A friend of mine sent me a YouTube video yesterday, and all she said was "Familiar with this? From Van Ritshie? You're welcome." Honestly, at first, I thought it was going to be some gag. I half-expected there be some joke, some twist, maybe even a jump scare, I don't know! Maybe the song took a funny, satirical turn. It didn't do any of those things. Just like the Grinch, my cynical heart grew three sizes last night as I played this YouTube video over and over again.

"Christmas in Poughkeepsie" by Van Ritshie Should Be a Christmas Classic

YouTube/Matt Jordan
YouTube/Matt Jordan

Let me tell you, this video is so sweet and wholesome. It's definitely a little cheesy and corny, and you have to love the 80s/90s VHS video quality, but it all adds to the magic. The song is well produced and Van Ritshie's vocals are superb. This song, especially as Ritshie sings, "And if you haven't got the spirit of the year, then I invite you to spend it right here!" reminds of me of classics like "It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in the style of Any Williams. Ritshie's smooth baritone voice is perfect to carry this holiday tune, and it just had me humming "Christmas in Poughkeepsie" all night.

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So who is the man behind that lovely crooning voice? Van Ritshie is a voice over artist that has been working in the field for over 30 years. My friend's husband said that Ritshie was the DJ for WKIP back in 1988. According to his LinkedIn, Ritshie was a radio DJ for the Q92.1 Morning Show from 1989 - 2004, WGNY-Fox Oldies from 2009 - 2017 and later for The WALL Radio starting in 2017. He was also the Image Voice for The PGA Tour from 2005 - 2008, and served as President and CEO of Digital Media Productions from 2008 - 2009. Connections on LinkedIn had a lot of great things to say about Ritshie:

  • "Van has an uncanny ear for music and a voice like pure velvet..." - Ric Aliberte
  • "He is truly the best of old school broadcasting..." - Ron Carson

The video offers a special thanks to Frank Dwyer, the Executive Director of the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie at the time. The band behind the song consisted of Johnny Dell, Van Ritshie, Matt Jordan, Mike Del Vecchio and Geri Del Vecchio. As stated in the credits of the video, the benefits from the song were to go to The Children's Home of Poughkeepsie. If you look through the credits of sponsors, you'll find a number of familiar names like Adams, Central Hudson, Marshall & Sterling, Ship Lantern Inn, Vincitore Pianos and Organs and many more!

Christmas in Poughkeepsie
Christmas in Poughkeepsie

The friend who sent me the song also shared that her husband had the song on a record. While talking with other coworkers, I found out that one of them has the song on cassette! You can enjoy the Poughkeepsie-based holiday song below, and be sure to share it with all your loved ones!

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