Friday, December 21, 2012

Hi-Fi!

I've been skipping out on the remasters lately, since I've only got so much time left, but I wanted to throw something up tonight while I'm waiting on some files to transfer.  I really should find a faster interface than USB...  Anyhow, this is a remaster of an old share from 2007, featuring some organ music in hi-fi.  Gotta love anything that advertises it's hi-fi-ness. There are some nice arrangements on this piece of red vinyl, some slow and boring, but some nice and exciting!  I think this is a share that you'll really enjoy, and it sounds great!  This is Ramona Gerhard At The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ-Christmas In Hi-Fi (Soma MG 1202 (Red Vinyl), Mono).

1. Medley: Silent Night; O Tannenbaum; We Three Kings; Deck The Halls With Holly
2. Ave Maria
3. Christmas Song
4. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
5. Medley: O' Little Town Of Bethlehem; Jolly Old St. Nicholas; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; We Wish You A Merry Christmas
6. White Christmas
7. Sleigh Ride
8. Noel, Noel

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And I've even got two different covers this time. The one below is a new scan of the one I originally shared, but I went with the other one this time, just because it's different.

Susie & Allie & Tammy

Did you like my Little Marcy share from earlier in the season? Well, guess what? I've got some more in the same vein as that one, only this time, instead of a doll on strings, we've got a couple of hand puppets. And just to make things interesting, everyone s voiced by Tammy Faye Bakker!  How great is that?  Well, at least one of the puppets is an alligator, so it's got that going for it.  If you've got the stomach for it, please download Susie & Allie-Christmas With Susie & Allie (PTL Club PTL-LP-1848, Stereo, 1984).

1. Frosty The Snowman
2. White Christmas
3. Winter Wonderland
4. O Christmas Tree
5. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
6. Jingle Bells
7. Away In The Manger
8. The Christmas Story
9. Joy To The World

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Shifting Gears

And now for something completely different. How about some country gospel? I just love throwing something up that's totally out of left field.  Well, maybe not left field, but certainly out of character for the blog.  I brought you a USAF radio show many years ago that featured Connie singing a few songs, and at the time, I didn't know she had a Christmas LP of her own.  I think this came out a few years after that one, though, but I'm not certain.  (I don't think that old share is any good anymore, and I don't really want to repost it right now...sorry.)  So she's not that out of the blue, really.  I think you'll like this little change of pace.  So go download Connie Smith With Backing From The Jordanaires And The Holladay Sisters-Joy To The World (Columbia C 33553, Stereo, 1975).

1. What Child Is This
2. O Holy Night
3. Go Tell It On The Mountain
4. The First Noel
5. The Little Drummer Boy
6. Sweet Little Jesus Boy
7. Away In A Manger/Silent Night
8. Joy To The World
9. O Come All Ye Faithful
10. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

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Now, I really, really, REALLY need to do some Christmas shopping...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In The Navy (With Danny)

In a more perfect world, I'd plan these shares out much better.  I'd have everything done and ready to go when Thanksgiving rolled around, I'd be able to get out and enjoy more of the holiday instead of sitting here in front of the computer for hours at a stretch.  But that's not how I roll.  In that perfect world, I'd have shared this record out at the same time as that other record featuring Danny Thomas, or maybe last year when I actually recorded it, but that's not how it happens.  Things just sort of happen at random, and I sort of like it that way.  Danny Thomas is the host of this record, telling short anecdotes between songs performed by various Navy bands, some good, some meh.  But it's worth a listen, and there are probably some good clips in here for your mixes.  Well, maybe your mixes next year.  This is Christmas Greetings-A Special Holiday Greeting From Danny Thomas And Your Local Navy Recruiter (V #72357, Stereo, 1973).  Some nice near-disco on some of these band tracks, too.  Check it out!

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(If my count is correct, this is the 100th share of the season.  I haven't done 100 new and/or different things yet, but I'm awful close.  Congratulations to me!)

Re-Bells

The return of a share from way, way back in 2006, one of those things I bought just for the album cover, but it turned out to be a nice collection of tunes performed on bells with an organ.  Maybe you like that sort of thing, maybe you don't.  But this one sounds nice, and it sounds even better since I re-recorded it this year.  I don't think the old share had scans of the labels, either, and those are in there now.  So all-in-all, it's a nice little collection for you to download.  This is Arthur Lynds Bigelow, Bell Master, & Marjorie MacComb, Organist-Ring! Christmas Bells (Columbia CL 915, Mono, 1956)

1. Gesu Bambino
2. Tune Of The Sleigh Bells
3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
4. Veni, Veni, Emmanuel
5. Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
6. A La Venue De Noel
7. Good King Wenceslas
8. There Once Fell A Heavenly Dew
9. Born Is Jesus The Infant King
10. The Holly And The Ivy
11. Silent Night, Holy Night
12. Noel d'Aquin

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Holiday Harmony

Tonight, a little something from the budget department of Columbia Records. I'm not sure what even possessed me to buy this, given the out-of-focus cover picture and the horrible condition of the vinyl, but I did anyway.  I tend to buy almost every Christmas record I see, and especially things on major labels that I've never seen before.  There's a certain level of competence that one expects artists to achieve before they get a contract with a major label.  Smaller labels, not so much, and I pass on a lot of those records, though not always as I'm sure you've seen around here this year.  But I digress.  I bought this record and recorded it just to see what sort of thing it was.  It's a competent choir, doing some of the expected Christmas tunes, and a couple of small surprises, but nothing you haven't heard elsewhere and probably better.  But I'm sure there's one person out there who had this record as a child, and when they stumble across it here, they will be overjoyed to hear something that takes them back to 1957 and their earliest Christmas memories.  This record is for that person.  And when you find it, please download The Harmony Choristers-Lehman Engel, Conductor-Christmas Hymns And Carols (Harmony (Columbia) HL 7073, Mono, 1957).

1. Wassail Song
2. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
3. Silent Night, Holy Night
4. Holy Day, Holly Carol
5. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
6. Sing We Noel Once More
7. Good King Wenceslas
8. The First Nowell
9. Midwinter
10. Deck The Hall With Boughs Of Holly
11. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
12. Pat-A-Pan
13. O Little Town of Bethlehem
14. In Dulci Jubilo
15. Corpus Christi
16. O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Soul Food

This is another one of those records that should already be in your collection, but I was very excited to recently add a hard copy to my collection. And when I get a hard copy of something, I rip it for myself. And in this case, you're the lucky ones who get to listen to my work.  Not that I can take much credit for it, the anonymous musicians who formed The Soulful Strings should get all of the praise for making such an interesting record.  That's all I'm going to tell you about this listening experience.  See for yourself, download The Soulful Strings-The Magic Of Christmas (Cadet LPS 814, Stereo, 1968).

1. The Little Drummer Boy
2. Snowfall
3. Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy
4. Deck The Halls
5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
6. Sleigh Ride
7. Merry Christmas, Baby
8. Jingle Bells
9. The Christmas Song
10. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers

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Holiday In Hawaii

Hooray! The power is back on. Not as much time as I would like to get posts up tonight, but at least I can get something up. So I've got this great record of instrumental holiday tunes played in a Hawaiian style.  No idea though if anyone associated with this was even remotely linked to Hawaii, but it sounds nice.  I've got a mono copy, but I know it exists in Stereo, so if anyone wants to send a hard copy my way, that would be great.  Until then, you'll have to make do with the mono version of The Paradise Islanders-Christmas In Hawaii (Decca DL 4122, Mono, 1961).

1. Jingle Bells Rock
2. Silver Bells
3. Christmas Island
4. White Christmas
5. Medley: The First Noel-Cantique De Noel (O Holy Night)-Joy To The World
6. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
7. Mele Kalikamaka (The Hawaiian Christmas Song)
8. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
9. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
10. Christmas In Hawaii
11. Medley: Adeste Fideles-Deck The Hall-Silent Night
12. Jingle Bells

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Christmas Is Cancelled!

Well, for the time being anyhow.  Transformer next door is blown.  Fire is burning.  Power has been turned off to the whole neighborhood.  Running on batteries for now, but who knows for how long.  Update later.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Love That Lenny

I was looking around for something to remaster and post tonight, when I came across this classic LP from Lenny Dee. And I thought, who wants to hear a boring old rehash when I can bring you something that's been shared at just about every other Christmas blog ever on the planet, only in my own unique version? I even scanned the LP cover and most of the colors came out wrong! So if you don't already have this in your collection, and you really should, please download Lenny Dee-Happy Holi-Dee (Decca DL 74146, Stereo, 1961).  And the sweet vocalists you hear on three of the tracks?  Those are the Anita Kerr Singers.

1. Sleigh Ride
2. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
3. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
4. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
5. Mister Santa
6. Jingle Bells
7. Jingle Bell Rock
8. Silver Bells
9. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
10. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
11. Christmas Time Is Here
12. Auld Lang Syne

Whoops!  Looks like this one finally made it to CD this year.  It's included (along with a bunch of other non-Christmas tracks) on a CD called Lenny Dee's Christmas Cracker.  Shame they didn't use this great cover art.

St. Luke

A special little treat from you here, again from crusty old 10" records spinning at 78 RPM. What you are looking at is what many record historians regard as the first true Christmas album. This collection of four 10" records was created as a set, to be sold together, not as a collection of singles as all other Christmas albums had been prior to this.  Not that there were too many before this, but there were.  This one hails from 1944, and I'm sure it was a welcome diversion to the strife of WWII, though I'm not sure who would have been able to afford it at the time, or how Capitol was able to press up copies.  But such mysteries lend a little interest to life, I suppose.  This is a bit rough in places, and it certainly sounds like it was ripped from shellac.  I think I have two copies of this, and I picked and chose the best I could.  So for a step back in time, please download and enjoy Capitol Presents Christmas Carols By The St. Luke's Choristers-William Ripley Dorr, Conductor (Capitol Album A-2 4x10" 78 RPM, Mono, 1944).  Why are there nine tracks?  The last side features two songs, that's how!

1. O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis)
2. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
3. Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
4. The First Nowel (aka The First Noel)
5. Silent Night
6. Away In A Manger
7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
8. Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly
9. Christmas Eve Is Here

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The Story Of Jimmy

In keeping with my posting of some Christmas music from shellac last night, here's another bit from the records that spin really fast. This is the story of Jimmy The Donkey, one of the animals that witnessed The Nativity.  It appears to be part of a series, with at least one other album, all taken from a book called Angel Wing.  I'm sure someone out there knows more about it than I do, and I hope they chime in.  I'll keep an eye out for that other album, but until that shows up, you're going to have to make do with Jimmy The Donkey (Guardian 2x10" 78 RPM GR 108, Mono).

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Singles Sunday #25-Shellac

Is this my first post this year from 78 RPM shellac? I think it is. Well, that's not surprising, given that I've only been able to successfully rip from 78s for about a year or so, and it's quite the process. But this is a good one, I'm sure you'll agree that it was worth the wait. This is a monologue recorded by well-known radio personality Franklyn MacCormack in 1948, and apparently reissued in the Chicagoland area for many years.  I was pretty excited to find it with it's picture sleeve earlier this year.  One of the things I photoshopped off the cover was a sting of dates from 1949 on into the 60's, seemingly indicating that it had been played each and every season for almost two decades.  Underneath all those scribbles that I couldn't remove is the date of Christmas 1949, when someone gave this as a gift.  And now I'm giving it to you as a gift.  Please download and enjoy Franklyn MacCormack With Herbert Foote At The Organ-I Like Christmas b/w My New Year's Wish For You (MGM 10" 78 RPM 50009, Mono, 1948).

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What's that? You like the shellac? Did you know I shared out 78 sides of Christmas music, all from shellac, back during Christmas and a half? Check it out! (Hopefully the links are still good...)

Singles Sunday #24-Two Foot Two

The last, and maybe least, in this evening's parade of minor Christmas players is Louie The Elf.  Louie is only two feet two inches tall, and some of the other elves think that's too short to help Santa.  But Santa finds a way for Louie to be a big help after all.  That's what the big guy does, I suppose.  This record looks like it was a fundraiser for the Junior Chamber Of Commerce, which I think was somehow associated with the Jaycees.  You can read all about it on the back of the sleeve.  You can also try to figure out the mystery of the name of the band.  I went with the label, but the sleeve talks about Sonny Block (even though there's a picture of the band that shows 'Bloch') and refers to the band as The Elephants.  That's quality control for you. And the recording is a bit rough. I did what I could, but I'm not the best at restoring audio.  Still, it's an enjoyable listen.  Please download and give a listen to Sonny Bloch's Coralairs-Louie The Elf b/w Buon Natale (National Recording Corporation (NRC) 7" 45 RPM 2871-35 (Produced For The Junior Chamber Of Commerce), Mono, 1958).  I can't vouch for the veracity of the report I read, but Mr. Bloch may have turned into a bit of a shyster in his later years.

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Singles Sunday #23-Sisters

Continuing on with characters on the outskirts of Christmas, how about a little song commemorating Klinker, the little pup who woke Santa up?You'd think with all those elves and reindeer running around, Santa would never be able to sleep very soundly anyway, and there are certainly plenty of people who are going to make sure he wales up on time, but evidently, the job fell to poor Klinker, who usually gets in trouble for making too much noise, but this time he saves to day.  I first heard this song performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford, but that version is available elsewhere, so I dug this one up just the other day in time for Christmas.  I'm not too sure who The Wilson Sisters were, or why they only put one of them on the picture sleeve.  Perhaps they were twins, and there's one on the front and one on the back.  But trust me, the front looks exactly like the back.  I didn't even scan the back, it was so like the front, only in much, much worse shape.  Anyone who knows any more about this record than I do, please chime in.  For one of the better kiddie records of the season, please download The Wilson Sisters-Little Klinker (The Pup Who Woke Santa Up!) b/w All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth (King 7" 45 RPM 45-5724, Mono, 1962).

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Singles Sunday #22-Two From Three

In the annals of history, only a few characters have been added to the ranks of classic Christmas characters.  Rudolph and Frosty are the two that first spring to mind, but there have been hundreds of others, if not thousands, who have been put forth as somewhat ancillary characters, more or less known by some, totally ignored by others.  One of my favorite of these also-rans is Uncle Mistletoe, the subject of the 1951 single by one of my favorite groups, The Three Suns.  Other folks recorded the song as well, but never this well.  If memory serves, Uncle Mistletoe was created for a department store in Chicago after they say how well Rudolph had done for Montgomery Ward.  Rumor has it that to this day, shop windows there contain a small representation of the character, just for old times sake.  Anyhow, this is a remastered version of a single I released years ago, and I'm bringing it back for you tonight.  Please download The Three Suns-Uncle Mistletoe (With vocal refrains by Texas Jim Robertson) b/w Sleigh Ride (RCA Victor 7" 45 RPM 47-4323, Mono, 1951).

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Re-Bob #2

Speaking of Bob Kames, here's a remaster of his third Christmas album. I don't know if this really needed a remaster or not, but I found an original copy in the original sleeve with a different cover, so I figured I'd go ahead and redo it with the new cover. Pretty snazzy, eh? There's some good stuff on here, though maybe not as good as either of the tracks on that single.  Well, The Story Of Christmas here is well worth your time, so you should certainly download Bob Kames At The Hammond Organ-Happy Holiday-Organ And Chimes Volume 3 (King 768, Stereo, 1961).  Oh, I forgot to put the reissue artwork in the download.  You can see it on my original post from 2008.

1. Cantique De Noel
2. Away In A Manger
3. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
5. The Story Of Christmas
6. I Saw Three Ships
7. O Sanctissima
8. O Come Little Children
9. All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
10. Toyland
11. Happy Holiday
12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
13. Christmas Waltz
14. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
15. The Holiday Polka
16. Auld Lang Syne

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Singles Sunday #21-More Bob

You'd be forgiven for thinking that I'd shared out every drop of Christmas music ever recorded by organist Bob Kames, but I haven't. I sure thought I had, after all, there are four full-length Christmas albums and a track or two from his other records, but then I stumbled across this.  At first, I dismissed it as a couple of tracks pulled from one of those albums, but thankfully I researched it a little more and found out it was indeed something else.  This was Bob's foray into the kiddie vocal and Chipmunk arena!  The first side features little girl vocals from someone named Franny Jenson, and the second side features mouse vocals from some critters not named Alvin, Simon or Theodore.  All I can say is wow!  Please download Bob Kames-Don't Wait 'Til The Night Before Christmas b/w Dance With Me The Christmas Tree 'Round (King 7" 45 RPM 45-5725 "Kiddie Christmas Vocal", Mono, 1963).

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