Saturday, December 24, 2005

Oodles of Doodles CLXX-Christmas 2005

Here's a final holiday doodle for you from the flipside of Living Voices Sing Christmas Music (RCA Camden CAS 725, 1962). They say that no two snowflakes are alike, but they seem to have not checked this LP before they said that. These five flakes are repeated four times on this record. So much for old sayings.

Hope you all have a Happy Christmas!

Surprises For Christmas

It's Christmas Eve, and I think I've saved the best for last. I think you'll really like this LP. RCA liked it so much they released it twice, under two different names. The orginal release is seen above, as credited to The Ralph Hunter Choir. The second time around, RCA decided old Ralph wasn't drawing enough attention, so they called it Living Voices Sing Christmas Music, as seen below. And that release spawned a whole series of albums by any number of different groups as Living This or Living That. Many of the other Living Voices albums were the work of Anita Kerr, but not this first one. Most of my tracks were actually ripped from the one below, but some came from the original above. I just grabbed whichever one I felt sounded better. Both of them had a nasty skip in there, so I wasn't able to get a single full dub from either record. And, oddly enough, the record you see above is an Australian pressing. It used to belong to a little girl who loved Rick Springfield by the name of Annette Haessher. I only mention this because I had to spend several hours getting her name and her love notes to Rick off of the cover via Photoshop. Thanks Annette, I didn't have anything better to do the week before Christmas, anyway. So please, download and give a listen to a great LP that wraps up the Christmas Sharity here at Ernie (Not Bert), Christmas Surprises From The Ralph Hunter Choir (RCA of Australia SL10911, 1959) aka Living Voices Sing Christmas Music (RCA Camden CAS 725, 1962).

I previously shared the doodles off the flip of the original LP back during Christmas in July. That's when a helpful reader pointed out that the two records held the same music. It's always nice when readers share their info.

From The Great White North, Eh

Some of you have been asking for this record since last year. Well, not exactly this record, but you've been asking for Gisele. I wanted to share her full-length LP, Christmas With Gisele, but I couldn't get a recording of it that didn't skip. However, I did find this EP that came out the previous year on the RCA susidiary, Vik. It's got 4 of the songs that showed up on her full length release the next year, so you're almost halfway there. Someday I'll get a better copy of the full album and share it with everybody, I pomise. In the meantime, please download and enjoy Gisele MacKenzie-Joyeux Noel (Vik EXA-271, Mono, 1957). The sound is a little rough on this one, but there is some good music if you listen through the noise. There'll be a quiz later, so please pay close attention to her French lessons.

Update: Looks like someone finally wised up about this record. It's now available for download on iTunes. So I can't share it anymore, but you can download a nice MP3 version of it. Actually, what they've got is the whole LP that this EP is pulled from, but you get the idea.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Sand (Not Snow)

One more for tonight, then I'm going to bed. I don't have the cover for this one, I'm afraid. I'm sure some happy child destroyed it years ago, but thankfully for me (and you!) the record survived. Some of this music that was designed for kids is better than the stuff that was recorded for adults. This EP is a great example. Just five songs long, but each one is a great version. And the fun track Mr. Snow was a hit on my Christmas CD. Please download and enjoy The Sandpipers With Mitch Miller And Orchestra-Frosty The Snowman (Golden Records 2092, 1966)

For The First Time

Happy Night Before the Night Before Christmas! To honor this special pre-night, here's a collection of 8 tracks, each allegedly recorded here for the first time, according to the liner notes. Many of them I'd never heard before, but I think you'll recognize a number that was to become pretty popular over the years, The Night Before Christmas Song. And that's far from the best track on this twin 7" set. There are actually two numbers on here that made it to my annual Christmas CD, which is pretty suprising. They were The Ames Brothers-Sing A Song Of Santa Claus and Don Cornell-I've Got The Christmas Spirit. The Ames Brothers track is a hit right out of the box, while the Don Cornell song sort of makes you think it's going to be a sleeper before he really opens up and starts to swing. And man does he swing! The other two artists on here are Johnny Desmond and Eileen Barton (who sings the Night Before Christmas song). So please download and give a listen to this perhaps historic recording, Merry Christmas From (Coral Records EC-82003). You'll catch the Christmas spirit in no time.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

May All Your Christmases Be Bright

Here's a real hum-dinger of an album for you. I don't even remember buying this one, it just turned up in my collection one day. I didn't pay too much attention to it because it doesn't list an artist on the front cover. I sort of assumed it was a generic chorus LP or maybe a collection from a gas station. Boy, was I wrong. This LP features The Jimmy Joyce Singers, who I just mentioned in the previous post, with an orchestra conducted by the one and only Billy May! Yep, you read that right, Mr. Billy May. And more than one of these tracks are instrumentals, so that means they are all Billy. It's all good, but those tracks are the best. Please, if you don't believe me, download and listen to The Jimmy Joyce Singers With Orchestra Conducted By Billy May-A Christmas To Remember (Warner Bros W 1237, 1958). If you don't like it, I'll refund your money! (Anybody out there got this in stereo???)

Who's This Alfred S. Burt?

This blog is supposed to be about Ernie, not Bert. So why am I posting an album of carols written by Albert S. Burt? Well, just because, that's why! Actually, it's becuase of the involvment of the Jimmy Joyce Singers, or as they are called on this release, The Voices Of Jimmy Joyce. I don't know a whole lot about them, other than the fact that they backed up a whole slew of singers during their heyday, from the fifties through the early seventies. One of their bigger employers was Frank Sinatra! But Frank is nowhere to be found on this release. All you'll hear here are the voices of Jimmy Joyce. Please download and give a listen to The Voices Of Jimmy Joyce-This Is Christmas-A Complete Collection Of The Alfred S. Burt Carols (Warner Bros. W 1566, 1964). And who exactly is Alfred S. Burt? Well, he wrote a lot of Christmas carols before passing away in 1954, most of which aren't too well known these days. He gave these songs away to friends for Christmas presents, sort of like the mix CD of today. I've got another LP of his Christmas carols that I hope to share out someday, released on Columbia right after his death. Someday, but not this season. I do have another LP from Jimmy Joyce and a special guest coming up next, so stay tuned!

Whoops! Looks like this one is on CD, folks, so I've taken it down. Please follow the link above to a site where it's available for purchase.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Sharity Recap, Week Four

It's all down to the last few days now. Here's a little recap of all the Christmas goodies I've shared out since I started back on Thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure it's all still available from, so if you missed something, go get it quick so you have time to enjoy it before the big day. (The numbers in parentheses indicate the number of times a selection has been downloaded so far.)

This Past Week:

Lynn Anderson-The Christmas Album (128)
Merry Christmas From Buck Owens & Susan Raye (109)
A Kimball Christmas (66)
Bob Coe At The Pipe Organ-White Christmas/Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (56)
The Three Suns Present Your Christmas Favorites (110)
Woody The Woodchuck-Christmas Sing Song aka Christmas With Woody The Woodchuck (93)
A King Family Christmas (68)
Christmas With The King Family With The Alvino Rey Orchestra, Conducted By Ralph Carmichael, Vocal Direction By Jimmy Joyce (68)
Marilyn King-My Favorite Things (Bonus Track!) (42)
Les Djinnes Singers-60 French Girls With The Christmas Bell Ringers-Joyeaux Noel (75)
John Davidson-My Christmas Favorites (60)
The Pied Pipers Sing Favorite Christmas Carols (96)
The World's Greatest Jazzband Of Yank Lawson & Bob Haggart-Hark The Herald Angels Swing (57)
Christmas Greetings From The Town Pipers (43)
The Surfers-Christmas From Hawaii (7)

Two Weeks Ago:

A Christmas Sampler (90)
Christmas; Time For Song Featuring Thurlow Spurr And The Spurrlows Singing 12 Seasonal Favorites! (81)
Dennis Day Sings "Christmas Is For The Family" Featuring Lou Hollingsworth At The Wurlitzer Electronic Organ & The Vail Boys Choir With Full Orchestra (124)
Robert Way Orchestra And Chorus-New England Sleigh Ride Volume 1 (106)
Christmas With The Happy Crickets (90) (It's terrible! Don't bother downloading this one.)
The Voices Of Walter Schumann-The Voices Of Christmas (20 [Corrected Version] + 129 [bad version])
The Three Suns-The Sounds Of Christmas (174)
The Three Suns-Christmas Party (152)
Billy Crystal-The Christmas Song (121)
Lorne Greene-Must Be Santa (121)
Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians-'Twas The Night Before Christmas (141)
Sing And Rejoice! Christmas Carols Played by Dick Leibert At the Organ of the Radio City Music Hall New York City (67)
Dick Leibert At The Console-The Happy Hits Of Christmas (Christmas Evergreens Played On The Radio City Music Hall Organ) (104)
Dick Leibert-The Sound Of Christmas On The Radio City Music Hall Organ (118)
George Wright At The Wurlitzer Pipe Organ-Merry Christmas (133)

Three Weeks Ago:

Eddie Dunstedter-The Bells Of Christmas (90 [corrected version]+66 [original bad version])
Eddie Dunstedter-The Bells Of Christmas Chime Again (137)
The Caroleer Singers And Orchestra-Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (133)
The Caroleers-'Twas The Night Before Christmas (152)
The Snap-On Male Chorus-Carols Of Christmas (112)
Menudo-Feliz Navidad (86)
Hugo Winterhalter-Christmas Magic (151)
Hugo Winterhalter-Sleigh Ride (Bonus Track!) (112)
Kathy Dunn-Santaville/In The Valley Of Santa Claus (105)
Paul Mauriat And His Orchestra-The Christmas Album (113)
Raymond LeFevre And His Orchestra-Merry Christmas (155)
Pete Fountain-Candy Clarinet (132)
Yogi Yorgesson-Yingle Bells (156)
The Ray Charles Singers-Winter Wonderland (144)
The Ray Charles Singers-Here We Come A-Caroling (143)

Four Weeks Ago:

George Feyer's Echoes Of Christmas (129)
Avon Goes On Record 1968 (109)
Sy Mann-Everybody's Christmas Favorites Organ & Chimes (129)
The Moog Machine-Christmas Becomes Electric (217)
101 Strings-Christmas Moods, aka The Glory of Christmas (113)
Cyril Stapleton And His Orchestra With Children's Chorus-Children's Christmas Album (94)
Muzak Christmas (129)
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (206)
Charo-(Mamacita) ¿Donde Esta Santa Claus? (193)
Christmas With Big Tiny Little (185)
Buddy & Bunny Burden-Christmas Favorites (123)
The Rainbow Sound Of Bianco His Harp And Orchestra-Joy To The World (115)
Ruth Welcome-Christmas In Zitherland (133)

From Just Before Thanksgiving:

Spencer Ross-Thanksgiving Day Parade (66)

Christmas On A Smaller Island

While I'm celebrating Christmas in the 50th state, here's an LP I can't share with you, because it's in print. This is the cover for Christmas On Kauai by Larry Rivera (Coco Palms Records ST-723). This record has some great tunes on it that I haven't seen elsewhere, including a long spoken-word story about the Menehune Santa, then a song about him. There's even a good version of The Hawaiian Twelve Days of Christmas here. So click on over and get your own copy of this one. You won't be sorry!

From The Big Island

There are only a few good Hawaiian Christmas albums out there, and this is one of the great ones. Unfortunately, most folks have never heard of it. This LP was released on the same label and in the same year as the previously shared LP by The Town Pipers, but the two styles couldn't be much further apart. This LP was made in Hawaii by some native Hawaiians, and I think it shows through on the tracks. They aren't singing native Hawaiian songs, though, but the spirit of the islands is plainly evident, along with a healthy sense of humor. There are a couple of unique tracks here, along with a passle of your typical holiday hits. My favorite tune is Here Comes Santa In A Red Canoe, and I'm sure it will become your favorite, too. Please download and give a listen to The Surfers-Christmas From Hawaii (HiFi R410, 1959). This LP was recorded in the Kaiser Aluminum Dome, which I'm sure you are familiar with from the backside of all those Arthur Lyman LPs.

Update (13 Oct 08): This one is now available as a legal download! So go get it! Here's a link to Amazon, but it's also available elsewhere.

Music From Town

I've promised that the music would get better as Christmas gets closer, and this album may prove to be as good as it gets. Well, this one and the one later today (from the same label in the same year). I probably picked this album up, looked at it, and put it back down three times before I actually purchased it. And boy was I glad I did. This is some really great vocal work! Nice arrangements, too. My favorite track of the season is on here, but I won't tell you which one it is, since I don't want to prejudice you. (I thought it was an original, but I've since found a version by Sammy Kaye.) So please download and listen to Christmas Greetings From The Town Pipers (HiFi R418, 1959). I featured a doodle from the flip side of this LP back in July, if you'd like to have a look.

(Anybody got this one in stereo? I've got two copies now, and both are mono.)

Update (13 Oct 08): This one is now available for legal download. And that's a good thing, becuase it means that more of this old Christmas music that we all love is available to a wider audience. Here's the link to Amazon, and it's also available at other legal download sites. Now if I could just get them to look at the Three Suns catalog...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Week Before Christmas

It's Tuesday, and I still haven't posted my weekly calendar page. You guys need to remind me to get these things done! This weeks picture is a close-up of some fungi growing on a rotting log. I think I shot this way up in Dunellon, FL, at my buddy's place on the Rainbow River.

For those of you who are just tuning in, these weekly pictures are part of a calendar I made for my Grandmother for Christmas last year from my photography. It's been an on-going project the past three years, and if I ever get to it, I intend to do it again this year. But Christmas is Sunday, and I haven't started the book this year. No chance, you say? Well, it just so happens that our family Christmas celebration has been pushed back a week this year, and I have a week off of work coming up. So I'm going to be a busy man that week!

World's Greatest, Honest

Here's a unique record I picked up a while ago, again because I liked the cover. Sometime later, a friend was showing me vacation pictures, and she had a shot of her family in the exact same spot, only during the summer. Turns out this is a popular picture spot in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I didn't recognize the names, so I figured it was a small one-off thing for friends or family, but I recently found a much earlier LP on Atlantic, I think, from the same group. A few minutes on Google and I realized these guys had quite a history. The music on this LP is pretty good, but nothing here is going to knock your socks off, like oh, say, the rest of the stuff I have scheduled for this week, but I think you'll enjoy it. Some of the tracks have a vocalist doing his best imitation of Satchmo, which is interesting, since Satchmo didn't record nearly enough Christmas music in his lifetime. Anyhow, please download and give a listen to The World's Greatest Jazzband Of Yank Lawson & Bob Haggart-Hark The Herald Angels Swing (World Jazz WJLP 5-2, 1972).

So Many Records, So Little Time

Well, I just found a pile of 10 or 15 records that I've been searching for in the archives since mid-November. I knew I had them, but I couldn't find them. (Surely that's a sign that I have too much stuff, but I'm going to ignore it for now. I had boxed them up in the other room when the Neilsen TV people came out, and forgot I'd done it.) Anyway, I don't have time to get them shared out between now and Christmas, so I wanted to float an idea past you. What if I kept sharing these LPs out past Christmas, say once a week, until I get tired of it? Would you keep coming around? Will you forget all about Christmas on Boxing Day and not think of it again until Wal-Mart puts out the Christmas trees next August? Leave me a note and tell me what you think. There's no way I can keep up the two-a-day pace, but maybe one a week is sustainable for the near future. Thanks for your input!


How's that for a cute album cover? This was another case of buying the record for the cover, only to find something special inside. You wouldn't know it from the sleeve, but this is actually a various artists collection, tied together by the presence of George Mather playing the organ on each track. What's really special is Thurl Ravenscroft performing Joy To The World on here. Thurl passed away this year, and the world will be sadder for that loss. He was the voice of Tony The Tiger, and could be heard on numerous Disney records, as well as on rides at several Disney parks. So please download and give a listen to The Pied Pipers Sing Favorite Christmas Carols (Tops L 1650, 1958). I've got another cover from Craftsmen Records that seems to sport the same tracks, but the record wasn't in the sleeve. And one of the Falalavians over at FaLaLaLaLa found a Golden Record with many of the same tracks and yet a different cover. It's amazing how they recycled some of the same tracks over and over and over again through the years.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Circle Gets The Square

OK, I admit it, I'm running out of stuff. I'm not running out of Christmas music, but I am running out of recorded albums that are ready to share. It takes me between three and four hours to record and clean an LP, including the cover scans. And I don't even do much processing to the audio. I'm sure some of the sharity sites out there take a lot longer to bring you their music. Most of the albums I'm sharing were recorded months ago, and I've been doleing them out a couple a day for three weeks now. Which brings us to this. Many people don't know about John Davidson's singing career before he became a game show host. He put out a lot of albums, and I don't think any of them are very memorable, this one included. For some reason, this album was on CD for a little while, but is now out of print. You won't mistake my recording for a CD, believe me. Please download and give a listen to John Davidson-My Christmas Favorites (Columbia P 13348).

A Whole Heap Of French Girls

I probably should have shared this out a couple of weeks ago when I posted some other French stuff, but I forgot about it. It's not that memorable, unfortunately. I had such high hopes. Beautiful cover, great concept, muddy execution. But you be the judge. Download and give a listen to Les Djinnes Singers-60 French Girls With The Christmas Bell Ringers-Joyeaux Noel (ABC Paramount ABCS 397, 1961). Maybe you'll like it more than I did. Not all of the tracks are sung by French girls though, some of them are by some group called The Christmas Bell Ringers. I guess they didn't have enough tracks for a full LP. Shame...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Triple Crown

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, here I am with a King Family bonus track. From the LP The King Family Show (Warner Bros. W 1601, 1965), this is Marilyn King-My Favorite Things. It's not exactly a Christmas track, but some people seem to think it is. So for the sake of giving you a little more music, I'll assume it's a Christmas track tonight. Enjoy!

King The Second

I bet you didn't expect a second LP from the King Family today, did you? Well, I'm just full of surpises. Interesting how all the little kids in the cover photo on this one are looking at something over to their left instead of looking at the camera. I guess that's what happens when you have that many kids all together. There is quite a bit of overlap between this LP and the other one. One thing I didn't mention before is the song Hear The Sledges With The Bells, found on both LPs, which was based on a work by Edgar Allen Poe! I don't know how much liberty they took with his original work, but it's odd that an author more closely tied to Halloween would have authored a Christmas carol. But enough of the blah-blah-blah. Please give a listen to Christmas With The King Family With The Alvino Rey Orchestra, Conducted By Ralph Carmichael, Vocal Direction By Jimmy Joyce (Warner Brothers W 1627, 1965). More from Jimmy Joyce coming up before Christmas, I hope.

Note-The track list on the sleeve gets the first track on each side wrong. What did you expect? Quality control from a major label?

Update: Looks like this one is coming out on CD for the 2009 Christmas season. That means I'm pulling down the share, and I encourage you to go out and buy the CD. If we don't buy these things when they come out through legitimate channels, then they'll quite releasing them...

Christmas LP Cover Of The Year

I mentioned to you just a few minutes ago that Alvino Rey released one Christmas LP (in 1959), and this is it. It was released under the name Ira Ironstrings due to contract issues, and the secret was help pretty tightly until quite recently. When I got this LP several years ago, no one had ever heard of it. In the meantime, plenty of people have discovered it, and it's even been released on CD. So you should go out and buy it because it's really good. It's wacky, fun, intense stuff. Trust me, if you've enjoyed any of the stuff I've shared out, this is much, much, much better than any of it. I notice the CD reissue has a big record company logo slapped over the cool cover art, so be sure to save this picture so you can appreciate the unadorned cover.

King Me!

Today's tunes come from an LP of tunes taken from the King Family Christmas special, circa 1968. I'd heard lots of talk about this music being pretty bad, or even downright unlistenable, so I was a little hesitant to record it, or even listen to it. So it came as quite a shock when I discovered it's actually pretty good. There are some great arrangements on here, and I think there is some of that early 'NOW' sound creeping in around the edges. I don't know a lot about the King Family, other than they were some sort of music prodigies from a really big family. And they seem to have married well. One of the in-laws was Alvino Rey! You can here his influence every now and then in these songs, a little guitar bit here and there. Mr. Rey recorded one pseudonymous Christmas LP, which I'd love to share with you, but it's out on CD now, and you should go buy it. (More on that shortly.) Anyhow, please download and give a listen to A King Family Christmas (Fleetwood FCLP 3038 or 3031, c. 1968). I discovered the two different covers and different catalog numbers contained the same music when I went to record them this morning. I was confused because the one below specifically says Volume 2 on the cover. Maybe this is volume 2 of the previously shared Robert Way LP, which was also from Mobil. Hmmm... Either way, the music and the back covers are the same on both. But stay tuned, I've got more from the King Family coming soon!

Update: Looks like this one is coming out on CD for the 2009 Christmas season, or maybe it's the very similar release on Warner Bros. Either way, I'm pulling down the share, and I encourage you to go out and buy the CD. If we don't buy these things when they come out through legitimate channels, then they'll quite releasing them...

Oodles of Doodles CLXIX-Christmas 2005

Been a while since I've shared a Christmas doodle with you, so here's one from the LP I just featured, Woody The Woodchuck-Christmas Sing Song (Premier XM 6). I think this doodle actually shows up on quite a few records from Premiere, sort of a generic filler doodle. But I like it, with the reindeer all decorated up for Christmas.

PS-This is my 600th post since starting the blog back in March. Not too shabby, eh?

Woodchuck Trumps Grasshoppers

Here's another LP that takes a page from Ross Bagdasarian's book and creates some high pitched animal sing-alongs. This time the little creature is a woodchuck, though, which creates all sorts of comic possibilities that just aren't there when dealing with chipmunks. Unfortunately, those possibilities remain unexplored here. Most of these songs are sung straight, although there are a few twists here and there. Pay close attention to The Twelve Days Of Christmas and O Tannenbaum. For some strange reason, they sing the Chipmunk Song complete with David Seville's parts intact, even going so far as to call themselves Alvin, Simon & Theodore, when the label clearly identifies them as Woody, Milty & Chuck! Anyhow, this is light years better than that terrible Happy Crickets LP I told you not to download last week. This one has some nice arrangements, some actual singing, and even a little bit of charm. Hard to believe, I know, but you'll see. Please download and give a listen to Woody The Woodchuck-Christmas Sing Song aka Christmas With Woody The Woodchuck (Premiere XM 6).

UPDATE: This one is now available as a download from Amazon. If you want it, you gotta go over there and get it from them, not from me.