Saturday, December 17, 2005

Six Suns

They said it couldn't be done! But here it is, the other Christmas recording from The Three Suns! This completes the set, assuming you were able to get A Ding Dong Dandy Christmas elsewhere. I think there are only 18 minutes of music here, but it's so worth it to have the complete set. So please download The Three Suns Present Your Christmas Favorites (RCA Victor WP 250). Just for the record, this is a set of three 45 RPM, 7" singles in a box. I also found a Brazilian copy of the third record in the original generic Discos RCA Victor sleeve. I think it's the same music, though...

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Little Bit More Organ

I almost didn't post anything else tonight. I lost two hours trying to fix a mistake I made on a post from the first of the week, and then I had to scan the back of a record that I had forgotten to do, and now it's late and I'm tired. But I didn't want to let you guys down, so here's a single to see you through to the weekend. I know how you love your organ tunes, so here's Bob Coe At The Pipe Organ-White Christmas/Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (Leaf R 6126). The A and B sides are reversed on the actual vinyl from what it says on the sleeve, so you can flip for which order you want to play it in. I don't know anything else about Mr. Coe, other than he has a full-length Christmas LP on Leaf that I'd like to hear. Anyone out there in Wisconsin have that one?

Buy Our Organ, Please

Once upon a time, everyone had a piano in their home. Later, people had organs in their homes. Nowadays, we have CD players and TVs and iPods and Sega. But back to the organs for a sec. This LP was designed to help sell those organs. I don't know if this was given away to customers, or sold in the organ stores, or what, but the ultimate goal was to get you to buy an organ from Kimball so that you could play like the artists on this record. I'm guessing it didn't work too well for Kimball, because they seem to be out of business. So if you should listen to this LP and decide you want to go get an organ, you're going to have to find a different organ manufacturer. Please give a listen to A Kimball Christmas (KPO 82-004, 1982).

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Buck & Susan (Not Roy)

Here's some more Christmas goodness from 1971 for you. A little-known Christmas album from Buck Owens, this time with the relatively unknown Susan Raye. I don't know what possessed Buck to remake some of his earlier Christmas hits as duets, but that's exactly what happened. Must have been love, I guess. Anyhow, I don't think there's anything on here that you haven't already heard on Buck's two earlier Christmas albums, and he does remake his biggest hits here, including Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy, Santa's Gonna Come In A Stagecoach and One Of Everything You Got. So download and give a little listen to this curiosity that the CD industry has forgotten about, Merry Christmas From Buck Owens & Susan Raye (Capitol ST-837, 1971).

What's up with these two albums from 1971? Neither one of them has a cover that is even the least little bit Christmassy. I almost feel bad posting them. But the music should make up for the lack of festive covers today.

Lynn (Not Loni)

Here's another requested LP! I couldn't believe that this wasn't available on CD. I found some indication that it used to be, though, and it's a shame it's out of print. Many folks out there think that Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell is a holiday classic. You may be able to find it on a few compilations, but then you'd miss out on other classics like Mr. Mistletoe and A Whistle And A Whisker Away. So why don't you treat yourself to a little bit of early 70s crossover country? Please download and listen to Lynn Anderson-The Christmas Album (Columbia C 30957, 1971).

(I apologize for the quality of the scan. My copy of the sleeve is pretty beat up. The record has some rough spots, too, but not so much that you won't enjoy it.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Sharity Recap, Week Three

Another week, another pile of shares. Once again, here's a handy list of all the things I've shared out this week, as well as updates on the previous couple of weeks. Since I'm using RapidShare, all these files will continue to be available until they go 30 days without any downloads. And the way things are going around here, that may not happen until sometime in June... Also, don't forget about all those great albums from the prior couple of weeks! I don't see those download numbers going up very much on those. There has been a lot of sharing going on around here, so don't miss out on some of those earlier albums.

A Christmas Sampler (0)
Christmas; Time For Song Featuring Thurlow Spurr And The Spurrlows Singing 12 Seasonal Favorites! (30)
Dennis Day Sings "Christmas Is For The Family" Featuring Lou Hollingsworth At The Wurlitzer Electronic Organ & The Vail Boys Choir With Full Orchestra (78)
Robert Way Orchestra And Chorus-New England Sleigh Ride Volume 1 (78)
Christmas With The Happy Crickets (62) (Why do you people keep downloading this? It's no good, folks!)
The Voices Of Walter Schumann-The Voices Of Christmas (107)
The Three Suns-The Sounds Of Christmas (146)
The Three Suns-Christmas Party (124)
Billy Crystal-The Christmas Song (97)
Lorne Greene-Must Be Santa (97)
Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians-'Twas The Night Before Christmas (116)
Sing And Rejoice! Christmas Carols Played by Dick Leibert At the Organ of the Radio City Music Hall New York City (57)
Dick Leibert At The Console-The Happy Hits Of Christmas (Christmas Evergreens Played On The Radio City Music Hall Organ) (87)
Dick Leibert-The Sound Of Christmas On The Radio City Music Hall Organ (105)
George Wright At The Wurlitzer Pipe Organ-Merry Christmas (115)

Here're all the items from two weeks ago

Eddie Dunstedter-The Bells Of Christmas ( 76[corrected version]+66[original bad version])
Eddie Dunstedter-The Bells Of Christmas Chime Again (123)
The Caroleer Singers And Orchestra-Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (115)
The Caroleers-'Twas The Night Before Christmas (133)
The Snap-On Male Chorus-Carols Of Christmas (97)
Menudo-Feliz Navidad (79)
Hugo Winterhalter-Christmas Magic (135)
Hugo Winterhalter-Sleigh Ride (Bonus Track!) (105)
Kathy Dunn-Santaville/In The Valley Of Santa Claus (93)
Paul Mauriat And His Orchestra-The Christmas Album (98)
Raymond LeFevre And His Orchestra-Merry Christmas (138)
Pete Fountain-Candy Clarinet (111)
Yogi Yorgesson-Yingle Bells (133)
The Ray Charles Singers-Winter Wonderland (127)
The Ray Charles Singers-Here We Come A-Caroling (129)

And from three weeks ago:

George Feyer's Echoes Of Christmas (114)
Avon Goes On Record 1968 (97)
Sy Mann-Everybody's Christmas Favorites Organ & Chimes (116)
The Moog Machine-Christmas Becomes Electric (175)
101 Strings-Christmas Moods, aka The Glory of Christmas (97)
Cyril Stapleton And His Orchestra With Children's Chorus-Children's Christmas Album (85)
Muzak Christmas (110)
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (171)
Charo-(Mamacita) ¿Donde Esta Santa Claus? (169)
Christmas With Big Tiny Little (164)
Buddy & Bunny Burden-Christmas Favorites (109)
The Rainbow Sound Of Bianco His Harp And Orchestra-Joy To The World (104)
Ruth Welcome-Christmas In Zitherland (113)

And one single download from Thanksgiving Day:

Spencer Ross-Thanksgiving Day Parade (62)

Business As Usual

As expected, the moon rose this evening. And as usual, I had to try to shoot it. It's not quite full yet, I think that's tomorrow night. I'll try it again then if it's clear. When I first walked out the door from work, there were a couple of thin clouds right across the fave of the moon, and I thought it would make a great shot. but by the time I got the camera out and switched lenses, they were gone. So all I got was the plain moon.

Various and Sundry Artists

I think this is the first various artists record I've shared with you this season. And I chose it for a couple of reasons. First, it features two tracks by the previously highlighted Dick Leibert. He had an LP out on Westminster that I have been unable to find, and it predates all of the RCA ones that I shared with you earlier. Secondly, it has a track from the impossible-to-find Ferrante & Teicher LP Adventure In Carols. I'm sure you've grabbed that LP from any of a number of places on the internet, but I always like to have an original of something I like. Thirdly, there are several other interesting tracks on here, ranging from choral music to organ tracks to some Christmas bell ringing, and even a short narration by Sherlock Holmes himself, Basil Rathbone. So it's a pretty good, yet unknown LP. I think the only LP I own that has a track featured here is America's Children Sing Xmas Carols, and I need to record that one for you. But anyhow, I know you're itching to give it a listen, so here's A Christmas Sampler (Westminster WP S-2). What do you think?

A Spur That Doesn't Jingle-Jangle

Another oddball LP for you guys today. I was drawn by it's cover, which I think you'll agree is quite, ummm, hip, for an episode of the Brady Bunch maybe. The lead artist, Thurlow Spurr, is better known for his religious recordings (and the label on this is Word, also known for their religious releases), but this one is more of a choral work, really, with happy Christmas music. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an LP must surely be worth about half a million words. So I'll quit talking and let you look and listen for yourself. Please download and give a listen to Christmas; Time For Song Featuring Thurlow Spurr And The Spurrlows Singing 12 Seasonal Favorites! (Word Records, WST-8310-LP, c. 1966). Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Must Be Santa

Can you tell who that is in the Santa suit above? Yep, it's your old pal Jack Benny. The family you see belongs to Dennis Day, who was a singer on Jack Benny's TV program. That's a pretty large family! Looks close at the boy in the center, and you'll see he's got a black eye. Maybe he didn't want to come to the photo shoot, and Dad had to persuade him a little. No, no, I'm sure that's not the case. Anyhow, the LP for the evening is Dennis Day Sings "Christmas Is For The Family" Featuring Lou Hollingsworth At The Wurlitzer Electronic Organ & The Vail Boys Choir With Full Orchestra (Design Records DLP-X-1). This particular LP is mono, but I have a stereo version also (SDLP X-1). I tried to record the stereo one, but it was just too noisy. Besides, I don't think it's real stereo. The actual label on the vinyl says "In AuthentiPhonic Stereo Process", which sounds like fake stereo to me... (The LP scan is a combination of the stereo cover, with the Stereo-Spectrum label across the top, and the mono cover, with the Jack Benny note at the bottom.) Anyhow, give it a listen and see what you think. Most of it is Mr. Day doing what he does best, which really doesn't do much for me, but there are a few short bits with Jack Benny that make this more than worth the price of admission.

[Also, before you send me an email, there is no bit of Jack Benny dialogue at the start of side two as mentioned on the back sleeve. Don't know why it says that. Well, yes I do, it's because this label is owned by Pickwick, one of the worst record labels of all time. We're lucky they spelled Jack Benny correctly.]

Right Of Way

Many of the albums I've shared with you so far have been familiar names, if not familiar music. This one is from way out in left field, but it was a nice surprise. I believe this was given away at Mobil stations sometime in the late 60s, early 70s. I listened to it because I thought it odd that many of the songs appeared to be originals, as opposed to most giveaway albums which are littered with covers of old public-domain tunes. So download and give a listen to Robert Way Orchestra And Chorus-New England Sleigh Ride Volume 1 (Fleetwood FCL3023). Anybody know who this Robert Way is? And are there other volumes of this, or was the Volume 1 moniker just very optimistic? And is that a two-horse open sleigh on the front? That's just not right...

Update Oct 2009: Looks like Robert Way is in the process of remastering and re-releasing this on CD, so head on over there and get a copy of this great music from the man who created it!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Danger! Do Not Download!!

I have this terrible fear that you folks are going to download whatever I throw up here. So here is a test. Do not download this album! It is bad! The arrangements are terrible. The singing is monotone clap-trap, and it's often pitched so high that dogs run howlng from the room! If you thought the Chipmunks were bad, these crickets make the Chipmunks look like Elvis being backed by the Beatles. But I'm afraid there is no stopping you. This is Christmas With The Happy Crickets (International Award Series AKX-9) or it's (Grand Prix Series KX-9). The music is the same, but the covers are different. I recorded one side of each, since I couldn't get a good dub from both sides of either record. Side one is from the green record, and it sounds muddy with lots of surface noise. Side two is from the yellow copy, and it sounds good, but side one had terrible pops all through the record. And if you look close at the green cover, in the upper right, it says "Wanda Haynes 12/14/67". That's my aunt, and I assume the date she got the record. Don't know if it was new then, but at least we know it's that old. Remember, Don't download or listen to this! It's Bad!

Five Suns

OK, I promise, this is the last Three Suns post of the day. I found yet another cover for their LP, this time with a slight name change. This is The Sound Of Christmas With The Three Suns (RCA Camden CAL 633). And the music on here is the same as the LP I shared out yesterday. So that's three different covers for this one. That's odd for RCA. Now Pickwick or somebody I could understand, but RCA?

Which one is your favorite? I like the second one, but that may just be because I don't have it. :)

Four Suns

OK, it's pretty rare that I post something that doesn't belong to me, but a fan was nice enough to send me this alternate cover for The Three Suns-The Sounds Of Christmas LP that I shared with you yesterday. I've never seen this one, but I thought it was pretty cool. Anybody else seen this one? Is it common, rare? Perhaps it's a non-US release? Anyone have an idea?

No Suns

Did you catch the sunset this evening?

I'm Hearing Voices

After the instrumental excesses of The Three Suns yesterday, today I'm going to give you some vocalese, courtesy of Walter Schumann. This guy hired some really talented people to sing on here. Go give it a listen and let me know what you think. Here's The Voices Of Walter Schumann-The Voices Of Christmas (RCA Victor LPM-1141, 1955). My fave track on here is Christmas Gift. It made my CD this year. :)

Update: I've made another mistake. Or, a mistake was made somewhere. One of the MP3 files I originally shared out seems to have been corrupt. So the first 129 downloaders need to come back and get the corrected track 9 here. I've corrected the link above, so if you're getting it for the first time, it should be correct. I'm using different software now, so the files are in mono instead of fake stereo, which means they are half the original size. I also don't love the file names not including the artist, but you should be able to figure it out. Let me know if you have any problems with the ID tags, please. Thanks to Deb for finding the problem!

Double update: It's on CD now!!! So no more free download. Go buy this classic LP on CD here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Three Suns

OK, just to get this out of the way, there is no download here. I'm only teasing you with a nice cover. All of the tracks on this EP were released on the last LP I showed you, The Sounds Of Christmas. But I had this cover and I liked it, and I figured maybe you would too. Also from 1955 (obviously), this is The Three Suns-White Christmas (RCA Victor EPA-655, 1955). If you want to recreate this EP, just grab the following six tracks from the previous LP, and play 'em: Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town; It Came Upon A Midnight Clear; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; Der Tannenbaum (Christmas Tree); Greensleeves; White Christmas.

Two Suns

Continuing on with the Three Sun mini-marathon, here's the boys on a long-player from 1955. I believe all of the tracks on this one are different takes from the previous issue, even though there is some overlap in the song selection. Still in mono, though. Living Stereo is still, what, two or three years ahead of them? But the arrangements are starting to get a little more out there, and the sound is much fuller. Please download and enjoy The Three Suns-The Sounds Of Christmas (RCA Victor LPM-1132, 1955).

The artist who created the painting for this cover is Doris Lee. I don't know if she made this painting for the cover, or is RCA leased the image. Either way, it's a nice image.

Almost forgot to mention... I found two slightly different back covers for this record in the archives, so I included both in the Zip file. I think they just advertise different records, but I was bored, so I scanned it in for you. Welcome to my world...

One Sun

Since we're having a Christmas party around here anyway, why not invite The Three Suns? These guys know how to have a party! This is an early 10" record from the boys. They weren't up to their late 50s/early 60s spaciness yet, and Living Stereo hadn't even been invented, but you can see the seeds of things to come in the recordings on this mid-sized slab of vinyl. So please download and give a listen to The Three Suns-Christmas Party (RCA Victor LPM -3056, 1952). These guys had about half a dozen different Christmas releases over their career, and I've got several of them to share. Stay tuned!

December, The Third Week

The year is coming to a close really, really fast, so I don't have a lot of calendar pages left to share with you. But some of the ones I have left are pretty good, like this one. Here you have a sunrise over the Sunshine Skyway bridge across Tampa Bay. In the foreground you have a guy doing a little kite surfing. The most amazing part about this picture is the fact that I was up early enough to catch this!

You Sound Mahvelous!!

There seems to be no end to the people who have released Christmas songs. But for all those people who haven't released Christmas music, there is always this single from Billy Crystal, in which he does imitations of them. Much of the track is done as Sammy Davis, Jr., but he also throws in his Howard Cossell, some Ali, and plenty of the mah-velous Fernando. Please download and enjoy Billy Crystal-The Christmas Song (A&M AM-2795, 1985).

And if you're looking for Christmas singles of your own, you should visit Banana Records. I don't know if they list much online, but at their store (in St. Pete, Florida), they have about 16 boxes of Christmas 45s in stock. You can drop a lot of money real fast. And don't expect many bargains. You're there for the selection, not the prices. But oh, what a selection!