Questlove’s Christmas Music Playlist: Paul McCartney, DRAM

Aside from his role in The Roots, Questlove is also one of the world’s most passionate and knowledgeable music historians. He knows pretty much everything there is to know about the industry and he shared some of that knowledge in his latest book, 2021’s Music Is History. Now, with the holiday season in full swing, Questlove has just enhanced your upcoming gatherings by sharing his Christmas music playlist.

He ran through his favorite holiday tunes on NPR’s Fresh Air, and included in the mix is Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.” Quest said of the song, “You know, Paul doesn’t like [that song] too much. Every time I talk to him and tell him, ‘Not only is it my favorite Christmas song, but it might be my favorite Paul McCartney Post-Beatles song.’ And he’s just, like, cringing his face, like, ‘No, no, but that was a rush job.’”

His mix also includes cuts by Run-DMC, DRAM, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and others.

Quest also came through with a particularly fascinating bit of Stevie Wonder history, saying:

“Stevie Wonder is world-famous for his unique jingles for radio stations — if you search the Internet high and low, you can find some that he’s done over the years and over the decades. There’s actually a Philadelphia version of this particular jingle that I grew up with, and that’s the thing that’s always close to my heart. So there was a point in time in which Stevie Wonder might take time out to craft maybe somewhere between 30 to 50 individualized, customized radio station jingles for the territories that were playing his music the most. And so that’s why I chose this one. This is sort of a companion piece to the Marvin Gaye ‘Christmas In The City’ bit. This is Stevie Wonder playing synthesizer.”

Listen to Questlove discussing his picks here.


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