Since so many people have asked for this Christmas song over the years, having heard just a short sound bite of it on Jay Graydon's website many years ago, Jay has decided to make the whole song available as an MP3 download at CD BABY. The song - ON THIS CHRISTMAS EVE - is produced, arranged, performed, mixed and mastered by Jay Graydon. His father Joe Graydon sings the lead vocal. Background vocal by Bill Cantos and Jay can also be heard in the bridge.
Joe Graydon had his own TV Show in the 50s - the first music and talk show in the Los Angeles area. The TV show aired live on KLAC Channel 13 and is probably never filmed. During the late 1940s, Joe Graydon served as a conductor for radio station KLAC's house band, which became known as the Joe Graydon Orchestra for both the radio station and KLAC-TV, and he was featured as a singer-bandleader on early TV shows including Al Jarvis/Betty White's daytime variety show.
Joe Graydon was a singer on the highly popular radio show, "Your Hit Parade". He took Frank Sinatra's place as the leading male singer on "Your Hit Parade" with an air of mystery. Referred to only as "Joe" when he debuted on the show in the mid-1940s, the mystery surrounding his identity only increased his popularity.
A successful singing career followed, and he is best known for his definitive version of AGAIN, in collaboration with bandleader Gordon Jenkins, Graydon was one of the most popular singers of the Big Band era. In 1950 he was offered a job in television as well. "The Joe Graydon Show" was broadcast on Los Angeles and San Diego television stations for much of the first half of the 1950s.
Here is Jay Graydon on the story behind the song ON THIS CHRISTMAS EVE:
My father Joe Graydon wrote, ON THIS CHRISTMAS EVE most Likely in the late 1940’s. Both my father and the Mills Bros, recorded the song in the late 40’s but neither version was a hit. I always loved the song and in 1996, I arranged a version for the era. (Note the song was recorded as a demo as to "shop" the song to successful artists recording Christmas songs).
The original arrangement was in 3/4 time. That time Signature does not translate well in 1996 for such a song sounding very "square" so I used a 6/8 feel when working out the arrangement. A 6/8 is like a triplet "feel" in 2/4 time (the long single bar "feel" is a slow triplet 4/4 "feel.") So the trick was to find a way to phrase the vocal from 3/4 to 4/4 adding a beat of music every 4 Beats. Typically a difficult task as the melody needs to be re-thought while still keeping the integrity of the original as to the delivery of the lyrics. Well, this time it was easy since I had not heard the original recording in many years and envisioned the melody over a 6/8 rhythm pattern. I then taught my father the phrasing. Yea, an interesting experience teaching my father how to sing his song!
Most important to keep in mind my dad was 77 when he sang the vocal!!! He sounds great!!! When "bouncing" his individual vocal track performances to one master track, there was one line in the bridge he did not pull off phrasing wise. I did not want to call him and ask he fix it, since just a demo, so I sang the line. I also thought me singing would make it a family performance but dad did not agree stating it did not make sense for my voice to come out of nowhere. He was correct in that thinking as to a record but I reminded him it is just a demo to get the song placed, noting when the listener got to the bridge, he already loves the song. In any case, it is cool I sang the line since my dad passed away nearly 7 years ago so a family recording is in play!!!
The bridge of the song was set up as in my dad’s era style of 4 background singers in close harmony. I asked Bill Cantos to sing the parts, which he did. 99.9% of the time I would write out the parts as the control freak I am but knowing Bill, no need as his musical ears are outstanding!!! He nailed the harmonies perfectly and also did a great job on the outro section!!!