Darlene Loves Christmas And We Love Darlene!
Updated: Dec 20, 2020
Paul Shaffer in his element conducting Darlene Love and the CBS Orchestra in 2012 [Photo - John Paul Filo]
Darlene Love, the voice behind 1963's "Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]"...one of the most popular Christmas songs in music history...is still going strong. Love is currently featured in Netflix's "Christmas Chronicles 2" singing "The Spirit Of Christmas" which was written by Steve Van Zandt. Steve also wrote Love's other modern day Christmas classic "All Alone At Christmas" which was featured in 1992's "Home Alone 2".
Movies and Television have been very good to Darlene Love over the past four decades which helped shine a light on this unsung hero of many Phil Spector classics from the sixties. Love was the lead singer on many hit songs that did not feature her name including; "He's a Rebel" and "He's Sure the Boy I Love," which were credited to the Crystals.
As a member of the Blossoms, Love contributed backing vocals behind many of the biggest hits of the 1960s including the Ronettes' "Be My Baby", Shelley Fabares' "Johnny Angel", Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash", Frank Sinatra's version of "That's Life", and the Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron".
As a solo artist, Love also contributed backing vocals to the Ronettes' "Baby, I Love You". She was also part of a trio called Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, who recorded Spector's version of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", an Oscar-winning song from the 1946 Walt Disney film Song of the South, which got into the Top 10 in 1963.
She was a much in demand back up vocalist for much of the 70s but it was the 80s where Darlene Love staked her rightful claim as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time.
The resurgence of "Christmas Baby Please Come Home" began in an unlikely place...1984's "Gremlins" which was written by Chris Columbus. Featured during the opening credits of one of the year's biggest films, there was no looking back.
Darlene Love, Paul Shaffer, Anton Fig, Will Lee and Sid McGinnis over the years.
Love crossed paths with Paul Shaffer in 1984 when they were both working on "Leader of the Pack", an evening of songs written by Ellie Greenwich (one of the writers of "Christmas Baby Please Come Home"). David Letterman saw the show at the Bottom Line and fell involve with Darlene and her performance of the song. Starting in 1986, Letterman began featuring Love every December on the NBC Late Night show and then continued the tradition when he came over to CBS with the Late Show.
Letterman's show went off the air in 2015 but Love has continued the traction of singing her Christmas classic on the View. Love is still keeping busy, even during the pandemic. She filmed a a pay-per-view concert special, “Love for the Holidays,” at New York’s Sony Hall which can you can watch on demand by going here.
Take a look of some of Darlene Love's seminal performances of "Christmas Baby Please Come Home" over the decades and if you want to go into a time machine, this link will take you to a compilation of every single Letterman appearance by Darlene Love .
DARLENE LOVE'S FIRST LETTERMAN APPEARANCE IN 1986
Paul Shaffer, Anton Fig, Will Lee and Sid McGinnis backed up Darlene Love's Letterman performances every single year from 1986 till the last one in 2014.
DARLENE LOVE'S FINAL LETTERMAN APPEARANCE IN 2014
Paul Shaffer's NBC band was re-christened the CBS Late Night Orchestra when Letterman came to CBS and Shaffer pulled out all the stops for the yearly performance which grew bigger and bigger with each passing year.
DAVID LETTERMAN'S INTERVIEW WITH DARLENE LOVE ON HER FINAL LETTERMAN APPEARANCE
Love sits down for an emotional final appearance on the Late Show after 29 years of performing her Christmas calssic.
DARLENE LOVE'S MUSIC VIDEO FOR "ALL ALONE AT CHRISTMAS" FROM HOME ALONE 2
Most performers are lucky to have one Christmas classic in their career but Darlene has two. "All Alone At Christmas" was written by Steve Van Zandt and Love is backed up by the entire E Street Band for that Phil Spector "wall of sound."
CHRISTMAS BABY PLEASE COME HOME DURING GREMLINS OPENING
"Gremlins" started the resurgence of Darlene Love's song when it was featured in the opening credits. Important to note that Chris Columbus, who wrote the screenplay for "Gremlins" also directed "Home Alone 2" which featured Darlene singing "All Alone At Christmas" AND Columbus also directed "Christmas Chronicles 2" which featured Darlene duetting with Kurt Russel on “The Spirit of Christmas,” (written by Steve Van Zandt)...and yes that is the same town square that was featured in "Back To The Future!"
DARLENE LOVE – STREAMING CONCERT – AVAILABLE NOW THRU CHRISTMAS DAY
Darlene Love's "Love For The Holidays" is is a streamed performance from the Sony Hall stage. The show is available for purchase and streaming on demand now through Christmas Day.