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Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310327954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310327950
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

More 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.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Many of my favorite songs are included in this book.
scesq
Chances are, if you like Christmas music and history, you'll find a book about the history of Christmas songs a fun read.
D. Mckinzie
What the book does have is great information, very well written.
K. Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian W. Fairbanks VINE VOICE on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ace Collins sounds like the name of an author who writes mystery novels featuring hard-bitten, steely-eyed detectives. His books include several titles that seem to belong to that genre, but most are of a gentler sort. Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas fits into the latter category. Having previously written The Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Collins now focuses on yuletide songs that generated sales on the charts (as my favorite carol, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," apparently didn't). These are among the most beautiful songs ever written, and are such a part of everyone's life that it's tempting to think they just materialized, fully-formed, delivered to our ears the same way God gave the 10 commandments to Moses. Of course, these songs were written by flesh and blood human beings, many of whom were inspired by events as cold and bleak as the darkest night in January.

These are fascinating stories, and Collins's research serves to deepen the listener's appreciation for these beloved songs. The book would make a perfect Christmas gift, but be careful not to give it to that chatterbox with an opinion on every subject, especially if he gets an invitation to your holiday festivities. Every time one of the songs Collins writes about is played on the radio, he'll blather on about its history, and may not even credit his source.

You're better off getting the information directly from Collins. Some of the stories are already familiar to anyone with more than a passing interest in the music, such as Irving Berlin's mistaken belief that "White Christmas" wasn't much of a song, or how lyricist Robert Wells scribbled the beginnings of what became "The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. .
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Do you love to play Trivial Pursuit? Is Jeopardy your favorite television show? Do obscure facts and feel good stories tickle your fancy? Does knowing the story behind the story (or in this case, behind the song) make your day? If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, then Ace Collin's book Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas should appeal to you. Filled with informative little tid-bits, Greatest Hits is a book just brimming with sometimes funny, sometimes moving stories about the genesis of your personal holiday favorites. The who and why behind the music are all spelled out for you.

While the writing style would definitely put this book into the category of a "lite read" versus great prose, it is still a perfect little stocking stuffer. Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas is sure to be a hit with the musical trivia buff in your life. Rating = Not quite four stars but better than three. 3 1/2.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Davis on October 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book made me laugh and made me shed a few happy tears. It is wonderful. For 34 Christmas songs, it gives fascinating background information.

I'm so eager to hear Christmas music, and it's Halloween. I love Christmas music, and it's never played enough. Certainly not enough for me to get tired of it!

I wish the book had the words to all the songs, but that might have been difficult with copyrights. It is not very difficult to look up the words online. What the book does have is great information, very well written. It is a fascinating book. Kudos!
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By dierpap on December 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book, like the others.written by Ace Collins, is.an excellent resource about the popular Christmas songs. Mr. Collins researches his subjects well. His other books are also must haves for those who wish to know about Christmas songs and traditions. I highly recommend them.
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By Francisco Enriquez on August 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been singing Christmas songs since I was a child because I love the Christmas season. I had always wanted to know the stories behind those songs that have blessed the hearts of many for the past decades. When I saw the book about the Stories Behind The Greatest Hits of Christmas, I was so glad. I will not hesitate to recommend this book to narrators, Preachers,Sunday School Teachers and friends. That is the reason why I give this book a 5 stars God bless you Ace.
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By B. D. Kent on February 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ace Collins has provided some reach material to enhance the Christmas season in a contemporary way. Worth every penny I spent on it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book actually has some overlap with the material in Ace Collins' earlier books, Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas (Stories Behind Books)) and More Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas; he has also written Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas (Stories Behind Books), Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter, etc.

In this 2010 book, Collins focuses on the "Greatest Hits" rather than "Most-Loved"; thus, it is more focused on popular culture, the record charts, etc. He states in the Introduction, "thirty-four all-time great Christmas songs are arranged in almost chronological order according to when they hit the charts... The musical numbers in this book are the ones that made the greatest impact by touching hearts and minds in a special way... these are the holiday hits, and the stories behind them!"

He notes about Jingle Bells that "the song was not even written about the Christmas season... there's not a single reference to Christmas---not a mention of Santa, Jesus, gifts, trees, or carols... this ditty actually examines the dating rituals of teenagers during the cold Northeastern winters in the nineteenth century..." (Pg. 19) He adds that the composer, James S.
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