William Price King has selected some wonderful international carols to share with us today. We hope it will help to ease you into the festive spirit and if you missed last week’s post here is the link: Carols from around the World Part One
“Tu scendi dalle Stella“ (From Starry Skies Thou Comest), also referred to as the “Carol of the Bagpipers,” was composed in 1732 by Alphonsus Liguori, a prominent Neapolitan priest, composer, poet, artist, and scholastic philosopher who was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVl and proclaimed ‘Doctor of the Church’ by Pope Pius lX in 1871. Luciano Pavarotti sang this carol at the ‘Christmas in Vienna’ concert on December 23, 1999.
“Betelehemu” is a popular Nigerian carol, sung a cappella or accompanied by percussions (conga, bongos, tambourines), in the original Yoruba text. This carol was composed by Grammy-nominated drummer Babatunde Olatunji who was born in the village of Ajido in southwest Nigeria. Here is an electrifying performance of this carol performed by the ‘Belem Vozes da Africa,’ and conducted by Maestro Cicero Alves.
In Sweden, as well as in other Scandinavian countries, “Santa Lucia Day” marks the beginning of the Yuletide season and starts the Twelve Days of Christmas. Santa Lucia was an early 4th century virgin martyr who, according to legend, brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candlelit wreath on her head to light her way while leaving her hands free to carry as much food as possible. Her feast day coincides with the shortest day of the year (prior to calendar reforms) and is celebrated as a festival of light.
We hope you have enjoyed the carols from around the world and will join us again in 2021 for a brand new music column every Tuesday. The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Hits from 1961 – 1985.
If you missed the repeat of the first interview with William back in 2014 here is the link: William Price King – His Life and Music.
William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.
His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.
While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.
His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.
In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.
Thanks for dropping in and have a wonderful Christmas. William and Sally