Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas To All

Before the season slips away entirely, I wanted to sneak in here and wish all of my visitors, both loyal and new, a very merry Christmas!  I know I've been MIA for the whole season, but the traffic logs tell me that plenty of folks are still stopping by and finding something or other of interest.  Thank you to those who've left comments or sent me personal notes.  I haven't had time to answer many of you, but all of your notes have been heartwarming.  Yes, Jennifer and I are still together.  We've been busy creating our first Christmas together, trying to make it from one busy day to the next while taking the time to enjoy the season, a little bit more even than I've had the chance to do in the past.  Since 2005 or so, I've been so busy with the blog at Christmas that I haven't had time to do some of the things I should have during the holiday season.  This year I've been shopping until late at night, listened to high school kids play The Nutcracker on the marimbas (and Jingle Bells on bagpipe!), gone to the office Christmas party, saw Santa Claus come riding in on a green '57 Thunderbird, ate soggy chicken while listening to Christmas madrigals and occasionally gotten to listen to some Christmas music.  And I wouldn't trade any of it for all the vinyl in Florida.

Some months ago I asked Jen if maybe she'd like to put together some sort of audio Christmas card that we could send to friends and family in lieu of the usual holiday card that gets tossed after the season ends.  She liked the idea, so we dove into my deep archives of Christmas music from vinyl, listening to hundreds of tracks some nights to sift through and find a CDs worth of music that we liked.  It took a while, and went through a few edits, but we finally came up with the list you see below, all pulled from vinyl in my own collection and spanning the entire history of my blogging life.  The bitrates on some of the older stuff may be low, but I don't think there is anything here that's unlistenable.  Put it on and I think it will bring a little bit of joy to your holiday for many years to come.  There are also a few surprises in here, things that I've never shared, and probably shouldn't share, but I'm not too worried about getting shut down at this point.

1. Pete Rugolo-Jingle Bells Mambo

A new track, something I'd never had before this year.  Would have made a great Christmas-In-July track, but I never got the chance to share it then.  Enjoy it now!

2. Kelly Schoppa-Merry Texas Christmas

Jen is from Texas, and this was the best version I could find.  It bothered her that they say 'You All' in there instead of Y'all.

3. Wayne King-Jing-A-Ling-A-Ling
4. The Surfers-Here Comes Santa In A Red Canoe
5. Vincent Lopez-Here Comes The Fattest Man In Town
6. Elvis Presley-Santa Claus Is Back In Town

From my copy of the original 1957 gatefold with all the pretty pictures of Elvis that have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas. Just imagine hearing this for the first time...

7. Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine-I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

I shared this out in a mono version a long time ago, but stumbled across a stereo copy this summer. Jen wondered why I was so excited until I played it for her, so this one had to go on here.  Not sure when this came out since the music was recorded in 1957 before stereo records.  They must have gone back to the 3-tracks for this one. I know there were fewer songs on the LP than the mono version.

8. Hugo Winterhalter-Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Cha Cha
9. The Three Suns-Ding Dong Dandy Christmas
10. George Melachrino-Fairy On The Christmas Tree
11. Georgia Gibbs-Looks Like A Cold Cold Winter
12. Bing Crosby-Christmas Dinner Country Style
13. Margret Jonsson-Snögrubben Froste

I like to think of this as a little Easter Egg, which is the wrong holiday, but you get the idea...

14. Blue Barron-Red Cheeks And White Whiskers
15. The McGuire Sisters-The Cactus Christmas Tree
16. Russ Morgan-The Mistletoe Kiss
17. Ruby Wright-Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Xmas
18. The Town Pipers-Santa’s On His Way
19. The Sun Tones-The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot
20. Dean Martin-The Christmas Blues

Another track I probably shouldn't share out, so pretend it's not here...(But it's so good!)

21. The Davis Sisters-The Christmas Boogie
22. Mimi Hines-I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
23. Lawrence Welk’s Little Band-Outer Space Santa
24. Benny Martin-Santa Claus Is From The South
25. Louis Prima-Senor Santa Claus
26. Les Paul and Mary Ford-Jungle Bells
27. Tony Martin-Christmas In Rio
28. The Ames Brothers-Ting-A-Ling-A Jingle
29. Cicero Pig-December

This is for Sophie, Jen's daughter, who you see on the front cover spotting my giant lens in the audience.  Her birthday comes in December, so we had to make sure she got plenty of birthday-not-Christmas presents.  Oh, and a giant chocolate cake from PF Changs.  And vinyl.  I got her a record.  She seemed to like it. :)

30. Eydie Gormé-Winter Night
31. Poppa John Gordy-Santa Plays The Trombone (In The North Pole Band)
32. IBM 7090 Computer-Joy To The World

And there you have it, a whole lot of oldies but goodies.  That's what this blog has always been about, I suppose.  I hope you enjoy it.



Badgercat said...

Merry Christmas to BOTH of you. Tonight is a special night, and has been for centuries. Thanks for a little present under the tree for those of us who have been nice!

Blessings to you both.

Ron said...

Merry Christmas to you and Jen. It is my wish that it's the first of many for you both.


Anonymous said...

Uuufff qué alegría, gracias por volver!

Rodney Haydon said...

Merry Christmas to the both of you, and thank you for the wonderful gift of music that you have given to us.

Robert said...

You've introduced us to so many buried musical treasures over the last several years.... Thank You. Enjoy a blessed Christmas.

Stubby said...

And she and you made a Christmas mix together. That woman's a keeper.

You know, I tell people my eyes are going, but no one believes me. I honestly thought you said you ate soggy "children". Oy.

Merry Christmas, Ernie, and to you, Jen (if I may call you Jen; I feel as if I know you not at all). And God bless us, everyone!

Geordie Birch said...

Merry Christmas you guys!

SadieSue said...

Thank you so much, Ernie & Jen! A very, very Merry Christmas to you both - & I wish you many, many more.

Kwork said...

A very Merry Christmas to the both of you, and thanks so much for this musical Christmas card.

John said...

Merry Christmas to you both and I send you my hope for many more years of Christmas shared together. We thank you for the mix. My beloved and I will listen to your mix together this holiday and think of you. By the way, we are known to our friends as "Bert and Ernie" Merry Christmas from John and Jim.

Anonymous said...

You've already enriched many of my Christmases with the music you've shared. I'm so happy for you and Jen, and delighted with your gift to us all. Ho ho ho and hooray!

Puckwheat said...

Awesome, Ernie! We're so glad you found someone who "gets" you! I did 6 Christmases ago and it makes this time of the year SOOO much better! Thank you for all the wonderful music you have brought to us over the years, and I really look forward to downloading this collection. Merry Christmas to you both!

Der Bingle said...

Merry Christmas Ernie and Jen! It's been a different season without your shares this year, but for the best reason possible :-) Thanks for the mix, and have a great holiday together!

Buster said...

Merry Christmas, Ernie and Jen! May you have many more together.

Richard N said...

Thank you Ernie for the great collection of songs. Merry Christmas to you and Jen and both your families. I wish you both a Happy and Prosperous New Year.


LeedsDevil said...

Thanks Ernie! Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy 2014!

Erick said...

Thank you for all of the wonderful music over the years. Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine! :)

mel said...

I'm a little late, Ernie, but I wish you and Jen a very merry Christmas season and a happy, healthy and peaceful 2014.

Just a word about the Vaughan/Eckstine track: record companies started recording in two-track stereo in 1954, primarily for an envisaged popularity of the stereo tape recorders that were coming out around then, but also I'm sure that it was no secret to them that engineers were working on, and about to achieve, a stereo cartridge that would, not in the too-distant future, bring about the advent of the stereo LP; and they wanted to build up an archive of stereo albums that they would be able to release on stereo LPs.

Rick said...

It's still Christmas here is Las Vegas so I think it still acceptable to wish y'all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Glad you found time to put together a Christmas mix.



radioman01 said...

Merry Christmas both. I spent the morning in hospital after a mini stroke. It brings home the need to make the most of our time on Earth --- so do that. I'm glad you spent 6-months away from your computer. Spend more time away. smell the roses together. Have a lovely life together.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and thanks again for the many years you've generously shared Christmas music and enlightened us about the wide range of incredible music that's been created over the years to celebrate this holiday. Best wishes to you and Jen for a personally and professionally rewarding 2014.

Greg S said...

Thank you and Merry Christmas to you both! While I have missed your posts I know you are spending your time for all the right reasons. Thanks for this year's offering and I look forward to your future posts.

Philip Ramone said...

What a nice surprise!
A happy and healthy 2014 to y'all.


Chris Ballard said...

Merry Christmas to you both! I proposed to my wife on Christmas Day 1986 so I know what a special time this can be for a couple. Thanks for the compilation and Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Really glad you do have the time of your life.
All the best for both of you the coming year!!!


Aaron said...

Thanks for this, and especially thanks for all of the hard work in the past!

Anonymous said...

Two year-long deployments in the last four years and three Christmases away from my wife and children. You got me through Ernie. I love Christmas more than I ever did. I have my wife and kids this year and I'm happy you have your wife too.

Thanks for shining the light!!

fixxitt In Georgia said...

This adds a gem to my collection of Christmas music and because it was done in collaboration with your bride it is especially special. You have graced so many music lovers and Christmas lovers with music from your collection that in many of our minds you are "Mr. Christmas Musicman". Many Happy returns for the New Year and a bit late, but still heartfelt, Merry Christmas and a tremendous Thank You!

Marco said...

Wow, what a great late Christmas present! So happy to get this and so happy for you and Jen.

Merry Christmas!

Jaydiggity said...

Thanks, Ernie! Long time visitor to your site. Looking forward to hearing the Christmas card selections. Best of everything to you and your family.

JohnDent said...

Thank you, Ernie. Merry Christmas!

mlc said...


Anonymous said...

May you re-up "FOR HI-FI LIVING" series for the sake of my low living?

Thanks, one way or another.
Happy New Year!

Mark Spencer said...

Merry Christmas! And thanks!

Chris said...

Dear friend, the first Christmas together for two people is so wonderful. Glad to know you are sharing it with Jen, and I hope you will have many more. They only get sweeter as the years go on. Thank you both for sharing your Christmas card with us.

Chris in Cary

Craftypants Carol said...

Thank you!

HaarFager said...

I haven't commented in a while, but I want to wish the both of you all the happiness you both deserve. May you both be very happy together for a long time. Thanks for the many Christmas tracks and other albums over the years, Ern.

Kenny Harrelson

Puckwheat said...

Happy Birthday, Ernie! Hope all is well on this Christmas and a Half 2014!

Geordie Birch said...

Merry Christmas in July, you guys!

Marco said...

Thanks so much to the both of you - may your days always be merry and bright!

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across yer site.fun stuff. been a fan of offbeat Christmas music for years; just not a deep collector. Saw JINGLE BELL ROCKS documentary film here in St Louis about Christmas Vinyl collecting. look for it...it should hit theaters or on demand any day.

thanks for all the Christmas jingles. keep yer chestnuts warm this holiday

rob b STL

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across yer site.fun stuff. been a fan of offbeat Christmas music for years; just not a deep collector. Saw JINGLE BELL ROCKS documentary film here in St Louis about Christmas Vinyl collecting. look for it...it should hit theaters or on demand any day.

thanks for all the Christmas jingles. keep yer chestnuts warm this holiday

rob b STL