Darlene Love has been singing 'Christmas’ for Letterman since 2014

Darlene Love’s annual TV show „Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” was orphaned in 2015 when the „Late Show with David Letterman” aired, ending a 28-year streak of the music legend singing her signature tune. A holiday song with the Paul Shafer Band on Letterman’s last original show before Christmas every December. But they all reunited — not on air, but on YouTube — to restart the tradition, nine years after this particular caroling last took place on CBS.

Watch the video below.

Love sang the modern standard he created on „The View,” but his song hasn’t had a late-night slot since 2014. He recently sang with Cher in a Rockefeller Center prime-time special. On his latest Christmas album. But Love still harbors some feelings about the fact that he was never asked to perform in that annual New York City-based special.

Asked by Letterman if the new 10-minute video was his first appearance in a tree-lighting special, Love said, “They wouldn’t hire me for that. Isn’t that crazy?,” noting that other guests sang it instead of her.

„That’s bullshit,” Letterman bluntly said. He added, „I hope I didn’t ruin anyone’s vacation.”

„No, because that’s what Cher said, but I’ll let you say it,” Love said. He added, “It’s another circle [having done it with Cher]. I was talking to my husband about this. It’s like being with you (a lot) — it’s a full circle we share.

„Now when you say your husband,” Letterman inquired, „I’m trying to put two and two together here. Are you married to Mike Love? (She established that she didn’t take her name from a beach boy.)

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Shaffer piled on the most inaccuracy, asking if she „wasn’t married to Robert Evans for a certain period of time.”

Shaffer easily understood his popular take on Cher’s „Oh Holy Night” from the Sonny and Cher Christmas special in the early ’70s, which featured a guest appearance by William Conrad.

„Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” was first recorded in 1963 as the highlight of the album „A Christmas Gift to You from Bill Spector”. Written by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry with Spector, it was the only original song on the album, which otherwise featured mostly female groups covering secular holiday classics. The song is considered by some to be the greatest Christmas song of the post-crooner era.

When Letterman first sang „Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on his NBC series in 1986, it was with Shaffer and the house band, no extras or backup singers, and recalled how it grew. “The musicians in the band would appear out of the sky… and then at the end, speaking of lawsuits, I can’t tell you the amount of lawsuits that came from the audience who inhaled the styrofoam. They loved it, and it required lung surgery.

On a serious note, Love thanked the former late-night host for kickstarting both her career and the song’s popularity. (His debut on “Late Night” came a few years after his resurgence in popularity due to its prominent use in the movie “Gremlins.”)

„David, I want you to know that you are the reason my career started,” she said. „Because I wasn’t working that much. I was really trying to have this solo career,” she said, adding that she was part of Spectre’s stable in the barren decades after the girl-group’s demise. „Every year I come on your show, I get more work.”

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The video segment ended with Letterman and longtime partner Barbara Gaines belting out the lonely holiday anthem Love with Shaffer and some backing vocals.

Love and Cher aren’t the only ones reviving music this holiday season. U2 recorded „A Very Special Christmas” in the late 1980s and re-introduced it as a surprise during their set at the Sphere in Las Vegas. It was the first time U2 had performed it live since 1987.

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