Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas by Ace Collins

You know these songs by heart. They’re the “greatest hits” of Christmas. But do you know the fascinating, inspirational stories behind them—who wrote them and how they came to be? In his latest book, Ace Collins reveals the stories behind the greatest hits of Christmas—all the songs you have enjoyed for generations. For example, as the story goes, jazz great Mel Torme wrote “The Christmas Song” after visiting a friend in California, who, longing to escape California’s heat for the cold winters of his New England, doodled these now-famous phrases on his spiral pad: “Chestnuts roasting … Jack Frost nipping … Yuletide carols …” Torme saw those words and one of the most famous Christmas songs of all time, first recorded by Nat King Cole, was born. Within these pages, you’ll discover the origins of such famous Christmas songs as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Feliz Navidad,” “O Holy Night,” and two dozen others. Although not yet as famous as the Christmas songs of which he writes (he’s working on that), Collins’s many books have sold tens of thousands of copies and have become treasured family classics, read and enjoyed by young and old alike. His new book is a treasure-trove of the kind of magic that makes Christmas the beloved holiday it is. This is Ace Collins at his storytelling best … which means it’s sure to become a “greatest hit” with your family, too.

My review:
I have all of Collins' books in this line of books, and as with the others, it is is obvious he has put a lot of research into this one. He takes 34 of the most popular Christmas songs of all time, religious and secular, and tells how they came to be written, along with information about the writer.

Each song is a separate chapter, making this a great book to read over a period of time. Collins has a writing style for this type of book that makes it easy to read, and very interesting. I was familiar with the origins of a few of the songs in the book, but still enjoyed reading about them from his writing.

Christmas is over, but this, along with his other books in this line, make a great read for Christmas, or any time during the year. I highly recommend it and the others by him.

About the author:
Ace Collins is the writer of more than sixty books, including several bestsellers: Stories behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, The Cathedrals, and Lassie: A Dog’s Life. Based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, He continues to publish several new titles each year, including a series of novels, the first of which is Farraday Road. Ace has appeared on scores of television shows, including CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and Entertainment Tonight.

Author Website:

Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas is available from Zondervan Publishing.

Thanks to Zondervan for the review copy.