Friday, November 2, 2012

David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Nine: Little Drummer Boy

By Pamela Pike and Rosanne Simunovic

Pamela Pike’s Recollection
The “Little Drummer Boy” originally known as “Carol of the Drums” was written by the American Classical music composer and teacher Katherine K. Davis in 1941.  It was recorded in 1955 and further popularized by a 1958 recording by the Harry S. Simeone Chorale, arranged by Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone.  It’s been a perennial holiday favorite ever since then.
The singers lyrics relates how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the  Magi to the nativity where, without a gift for the baby Jesus, he played his drum with the Virgin Mary’s approval, remembering, “I played my best for Him” and “He smiled at me”.
David’s take on “Little Drummer Boy” was an ambitious choice considering many had already laid down a definitive version of the song.  So what did David bring to the table, restraint for one thing, maintaining the traditional feel of the original standard that we’ve grown to love?

A beautiful voice packed with emotion, soul and vulnerability, poignant.  The music is kept in a traditional style, but David’s performance was quite spirited and lively.
David puts his own original spin on everything he does.  His 2011 Christmas Tour version features lots of drums and lots of interesting vocal nuances to make you truly appreciate his need to be original.  It’s an unexpected yet amazing match that catches you off guard.
Music producer, Dapo Torimiro released a Christmas album called Dapo & Friends Christmas Volume 1.  He collaborated with a lot of amazing artists remaking many of the Christmas classics.  One of them was David Archuleta with their version of “Little Drummer Boy”. It is deeply affecting and touching.
We all love singing the Christmas Carol “The Little Drummer Boy”, a beautiful song lyrically and melodically.   Our hearts swell as the poor boy offers his best, meager gift to the Baby in the manger, and we smile in joy as the infant Lord graciously smiles His Thanks.
The unmatched phenomenal voice of David so beautiful and controlled, mellow and mature sends chills down my spine.  Such a humble entertainer, such an overwhelming talent!
You are guaranteed a satisfying, meaningful, and somewhat nostalgic Christmas Music that even your boy band listening kids will love.

God only made so many perfect singing voices and David Archuleta surely got one of them.

Rosanne Simunovic's Recollections

I must share a very cute story involving my 16-month-old grandson and David's performance of "The Little Drummer Boy". 

Back in December 2011, my grandson, who was 10-months-old at the time, was mastering the art of standing and walking through the support of furniture located around the house. He couldn't quite get there on his own but, daily, his little legs were getting stronger and stronger.

Then one afternoon,  I decided to play David's video performance of "The Little Drummer Boy" on my IPad. Well, to say that my grandson was mesmerized by David's voice would be an understatement.

He intently watched David as he sang through the first three verses with his signature style - passionately communicating the music and lyrics in own special way. It was a special moment between Grandson and Grandmother.

But then something truly exciting happened. When both the percussive background and David's inner rockstar started to kick into high gear, my grandson became incredibly  excited. He left my side, went to the middle of the floor and started to bend and stand to the rhythm of the music. And wouldn't stop to come up for air!  It was one of those "oh my goodness" moments!  Where did this come from?

Here he was - bending and standing on his own, spurred on by the intense passion and drive in David's voice. And he matched the rhythmic tempo as well. I just couldn't get over it! 

This scene was re-enacted all afternoon, becoming stronger by the minute. And, because he heard me say "You did it, Yay!" each time he showcased his new developmental trick, he decided to speak those words as well.  Speaking and standing at the same time? The miracle of David's voice? I like to think so. There is no other explanation for this metamorphosis.

When his parents returned from work that evening, they were treated to quite a spectacle. It was an early Christmas gift, thanks to David and his innate ability to inspire and motivate!
David's performance of this song was absolutely brilliant. How he came up with this unique concept for this song is inexplicable and testament to the depth and maturity of David's musical gifts.   

It has to be one of my favorite Christmas performances by David.  My hope is that it will find its way on to a recording at some point in time.  I feel that it is destined to be a classic - timeless and true, like its vocal artist - David James Archuleta.

"Bravo David and thank you for helping my grandson (whose middle name is David - another great coincidence)- move closer to the walking stage before he hit the 1-year-old mark!  Hopefully, this indicates that my grandson has somehow inherited your love and passion for music. One can only dream! 

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