Prog Digest – December – An Xperience Column

Written by on December 9, 2023

Prog Digest – December – An Xperience Column – by Klyde Kadiddlehumper.

Howdy folks and Happy Whatever Holiday you want to celebrate time.

For all of you who are now saying – Hey Klyde – why are you being politically correct? Well, it is really very simple. At any given time in this household, we will be entertaining just about every religious or not people on the planet. Heck, I could use an entire article space just with the salutation. I would get in huge Dutch if I were, for example, forget the Druids – a dear, departed friend registered with the military as Druid, Reformed as he was not a member of a traditional organized religion. And, since many of the traditions we have come from far earlier times – it only seems fair.
Now – if you read my little missive in the Thanksgiving insert in the Times Union (and if you did not, shame on you. Go to and check out the digital version online), we talked a bit about Christmas Music and, in particular, the John Waters Christmas Album. This is just scratching the surface.

Christmas music does not start in the Kadiddlehumper household until after Thanksgiving – and, usually, after Dec. 1. This is a NO Mariah Carey Zone. So, what do you listen to, Klyde?

Let’s start at the beginning. Handel’s Messiah – preferably a live performance with a big pro choir. Many of the German classics and other materials of the like. It was a jazz and classical home I grew up in – and still favourites.

Beyond that – well….here are the items I will suggest to you that are on the super-duper hit list.

For your light, background listening – Manheim Steamroller. I know, I know. The reasoning is simple. You don’t have to think. There is nothing about it that will make your brain explode. Nice rhythms, nice sounds, and festive enough to convey the season. Give Fresh Aire Christmas (1, 2, 3,4……) and tell me it does not make a soothing backdrop.

Next up on the list – an all time favourite here – Jackie Gleason. For those of you too young to know, not only was the Ralph Kramden on the Honeymooners, Fats in The Hustler and Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit movies, he was also one of the great orchestral arrangers of all time. Lush. Smooth. Just fantastic. Again – give it a rip.

Then, the modern classics – Brian Setzer, Miss Sharon Jones, The Tower of Power. There are more, however, these or the top of the heap along with a few others. Oh, and don’t forget Bing (preferably with Bowie).

What are the big guns? The Rat Pack. Nothing says Christmas like Frank, Dino and Sammy. You can throw in Peter Lawford if you like, but he’s not on the top of the list. If it’s a party – it’s gotta be these guys. I dare say, they are the true wise men of the holiday season. Not a progressive note in the bunch – unless you consider that Sammy was Franks dear friend, and at a time Sammy was not welcome in certain places – Frank made it clear – No Sammy – No Frank.

Isn’t that really the spirit of Christmas? Standing up for what you believe in. Taking a stand when your real friends are in a pinch.

All the Black Friday, buy this, buy that has, perhaps, caused up to forget. Take a step back and maybe think of a friend who could use a hug and a place to join in for dinner. Adopt a family in need so they know someone is thinking of them. Spread some happiness where ever you can.

This space is usually full of irreverent poppycock – full of the sound and the fury and signifying nothing.

From time to time – reality will seep in. This is the day.

Besides, what’s so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding?

Until next time.



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