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2011 Holiday Playlist contest winners

Have yourself a musical Christmas with readers' winning song suggestions

Staff Writer
Austin 360

It wouldn't be the holidays without a little family drama, and that extended to the "family" of judges deciding this year's winners in our holiday playlist contest.

Well, it was more like a lively discussion.

Bill Bernardi's list scored highest in our sugar-filled, non-scientific ranking system (as top secret as Santa's route), but song No. 25, appropriately enough, sparked the debate. Perhaps you've heard of the little ditty called "Boob Job for Christmas."

We were ready to dismiss the list — the title alone was a little too far on the novelty side — but not before putting "Boob Job" on for a spin through YouTube. The lyrics are straight novelty, yes, but the music plays like a classic. So Bernardi's list was still our winner, and we asked Bill where this odd hybrid of a holiday song originated: " ‘Boob Job for Christmas' was on a CD compilation by Bob and Tom called ‘It's A Wonderful Laugh.' I've also heard it on a Dr. Demento show. Bob and Tom are a syndicated radio show that used to play here in Austin on the old Z-102 station way back when. They're based out of Indianapolis. I still buy their CDs to this day. They use the top musicians in the Indy area and have great writers and arrangers and do excellent work (www.bobandtom.com)."

Now you know. Happy holidays!

— Sharon Chapman

First place

"The worst thing about much of today's Christmas tracks is how the songs are done in slow, dreary, mundane ways such as the over singing of the likes of Mariah Carey, or the nauseous dronings of Kenny G. To me, Christmas songs should be upbeat and fun to listen to."

— Bill Bernardi, Austin

1. "Winter Wonderland," Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

2. "Jingle Bells," Ella Fitzgerald

3. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," Dave Brubeck Quartet

4. "Christmas Song," Arthur Blythe

5. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," Pete Jolly Trio

6. "Sleigh Ride," Ella Fitzgerald

7. "Jingle Bells," Duke Ellington

8. "White Christmas," Lionel Hampton

9. "Angels We Have Heard on High," Steps Ahead

10. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," Pony Poindexter

11. "We Three Kings," Beto y los Fairlanes

12. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," Dexter Gordon

13. "Joy to the World," Tennessee Ernie Ford

14. "Let It Snow, Let It Snow," Ella Fitzgerald

15. "O Tannenbaum," Gary Burton

16. "Silver Bells," Kevin Eubanks

17. "Greensleeves," Wes Montgomery

18. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," Marlowe Morris

19. "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," Chicago

20. "Jingle Bell Rock," Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

21. "Little Drummer Boy," Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson

22. "Frosty the Snowman," Ella Fitzgerald

23. "Adeste Fidelis," Tennessee Ernie Ford

24. "The Snowman," Rodney Carrington

25. "Boob Job for Christmas," Virginia Kegel

26. "Santa Claus Is on His Way," Sammy Kaye

Second place

"My holiday mix was built almost exclusively because of Brent Best's ‘Gumdrop.' It's the only Christmas song I've found that has ever melted my face off. Outside of that, I had fun choosing older songs that were a bit outside of the traditional realm (Blues Magoos, Sonics) and throwing them in with newer versions of the traditional songs (Spankers and Dawes, which tracked up nicely in original soundtrack sequence). There's a lot of great music out there; no need to stick with Brenda Lee or Bing Crosby."

— Cory Horan, Austin

1. "Christmas with the Snow," Marah

2. "Linus and Lucy," the Asylum Street Spankers

3. "Christmastime is Here," Dawes

4. "Jingle Bells," Blues Magoos

5. "Father Christmas," the Kinks

6. "Back Door Santa," the Black Crowes

7. "Santa," Lightnin' Hopkins

8. "Snowball," Dirty Dozen Brass Band

9. "Here It Is Christmas Time," Old 97's

10. "I'll Be Home for Christmas," Tift Merritt

11. "When the Bells Start Ringing," My Morning Jacket (feat. the Head and the Heart)

12. "Daddy's Drinkin' Up Our Christmas," Commander Cody

13. "The Christmas Ball," Geoff and Clare Muldaur

14. "All I Want for Christmas (is a Little Bit of Music)," Huey Piano Smith

15. "Don't Believe in Christmas," the Sonics

16. "Gee Whiz It's Christmas," Carla Thomas

17. "White Christmas," Willie Nelson

18. "Christmas Is Going to the Dogs," Eels

19. "Christmas All Summer Long," Deer Tick

20. "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis," Neko Case

21. "Gumdrop," Brent Best

22. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," the Muppets (feat. JD)

Third place

"I wanted to make a play-list that had something new and different that you don't hear over and over again all December. I like songs that are humorous or that tell a story, so I made sure to include some of those. I think a Christmas playlist should be something upbeat you can listen to at work while doing a little chair dancing."

— Michele McGalliard, Austin

1. "Electronic Santa," Blazer Force

2. "White Christmas," Esquivel

3. "Why Can't It Be Christmastime All Year," Rosie Thomas

4. "Merry Christmas Everybody," Slade

5. "Countdown to Christmas," Glam Chops

6. "Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy)," Duke Ellington

7. "Back Door Santa," Clarence Carter

8. "Feels Like Christmas," Al Green

9. "Hard Candy Christmas," Dolly Parton,

10. "Chiron Beta Prime," Jonathan Coulton

11. "How Do You Spell Channukkahh," LeeVees

12. "Holiday Mood," Apples in Stereo

13. "Carol of the Bells," the Bird and the Bee

14. "Christmas Wrapping," the Waitresses

15. "Zat You, Santa Claus," Louis Armstrong