18 Days Until Christmas

Does a song have to mention Christmas at all to be a Christmas song? I bet this cover tune puts you in the holiday frame of mind even though the original was a hit in the summer of 1969.

Annie Lennox and Al Green teamed up to cover Jackie DeShannon’s “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” for the “Scrooged” soundtrack in 1988. The cast sang the song at movie’s end and transitioned to Lennox and Green as the credits rolled.

Green had left pop music in 1980 after falling off a stage and taking it as a sign from God that he should turn exclusively to gospel music. Producer Jimmy Iovine was the musical supervisor for “Scrooged.” He asked Green to record the song, Green asked if Annie Lennox would sing with him, and it became Green’s first Top 10 pop hit since 1974. It’s also Lennox’s highest charting song outside of Eurythmics, although her bandmate, David Stewart, did produce the track.

Here’s the original from Jackie DeShannon. Odd bit of trivia – Jackie wrote “Bette Davis Eyes,” the 1981 hit for Kim Carnes.

And let’s wrap up with an all-star version I found in doing my research. From a 1979 UNICEF charity concert in Assembly Hall at the United Nations – here’s John Denver, Donna Summer, Barry Gibb, Olivia Newton-John, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Andy Gibb, Rod Stewart, and ABBA. I also see Henry Fonda, Henry Winkler, Gilda Radner, David Frost, Rita Coolidge, Kris Kristofferson, and I’m sure I missed a few…