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We Wish You A Merry Christmas

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Album Review

Right in the middle of rising controversy over the Weavers' members' private political views and past associations, the group recorded and released this delightful Christmas album, running the gamut from folk to pop to gospel. The quartet sounds as though they're having the time of their lives in this relaxed setting, perhaps knowing that the release of this beguiling collection of holiday music could only have confused and confounded the Red-baiters working against them. The singing is exuberant yet mostly elegant (especially Ronnie Gilbert's vocalizing throughout), except on the folksy "It's Almost Day" (which couldn't and shouldn't be performed elegantly), and the material is performed with warmth and dignity. The accompaniment is nicely restrained, with no more than a few horn flourishes on "One for the Little Bitty Baby." Apparently, the group had wanted to include a couple of songs in Hebrew, but the record label rejected the idea, fearful in that less-ecumenical age that the presence of Jewish songs would offend some listeners.


Formed: 1948 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '80s

The Weavers had the most extraordinary musical pedigree and pre-history of any performing group in the history of folk or popular music. More than 50 years after their heyday, however, their origins, the level of their success, the forces that cut the group's future off in its prime, and the allure that keeps their music selling are all difficult to explain -- as, indeed, none of this was all that easy to explain at the time. How could a song as pleasant and tuneful as "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"...
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