Judith Owen and Julia Fordham recorded a lovely version of White Christmas. But that wasn’t enough for the two British songstresses.
So they made a video of the two of them singing, accompanied by pianist/arranger Grant Mitchell. But things quickly go awry in the White Christmas clip, premiering at USA TODAY — not that you could tell it from watching the beatific faces of Owen and Fordham as they sing the Irving Berlin standard.
“As Brits, we don’t like to take ourselves too seriously, because it’s horrible when you do,” Owen says. “And it’s just so much better to have a bit of a laugh at your experience.”
The Matt Mindlin-directed video also features Jennifer Coolidge, perhaps best known for her role as “Stiffler’s mom” from American Pie, doing exactly the sort of thing Stiffler’s mom would do.
“She walked in with props,” Owen says. “The woman came in with props. The fact that she walked in with the Shake Weight floored us all. Because, of course, one thing we love as Brits is the double entendre. Innuendo is our friend.”
During the course of a friendship that goes back more than a decade, Owen and Fordham often have appeared on each other’s recordings and at each other’s concerts. But White Christmas presages a full-scale collaborative album the two have planned for next year.
“People always comment about the closeness of our harmonies,” Fordham says. “So we were like, ‘What if we made our own band, that’s like the Civil Wars meets Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young & Julia & Judith?’”
Proceeds from the sale of the White Christmas single will go to typhoon-relief efforts in the Philippines.
“This just felt so right,” Fordham says. “We’ve done this beautiful recording, and now it has this beautiful and genuine intention.”