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Jim Caruso's 12 Days of Christmas... Barbra Streisand Reinvents a Classic

Love it or hate it, this souped-up arrangement of "Jingle Bells?" has become an iconic recording by the one and only Barbra Streisand. Of course, it's from her first Christmas album, which came out in 1967, but I was introduced to it in 1970 when it was released on a special promo album for Maxwell House coffee, along with cuts by Doris Day and (yes) Jim Nabors. I thought it was funny then, and I think it's funny now. I especially love the Brooklyn-ese reading of the word "upsot." It was all very sophisticated and slightly oddball to the young Jimmy Caruso, and takes me right back to Wexford, Pennsylvania, where I'd listen over and over on my little record player. (Google that word, kids.)

Jim Caruso's 12 Days of Christmas... Barbra Streisand Reinvents a ClassicJim Caruso made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the Tony Award-winning Liza's At The Palace!, singing, dancing and celebrating the music and arrangements of Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. He has won six MAC Awards for his nightclub appearances, performed with the New York Pops in a tribute to Kander & Ebb, performed with Rosemary Clooney in a celebration of Bing Crosby, and sang songs of Hope & Crosby with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall. Jim was honored to sing with Barbara Cook at President Clinton's First State Dinner at the White House. For the past fourteen years, he has hosted the weekly showbiz bash "Jim Caruso's Cast Party" at Birdland, Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center and across the globe. He also produces the Broadway at Birdland concert series and has a weekly segment on Legends Radio 100.3 FM called "A New York Minute with Jim Caruso." As a crooner, he performs regularly with Billy Stritch at Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel. His two cds, "The Swing Set" and "Caruso Live and In Person" are available online.

Over the next few weeks, you can catch Jim hosting Cast Party every Monday at Birdland, and singing at Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel every Sunday. He'll be joining his pals KLea Blackhurst and Billy Stritch in "A Swinging Christmas" at The Long Center in Austin, and for the seventh year in a row at Birdland during Christmas week.
Photo Credit: Bill Westmoreland

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