD of the program.  But it was nice to see Andy and the Williams Brothers singing together and even with his wife Claudine Longet and their children were in some of the scenes they showed.  But I do watch this several times a year.

Those were some great TV programs. but, alas, they only remain in some of our memories being they haven't released the entired shows on Video.  I only said "some of our memories" because I am sure there are some members hear who weren't even born yet.

The only thing I hate about PBS is, in the local channel Pledge Breaks, they keep saying "So we can continue bringing you great programs such as this", but they never show these progrmas without a pledge break.  So what is the use of paying money if they won't show you the entire program during the regular time of the year?

I have seen some great programs on PBS just in the last week or two, and they had a program of music from the 1950's and 1960's "Rock, Pop and Doo-Wop" and brought back several of the original artists who are still alive, and not "fake" groups who claim to be the original singers.  This was a brand new show that PBS put together and not a repeat of a Doo-Wop show from several years ago.  Bowser was the host.   Ronnie Spector was performing live (She still sounds the same today), Jay Black (Original singer from Jay & The Americans) was also performing live, and several other great groups and artists and they only showed highlights being it was during a pledge break and to get the DVD of the program it was a $250.00 donation.

Also Jay still sounds the same today as he did in the 1960's and his voice doesn't crack at all.  But again, they won't show these programs during their regular programming so you can't see the entire show unless you donate to the station to get the DVD's.

They had "The Ed Sullivan Comedy Special" on but again, it was highlights.  All these programs usually are on for 2 hours, but if you take out the pledge breaks, you're lucky if you get an hour of the program.  But these shows won't be released to the general public on DVD so if you want them, you have to donate big bucks to PBS.

I just wish that the surviving family members, if they have these shows in a vault somewhere such as Carol Burnette does, would release the entire series of all these great shows on DVD,  Especially the Christmas Specials and not just highlights.  I've seen a lot of infomercials, and you can subscribe to "The Best Of" on certain programs, but again it isn't the entire show.  "Hee- Haw" "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts" "The Carol Burnette Show" and so many more.  And if they have them so they can release "The Best Of" they should be able to release the entire series too.  I know if I had the money, I would buy them in a heartbeat.
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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/21/2011 14:48)


Jim,

This is going to sound a bit confusing, but the answer to all three of your questions is yes. Let me explain...

The song Silver Bells was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans in the spring of 1950 for the motion picture, The Lemon Drop Kid. The movie was filmed at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood in the summer of 1950however, it was not released until the spring of 1951.

In the interim, between the time filming on the picture wrapped in August 1950 and its world premiere here in New York in March 1951, Bing Crosby recorded a version of the song with Carol Richards that was released by Decca Records in December 1950 -- a full three months before the actual world premiere of the movie. In fact, because of the success of the Crosby-Richards recording, Paramount Pictures chief Adolph Zukor directed that Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell (Bob's co-star in the film) be called back to the studio to re-shoot a more elaborate musical sequence of the song than was originally filmed the summer before in order to capitalize on its growing popularity with the public.

By the way, Decca Records re-released the Crosby-Richards single again in 1952 and this time it actually charted, peaking at #20 on the Billboard Charts.


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BobbyCratchit
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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/22/2011 18:34)

Not confusing at all, Chip.  Thanks for that explanation.  Actually, I always wondered whether that Bing Crosby/Carol Richards version could be considered the original in light of the fact that I've never seen a reference to a commercially available version by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in any of my music guides.

Just for the record, I'd have to put the Percy Faith instrumental version up there as one of my top 5 favorite Christmas songs of all time.  I think my favorite vocal version is Perry Como's... don't know why; there's something about it that's lighter and cheerier than most.



(Message edited by BobbyCratchit On 09/22/2011 18:40)
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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/22/2011 22:16)


Yes Jim, the Bing Crosby-Carol Richards recording of Silver Bells is the original commercially released recording of the song.

And yes, the great master Percy Faith most definitely had the best instrumental version of the song. As for the best vocal version, I have to give that to Johnny Mathis who with maestro Percy Faith's fine arrangement and exquisite orchestral backing, delivered a sensitive and poignant performance of the song.











(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 09/22/2011 22:20)
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anthonyv
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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/26/2011 23:31)

Mentioning Jay Livingston's classic SILVER BELLS reminded me of how interesting it is to think that so many talented songwriters of the Jewish faith - Johnny Marks, Walter Kent, Irving Berlin, Mel Torme, and Jay Livingston to name a few - were responsible for some of the greatest Christmas songs ever. The "feel" these gifted people had in capturing the true magic of the season is nothing short of impressive!  

(Message edited by anthonyv On 09/26/2011 23:50)
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Christmas Music Guru
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RE:Dolores Hope Dies At 102
(Date Posted:09/27/2011 01:38)


Not just songwriters, but so many of the great conductors of Christmas music were Jewish. Among this incredible list are Norman Luboff, Andre Kostelanetz, Mitch Miller, Stanley Black, Arthur Fiedler, David Rose, Lester Lanin, Eugene Ormandy, Harry Simeone, Felix Slatkin and the greatest of them all, the great maestro Percy Faith, who was Jewish and yet was solely responsible for the greatest Christmas music ever recorded.

As for Jewish singers who had great Christmas albums, there was Barbra Streisand, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, The Ames Brothers and Eddie Fisher.


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