Wednesday, December 12, 2018

One Of The Best

Here's my new 2018 remaster of the great Christmas album from Vincent Lopez.  If you've never heard this, you are in for a treat!  There are a handful of great '50s Christmas albums that have yet to be properly reissued, and this is one of them.  Real Gone, are you listening? I first shared this with you in 2012, and today I'm bringing it back. I found this new copy last month in a thrift store in St. Pete along with a small handful of great Christmas records of a similar vintage.  I was so excited I recorded it that same night!  This is Vincent Lopez And His Orchestra-Christmas Music (Coral CRL 57189, Mono, 1957).  That's Vincent on the old Motorola TV set there.  No idea who's in the Santa suit. (If you like the vintage chair Santa's relaxing in, here are hundreds of other records also featuring vintage chairs!)

1. Sleigh Ride
2. White Christmas
3. Whistlin' Otto (The Baby Reindeer)
4. Dance Of The Reindeers
5. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
6. O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
7. Here Comes The Fattest Man In Town
8. Toyland
9. Frosty The Snowman; All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth; Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
10. Jingle Bells
11. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
12. Christmas Rush
13. Silver Bells
14. Merry Christmas Polka
15. Cantique De Noel (O Holy Night)
16. I'd Like To Find You In My Stocking
17. Joy To The World
18. Oh, Little Town Of Bethlehem
19. Adeste Fideles
20. Silent Night
21. Merry Christmas To You

FYI, this same music was reissued at one time back in the LP days, but it was greatly abbreviated and hidden inside this ugly cover, of which I found an ugly copy. I stuck this scan in the download for you, but it's just for the sake of completeness.


barba said...

you really gotta wonder about the compounded incompetence of some of these outfits. let me see if i have this straight: they got the rights to this old christmas album which they presumably want to turn a profit on. their angle is that they're going to use this new-fangled process on it called "simulated stereo". [this must be a variation of that abomination around 1970 aka "re-processed for stereo" and "re-channeled for stereo".] but-- oops -- they forgot to mention it on the butt-ugly cover they chose. so to make it right, they hire someone to put stickers on all their albums... and that someone puts the stickers NOT in the lower left-hand or right-hand corners out of the way, NOT EVEN in the center justified either left or right, BUT STUCK OVER the albums's title and song selection so that now YOU CAN'T READ EITHER! i can understand it when goodwill employees rudely slap a sticker on a cover or a label. (why should they care?) but these guys were trying to sell a product. as people under the age of sixty say, "wtf?".

barba said...

as for the original, i agree that this is a first class 1950s christmas album. "christmas rush" is a candidate for the standard repertoire. it was written by ruth roberts and bill katz who also wrote the mcguire sisters' "the cactus christmas tree". roberts and katz apparently had their own christmas album on the coral label. i haven't heard it. their biggest claim to fame however was their composition "meet the mets", theme song to the woeful new york metropolitans baseball team, which is played incessantly on all mets' radio and tv broadcasts.

Ernie said...

Hmmm, I don't see a vintage Christmas LP from that pair, but I see a couple of later things. It looks like they may have written Christmas Cookies & Holiday Hearts, the title track of the Theresa Brewer Christmas LP. Maybe they wrote all the songs on that album, I seem to recall it's mostly originals and all sort of presented as a play of sorts. Something to research!

Ernie said...

My bad, the Theresa Brewer LP is called At Christmas Time, but that song is on there. Haven't seen my copy in an awful long time...

barba said...

if you put "ruth roberts bill katz christmas" into the youtube search engine, you come up with four or five christmas songs of theirs, presumably assembled on coral about 1956, and reissued elsewhere in 1969. again, i haven't heard it. it looks to me like they collected all coral recording artists' renditions of their songs. even so, they probably would have needed to fill it out with something.

gee, i start with vincent lopez and i'm gonna end up name-dropping the beatles; for buddy holly was of course another coral artist and his group was the inspiration for the liverpool lads' name (crickets-beetles) and the mop-tops eventually went out of their way to hunt down everything buddy holly ever recorded, including songs by roberts and katz. these in turn were recorded by the beatles... usually not on vinyl, but they always had tape machines recording in their studios (knowing that posterity would want to hear every last sound they made) and there are literally thousands of raw, unedited hours of beatles being common mortals which include one or two stabs at roberts and katz tunes.

which gets me round to one final point. anyone who has not heard "the fab four" christmas albums must do so as soon as possible. i don't mean those rotten christmas fan club records by the real beatles. this is a tribute band who took well-known arrangements of original beatles' material and turned them into christmas songs. it's hysterical. you can buy the albums at amazon or hear them at youtube (just put "fab four christmas" in the search engine). at the moment, my favorites are "rudolph the red nosed reindeer" (aka "i saw her standing there") and "sleigh ride" (aka "lady madonna").

Buster said...

That 50s cover is a paragon of dorkiness. Santa appears to be suffering from gas pains induced by listening to Lopez on the TV. Or maybe the pea-green decor has him seasick.

I believe this may have been one of the covers that Alex Steinweiss handled when he was the Decca art director. Many of them are stupefyingly awful. One of my favorites is the Boy on a Dolphin cover, in which Alan Ladd appears to be sniffing Sophia Loren's armpit.

Kwork said...

Gotta agree with Barba here. The "Fab Four" Christmas albums are fantastic! I believe they were both eventually released as a single package with a bonus track or two.
Meanwhile, thank you for bringing this one back for another round!