Kick Off the Holiday Season to a Groovy Beat with this Year's Special Bonus Mix

While this year's holiday mix is not due to be posted until Thanksgiving Day, anyone itching to start the season a little earlier can do so to the groovy sounds of peace and love with a special bonus mix called  The NOW Sound of Christmas, which is available now for a limited time. This unique blend of pop music from the late 1960s was inspired by a couple of promotional holiday albums produced by the U.S. Air Force in 1968 in support of its ongoing recruiting campaign. The first featured a series of holiday classics performed by the popular duo of Tony Sandler and Ralph Young. But it's the second disc that's especially noteworthy -- and when I first ran across it a couple of years ago, I knew it was something special. Most of the music was performed by the official Air Force Dance Band along with special guests The Free Design, a pleasant sounding soft rock group from Canada whose music dripped with the message of the counterculture. So what we have here is a record produced and paid for by the U.S. Air Force that features a bunch of hippies from Canada urging listeners to reject commercialism and embrace the politics of peace and love! This is so groovy it blows my mind, and you just have to wonder -- did General LeMay know about this blasphemy?


Politics aside, the music of The Free Design is an awesome trip of its own. They played the kind of soft rock that was big during the Summer of Love, when everything really was groovy -- before the assassinations of Dr. King and RFK, the deaths of Hendrix and Joplin, the election of Richard Nixon, and the tragedy at the Altamont Raceway. Theirs is the style of The Fifth Dimension, The Association, Herb Alpert and The Byrds. It's a hopeful, peaceful and loving sound, and it's one that many of us thirst for today.


The NOW Sound of Christmas consists of 24 tracks and runs just a little over 50 minutes. Five original songs by the Free Design set the tone for this collection, and I've added a lively group of similar tunes to keep things rolling. The result is a psychadelic trip that will bring you right back to the '60s -- just watch out for the brown acid. It's suggested that you stay away from that.


Of course, it's your own trip . . .



The NOW Sound of Christmas is a special bonus mix, offered in addition to not in place of Mark's regular annual Holiday CD.