Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas With Granny

What you're looking at here is one of the things I'm most proud to be bringing you this year.  It's been really tough to find.  I've never seen it in a thrift store or a record store.  I watched eBay for a while, watching copies of it go for more than I wanted to spend.  Then, two years ago, two copies showed up on eBay, one by itself, one in a small lot of records.  I put in a small bid on both.  And somehow, I wound up with both.  I had it recorded but never got the chance to scan the covers in 2008.  2009 came and I lost my recording in the HD crash.  This year I decided the time had come, so I recorded it, cut it into tracks, scanned the whole thing, including all the pages inside the gatefold, and here it is.  Turns out that the actual bits featuring Grandma Moses herself are quite short, and the music that makes up the remainder of the recording is not too memorable itself.  But it's one of those things that's never been on CD, and as near as I can tell, was only shared out on the internet once for a short period of time before they pulled it.  So I'm very proud to give you something that I bet very few of you have heard before.  This is Christmas With Grandma Moses (RCA Victor LOP-1009, Mono, 1958).  Enjoy!

1. Alec Templeton's Music Boxes-One-Horse Open Sleigh
2. Grandma Moses-One-Horse Open Sleigh
3. The Ralph Hunter Choir-Jingle Bells
4. Grandma Moses-Carolers
5. The Ralph Hunter Choir-Angels We Have Heard On High
6. The Ralph Hunter Choir-I Saw Three Ships
7. The Ralph Hunter Choir-We Wish You A Merry Christmas
8. Alec Templeton's Music Boxes-Sweetest Story Ever Told
9. Grandma Moses-Father's Violin
10. Skitch Henderson, Hausmusik-Blue Tail Fly; Pop Goes The Weasel; Stephen Foster Melody
11. Grandma Moses-Early Songs
12. Skitch Henderson-John Brown;s Body; Darling Nellie Gray
13. The Ralph Hunter Choir-Good Christian Men Rejoice
14. The Ralph Hunter Choir-The First Noel
15. The Ralph Hunter Choir-The Twelve Days Of Christmas
16. The Ralph Hunter Choir-Oh! Little Town Of Bethlehem
17. Alec Templeton's Music Boxes-White Wings
18. Grandma Moses-On Painting Snow Scenes
19. Skitch Henderson, Hausmusik-Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; Lovely Evening; Over The Hills To Grandmother's House
20. The Ralph Hunter Choir-Over The Hills To Grandmother's House
21. Grandma Moses & Alec Templeton's Music Boxes-Silent Night
22. The Ralph Hunter Choir-Silent Night
23. Grandma Moses & Alec Templeton's Music Boxes-Silent Night (Reprise)

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Couple notes-I cut this up into tracks as I felt best. The LP itself is only divided up into a few tracks, everything kind of runs together. In a couple places, there was no good place to cut it, but I always tried to give priority to Grandma Moses. Probably the best way to listen to this is to cue it all up in order and play it through. The Ralph Hunter Choir stuff seems to have been recorded specifically for this LP, it's not on their Christmas LP. The Skitch Henderson stuff seems unique, too. (His Christmas album came out on Columbia, not RCA.) I have no idea what the Hausmusik they've attached to his name means. I think the Alec Templeton Music Box stuff is from an earlier LP, but I couldn't locate one by that name. The LP credits someone named William Meyhoefer, Boy Soprano, but I couldn't hear anything on here that sounded like a boy soprano, so I didn't put his credit on any of the tracks. I don't think he's mentioned at all on the labels. Anybody got this in stereo? An LSP version is mentioned in the credits, and I may have seen one on eBay once, but if it really exists, it's got to be really rare. I'm going to leave this one up as the current post for a while, I don't want to bury it behind a whole gaggle of reshares. I think it's too great for people to miss it because I didn't highlight it enough. I hope you all enjoy it.  Grandma Moses was 98 when this record came out, and she died in 1961, three years later at the age of 101.

7 comments:

John W said...

Ernie,

Incredible. Just incredible. Thank you so very much for all the great music! I would be curious to hear how many times Grandma Moses is downloaded! I'd never heard of it!!

Der Bingle said...

Very nice, Ernie. Can't wait to listen to this.

SRQ said...

Wow...what a great find for you! Very interesting to read about what goes on 'behind the curtain'. The ripping, the scanning, the hunting....who knew?!

Auntie Knickers said...

Cool! I have a picture book of A Visit from St. Nicholas with illustrations by Grandma Moses, one of which is the same one as on your album cover. This will be a great thing to go with it.

Anonymous said...

Excited to see you've posted this, Ernie. Can't wait to listen. Grandma Moses' holiday paintings evoke a childlike recollection of these occasions, and I am curious to hear this to see if the music might do the same. I am especially looking forward to hearing her speak. Thank you.

Badgercat said...

Late last night I had the opportunity to both download and listen. It's a real nice Christmas share with at touch of real-live Americana to boot.

Great find and share Ernie.

KL from NYC said...

ENB:

Someone posted the cover to this LP and I just had to research what was on it, and -- no surprise -- I wound up here.
So, first, thanks the the download (MediaFire still works).

Second: The blogger at http://breakroomworkersparadise.blogspot.com is putting together vintage images of Christmases past: ads, holiday cards, etc.
You'd probably be interested, so take a look. And, people other than me don't seem to be leaving comments, and he sure appreciates when people do, so...

Thanks again, and Happy Holidays.