Holiday Traditions

Welcome to 2024.  It doesn’t often happen that this column drops on the actual first day of the year.  Since this is the 24th year of our wildly popular weekly column, I am feeling like we’re closing in on a landmark.  But that’s business of another day.  The topic at hand is ringing in the New Year.  Since I’m a traditionalist (unlike a Constitutionalist – which is a whole other thing), I spend the evening with some dear friends watching Lindsay Wagner movies.  A highlight was seeing Lindsay, in the course of a half hour, play six very different roles – one of whom was a stripper.  Talk about range!  Hey, a gig’s a gig, and a tradition’s a tradition.  Happy New Year!


One of the most beloved holiday traditions of days gone by returned this year.  Way back in 1986, Darlene Love sang “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on David Letterman’s show (starting on NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman).  For many, it wasn’t Christmas until Darlene appeared, and Letterman had her on for 28 consecutive years.  In 2015, he retired.  What would Darlene do?  One of Letterman’s producers (Brian Teta) took over the reigns of The View, and brought Darlene with him.  And that was all well and good, but it really wasn’t the same.  Another Letterman producer, Barbara Gaines, reunited Letterman and his sidekick, Paul Shaffer for an Internet episode last week, and the guest was Darlene.  After some chit-chat, Paul sidled on over to a piano (which had clearly seen better days), and Love launched into her biggest hit – joined by backup singers Milton Vann, Diamond White and Keesha Gumbs.  Sometimes you can go home again.  You can see this special on our website.

It should be noted that this was not Darlene’s first reunion with Paul Shaffer.  On April 7, 2020, Love was a guest on Billy Masters LIVE!, where we surprised her with Paul Shaffer and the great Marc Shaiman.  On that show, Shaffer surprised me with quite a compliment.  “Billy, you are a new find of mine.  I’m now your biggest fan!”

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