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Rob Lucas In The Morning



Rob Lucas Top 40 Fav Christmas Songs Ever - Nos. 20--1!


Monday, we counted up from 40 to 21
on the RLITM Favorite Christmas song list. Hope you enjoyed my take on various songs, and totally understand if your list had little in common with mine. As I wrote on Monday, nothing is more polarizing than Christmas music. That said...let's go from 20 to 1. What song do you think it should be? No fair cutting to the end!


20. Last Christmas – Lea Michelle, Cast of Glee
Great production, great vocals. A Christmas version of the best of Glee.
One of the best new Christmas songs of the past 5 years.


19. Angels – Jim Brickman
From his "The Gift" album. Amazing instrumental take on
Angels We Have Heard On High. Soft start, powerful ending. Unique.


18. Hallelujah Chorus – Boston Pops
Always have to crank this up! The bombast of the holiday filled with the
majesty of Handel's "The Messiah". Glorious!


17. All I Want For Christmas – Mariah Carey
One of the best contemporary Christmas songs ever.
Brought back the Phil Spector sound, and challenged other artists to create new holiday songs.


16. I Can't Wait For Christmas – Mindi Abair
The definition of Christmas cool and sexy with cocktails by the fire.

15. Holly Jolly Christmas -- Michael Buble
I LOVE Buble's TV Christmas specials. Campy and simply written the way the old
Andy Williams specials used to be. This version of Holly Jolly keeps up with the original

14. Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Elvis Presley
Elvis's sneer jus before the piano solo…priceless.
You feel the raw energy of a live to tape studio performance


13. Christmas In The Sand – Colbie Caillat
It's rare when a modern, non-traditional holidays songs cuts through
and fits nicely between classics. This one does. Sunshine in the dark of Winter!


12. (Christmas) Baby Please Come Home – U2
Recorded at a soundcheck during their 1987 tour, quite possibly the best rock Christmas song since
Springsteen's "Santa Claus" (see #30) at C.W. Post in the 70's.
A standout from the first Very Special Christmas CD (the red one!)


11. The Prayer – Andrea Bocelli & Celine Dion
Angelic. Can I hear this ll year? Makes time stand still.

10. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Peanuts
It's not Christmas till you hear this at the end of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

9. Soldier's Silent Night – Father Ted Berndt
Can't stop crying. Can't turn it off. Greatest writing ever.

8. Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer – Dean Martin
"Rudy, the red beaked reindeer" as only Dean can sing it.
"Making Spirits Bright" is a must-have Christmas album


7. Sleigh Ride – Johnny Mathis
Personal feelings for this song since Johnny was one of my favorite interviews ever.
He told great stories about recording this album in a sweaty New York studio
during the Summer of 1958. Percy Faith conducted, Mitch Miller produced.
Can't get any bigger than that.


6. Jingle Bells – Sammy Davis Jr.
Lots of versions of this song…but none like Sammy's. Santa Claus meets the Vegas Strip.
Gotta sing along when he yells "Everybody!"

5. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
Holiday smiles all around. Uptempo, and everyone loves it.
An original that will be a smash if released today!


4. Silent Night – Any Traditional Version
Growing up, always had a soft spot for the slow, traditional version of this hymn.
It was played during a Christmas church service my wife and I were attending, and when I looked over,
she was crying. Afterward, she said "Silent Night" always makes her cry. Me too.


3. Christmas Canon – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Another one that makes time stop. Majestic. Perfectly produced.

2. (Christmas) Baby Please Come Home – Darlene Love
Classic and iconic, from the opening bass line to the Wall of Sound buildup to the opening lyrics.
Could have easily placed this at #1.


1. Happy Holiday – Andy Williams
I didn't realize how perfect this song was till one of my Producer's pointed it out a few years ago.
Easy to sing along with... "He'll be coming down the chimney, down" deliciously 1960's produced pop!
How can you not put a song containing "whoop-de-do and hickory dock" in at #1?
The quintessential song for a downtown tree lighting with thousands, or your home gathering!



Got some thoughts on my choices? Leave 'em below!



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Still Don't Know What To Get Your Kids For Christmas?

Ebay.com setup this neat interactive map of the most popular gifts in each state. Video games are number one in most states. Legos, Barbie and Furby made the list too!

Photo Credit: mike_fleming via Flickr
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Michael Buble's "Christmas In New York" Is Tonight!


Hey, Michaels Buble's Christmas In New York is tonite! 8pm, NBC. Ariana Grande, Barbra Streisand and Miss Piggy guest. We wonder if he'll mention meeting Rob and the Star Crew last year! His holiday specials are always cool and campy. Great throwbacks to the Bing Crosby and Andy Williams shows you grew up with! Click for a preview...



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38 Cats Who Make Christmas Sweaters Look Cute!



Calling all Santa Paws! After checking out these
cats in their holiday sweaters, we know that cats have the most spirit this season!






Photo Credit: Sphinx-Mama via Flickr

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RLITM's 40 Favorite Christmas Songs Ever Ever Ever! Nos. 40--21


Christmas music is forever linked to our soul. Our family. Our childhood memories. That's why giving an opinion on Christmas music can lead to a more volatile discussion than on regular pop music. Just try speaking negatively about a certain holiday song at your office. Someone is sure to be offended by your criticism because that same song had so much meaning to their childhood Christmases. With that in mind, and in the spirit of Casey Kasem, let's countdown Rob Lucas In The Morning's 40 Favorite Christmas Songs Ever Ever Ever…starting with #'s 40-21.
And remember, favorite song doesn't mean best or classic…that's why some of the biggest Christmas songs ever won't be found here.

40. Winter Wonderland – Andy Williams
Love the abnormal key changes on this version

39. Put One Foot In Front Of The Other – Rankin Bass Claymation Characters
Is there anything more memorable than goofy songs from Christmas shows?

38. Be A Santa – Living Voices
You probably don't know this one. We don't play it, cuz I don't think it exists anywhere but on vinyl.
My family had the Living Voices "Little Drummer Boy" album when I was growing up.
Great memories. Click the song title if you wanna see a YouTube video

37. Christmas Memories – Frank Sinatra
"I close my eyes and see shining faces, Of all the children who now have children of their own." Priceless!

36. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
Classic. No other version comes close.

35 Skating – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Visions of Pig Pen creating dust on ice!

34. Merry Christmas Everyone – Slade/Rockettes
The original SLADE version is rough and bawdy…Christmas in a bar.
The Rockettes version makes you think of Christmas in Rockefeller Center!


33. Pine Cones And Holly Berries/We Wish You A Merry Christmas – Living Voices
See #38

32. Sleigh Ride – Leroy Anderson
The quintessential Christmas instrumental

31. Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
Quite possibly the original guitar-rock Christmas song. Wish I had the original Chess records 45.

30. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
I've tired of this over the years, but it's gotta be on the list simply because it's live and raw,
including wicked great mic feedback just before the sax solo!


29. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm – Dean Martin
Awesome brushes on drums!

28. Winter Wonderland – Brian Setzer Orchestra
Brian's Boogie Woogie Christmas album simply rocks. This cut: rockin' smooth!

27. That Holiday Feeling – Michael Civisca and Mary Stahl
It's rare that you get a local production that sounds as good as anything out of a big time studio.
Hard to believe Michaels "And Friends" album is now 15 years old! Mary and Mike wail!

26. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Rod Stewart
I thought Rod's Christmas CD of 2012 was an unespected surprise.
Even as a huge Stewart fan, it surpassed my expectations.


25. Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano
Unique. Not another version of the song even comes close.

24. Merry Christmas Darling – Carpenters
Christmas Portrait. One of the great albums of any genre or era. Buy the Special Edition with 21 songs!

23. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie & Bing Crosby
Bing died just 5 weeks after they taped this somewhat bizarre duet. I remembering seeing it the first time it
played in 1977. At the time, I knew a lot about Bowie, not as much about Bing!


22. Winter Wonderland -- Darlene Love
The first Phil Spector production on the list. Intoxicating. 'Nuf said.

21. Christmastime All Over The World – Sammy Davis Jr.
Love it cuz it's schmaltzy, overproduced, and (again) unique.

Full Album Honorable Mention: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Christmas Album
A newly remastered version came out in 2005. A must have. Put it on, and let it roll.
Perfect background (along with STAR 102.5 music) for any holiday happening!


Coming Friday: Rob Lucas Top 20 Favorite Christmas Songs ever ever ever
!

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2015 Golden Globe Nominations Are Out!

Check out the list of nominees, then watch on Sunday January 11th to see if your fav's won!
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DVR Alert: Holiday TV Schedule!

Time to plan out what holiday specials you'll be watching for the rest of December! Take a look at TV Guide's Holiday TV Schedule!

Speaking of Holiday TV here's a REALLY neat article about one of the most iconic holiday specials Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer!
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25 Signs Your Family is Christmas Fanatics



The Christmas spirit is locked into your genes! There is no escaping that Christmas cheer if your kitchen is always smelling of eggnog & goodies, the stockings are all personalized on the mantle and everyone is wearing their matching sweaters. 14 Days till CHRISTMAS!






Photo Credit: Nancy Trujillo via Flickr
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2014's Top Selling Songs and Albums According To Itunes

1. "Happy", Pharrell

2. "All of Me", John Legend

3. "Dark Horse", Katy Perry featuring Juicy J

4. "Talk Dirty", Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz

5. "Fancy", Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

6. "Problem", Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea

7. "All About That Bass", Meghan Trainor

8. "Let It Go", Idina Menzel

9. "Turn Down for What", DJ Snake and Lil Jon

10. "Rude", Magic!

And the 10 Biggest Albums...

1. The "Frozen" soundtrack

2. "1989", Taylor Swift

3. "Ghost Stories", Coldplay

4. "In the Lonely Hour", Sam Smith

5. The "Guardians of the Galaxy" soundtrack

6. "Beyoncé", Beyoncé

7. "Pure Heroine", Lorde

8. "X", Ed Sheeran

9. "The Outsiders", Eric Church

10. "5 Seconds of Summer", 5 Seconds of Summer

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Tips for Keeping Christmas Tree Fresh



We all want the PERFECT tree & here are some tips to help keep all the pine needles off your floor!


Make sure the tree is fresh. Cut it yourself at a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm.

If you shop at a retail lot, take a light grip on one of the tree's branches. Then pull the branch lightly through your hand. A fresh tree will lose few, if any, green needles. Two other options are to hold the tree by its trunk and shake it. Or bounce the bottom of the trunk on the ground. Again, a fresh tree should lose few, if any, green needles.

Keep the tree in a cool, protected place if you don't plan to take it indoors right away. Put it under an overhang, say, or in an unheated garage or porch.

If you're going to store the tree outside for a couple of days, put the end of its trunk in a bucket of water.

If the tree has been cut for more than six to eight hours — and so has been out of water that long — make a new, straight cut at the bottom of the trunk. Use a saw to cut an inch or so off the end. Otherwise, during that time, sap will have started to seal the original cut. The tree won't take up water as well, or maybe not at all, and will dry out sooner than it should.

Keep the room cooler than normal, if possible, once you set up the tree. If you can, turn down the thermostat, or close or partly close the room's heat vents. This slows down the tree's drying out.

For the same reason, locate the tree away from heat vents, fireplaces, radiators and windows that get direct sunlight.

Last but not least, keep the tree watered. Ideally, use a tree stand that can hold at least one gallon of water, and more for bigger trees. The key: Keep it filled. Don't let the water get lower than the end of the trunk. If the water gets too low, the end will seal with sap. And you know what happens then: Less or no uptake of water; premature drying out.




Source: Lancaster Eagle-Gazette by Connie Smith

Photo Credit: christiNYCa via Flickr
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$151,000+ For The SPCA! Thank You Buffalo!


The 11th Annual SPCA Radiothon wrapped up Friday night, and Buffalo and Western New York came through again! $151,503! Thank you so much to those who became Angels For The Animals...to the kids who donated allowances or took up collections in their neighborhoods...to the major businesses and coporations who sponsored portions of the two day event...and to the volunteers, many of whom were at the SPCA for 30 hours over two days working their magic to make it happen!

Thank you for giving the animals a voice, and helping the SPCA give them a better life, maybe in your home! See more Radiothon 2014 pics and stories
(and donate online in case you missed out) at yourspca.org.

$151,000 +. Wow. When it comes to caring, Buffalo NEVER fails!

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The SPCA Radiothon Is Underway...And A "No Voice Tour" Update!

A lot of ground to cover, let's get to it!

The 11th Annual SPCA Radiothon is ON THE AIR! To make a donation or become an Angel For The Animals, call 873-7722, or donate online at yourspca.org. If you need a little incentive to give till it feels good, check out the STORY OF DORI, a dog that the SPCA just rescued on Monday. So powerful. Another SPCA Happy Ending. And if that's not enough, at the end of this post, I'm going to take it PERSONAL, with my request for your donation.

In my Monday blog, I documented why you will not hear me at all during the radiothon, and see me briefly. To go a little further, in my appt on Wednesday, I asked my speech therapist (the 2nd smartest person I've met…my wife is #1!) if I could give radio a shot next week, just for one day. Her answer: "Not on her watch." She knows what I do for a living, and thinks there is just too much temptation to push it too hard (correct!). Working next week wouldn't truly set us back at all, but to paraphrase her, "Sounding like you at 100%, only 50% of the time, is not how you want to be heard. You are so close to getting back to where you want to be. Let it happen."

But I have come soooooooo far. What do I need to improve? Still too many pitch breaks in my long recitations...but they are so much better than they were (actually, I couldn't even attempt them before) and I can now recite 2-3 minute passage easily. Some voice crackle in my inflections still need to go away. Until then, not radio ready, 100% of the time.

On my end, the not knowing "when" I'll be ready-for-air is still the tough part. I truly feel like an athlete who will be getting back up to the plate after missing a year due to injury...or even a few months...and not quite sure what will happen. So that's where I'm at.

And in that spirit, I'm gonna take this personal. The SPCA Radiothon is always tough for me. I hate asking for money, even when I believe in a cause like the SPCA so much. That's why I do what I do, and am not in the sales end. But this time, since I can't be on the air, I'm ASKING FOR THE ORDER!
  • If you've ever won a concert ticket from me, call 873-7722 and donate NOW!
  • If you've ever laughed at something I said, call 873-7722 and donate NOW!
  • If you've ever had your day, or maybe your life change because of something you learned from Rob Lucas In The Morning, call 873-7722 and donate NOW!
  • If you've ever felt close to a major star because we put you up close and personal with them, call 873-7722 and donate NOW!
  • And if you've ever said "Rob you suck, get off the air, you no-talent hack." Well, the last two months have been heaven for you. So you should certainly call 873-7722 and donate NOW!
Have a great day!



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Are You A Christmas Movie Fanatic?



All of these sure put you in the Holiday spirit! Buzzfeed put together a cheerful list of specials that make you just want to have a movie day on the couch! How many of these Christmas Classics have you've seen?



Photo Credit: S_herman via Flickr
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The Better Half Of The Bills - KiKi Searcy

Sue O'Neil chatted with Kennetra Searcy wife of Bills Safety Da'Norris Searcy. Listen to the interview below and hear the entire interview! She even tells us she's a faster runner than her husband AND Fred Jackson!

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Amazing Concert Video: Chris Martin and Bruce Springsteen Front For U2

Yesterday night in Times Square was the World Aids Day Concert. Check out the full concert video below! Bruce Springsteen takes the stage about 38 minutes in, but the whole video worth watching!

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Garth Brooks' Putting On 4 Shows In Buffalo! Ticket and tour details here

Garth Brooks
w/ Trisha Yearwood
March 6 & 7, 2015

Buffalo, NY, December 1- For the first time in 17 years, The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood is returning to Buffalo, New York! The concerts will be Friday, March 6th, 6:00 PM and 10:30 PM. As well as Saturday, March 7th, 6:00 PM and 10:30 PM at First Niagara Center.

On Tuesday, November 11th, Garth released MAN AGAINST MACHINE, his first new studio album in 13 years.

Tickets will be on sale Friday, December 5th at 10:00 AM EST. There will be an eight ticket limit per purchase. Tickets can only be purchased at
www.tickets.com/garth or 1-800-228-6622. Please note there will be no sales at the venue box office on December 5th.

Tickets will cost $56.97 plus a $1.28 tax, $2.50 facility fee and a $5.50 service charge for a total of $66.25.

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The SPCA Radiothon is This Thursday And Friday!


The 11th annual SPCA RADIOTHON is this Thursday and Friday! Can you believe we are going into decade number 2 of giving animals in need a voice? Over the past 10 years you have donated nearly $2 Million to help the SPCA of Erie County continue to be one of the leading organizations of its kind in the nation. And we'll be asking you to help again this Thursday and Friday by donating and 873-SPCA, or online at yourspca.org. The annual Radiothon is the most crucial and largest fundraiser for the SPCA Serving Erie County.

This year, the theme of "giving the animals a voice" has special meaning for me, since this Fall I sort of joined the animals, as in losing my voice. As I look back at some of the things I went through, many of the ways I resorted to in communicating were very similar to the way your pets do with you; a goofy look, a tilted head, a paw (or in my case a hand) acting out what you wanted someone to realize.

I probably won't be at the SPCA much for this radiothon. I really wanted to at least answer phones and take donations, but some very smart people (my boss, my speech therapist) have confirmed that being on site could be a dangerous thing for my vocal rehab. A loud room, with a lot of projection required for cut through, and many people to talk to is just too tempting. My voice has come so far in 6 weeks…too far to have any setbacks. So my time on site will be minimal.

But my spirit and thoughts for the animals of WNY will be endless. I will probably drive you up the wall with tweets, facebook posts, and social media solicitations to donate. If you wanna get a head start and send me pics of your pet, or a story of what your pet means to you, do so via Email at
roblucas@mystar1025.com, or follow me on twitter, and shoot me a pic @roblucas2

I'll be sure to pass along your thoughts via social media. And get ready to give til it feels good this Thursday and Friday at 873-SPCA.

Oh, even if I'm not on site, the over-under on me crying is still at 3.

Thanks…for supporting the SPCA of Erie County…one of Buffalo's treasures!

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Everything You Need To Know Before You Start Cyber Monday Shopping!


No lines, no getting up early, you can even shop from home in your pj's on Cyber Monday! But before you start shopping check these quick links to help you find the best deals!
Happy Shopping!

10 Things To Know For Cyber Monday

The Best 2014 Cyber Monday Deals

5 Things NOT To Buy on Cyber Monday

7 Reasons Cyber Monday Is Better Than Black Friday


Photo source: StormKatt via Flickr





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Happy Thanksgiving! Rob Lucas Is Thankful For...


Tuesday I had lunch with someone I hadn’t seen since I lost my voice.  He was pretty amazed at how close to myself I sounded, while still not being  100%.  He asked how bad it was when I started, so I took out my phone and played him a recording made during my first speech therapy session.  At that point, I noticed it was exactly one month to the day of that first session.  Wow, much has changed in one month…and for the good.  And I owe it all to Karen Bunce, my Speech Therapist at Buffalo Therapy Group.   I can’t imagine where I would be without her.  I’m so happy and thankful to have her in my life as a vocal mentor and friend.

I’m also thankful for my co-workers, for all their mental and physical support.  Especially the people you hear on-air every day, many of whom have had to add work hours onto their day, and in some cases turn their personal and business life upside down to fill in the places where I would normally be.

I am thankful for RLITM Producers Brandi, Jimmy, and Alex.  They take random e-mail and texts I send them at all hours of the day, add in their personal magic, and use the result to make our morning show page and social media sites engaging and interesting.  Though I do wish they would use spell check before posting!  (I couldn’t resist…)

I am thankful to all of you reading this and who have kept up with me via facebook and twitter posts.  Your thoughts and wishes mean more than you know.  I hope I can repay you.

I am thankful for having the chance to deliver Thanksgiving dinners to those in Kenmore-Tonawanda who can’t get out or cook for themselves on Turkey day.  Thank you Dan Wiles and Ken-Ton Meals On Wheels for showing me a new path.

And above all, I am thankful for my wife, Linda.  The smartest, most thoughtful, least selfish person I have ever met.  I have no idea how she puts up with me.  And it doesn’t hurt that she is a hottie!  I adore her.  Always will.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 
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The Better Half Of The Bills - Kaela Carpenter

Kaela Carpenter wife of Bills Kicker Dan joined Roger this morning on The Better Half Of The Bills. Click below to listen to the interview. 

Check out 26shirts for the new limited edition Dan "Money Man" Carpenter shirt.  For every shirt purchased $8 will be donated directly to families in need! 

Kaela also LOVES cooking and baking, you can see many of her recipes on her website



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