Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Merry Christmas Indeed

One of my happiest finds of the last year was the LP you see above. Before last Christmas, I had no idea it even existed. Then, Lee at Music You Won't posted a couple of tracks from it, and I knew I needed it. As these things sometimes happen, there it was in a box of records at a thrift store one day. The only thing that might have made it better would have been to stumble across a stereo copy, but I'm not even sure such a thing exists. Anyhow, this LP came out in 1959, and features the stars from then-current TV shows produced by Warner Brothers. The Warner Bros. record label was brand new at the time, and they were putting out all sorts of interesting stuff. (After you've downloaded it, look closely at the back label. They had so little product out at the time, they were recommending other companies records on their jackets!) Chances are, you've heard at least one of the tracks off this LP, although you don't know that this is where it came from. The hit from this record was Yulesville by Edward Byrnes, as he's credited here. You probably know him better as Ed "Kookie" Byrnes. He was the star of 77 Sunset Strip at the time. In the photo above, that's him in the Santa suit at the top of the tree. Other stars you might or might not recognize include Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Connie Stevens, Peter Brown, Ray Danton, Poncie Ponce, Eddie Cole, Bob Conrad, Dorothy Provine, Clint Walker, Roger Moore (yes, 007!) and Ty Hardin. If you don't find something in here to love, you may as well quit looking. So give a download and a listen to We Wish You A Merry Christmas-15 Great Christmas Favorites Sung By Warner Bros. Stars (Warner Bros B 1337, 1959). You won't regret it!

Some of the other TV shows besides 77 Sunset Strip include Hawaiian Eye, Lawman, The Alaskans, Bourbon Street Beat, Cheyenne & Bronco. How many of those do they ever show on TV Land? None, that's how many!

6 comments:

CaptainOT said...

Things about "77 Sunset Strip" you may not know about:

1.) Thanks in large part to Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, this show was a Top Ten hit for its first several years on the air.

2.) Byrnes demanded more money and airtime, didn't get it, and left the show in 1960. Ratings suffered and in an attempt to revive the fading show, "Kookie" came back and went from parking lot attendant to full-time partner in the detective agency!

3.) In its final season, THE Jack Webb was hired as producer and William Conrad (of "Cannon" fame) was hired as director!

Webb's first act was to fire everyone in the cast except Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and made him a globetrotting private eye far, far away from the Sunset Strip! Can you say CANCELLED?



Capt

Ernie said...

Sad to say, I've never seen 77 Sunset Strip in my life. I have the soundtrack LP somewhere though. Oh, and a forthcoming Christmas sare single that mentions Kookie. Does that ocunt?

Ernie said...

Uh-oh, looks like this share is kaput-nik. Somebody must have complained to RapidShare about it. I don't know if this is the only one, but I doubt it.

Stay tuned...

Lou's Dad said...

Here in England if you were around 10 in 1959 and lived in the area known as the Midlands, Warner Brothers TV shows were a big deal. I spent a lot of time trying to be Edd Kookie Byrnes. I had never heard of this album though, and so it was a treat to get a chance to download it. I now have a new (old) addition to my Christmas album shelf. What a marvellous lush filmic sound too, quite unlike most Christmas albums, even Frank Sinatra's. Quite a surprise too hearing the ultra-orthodox singing voices of Efem Z and Ray Danton (who'll always be Legs Diamond to me.)Many thanks for putting this out there. It's wonderful serendipity.

Anonymous said...

You can't believe how cool this is. I loved this record as a kid, and we still have the vinyl of it in my mother's garage, but nothing to play it on!
I am going to burn this over to CD and play it in the car!
I know these messages are all really old, but as of 12/9/10, I could download the zip file just fine.
Thanks again!

Rick said...

Please contact me about a n album I am searching for.