Sunday, December 24, 2006

Three McGuire Sisters

About five years ago, I started to make a Christmas CD. I had boxes and boxes of Christmas records to choose from, and grabbed tracks from many of them. That was the year I finally realized that there was much better stuff in all those dusty old records than on the shiny new CDs in the other room. One of the things I grabbed to audition was a box set of five records called One Hundred Favorite Songs Of Christmas on MCA. I grabbed a few songs from this set before I stumbled across a song called The Cactus Christmas Tree. It was the exact sort of song I was looking for that year, something that wasn't the usual version of the same old carol, yet had the unmistakable feel of a Christmas song. Less than halfway through the track though, the record skipped, and skipped badly. I spent two hours trying to get the track to record, but never did succeed. A few minutes on the internet told me the track was originally from The McGuire Sisters album you see above. Simple enough, I'd start looking for that record. Five years later, I still hadn't found the record. Well, at least not a copy I could afford. It turned out to be quite rare and valuable. Whenever one popped up on eBay, I'd put in a bid and loose at the last second after a flurry of bids that usually drove the price up into the $50 range. Then finally, just a few weeks ago, a member of FaLaLaLaLa put up a copy for auction. I put in my usual bid, then sat there at the end of the auction, waiting to see who'd come along this time and take the record from my grasp. Perhaps it was a minor Christmas miracle, but no one else bid. I won the auction, and three days later, I had the record in my hands. As soon as I got it on the turntable, I knew this was the record I wanted to share with my friends. So please be my guest and download this great record that has remained virtually unheard since it's release in 1958. It's a great mix of secular and religious music, with a little help from Neal Hefti and Dick Jacobs. I almost didn't share this one with you folks, since it turns out a CD released this year has some, but not all, of the tracks. (That CD also has a version of Frosty The Snowman from sources unknown, so you need to go buy it!) But I decided to go ahead and get this out there anyway, I just saved it for the day before Christmas, so only those folks who are really looking for it will stumble across it. Consider this my present to you. Here is The McGuire Sisters-Greeting From The McGuire Sisters (Coral CRL 57225, 1958). Enjoy!

Update: This one is out on CD now, although it's a little hard to tell. There's a collection on the Jasmine label that includes all the songs from this LP, plus all the songs from the Christmas With Arthur Godfrey LP. Not sure how the McGuire Sisters got stuck on there, but who am I to question how such things work. You can order this from Amazon via this link. Wait, maybe I'm mistaken. Try this disc instead.

12 comments:

David Federman said...

Both the McGuire Sisters and Giselle MacKenzie on the same day. Thank you. These were the two albums I wanted most to download. How are you ever going to surpass yourself? Good luck.

PDMan said...

As you know, I adore the McGuires. I'm know everyone will be thrilled that you decided to go ahead and share.

CaptainOT said...

GREAT JUMPIN ICEBERGS!

Ernie, you're the best! Thank you thank you thank you!


Capt

Anonymous said...

Absolutely one of the best albums
you've posted! Naturally, with one of the best vocal groups...
Thanks for this one,
Peter

Stephen said...

Man, Ernie, you've really made this holiday special. Thanks for sharing all of these great albums that we otherwise would never have been able to hear. I hope you have a great new year.

zepp said...

It's only been a few weeks since I discovered this great site (and a nod to Falalalala as well).

I have had Ding Dong Dandy in my family since I was a tot, but I never knew such a wealth of wonderful music existed in these 50's and 60's recordings.

I'm listenting to the Greetings From The McGuire Sisters right now, and it's really as terrific as you suggest.

I feel like a kid alone in an candystore with all these great albums available.

Thanks so much for making these wonderful recordings available.

Mara said...

i am looking for the greetings from the mcguire sisters album. i would like to have a copy if that is possible. A download or anything would work, please answer if you could. thank you!

Ernie said...

If you read the bottom of my post above, you'll see where you can buy this music on CD now. Sounds great!

Anonymous said...

Found this subject interesting. I am old enough to have been a long time fan of the McGuire Sisters. I was at the TV set when they won the Arhtur Godfrey Talent Scouts. The "Cactus Christmas Tree" originally debuted on their "Children's Holiday" Album, written by Ruth Roberts & Bill Katz and degined as an impressionistic souvenir to document holidays for children. It showed up on the "Greetings" LP for obvious reasons. I have transferred these gems to CD using vinyl, CD releases of the more popular selections to re-created that wonder Christmas LP. Just wanted to share my thoughts. The Sisters need more CD re-issue attention. Julian (Syracuse, NY)

Anonymous said...

I've been on a search for this album for many years. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Dan

Anonymous said...

dear ernie, i have this album and it has been thru a flood and a move and now it is cracked! I was horrified...it is our family's favorite Christmas album since I was 5 and now I am 60 and I would give anything to have cd of the songs. Please tell me how I can do this and surprise my family this Christmas.
mtgenuardi@gmail.com

Ernie said...

Follow the link above and buy the CD...