Friday, December 22, 2006

Yet Another Christmas Carol

It seems that just about everybody and their little sister has recorded a version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. So I was bound to share one out sooner or later. Here's a version featuring Lionel Barrymore that seems to have been put out in association with MGM and The Longines Symphonette Recording Society. However, I don't think the Longines people actually recorded anything new for this release. I've seen the Lionel Barrymore version of A Christmas Carol in half a dozen different places, and I suspect it originates from a radio broadcast. The flip side is exactly the same as the A side of the David Rose LP I just shared with you. So clearly no expense was spared in the making of this record. Even the cover is cheap---they left the flip side blank. But I'm giving it to you for free, so don't complain too loudly. (From the downloads I've seen here on my site, you folks don't like these story-type records anyway. Too bad...) Here's A Christmas Carol (Longines Symphonette Recording Society/MGM LW-116).


Anonymous said...

I've heard a LOT of Scrooges on record and CD, and Barrymore makes the best Scrooge in any audio recording I have ever heard.

I only wish Boris Karloff had recorded a version of "A Christmas Carol".

Max the drunken severed head

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard Barrymore's version of ACC yet...but it seems fitting that a man who played old curmudgeons like Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life, and Dr. Gillespie from the Dr. Kildare films, would play Scrooge. Thanx! :)

Anonymous said...

You're right about the radio origins. Barrymore played Scrooge on the radio almost annually in the 1930s and 1940s. The LP you're offering was one of many reissues of the studio recording Barrymore made for a set of 78s in 1947. The 78s were subsequently reissued on 10-inch LP, a set of 45s, and a 12-inch LP. Over the years, the 12-inch version was issued with three different covers; yours is the third and last. The flip side of the first two 12-inch reissues featured Christmas carols by the Canterbury Choir, which were also originally issued as a set of 78s in the 1940s. Your reissue replaced the Canterbury Choir recordings with those of Rose.

Anonymous said...

I still have this on the old 78's but they all got broken so I was looking for this. We always enjoyed this as kids. The scratches and pops make it spookier. I have it on four records so not sure if it's the same or not.
Anyway thanks! This is the cover I have:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ernie, I also have the album on the old 78's. The records are in good condition. I used to listen to the story on my grandmother's phonograph around 1950 when I was growing up. That was in the central San Joaquin valley of California. Since then in the early 1960's I purchased the vinyl album issued by MGM and The Longines Symphonette Recording Society, which is the same album that you have. My copy does not have any scratches.

Mark in Fremont, California.