Thursday, December 22, 2005

Who's This Alfred S. Burt?


This blog is supposed to be about Ernie, not Bert. So why am I posting an album of carols written by Albert S. Burt? Well, just because, that's why! Actually, it's becuase of the involvment of the Jimmy Joyce Singers, or as they are called on this release, The Voices Of Jimmy Joyce. I don't know a whole lot about them, other than the fact that they backed up a whole slew of singers during their heyday, from the fifties through the early seventies. One of their bigger employers was Frank Sinatra! But Frank is nowhere to be found on this release. All you'll hear here are the voices of Jimmy Joyce. Please download and give a listen to The Voices Of Jimmy Joyce-This Is Christmas-A Complete Collection Of The Alfred S. Burt Carols (Warner Bros. W 1566, 1964). And who exactly is Alfred S. Burt? Well, he wrote a lot of Christmas carols before passing away in 1954, most of which aren't too well known these days. He gave these songs away to friends for Christmas presents, sort of like the mix CD of today. I've got another LP of his Christmas carols that I hope to share out someday, released on Columbia right after his death. Someday, but not this season. I do have another LP from Jimmy Joyce and a special guest coming up next, so stay tuned!

Whoops! Looks like this one is on CD, folks, so I've taken it down. Please follow the link above to a site where it's available for purchase.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ernie,

"This is Christmas" is one of the most beautiful Christmas albums I have ever heard. And these are, for me at least, the best performances of Alfred Burt's carols I have ever heard--surpassing verions I am familiar with by Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole. Of all the gems you have given us--and, believe me, there are many--I find this the crown jewel. Thank you for allowing me to hear these legendary songs in renditions that truly honor them.

Anonymous said...

Ernie,

I want to thank you again for posting "This is Christmas," and also to tell you that your postings have created a kind of time tunnel back to a lost world that has much that I wish was present in ours--not as nostalgia but actively practiced values. For instance, I downloaded and listened to the "corrected" Walter Schumann album. It is a very sweet record that does full justice to every song it interprets. If not for you (and Lee), I don't think I would have taken this journey. Through this music, I am having one of the happiest holiday seasons of my life.

Ernie said...

You like this one more than the other one? I'm the other way around. This one was OK, but that one was great. But then I love Billy May's work. My dream is to find the original Rudolph The Red -Nosed Reindeer Mambo 45! Well, a cheap copy. :)

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Ernie,

Today while listening to a live concert of Christmas music on my local NPR station, a segment was devoted to Alfred Burt. The choirmaster gave a short but informative talk on this composer, mentioning that at one time, according to composer John Williams, it was considered de rigeur in Hollywood to show you were among the elect who had received that year's carol. By the way, both the Jimmy Joyce album of 1964 and the Ralph Carmichael album from 10 years earlier are available on CD from, I believe, Collegium Records. Go to www.alfredburtcarols.com for more info. Thanks, for the third time, for this discovery. I'll miss your Christmas postings. Do you plan anything for New Year's?

Unknown said...

I am writing a masters' thesis about Alfred Burt's carols and would love to know what local NPR station that David Federman listened to the live Christmas concert that included the segment about Burt's music. Thanks! Shari Howell

Ernie said...

That was a long time ago, but he still haunts these parts from time to time. Maybe you'll get a response... I've got a couple more Burt collections this year, but I haven't checked to see if they're on CD or not. So maybe they'll show up here, maybe they won't. That's the way it goes around here. :)