Kathie is unknown in Britain (where I live) so my knowledge of her is limited to her music, which is absolutely gorgeous.
I own a lot of Christmas albums, and I often wish that people would show more imagination when it comes to song selection. Yet, there is something magical about the old classics, and Kathie proves it with this outstanding album.
Many of the songs have been recorded countless times, but Kathie brings out the best in them with her lovely, warm voice, sometimes stringing them together in well-planned medleys. Of course, Kathie would know as much as anybody about the joys of Christmas, having raised a family, and that probably helps.
As to the songs, if I have to pick out highlights, here they are.
It's beginning to look like Christmas. There are plenty of covers listed by Amazon, but not in my collection, so it's particularly welcome.
White Christmas. This includes the rarely sung first verse, setting the scene in Beverley Hills. Bing Crosby's original dropped this verse, on the basis that it would leave everything to the imagination, and it would become a song the whole northern hemisphere could relate to. The popularity of the song proves that, but it's always nice to hear that first verse. After all, that's what Irving Berlin wanted.
Most of all I wish you were here. A lovely song which I've never heard before. Other singers needn't rush to record it, though, because they won't improve on Kathie's beautiful rendition.
The best gift. Another rarely recorded song, this one also appeared on Barbra Streisand's first Christmas album, which I also own. On this song, I prefer Kathie's version, though I am a fan of Barbra and there are some songs that Barbra's version is unbeatable. Kathie probably knows that and doesn't record such songs.
I'll be home for Christmas begins with a snippet of Sleigh ride. Like other reviewers, I'd like to hear Kathie's full length version of this song.
As I previously indicated, I love each and every track here. The best Christmas present Kathie can give to her legions of fans is another Christmas album like this (including Sleigh ride, of course).