|Title: Forward and Story by Lawrence F. “Chip” Arcuri|
|The_Yule_Log.com_Message_Board > Message Board Categories > THE YULE LOG BOOK OF MEMORIES||Go to subcategory：|
|Christmas Music Guru|
Date Posted：03/30/2009 08:52:25Copy HTML
Keep the spirit of Christmas all year through.
Lawrence F. “Chip” Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
We all know that a big part of what makes Christmas so special is the wonderful memories we have of Christmases past. So, I thought I'd share some memories that I personally have with regard to The Yule Log, which will forever endear me to the program, and always make it burn in my heart, evoking tender, poignant, and yes – sometimes even wistful memories.
My favorite recollection is just sitting around the living room, relaxing with my family on Christmas Eve, while watching The Yule Log and just reveling in the splendor of the great music that was emanating from every TV and radio in the house, which I had previously turned on and preset to Channel 11 and 102 FM respectively. Occasionally, the conversation would be punctuated with a question to me about a song playing – yes, even then, as a young, avid collector, I was answering questions about the music of The Yule Log. But the most endearing memories of all were those of watching The Yule Log with the family members in particular who have since departed.
I posted this story several years ago on the Yule Log.com message board, and now I'll include it here for this occasion as well. It was from a Christmas Eve many years ago in the mid-1970s. I don't quite remember the year, but it’s not germane to the story anyway. My paternal grandmother always liked to play cards. So, she gathered a few of us together for a game, and as she and I, along with several of my siblings, were playing in the kitchen, Percy Faith's "Gesu Bambino" began to play on The Yule Log. Well, needless to say, I just had to excuse myself for a moment so I could steal away and join the others in the living room to sit for a quiet moment while it played. Even then, Percy Faith was my all-time favorite, and I regarded him as the greatest Christmas music artist ever – and this was when my Christmas album collection was only about 1/4 of what it is today. So now, every time I hear "Gesu Bambino" by Percy Faith, it reminds me of that special moment with my late grandmother, when we were playing cards while enjoying The Yule Log, on that Christmas Eve over 30 years ago.
You see, because The Yule Log has always been such an integral part of our family’s Christmas celebratory tradition year after year, when watching The Yule Log today, for me, it’s like taking that proverbial trip down memory lane – as it evokes countless personal and poignant memories that I’ve accumulated over the years. Even during the time when it was off the air, The Yule Log tradition still went on in our house via a Beta tape that I had made of the program years before. Christmas would not be Christmas without it; in fact, in our house, Christmas couldn’t even start without it! That’s why I was so proud of my role in the restoration of the audio soundtrack for its 40th anniversary in 2006. It is such an irony that because of the musical influence The Yule Log had on me, the corresponding records that I bought as a result would later be critical for the program’s restoration some 30 years later. This was especially fortuitous as 34 of the 70 selections on the soundtrack are now out of print – and of these 34, some are extremely hard to find today. However, because Christmas music has always been the great joy and passion of my life, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I had every single one of them in my collection. Like I said at the time, I’m very, very proud.
I couldn’t even think of ending this story without expressing my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Mr. Fred Thrower, for not only creating this wonderful program and tradition (and for the profound way it has touched our lives), but also for the exquisite taste he brilliantly exhibited in choosing its music. Without this great music, The Yule Log would not have become what it is today. His choice of music was unquestionably beyond reproach.
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com