Saturday, December 01, 2012

Welcome To December

And now, in honor of this being the first day of December, I give you one of the best shares of the season.  I found this record a couple of years ago in a Goodwill store, and I was pretty excited about it.  It's one of the rarer entries in a series of records put out by the US Air Force in support of their annual recruitment efforts during the late Sixties and early Seventies.  I've brought you a few of these before, but they never seem to be very popular.  I hope this one becomes the huge hit that it deserves to be.  Side one features the hit duo Sandler & Young, but the second side is the real gem, featuring music otherwise unheard from The Free Design.  If you've never heard of The Free Design, this may not excite you much, but those of you in the know will dig it.  The Christmas songs performed by Sandler And Young eventually saw release in slightly different versions on their Christmas albums, but the stuff by The Free Design never saw general release and is only available here.  I could go on and on about how great this is, but let me just tell you to go download this and listen to it, it's good.  The United States Air Force Presents The Now Sound Of Christmas And A Christmas Party 1968 Featuring Sandler & Young And The Free Design With The United States Air Force Band (Advertising Division, Hq. U.S. Air Force, Stereo, 1968).

I'm not going to type out all the tracks here, I think I cut it up into 35 individual tracks.  Sandler & Young perform It's Christmas Time All Over The World, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Silent Night, Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Mr. Santa & I Sing Noel.  The Free Design play The Now Sound Of Christmas, Proper Ornaments, Close Your Mouth, Christmas Is The Day & Shepherds And Wisemen.  There are also tracks by The Air Force Symphony In Blue and lots of talking about Christmas.

You can download two different versions of this, one includes the two sides as complete shows, the way it was meant to be broadcast, or cut up into tracks as individual songs or bits of talking.  Your choice, they both make for good listening.

MediaFire-2 Sides
Torrent-2 Sides

MediaFire-Tracks
Torrent-Tracks

21 comments:

Brendony said...

Literally just jumped up and down for joy, Ernie! (Kind of pathetic but well deserved) This is indeed the share of the season. I did have a previous rip of this album, but I am overjoyed that you got your hands on a copy and are sharing it with us. The Free Design stuff is just incredible. I had planned on putting 'Shepherds and Wisemen' on my annual mix this year. It had been my 'holy grail' Christmas song for years and I was able to find a copy of the song without the spoken intro from Chris Dedrick. Thanks again Ernie, you are truly the master of Christmas music!
-Brendan

Ernie said...

After the Air Force was finished with this series, they issued a collection of all the best tracks. I think that's the source of the song without the intro. At least that's where I think it comes from. I've seen the record, but do not have it or even a copy of it. Perhaps I should add that to my want list...

Bruce Bruce (bbcfloridabound@yahoo.com) said...

Thanks for all you do to provide us with some of the most outstanding Christmas Music one will ever find or hear, these songs are long gone from the radio or tv. I started collecting Christmas Music 2 years ago in order to provide my Children with ral music, not the stuff (I'm being nice) thats on the TV and Radio today. Bacl on 12-5-10 you provide 25 days of Christmas, any way you can make this avaiable as it looks like a awesome collection. Thanks again and happy hunting and merry Christmas

Brendony said...

You are correct Ernie. It is called "The United States Air Force presents: Christmas Programs" and it is a grab bag of some of the songs from the series. Skitch Henderson provides intros for most of the songs but they don't overlap with the songs themselves. Where "Close Your Mouth" and "Christmas Is The Day" are readily available on cd, "Shepherds and Wisemen" has never seen any release besides the record you're sharing and the one I mentioned. A shame as it's such a great song.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing find. Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much - I never knew this existed. I love the Free Design a lot.

Brendony said...

***I should clarify; while "Close Your Mouth" and "Christmas Is The Day" are readily available on cd, they are the 'Single' versions, which are different from the versions heard here on Ernie's share. Great stuff either way!

Stormy said...

The Free Design were incredible talents with a fabulous vocal sound. In a more just world, they would have been as popular as the Carpenters. Their original albums were finally reissued but even that took 35+ years. This record is a real gem...what an incredible find! Thank you Ernie! BTW, I like Sandler & Young too.

Buster said...

Very very cool. Never knew this existed.

Anonymous said...

Great Stuff! Thanks!

Aaron said...

Wow, this IS really good. I had never heard of the Free Design, but now I feel like I've been really missing out. That's why I really appreciate what you're doing here. I get exposed to so much new stuff I'd never hear otherwise.

Aaron said...

Also, an unrelated comment: I think your blog might be my favorite Christmas music share blog, because the files are packaged up so well. I never have to change anything in the tags, or add artwork to the files, or go hunting for a year to put in, or anything like that. Yours is about the only blog where I can trust that I can just drop the files in iTunes and go. That's a lot of extra work for possibly little benefit to most people, but I just wanted you to know there are at least some of us anal-retentive types out there that really appreciate it.

DonHo57 said...

Thanks for this one, Ernie. Having had several high school and college friends who were Air Force musicians, I always enjoy finding one of these types of recordings of US military groups.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to checking this one out! Thanks.

petlod said...

I had literally just learned about this record and then you go and post it. Fantastic! Looking forward to hearing all of it...thanks, E!

Chester said...

Thank you for not holding this share back until later in the season. I will be listening to it daily starting now. Incredible stuff!

Terry said...

Almost missed seeing this one on your site. What a great share! I had been trying to think of 'Sandler & Young' for awhile and could not remember their name. This collection is even better than I'd hoped for; thanks for sharing.

sharxfan said...

This is really, really great. Seriously. Thank you! Now which track(s) to add to the annual CD...

Timothy Sutton said...

I'm constantly amazed at the work you put into preparing the music for this blog. The photos from Florida must be a ruse to disguise your true residence at the North Pole, where a bevy of elves assist in the preparation of these music shares.

I got my hands on another of these Air Force LPs when the radio station I was working at decided to get rid of their vinyl. With Jack Jones on one side, the cover depicted Air Force personnel delivering Christmas presents to barefoot Vietnamese children. Truly an Orwellian piece of propaganda.

Thank you for sharing this Free Design Christmas record, a rare find, indeed.

JimmyJames said...

Thanks for this great share Ernie, and the option of maintaining the integrity of each side.

I use Foobar2000 which plays gapless (if there is no silence added to the beginning or end of each track) but I like one track per side when it is recorded that way.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ernie, this looks like a great share but the links are all broken. Could you reupload please? Happy holidays!