It was Christmas of 1963 that LA’s own ageless musical gem Darlene Love first sang “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” as part of The Phil Spector Christmas Album. Over 50 years later, it is considered one of the very best Christmas albums in history.
The Ronettes and the Crystals were also part of that monumental release, but it is Darlene’s song that is the standout cut.
In a twist of irony, 20 years after it became a classic, Darlene was cleaning houses for a living, when “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” came on the radio. Upon hearing it again, she thought she was missing something in her life, fame and credit. After years of enduring exhaustive lawsuits for royalties, Darlene was asked to sing the song for David Letterman on his show, as it is one of his favorites.
Darlene will perform “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” for the 21st and final time this Friday night on Letterman’s last show of the year. Dave is retiring next May from late night TV after a 33 year run.
Darlene has stated that she will never perform the song on TV again, as she is very loyal to Letterman, and his band director Paul Shaffer, crediting them both as two of the main reasons for her huge comeback in recent years.
Darlene is now in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and received an Academy Award for her contributions to the documentary “20 feet From Stardom” last year.
Darlene doesn’t rule out an annual concert with Shaffer every Christmas in New York. Darlene’s long association with Christmas has even been spoofed on a classic Christmas episode of Saturday Night Live, with an animated Darlene Love singing “Christmastime For The Jews.” One of the funniest segments ever featured on that show. See it here.
Letterman’s last Christmas show will air this Friday night, and will also feature another holiday regular Jay Thomas, who will once again tell his classic tale of chauffeuring TV’s The Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore), while he (Thomas) was stoned back in the 1970’s.
This is also a priceless bit of true comedy. Don’t miss this show, as there won’t be another one like it ever again.
I finally got to meet Darlene earlier this year, and she was very gracious.
Mash-ups of many Darlene Love appearances on Letterman’s show are now on YouTube, which you can see here.