A Power Line Christmas

Thousands of Power Line readers have downloaded the songs of Bruce Thiessen, a/k/a Dr. BLT, since we first featured them here and here in November. Bruce has collected his free downloads here. Last week Bruce wrote:

I thought I’d share this with you, and, if you’d like to pass it on, with visitors to your site.
aka Dr. BLT

What Land is This?
Performed by Monique
New words to “What Child is This,” by Dr. BLT (c)2005

This morning Bruce writes:

I don’t want to make your life more complicated than it has to be, but when you post “What Land is This?” would you mind adding the link to this song as a bonus track?


That “Saddam Is Gone” Christmas Song (’05 mix),
Words and music by Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT

Let me seize the moment to give you my own list of stocking stuffers and Hannukah equivalents for the holidays.

1. Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke, by Peter Guralnick. Guralnick is the author of the definitive two-volume biography of Elvis Presley and the the best writer ever to devote himself to American popular music. This year Guralnick returns with his long-awaited biography of Cooke. In it, as in the Presley volumes, he joins a fan’s passion with a scholar’s mania for research. Among the delights are Guralnick’s profiles of Specialty Records owner Art Rupe, who first recorded Cooke with the Soul Stirrers, and of Hugo and Luigi, Cooke’s producers at RCA. I know from first-hand experience how tough it is to get Luigi (full name: Luigi Creatore) to talk about his career in show business. Guralnick got him to talk.

2. The Devil’s Horn: The Story of the Saxophone, from Noisy Novelty to King of Cool, by Michael Segell. I wrote about Mike’s book earlier this year in “The joy of Sax.” Segell describes himself as “a professional music lover.” The love shines through; as with Guralnick, Segell’s diligence as a researcher pays big dividends. In its notice on the book, the New York Times asks: “Would someone please forward Segell the memo that states that books about jazz are supposed to be academic and soporific?”

3. Greatness: Reagan, Churchill and the Making of Extraordinary Leaders, by Steven Hayward, and Churchill: Statesman of the Century, by Robin H. Neillands. Two short new books on the man who saved the world both provide timely insight into our current struggle.

4. One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer, by Nathaniel Fick. Fick signed up for Marine Officer Candidates School as a Dartmouth undergraduate (major: classics). Hearing Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks speak on campus on the making of Marines inspires Fick to join the Corps. He is commissioned in a moving ceremony at Baker Library in the heart of the Dartmouth campus. I’m only a third of the way through the book — the point where the United States is attacked on 9/11, and Fick leads his men to war — but I can state without reservation that Fick is an excellent writer and you will learn much of interest from him in this book.

5. Bonus DVD pick: “Two for the Road.” Out on DVD this year, with a few extras, this 1967 film — directed by Stanley Donen, written by Frederic Raphael, starring Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn with a terrific supporting cast — is a brilliant movie on the subject of marriage. It may not be the wittiest romantic comedy on film, but it is certainly one of the best.


Books to read from Power Line