Alice Playten was a wonderful actress whose career ran the gamut from starring roles on Broadway to Alka-Seltzer commercials. You might not recognize the name, but you'd almost certainly recognize the voice.
Songwriter Ruth Roberts had her music recorded by artists ranging from Hugo Winterhalter to Dean Martin to the Beatles, but it's likely that her most enduring composition will always be "Meet The Mets", the theme song for a certain major league baseball team I've rooted for all my life.
Toss July 4th into the cocktail and, for whatever reason, I cannot help but think of this song from Rupert Holmes' brilliant 1974 debut album "Widescreen". Heck, it's not even a July 4th tune--the lyric specifically mentions "August rain"--and yet it all seems to fit somehow. I should probably mention that the object of Rupert's desire in "Our National Pastime" is played by none other than Alice Playten. But I'm sure you already knew that.
Rupert has written at least two beautiful Christmas songs, though he never recorded them himself. "You Make It Christmas" appears on albums from The Jets and Gloria Loring. I'm not sure "Christmas Is Waiting" has ever appeared anywhere other than on Ruperts' nineties television project Remember WENN. Both songs were sung by Betty Buckley in the Remember WENN Christmas episode and, though I've never seen a soundtrack album, you can stream them at Rupert's semi-official website.