December 24, 2011 |
Roll over Bing Crosby, and tell Perry Como the news: Christmas variety specials on TV are getting a lump of coal from viewers. Once a holiday staple — the same week in 1973, easy-listening stars Como and Andy Williams each drew more than 40% of the TV audience with their respective Christmas shows — the format has lately proved about as popular as sour eggnog. That's true even when a huge star is on the marquee. ABC's "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving," a vehicle for pop diva Lady Gaga, last month produced very un-Gaga-like ratings.
December 22, 2011 |
A Toluca Lake home still referred to as the Bing Crosby Estate despite a succession of other entertainment industry owners has sold for $4.02 million. The singer and actor lived on the property from 1936 until early January 1943, when the 20-room house there was gutted in a Christmas tree fire, according to Times archives. Crosby was out at the time of the fire. His wife, Dixie Lee , and their four sons escaped injury. The damage to the structure and its contents was estimated at $200,000, and the family's cocker spaniel, a complete collection of Crosby's recordings, his golf trophies and his pipe collection were lost.
December 19, 2011 |
Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas," one of the biggest-selling songs of all time, with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Although the wistful tune soothed homesick soldiers in such God-awful places as Guadalcanal more than half a century ago, and no doubt it still plays in Kandahar today, Berlin most likely wrote what he called "the best song that anybody's ever written" somewhere in the sunny Southwest, probably while sitting by a swanky hotel swimming...
November 30, 2011 |
"Shine, Give, Share" is the theme for Christmas at the White House, whose doors were flung open Wednesday to the first wave of guests given the chance to ogle its fragrant, fanciful holiday finery, including no fewer than 37 trees. Before the fun stuff, somber notes. A tree dedicated to fallen troops and decorated by "Gold Star Families" rises near the entryway through which 85,000 holiday visitors are expected. PHOTOS: White House Christmas Decorations The tree is aglow with gold-rimmed white stars honoring individual dead, and next to it a large monitor flashes their pictures, short biographies and messages from the families left behind.
November 25, 2011 |
A horse-drawn wagon presented First Lady Michelle Obama with the 19-foot balsam fir tree that will be the official White House Christmas tree. The 18-year-old tree arrived Friday from a farm near Neshkoro, Wisc. Growers Tom and Sue Schroeder were at the White House for the arrival of the tree, which was harvested last week and shipped to Washington. The tree was hand-picked by the White House superintendent of grounds and an official with the National Park Service after the Schroeders won the National Christmas Tree Assn.'s National Christmas Tree contest in August.
December 13, 2010 |
Since he introduced Irving Berlin's Oscar-winning tune "'White Christmas" in 1942's "Holiday Inn," Bing Crosby and the yuletide have become synonymous. Crosby, who died in 1977, performed the song again in the 1954 holiday movie perennial "White Christmas. " But even holiday traditions change. Though "White Christmas" may be the bestselling single of all time, the recording is no longer the most popular Christmas song this season, according to Billboard. That honor belongs to Mariah Carey's 1994 "All I Want For Christmas Is You. " Der Bingle and "White Christmas" have dropped to No. 7 "For a certain generation that would be totally astounding," says Ron Simon, a curator for the Paley Center for Media.
December 25, 2009
The best Christmas films ever It's Christmas Day, an important occasion to those who celebrate it. And to those who don't, it's the best moviegoing day of the year. -- Rob Manker 1. "A Christmas Story" (1983) 2. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" (TV-1966) 3. "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) 4. "The Santa Clause" (1994) 5. "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947) 6. "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (TV-1964)
December 24, 2009
SPECIALS A Christmas Story: A dog and a mouse team up to deliver a misplaced letter to Santa in this animated special (6:30 a.m. Toon). Blackadder's Christmas Carol: A kindly merchant is taught the error of his generosity by a group of mean-spirited spirits in this holiday comedy import (3 p.m. BBC America). Disney Prep & Landing: In this charming animated special, Dave Foley gives voice to a member of the elite elf team that prepares for and oversees Santa's arrival at children's houses (8 p.m. ABC)
December 24, 2009 |
Bob Dylan's decision to put out a Christmas album this year caught a lot of people by surprise. It wasn't just that the preeminent songwriter of the rock era had chosen to record secular seasonal staples such as "Winter Wonderland" and "Here Comes Santa Claus" for his "Christmas in the Heart" collection. Equally intriguing was that the musician born Robert Zimmerman and raised in a Jewish household also included exceptionally sincere versions of such quintessentially Christian carols as "Hark!
December 17, 2009 |
The American Cinematheque's Egyptian and Aero theaters are getting in the yuletide spirit this week with some venerable holiday movies and TV specials. Kicking off the festivities at the Egyptian this evening are the 1955 comedy "We're No Angels," starring Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov, and John Ford's sentimental 1948 western , "3 Godfathers," starring John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz and Harry Carey Jr. Two treasured musicals, 1954's "White Christmas" and 1944's "Meet Me in St. Louis " screen Friday at the theater.