Sunday, January 22, 2017

Volume Two-Ten Years On

Continuing on from last week, here is the second volume of For Hi-Fi Living, a collection of mid-century music that's sure to be of interest to those of you who are interested in such things.  This week is a virtual Mitchell Parish festival, he co-writes five of the twelve tracks.  Other than that, there's only the vaguely defined theme of romance.  Or conductor this week is Tony Osborne and the interludes are provided by harps instead of pianos.  Other than that, it's pretty much business as usual.  As I remember the series, things don't get interesting until later on, and interesting is very subjective in this usage.  First shared back in 2007, here is the remastered Tony Osborne And His Orchestra-Hands Across The Table (RCA Custom RAL-1002, Mono, 1957).

1. Hands Across The Table
2. Girl Of My Dreams
3. I've Got The World On A String
4. I Surrender Dear
5. Serenade In The Night
6. Stars Fell On Alabama
7. Belle Of The Ball
8. Take Me In Your Arms
9. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
10. That's My Desire
11. Sweet Lorraine
12. I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Volume One-Ten Years On

For a little while now, I've been telling myself that if I ran across all twelve volumes of For Hi-Fi Living at once, I'd consider revisiting my share from ten years ago.  Well, guess what I found yesterday in Ft. Myers?  Yep, all twelve volumes in a single box of records.  Most of them were together, but the last two were way at the back of the box.  So I plunked down my dollar each and brought them home.  I didn't realize until I started researching that I had begun sharing out the series the first time just a hair over ten years ago, which also happened to be fifty years after this series was released (then quickly forgotten).  Now it's been sixty years, and I'm doing my best to keep it from being forgotten.  If you want to see the original post, that's here, and my even older post about the doodle on the back side is here.  This goes way, way back.  This time around is all new rips from the just-discovered vinyl, as well as all new scans.  I think the covers on this set are a little rougher than what I had last time, at least as far as this first one goes.  The music is certainly a lot better though.  I've gotten much better at my craft over the years.  ClickRepair alone has made for much better recordings.  In addition to removing the clicks, it works miracles on these mono recordings by comparing the L and R channels of my rip and picking the cleaner side at any given time.  I'm pretty amazed with what it spits out sometimes.  However, this music doesn't swing or rock.  All it does is soothe.  It's amazing to me to think about what else was going on at RCA at about the same time, with the purchase of Elvis Presley's recording contract, the impending switch to stereo, and a whole slew of technical advancements almost every day.  It must have been an exciting time.  This music reflects none of that, however.  None of that Space Age Pop sneaks in here either, it's just what you'd probably call Easy Listening or Lite Music or Beautiful Music.  Take it for what it's worth.  I'm gonna shoot for one a week, but we'll see.  Volume One today is Hill Bowen-I Could Have Danced All Night (RCA Custom RAL 1001, Mono, 1957).

1. I Could Have Danced All Night
2. If I Loved You
3. On The Street Where You Live
4. The Best Things In Life Are Free
5. All The Things You Are
6. Button Up Your Overcoat
7. I Love Paris
8. Getting To Know You
9. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
10. I've Told Ev'ry Little Star
11. I've Got You Under My Skin
12. Buckle Down, Winsocki

Once you give it a listen, you'll notice little piano solos at the end of most of the songs (they're not tacked onto the last song at the end of each side).  The liner notes refer to those as interludes, leading gracefully from one mood to another.  I thought about putting those into their own tracks, but I didn't.  They're interesting tidbits.


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Save 25%

This coupon fell out of a record I picked up recently, and I thought it was sorta neat.  The records that they've put on sale are pretty expensive items to begin with, a couple of multi-record collections, some high profile collections, and a fancy center-open gatefold record of New York music that I was pretty excited about when I found it long, long ago.  I happily paid full price, but I wish I'd had a 25% off coupon anyway.  The record this fell out of is the RCA Victor Red Seal Showcase In Sound (SRL-12-28), one of two promo collections they put out that came packaged in a clear plastic sleeve that is pretty neat.
I can't find this one at Discogs, but it's the Red Seal version of this Popular version.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Real Quick

Before everyone takes off for the summer, here's a non-Christmas Christmas record I wanted to share.  Judging by the label, this was a Christmas promotional item from RCA Victor in the winter of 1947.  Unfortunately, it's not really Christmas music, but it still looks awesome.  I've had a hard time finding out too much about this record, so it may be super rare, I'm not sure.  Big band from the immediate post-war period is certainly not my area of expertise, but it's now out there in the world for anyone who is interested.  If you know something about this record, please leave a comment letting us all know.  I found it in the dollar pile of a record store that's no longer around.  Not sure why they didn't hang it on the wall or something, since it is on pretty red translucent shellac.  Is it shellac?  Not sure if that could be made translucent.  Colored, yes, but light passes through this thing...  And making the package even more attractive is the flip side featuring what they call the spider web, a design pressed into the blank side of some RCA Victor records back in the day.  There's a whole genre of collectors out there that just look for these sorts of things.  I've only found a few, and this is far and away the most attractive because it's red!  So before you quit visiting and I quite sharing, give a listen to Tex Beneke And His Orchestra-Star Dust (RCA Victor 12" 78 RPM Red Wax single-sided D6-VC-5627 "Christmas Greetings From RCA Victor 1947", Mono, 1947).

1. Star Dust
2. Star Dust (Compressed.  The song is really long and it starts out so low I couldn't hear it.  So I ran it through a compressor to try and make the volume a little more consistent throughout.  Give it a listen and toss out the version you don't like.  No extra charge!)


Friday, January 06, 2017

This Is The End

Well, it's been a good season, but all good things must come to an end.  I suppose I could go on for a few more days, but today is Epiphany, or Little Christmas, or The Twelfth Day of Christmas, whatever you want to call it.  I figure it's time to put away all these albums, clean up the mess around here, and try to get a little more exercise.  Hopefully I can do this again next year, but we'll have to wait and see, I can make no promises.  Thank you for all the comments, if you made a request, I hope I was able to get to it.  If you sent me an email and never got a response, sorry.  There just aren't enough hours in the day, and you may have asked for something I couldn't give you.  I don't have anything special for the last day, just something that was mentioned over at The 'Fa that I happened to have handy, I just had to scan in the gatefold.  It's not a particular favorite of mine, in fact I don't think I listened to it all the way through after I recorded it.  But I know it's a favorite of a lot of people, and some people don't even know it exists.  So to wrap up the 2016 Christmas season, here is Truman Capote Reading His A Christmas Memory From "Breakfast At Tiffany's" (United Artists UAL 9001, Mono, 1959).

1. A Christmas Memory-Introduction (Instrumental by Irving Joseph With String Quartet)
2. A Christmas Memory-Part 1
3. A Christmas Memory-Part 2
4. A Christmas Memory-Conclusion (Instrumental by Irving Joseph With String Quartet)


Thursday, January 05, 2017

Dance Dance Dance

Moving forward in time just a bit, here's a great EP from neo-swing group The Spitfire Band.  Hailing from the great state of Canada, these guys made a few albums and then seem to have faded out of sight.  I can't find much evidence online that they are still around, but thankfully they left this short but sweet collection of Christmas music that wouldn't sound out of place at your next VFW function.  A couple of instrumentals and a couple of vocals, but all good stuff.  This is The Spitfire Band-Home For The Holidays (RCA (Canada) EP102, Stereo, 1982).

1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
2. Here Comes Santa Claus
3. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
4. Medley: Winter Wonderland; Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!; Home For The Holidays


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A Miracle

This is the record you've been waiting to hear all season!  Not only does Dr. Glen play the organ, she has recitations!  Ease your seat back, put the virtual needle down on the MP3 player and relax.  Feel the spirit of the season wash over you.  I don't need to say anything else.  This is Dr. Irma Glen-Christmas Miracles Now! (Numinis Recordings PC 136, Stereo, 1970).

1. Christmas Miracle/Hymn Of Glory
2. If You Have A Gift
3. Thanks Be To God
4. Why The Chimes Rang
5. Voix Celeste
6. What Child Is This?
7. Gesu Bambino
8. Jesus, Joy Of Man's Desiring
9. Bell Benedictus


Jammin' Jazz

I don't think I've shared any jazz with you this season, mostly because it's hard to find, and what is out there has all been discovered and released.  But this little record on the World Jazz label seems to have slipped through the cracks of time. or maybe it's stuck in some sort of purgatory since the artists have other Christmas music out there for download, but not this.  Anyhow, it's a little outside my normal timeframe of interest, but when I saw that cover it reminded me a great Christmas record from Jerry Fielding, so I couldn't pass it up.  Take a few minutes and have a listen to The Jim Cullum Jazz Band-'Tis The Season To Be Jammin'! (World Jazz WJLP-S-21, Stereo, 1984).  You'll be glad you did.

1. Sleigh Ride
2. O Holy Night
3. Nutcracker Rag
4. Christmas Waltz?
5. Do You Hear What I Hear
6. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
7. Ave Maria
8. Home For The Holidays
9. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
10. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
11. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
12. We Wish You A Merry Christmas


No Dolly

I dug this up a couple days ago, but I was depressed to find the record inside had been destroyed through heat or something.  The surface is all checked and bumpy, there's no way a needle could track it, and I can't imagine there's much left down in the grooves if you could.  But since I'd already shared a couple LPs this year featuring The Phoenix Boys Choir, I couldn't pass it up.  And of course, the artwork by Bil Keane featuring a few of his Family Circus kids was a big plus as well.  Anybody else ever seen this one?

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Another Westminster Returns

I'm pretty much done with the reshares for the season, but I did find this rip on my hard drive of something that I first shared out in 2010, so I figured I'd throw the new rip and new scan up here and call it a remaster.  It's another one of those Christmas albums from Westminster, one that you very rarely see.  It's nothing flashy like Ferrante & Teicher or organ-based like Dick Leibert, instead it's very much in the vein of those Randolph Singers records that people seem to like.  So if you're still around at this late date and that sounds like something you might want to hear, please lend an ear to Westminster Choraleers-Christmas At Home-Let's All Sing Carols (Westminster WP 6027, Mono, 1956).

1. Silent Night
2. Deck The Hall
3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
4. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen
5. Angels We Have Heard On High
6. Good King Wenceslas
7. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
8. O Christmas Tree
9. In Dulci Jubilo
10. Adeste Fideles
11. Away In A Manger
12. Joy To The World!
13. The First Nowell
14. O Sanctissima
15. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
16. The Holly And The Ivy
17. This Day Is Born Emmanuel
18. Good Christian Men, Rejoice


Another Westminster

I just found one in the pile that I had forgotten about.  It purports to be a recording of the Christmas Eve service at The Church Of The Immaculate Conception in Atlanta, Georgia.  Nice bunch of carols sung and played with great dignity.  And it's on Westminster, so it helps to fill in another hole in their Christmas discography.  This is Christmas Eve In The Cathedral (Westminster WP 6061, Mono, 1958).

1. Adeste Fideles
2. Angels From The Realm Of Glory
3. When Blossoms Flowered 'Mid The Snows
4. O Come Emmanuel
5. O Dear Little Children
6. What Child Is This?
7. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
8. O Holy Night
9. Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
10. Gloria In Excelsis Deo
11. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
12. Regina Coeli
13. Good Christian Men Rejoice
14. Silent Night
15. Joy To The World


Monday, January 02, 2017

More Organ, More Chimes

Sorry, couldn't help myself.  Here's another 10" LP of organ and chime music from one of the prolific Christmas organ and chime artists, Robert Rheims.  Some years ago I decided I was going to work my way through this guys Christmas discography, figure out what was unique, what was reissue, what was available on colored vinyl, what wasn't, and, what I thought most important, when it all came out.  But then my hard drive failed and I lost it all.  I haven't been able to force myself to do all that work again, but I did go ahead and rip this 10" record that I found that I don't think I had back then.  Mine is a little unique in that it's not on red vinyl.  All the ones I found on the internet were red, but mine is plain old black.  Most of Mr. Rheims stuff is pressed on red vinyl, occasionally on green, and once in a while you'll find it on black.  Not sure of the story behind that, because he produced stuff on a few different labels, and they all seem to have used the colored vinyl.  Perhaps someone out there knows and will clue me in.  In the meantime, please download and give a listen to Robert Rheims-Merry Christmas Carols-Organ And Chimes By Robert Rheims ((No Label) 10" 33 RPM 7007-A/B, 1957, Mono).

1. Adeste Fideles-O Come All Ye Faithful
2. Away In A Manger-Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
3. First Noel-Joy To The World
4. I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas
5. Silent Night
6. O Little Town Of Bethlehem-O Holy Night
7. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear-O Christmas Tree
8. Jingle Bells


Sunday, January 01, 2017

The Earlier Walter

Welcome to 2017, hope you are all having a great year so far! This is the first Christmas record from Walter Schumann and his famous Voices, recorded for Capitol years before he waxed his much more famous record for RCA.  I don't think this one is quite as good either, but it's not out there for download, so I think it's fair game to share this one.  I pulled a ten inch version from the stacks, with all the original tracks, instead of the more common 12" with a couple of non-Christmas songs shoehorned into the mix.  You do get a nice cover with Capitol's well-known early picture frame edging!  This is The Voices Of Walter Schumann-Christmas In The Air! (Capitol 10" 33 RPM H9016, Mono, 1951).  And in case you were wondering, yes, Jester Hairston is here with The Voices!

1. Christmas In The Air
2. Jingle Bells
3. Christmas In The Air-First Reprise
4. Silent Night
5. Carol Of The Bells (Ukranian Carol)
6. It's Christmastime
7. White Christmas
8. Patapan (French Carol)
9. Christmas In The Pair-Second Reprise
10. Wonderful Counselor (Negro Spiritual)
11. Wolcom Yule (Welsh Carol)
12. Mary Mary (Negro Spiritual)
13. When You Come Home Of Christmas Eve
14. Winter Wonderland
15. To A Church That Stands Upon A Hill
16. Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)/Finale