News of the Week: Christmas Music, Mount Rushmore, and It’s Time to Set the Clocks Back

In the news for the week ending November 5, 2021, are (whether you love it or hate it) Christmas music, rock ’n’ roll legends, lying liars, lots of bread, and more.

Christmas songs

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It’s November, and that means it’s time for my biennial rant about Christmas music.

Is it too early to listen to it, when the kids haven’t even finished eating their Halloween candy? No way. I start listening to Christmas music on November 1. Why not? It’s November, it’s “holiday season,” and Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. We’re about to start our Christmas shopping, the temperatures have turned a lot colder, and even those Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movies — the ones where a stressed-out woman executive comes to a small town to take over a business and ends up falling in love with one of the locals (who just happens to have the name Nick!) — are airing. So why should listening to holiday music be frowned upon?

Now, I’m not crazy or obsessive about it. SIRIUSXM has a station that plays Christmas music year-round. This is a bad idea. It gives the people who don’t like Christmas music and the ones who tolerate it but think it starts way too early some ammunition in their arguments against it. Besides, who wants to listen to “Winter Wonderland” while they’re at the beach on an August weekend? Does “Silent Night” make sense in any other month besides November or December? And roasting chestnuts on the Fourth of July would be downright weird.

But November? There’s nothing wrong with it. I’m listening to a Christmas tune right now. Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” I’ve always liked that song, even if no actual “rockin’” occurs in the song.

If somebody tells you it’s too early to listen to Christmas music, tell them I said it was okay. And so does Andy Williams.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (uploaded to YouTube by Andy Williams)

The 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions

Sticking with music, the induction ceremony for this year’s winners was held on Saturday, and the list includes Tina Turner, the Foo Fighters, Carole King (for the second time), Todd Rundgren, The Go-Gos, and Jay-Z. Paul McCartney inducted the Foo Fighters, Dave Chappelle inducted Jay-Z, and Taylor Swift sang King’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.”

Nothing but the Truth

A study in the journal Communication Monographs has concluded that, contrary to what a lot of people might think, people average fewer than two lies a day, and people who lie all the time are actually extremely rare, with only 6 percent falling into that category.

But then again, maybe the people tracked for the study lied?

More Fa-La-La-La-La

I like to link to the Christmas TV Schedule site every year because the person behind it does a lot of work and it’s a handy guide to all of the holiday movies, specials, and TV episodes that will air from Halloween until the new year. So if you’re looking for when the Friends Thanksgiving episodes will air or It’s a Wonderful Life or How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this is the place to find them.

(This site is good too.)

Meme of the Week

This white Miami Vice jacket is the best thing I’ve ever bought. I know I’m going to wear it all the time!

RIP Arthur Forrest, Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Remy, Pat Martino, Ginny Mancini, Jo-Carroll Dennison, Diego D’Ambrosio, and Camille Saviola

Arthur Forrest started out as a janitor at the DuMont network and became a cameraman on shows like The Honeymooners and Captain Video. He then went on to direct The Dick Cavett Show, Wonderama, and Whose Line Is It Anyway? and won Emmys for The Rosie O’Donnell Show and NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Tournament of Roses Parade. He also directed the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon and was the man who helped Frank Sinatra reunite Jerry and Dean Martin. He died last month at the age of 95.

Ronnie Tutt was Elvis Presley’s drummer from his Las Vegas days in the late ’60s until his death in 1977. He also played with Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Elvis Costello, Jerry Garcia, and The Carpenters. He died last month at the age of 83.

Jerry Remy was an infielder for 10 years as a member of the California Angels and then the Boston Red Sox, and then he had a career as a broadcaster for the Sox for the next 33 years. He died Saturday at the age of 68, just three weeks after throwing out the first pitch at the Sox/Yankees wild card game.

Pat Martino was a revered jazz guitarist who had to completely relearn the instrument after suffering a near-fatal seizure in 1980. He died Monday at the age of 77.

Ginny Mancini was a singer and philanthropist and the wife of composer Henry Mancini. She sang with Mel Torme’s Mel-Tones in the 1940s and was later one of the Mello-Larks for Tex Beneke. She also sang on TV shows starring Carol Burnett, Danny Kaye, and Dinah Shore. She died last week at the age of 97.

Jo-Carroll Dennison was the oldest surviving Miss America. She won the crown in 1942 and later went on to small roles in movies and TV shows, performed for troops overseas, and was married to comedian Phil Silvers. Her autobiography was published in September. She died last month at the age of 97.

For 60 years, Diego D’Ambrosio not only cut the hair of the residents of Washington, D.C., he also did it for many U.S. presidents and other dignitaries. He died last week at the age of 87.

Camille Saviola played Kai Opaka on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and appeared on such shows as Friends (she battled Rachel for a laundry cart in an early episode), ER, Entourage, as well as appearing several times on Broadway. She died last week at the age of 71.

This Week in History

Mount Rushmore Completed (October 31, 1941)

Here’s what it was like working with the sculptor behind the American monument, Gutzon Borglum, as written by South Dakota governor William J. Bulow for the January 11, 1947, issue of the Post.

“The Perfect Storm” Forms (October 31, 1991)

The powerful storm was the basis for the acclaimed Sebastian Junger book and the 2000 movie starring George Clooney, (On a personal note, I live a half block from the bar in the movie.)

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Columbia Record Club” (November 3, 1962)

Columbia Record Club ad from 1962
Columbia Record Club ad from 1962 (Click to Enlarge)

I think a lot of people took the 6 albums for $1.89 and never bought another one again.

November Is National Bread Month

I’ve never made bread. I made a lot of dough when I worked at a pizza place as a teen, and I’ve certainly eaten a lot of it, but I’ve never actually made bread (though I have cracked open many tubes of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, which are delicious).

Here’s a recipe for Traditional White Bread from AllRecipes, and here’s one for the World’s Best Cinnamon-Raisin Bread from Sugar Salt Magic has this Quick Chocolate Bread and AllRecipes has this Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread. And this Simply Perfect Homemade Cheese Bread from Seasons & Suppers looks terrific.

If you like your bread of the banana variety, here you go.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Daylight Standard Time Begins (November 7)

Actually, you should set your clocks back an hour on the evening of November 6, right before you go to bed.

Veterans Day (November 11)

It was originally called Armistice Day and is marked on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. You have good taste in Christmas music, Bob. It’s just that before Thanksgiving IS still too early for me, especially with a heat wave in full swing out here since November 1st. I’ve done all my Christmas shopping by renewing Post subscriptions for my friends and (some) family. No one new to add, for now. Speaking of, it’ll take longer to get the new issues from now on with the post office slowing everything down except bills and junk mail. My Spectrum bill IS junk mail as far as I’m concerned. Time-Warner by any other name is …

    The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been pretty meaningless for years, like most things for the last 30 years. Still, it’s nice to see several of the inductees (the first 5) listed here. I have to agree with Todd’s reasons per link included. Carole King is so classy, gracious, modest and wonderful. There’s a great feature here on the Post site from just 6 months ago if any of her fans missed it, or re-enjoy anytime.


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