Bette Midler recorded one, don't know about Babs... though she has recorded Zionist melodies. Like buttah! Neil Diamond... don't think so. Neil Sedaka? Does "My Yiddishe Momme" count? What's the question again? Oh, right.
"Where are all the Chanukah songs by big names?"
At best, we find grand sweeping orchestral pieces - at worst, clunky often clownish kiddie tunes. Like 'em or not, they share one thing in common - no big "names" and no "radio time."
I've often tagged myself a creature of pop-culture, and I'd love to hear a Chanukah song on in the middle of a mall, or on the radio. I'm not talking about Adam Sandler over and over again. I'm talking about a big name, belting out a jazzy rendition of Oy Chanukah. Jewish artists performing Jewish songs of freedom and Joy! A miracle of miracles! Eight nights, Judah Maccabbe, Re-dedication of the Temple. Heck, Jelly Donuts and Latkes! Is it so hard to do? Here's my fantasy list:
Barbra Streisand singing "Ma oz Tzur," Bette Midler vamping "The Latke Song," Neil Diamond crooning "I Have a Little Dreidel," Neil Sedaka performing "Chanukah, Chanukah."
This may seem trite to some, but inspiration away from Synagogue is important. And so many assimilated Jews have little to touch them in mainstream media except tired stereotypes of their own people. Wouldn't if be nice to have a big name celebrity Jew singing about Chanukah instead of Christmas? Well, what the public wants, the public gets... so lets put out the call! Lets hit the charts, baby!