Darlene Love was a high-school sophomore in California with a powerful church-choir voice when she joined the popular girl group the Blossoms as their first lead singer in 1958. They shot to immortality in 1962, when producer Phil Spector used them as surrogates on his new Crystals’ singles.
With “He’s a Rebel” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” Darlene Love turned into a familiar (though uncredited) voice on radio and records; she also became a member of Spector’s Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans.
Darlene’s own 1963 hits – “(Today I Met ) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry,” “Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home,” “A Fine Fine Boy,” “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – made her a household name.
By 1964, the Blossoms, who were regulars on TV’s Shindig, had graduated to first-call A-list session singers (check them on Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special).
Darlene left in 1973 to start a family, but the early 1980s roots-rock revival drew her back. She starred in the Broadway “jukebox” musical Leader of the Pack (based on the Ellie Greenwich songbook).
U2 later invited her to sing on their 1987 remake of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
Ever since, Love’s annual wall-of-sound performance of the song (with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra) on David Letterman’s final pre-Christmas-hiatus show has been a high point of the season.
Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
The Late Show with David Letterman – December 23, 2009