Several years ago the Significant Other put together a Christmas music playlist on an ipod. It rings around the house during this season. Here are some of the best parts.
Piano music. Peter Kater renders traditional carols with easy grace.
Frank Sinatra, of course.
Ray Charles, also of course.
Lou Rawls died in 2006, and it was a big loss for all of us. This album is just great. (If you don't have a bunch of Lou Rawls recordings, you could do worse than to start with his first breakout album, "Stormy Monday," recorded in 1962.)
Willie Nelson's second Christmas is composed almost entirely of songs from his first one, plus a few new things. If you like Willie, you'll like this.
Essentials by the singers who made them famous -- John Lennon "Happy Xmas (War is Over)," Eartha Kitt "Santa Baby, Beach Boys "Little Saint Nick," Elton John "Step into Christmas," Chuck Berry "Run Rudolph Run," Bing Crosby "White Christmas," Nat King Cole "The Christmas Song."
Not everybody loves Michael Buble (pronounced Booblay), who was a hit with teenage girls a few years back. He is somewhere between a crooner and a belter; he does a good job with this music.
Josh Groban, good voice, obvious choice.
Even better, Andrea Bocelli's joyful album.
I'm not usually a fan of breathy voices, but I like Sarah McLachlan. Very nice album.
Last year, the upbeat funk group Earth Wind and Fire released a Christmas collection, "Holiday." It has two good songs ("Joy to the World" and "December," a rework of the "September" from a jillion years ago) that were worth putting on the ipod. Great energy.
Also energetic and very dance-worthy is Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You."