Judy's Tune RoomJudy's Tune Room


Richard Banks

Having survived for many years on a steady diet of irony and sarcasm, I quite have the capacity to roll my eyes when people start tossing around words like "heartwarming". Because, for one thing, television and Spielberg have pretty much worn the treads off heartwarming, particularly during the holiday season. However, it is still possible to capture a spirit of joy and innocence without the calculated syrup of Hollywood or Madison Avenue. About once a year I receive a CD that reminds me of this possibility.

The title track of Judy Pancoast's The House on Christmas Street is the sort of song Karen Carpenter might have sung, if she had had children. It has a catchy pop melody, an upbeat, ska-flavored arrangement, and an image of the ubiquitous Christmas-decorated house that's easy to visualize and relate to, with "47,000 lights and Santa Claus up on the roof".

Not to mention the fact that we never have enough children's Christmas music on which to comment, there are several other aspects of Judy Pancoast's The House on Christmas Street that deserve mention as well. A Teeny Tiny Christmas features Pancoast the storyteller. She has a beautiful reading voice, and her animated telling of this Christmas tale gives the CD considerable kid appeal.

Aiming at a 10-year-old demographic, Pancoast's The Magic Of A Christmas Tree extends the theme of idealized American Christmas. And her remarkable composition Christmas Every Day is a love song Karen Carpenter might actually have sung.

Along with Emma Pancoast's amusing vocals on Pickles (she also shares songwriting credit), there are also two renditions of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer including the schoolyard version ("like a lightbulb!"), which is the way we always sung it in mid-December when driving around looking for the house on Christmas Street.

Judy has been endorsed by the Coalition for Quality Children's Media


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