Grand Prairie, Texas — Award-winning retro jazz singer Laura Ainsworth has become known worldwide for her warm, rich vocal style that’s been compared to Julie London and Rosemary Clooney and for resurrecting long-forgotten songs and seldom-recorded lyrics. So when XO Publicity, which is promoting her newly-released fourth album of new material, You Asked For It, requested that she cut her first Christmas song for radio, she said, “She needed exactly 0.000001 second to decide what it would be her favorite Christmas song of all time, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!’” And of course, being such a musical archeologist, it had to be the original bittersweet lyrics sung by Judy Garland in the 1944 film “Meet Me in St. Louis” rather than the more common, happy lyrics made standard by Frank Sinatra.
Ms. Ainsworth’s evocative rendition of the Christmas classic, with warm yet spare accompaniment by her pianist/producer Brian Piper and bassist Young Heo, is already receiving radio play from New York to Peru. It’s also available on all major streaming and download platforms, and an appropriately minimalist video on YouTube is quickly adding views and positive comments (One listener simply wrote, “Wow. Awesomely beautiful.”)
Ms. Ainsworth said, “Besides being such a beautiful melody and touching lyric, the feeling of it reflects her personal idea of what she enjoy for this time of year, with the emphasis on ‘together’ and ‘little.’ She like little Christmases that don’t get started at all (not even a hint) until after Thanksgiving and feature meaningful get-togethers with closest family and friends. She also love that this song looks ahead, too, to better times when they’re not ‘muddling through’ quite so much. That hope is what she wish for all this year, and that’s where she think all headed.”
Her love of the Great American Songbook is in her DNA. As the daughter of big band sax and clarinet prodigy Billy Ainsworth, who quit college to join Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra at 17, Ms. Ainsworth grew up in elegant showrooms, watching her dad back such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme and Tony Bennett. Bringing the romance, elegance, class and beauty of that experience into modern times became her mission.
Once the holidays pass, Ms. Ainsworth plans to return to promoting “You Asked For It”, a new collection of songs requested by fans. It’s racking up critical raves, including a “Best of the Best of 2022” honor from the international radio show/podcast “Cocktail Nation” for her sultry lounge jazz reinvention of the 007 theme “Goldfinger.” But she already has something unusual in mind for next Christmas.
She said, “While she was in the studio, she cut an alternate version of ‘Merry Little Christmas’ featuring the really original lyrics that Judy rejected as being too sad. She couldn’t get the rights to release it because it’s never been published. But she have a whole year to work on it. Stay tuned!”
Retro-jazz vocalist Laura Ainsworth celebrates the holiday release of her fourth album You Asked For It (a collection of great standards requested by fans) and her first Christmas single, a warm new take on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” featuring the original Judy Garland lyrics from “Meet Me In St. Louis” (1944.)
Laura Ainsworth’s new rendition of the classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is available on all major download and streaming sites, and her new album You Asked For It, along with all her other releases, can be found at www.lauraainsworth.com.
Retro jazz vocalist Laura Ainsworth has the Great American Songbook in her DNA. As the daughter of big band sax and clarinet prodigy Billy Ainsworth, who quit college to join Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra at 17, Ms. Ainsworth grew up in elegant showrooms, watching her dad back such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme and Tony Bennett. Bringing the romance, elegance, class and beauty of that experience into modern times became her mission. She now has four award-winning studio albums to her credit, the latest being the newly-released You Asked For It, in addition to a Christmas single and a best-of compilation called Top Shelf that’s available as both a vinyl LP and an expanded deluxe Japanese import CD with an unreleased bonus track. For more information and all her music, visit www.lauraainsworth.com.
Name: Pat Reeder