Ashlanders list their favorite holiday songs ... and sing them

According to Billboard Magazine, the best selling song of all-time is "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby, and although there is some snow on the ground, "White Christmas" was a no-show among Ashland residents when asked their favorite Christmas song.

According to local music guru Lenny Goldberg of CD Or Not CD, Ashland is a "new-age" town and the top sellers in his store reflect that.

"Yo-Yo Ma's new release is our best seller this year," said Goldberg. "The other top sellers are the new releases by Loreena McKennit, Enya, Tony Bennett and Il Divo."

Goldberg feels that this Christmas is definitely different than years past, what he calls "the heyday."

"There aren't as many high-profile releases as you might think," said Goldberg. "It's also a short season and we're not buying as much stock."

When asked about the sales of more standard Christmas recordings, those by Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby, Goldberg thinks that everybody already has them, so sales are way down.

"We used to sell a ton of the old stuff," said Goldberg. "Our all-time best seller is 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' by Vince Guaraldi, and that isn't even selling this year."

Goldberg's store stocks all the classics as well as the new releases. There are two copies of last year's big seller, "Noel" by Josh Groban, in the used Christmas collection.

"The used stuff is selling well, which is usually the case," said Goldberg, "but this year, people are actually giving used stuff as presents, which is different."

Christmas music runs the gamut, especially in the wild and wacky department. Goldberg had some insight into some of the more memorable songs.

"Oh, there's so many," said Goldberg. "'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' is a good one, but it was actually daddy dressed up, so there was nothing too risque about it."

The song was actually by 1980s comedian Kip Addotta. Goldberg was more than happy to play it. Another crazy song is one which Goldberg calls "the most endearing classic," "Jingle Bells" by the Singing Dogs. Goldberg was quick to say that he doesn't sell a lot of that one.

Goldberg mentions that "White Christmas" by The Drifters is the favorite of the doo-wop set, and his personal favorite is "I Wish It Was Christmas Every Day" by former Electric Light Orchestra member Roy Wood. The song was never released in the United States.

Choosing a favorite song can be difficult. Categories get involved, different moods come into play. Many times it just depends on the situation.

"Do you mean traditional or popular?" said Patti Lefler, a customer at Pangea, when asked her favorite song. "Traditional, it's 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing,' popular, it's the Nat King Cole song."

Lefler is referring to "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)," a song actually written by Mel Torme.

Pangea employee Stephanie Hatch prefers the symphonic "Carol Of The Bells," while fellow employee Anjali Altman stuck to the classic "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole.

"I don't know why, it's just stuck in my head," said Altman.

Ashland Public Library employee Jamie Glass couldn't commit to just one. "I like 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," (by Brenda Lee) because it's upbeat and so different than today's music," said Glass. "And I also like 'The Christmas Song' (by Nat King Cole) because it's so descriptive, you can picture yourself in the song."

At Bloomsbury Books, Marilyn Borkin chose "Oh Holy Night" by Celtic Women, while Rebecca Gabriel finally admitted to "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" because "It's kinda sexy."

AmeriTitle Escrow Officer Melissa Barney chose "The Little Drummer Boy" by Jars of Clay.

"My grandfather used to sing it to me while he played the mandolin," said Barney. Back then she used to call the song "Pum, Pum, Pum."

Fellow Escrow Assistant Jaime Hull likes "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Dean Martin because she likes "anything festive" and "It's a good song for this cold weather."

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