Darlene Love made her final appearance on David Letterman’s Late Show on Friday night. She sang “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” for the late night host one last time, after singing it for him each year since 1986. Friday’s performance was considered her most epic version, as she was accompanied by strings and even some indoor falling snow.
Darlene Love vowed to retire the song from the late night talk show circuit out of her love and respect for David Letterman. She originally recorded the song on the 1963 Christmas album “A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector.” She was in her early 20s back then, and now, over 50 years later, she’s still singing the song. She was reportedly never attached to it until she began singing it for David Letterman.
“I can’t speak for others, but for me, it’s become very meaningful,” Letterman said on his show Friday night.
The Late Show band leader, Paul Schaffer, said the song is one of very few meaningful things at Christmas time for David Letterman.
“One thing about Mr. Letterman–he hates Christmas and holiday novelty songs,” Shaffer told the New York Times. However, he said that Letterman made an exception for this one song “because of Darlene’s soul.”
Watch Darlene Love's final Letterman performance of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" http://t.co/z835ojFtuW
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) December 20, 2014
Darlene Love explained the reason she decided to climb on top of the piano toward the end of her performance on Friday. It was to avoid being hugged by David Letterman–an act she knew would make her cry.
Did you catch Darlene Love singing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” for David Letterman on Friday? If so, you caught a poignant piece of late night talk show history.