Merry Christmas! In the 1960s, we had lots of music to choose from. When it came to Christmas songs, one performer (raised in the City) was always on the playlist. Here is Johnny Mathis in 1965 singing, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”:
Mathis was born in Texas, but his family moved to the Richmond District in San Francisco when he was young. He became a star athlete at Washington High School, competing in track and field events, and earning a scholarship to San Francisco State. His college goal was to complete a teaching degree in English and Physical Education. By 1956, Mathis was offered the opportunity, as a high jumper, to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team to compete in Melbourne, Australia. Instead, he chose to go to New York City to record his first album. Two of his most popular songs, “Wonderful! Wonderful!” and “It’s Not for Me to Say,” were recorded in 1956. Mathis’ singing is timeless. At age 78, he is still touring and performing. For 2014, he has planned dates for his “58th Anniversary Concert Schedule.”
Debuting later, in 1966, a Christmas classic was introduced. This year, Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” is only 47 years old. Boris Karloff is the narrator of the animated television special. The 26 minute show was originally broadcast on CBS on December 18, 1966.
As a fitting salute to the spirit of the day, here is the Grinch discovering the true meaning of Christmas:
Best wishes for a joyous celebration,