Saturday, July 29, 2006

Christmas In July-Part 29

Only three more days to go, counting today. What's left in my stack-o-tracks for you? Not a whole lot, really. But that doesn't mean that what's left isn't worth waiting around for. Today and tomorrow I've got some little comedy bits to mix into your Christmas collections. Well, maybe they were funny back in the day, but to my ears they aren't up there with The Kings Of Comedy. But first, one last version of Snowfall that I found today.

Track one, Snowfall, this time by Enoch Light from The Big Band Hits Of The Thirties (Project 3 PR 5049 SD, 1970). Piano on this track is handled by Dick Hyman, whose own version of Snowfall I brought you earlier. Small world, isn't it?

Track two, Xmas In Mt. Idy by Charlie Weaver from Charlie Weaver Sings For His People (Columbia CL 1345). A little song, and a little story, from the former Cliff Arquette. Reading the liner notes from the back of this LP, I learn that Charlie Weaver achieved popularity on the Jack Parr show. Still not too funny.

Track three is Jose Jimenez The Santa Claus Instructor by Bill Dana from Bill Dana In Las Vegas (Kapp KS-3402). Hmmmm, again, not too funny. Ethnic humor, perhaps that's what political correctness is all about.

Track four, Frontier Christmas by Hudson And Landry from The Best Of Hudson And Landry (Dore LP 333). I don't know what it is, but these Christmas bits just aren't too funny, and this one is the worst. I give it to you today only in the sense of completeness. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

Anyhow, here's the link, download to your heart's content, but don't say I didn't warn you!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Christmas In July-Part 28

Four weeks into our share-a-bration! The fake Christmas season will soon be gone, and then you'll have to wait for whatever Santa might bring you in December. Hopefully the gems I've shared with you this month will help tide you over. Here's today's swag:

Track uno: My Favorite Things by The Trapp Family Singers, or, if you read the label more closely, Members of The Trapp Family Singers. The LP is called The Sound Of Music (RCA Victor LPM-2277, 1960), and features some of the actual subjects of the musical singing the songs. I know the Trapp family put out a couple of Christmas LPs on Decca, but I didn't know they recorded the music from their own life story.

Track dos: The Ski Song (Slalom) by David Carroll from Contrasts (Mercury Wing MGW 12146). I thought I had this record in stereo, but I can't find it. You can download the whole LP (in stereo, no less!) from These Records Are BenT if you like this sample track. I found this tune last year, and really enjoyed it.

Track tres: March of The Toys by Marty Gold from 24 Pieces Of Gold (RCA Victor VPS-6012, 1962). I think this is the third track from Marty Gold I've shared with you, and maybe the fifth or sixth version of this same song. But it's still good. I bet I've picked this LP up a dozen times in the past year, but never noticed this track was there until yesterday. Sometimes I'm a little slow like that. Other times I pick up a record for no reason, and there's something great on there.

Track quatro: Snow Flake by Jim Reeves from the various artists collection Big Country Hits, Volume 1 (RCA Victor LSP-3606, 1966). This is a great example of a track that came from a record I picked up for no reason. Why would I ever have suspected a country compilation like this would have a slightly seasonal song? And from two years after the death of Mr. Reeves, no less.

Those are your tracks for today, here's the link, see you back here tomorrow!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Christmas In July-Part 27

Ah, the 27th day. Time is growing short, which is good, because my list of stuff to share is getting short, too. But not to fear, I've reserved some special stuff for the last few days of the month so that it doesn't turn into a schlock-fest right at the end. But today is not going to be my best day. (I'm secretly putting this post together a day early, because I will probably be busy tomorrow. I don't suppose you'll be able to tell the difference, but I believe in truth-in-advertising.)

Track one: Wait For The Wagon by Jimmy Dean from The Songs We All Love Best (Columbia CS 8988, 1964). As I mentioned before, this really isn't a Christmas tune, but as a kid, I had this song on a compilation and it's always been in my head for Christmas. I think the lyrics might have been slightly different, though. I'll have to dig up the one I had all those years ago and see...

Track two: March Of The Toys/Toyland by The Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra from The Immortal Victor Herbert (RCA Victor LM-2515, 1961). This is a little to operatic for my taste. Maybe you'll like it. If it means anything to you audiophiles out there, this was s shaded dog. Mono, but still a shaded dog. Sounds the same to me, but whatever. I'm listening to a record right now on Vik, and it sounds just as good as that shaded dog did... I'll shut up now.

Track three: Skater's Waltz by Bob Crosby from The New Bob Crosby (Coral 97007 LPCM, 1956). Don't ask me how I wound up with a German pressing of a Bob Crosby record. Some things in life I can't explain. I don't know when this record was actually released, but the recording date for the track in question was listed as 1956, so that's what I wrote.

Track four: Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers by Richard Hayman from Harmonica Holiday (Mercury PPS 2005). Go listen to the version of this same song by The Harmonicats that I posted the other day. Sound similar? Hmmmmm... I guess there are so many arrangements when it comes to harmonica hijinks.

Is that it? I think so. Here's the link. Hope you enjoy these!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Christmas In July-Part 26

26 days down, 5 to go. Well, 26 days down after this post with four spanking new tracks. Well, not new, but newly recorded by me. Are you ready? Here we go...

Track 1: Ave Maria, this time by Ferrante & Teicher from their LP Ferrante & Teicher Play Light Classics (ABC-Paramount ABCS-313, 1960). Not my favorite version, but some nice filler. This isn't from their prepared-piano period, instead it's from their easy-listening period, which turned out to be most of their career.

Track 2: White Christmas by Jane Wilson & Stuart Foster and Track 3: Baby, It's Cold Outside by The Robert Thomas Singers, both from 26 Academy Award Winning Songs (Dolphin Records CXSV 67679, circa 1960). Again, a nice little bit of filler, but nothing you haven't heard before, probably while visiting your parents or grandparents during the holidays. Good track coming up next, I promise.

Track 4: Bobsled by Clebanoff from Strings Afire (Mercury SR 60871). When the album is titled Strings Afire, you know it's going to be really good or really bad. And in this case, we got lucky. This is definately a keeper, and I think it more than makes up for the other three tracks I schlepped off on you today. Play it, and play it loud!

OK, download it, enjoy it, and remember me when it comes time for holiday gift-giving.

July (Better Late Than Never)

Did I not post the calendar for the month of July? I don't think I did. Someone out there needs to check up on me now and then. Here's a view of the town square in Twinsburg, Ohio. Every little town you pass through in Ohio has one of these town squares, with a church, a monument, and a cannon. Sometimes the cannon is replaced by a bell, and sometimes the monument may be a gazebo, but the general theme is always the same. Always.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rock Climbing, 30's Style

Lest you forget, I was in Las Vegas recently. Everytime I think I'm done sharing the pictures, I find another one worth throwing up on the blog. This guy is a sculpture at Hoover Dam, meant to honor the men who risked their lives climbing the high rock walls of the canyon. Nowadays, rock climbing is a sport, but back then, it was a deadly occupation.

Christmas In July-Part 25

If this were December, today would be Christmas, right? I mean, it is the 25th day of the month. But Christmas In July is just a made-up excuse to share some Christmas music during the hottest time of the year, so don't go looking for any presents under your tree today. And why do you even have a tree up, anyway? It's July! Here're four tracks for your average, ordinary day in July:

Track one: Baby It's Cold Outside by Ted Heath and Edmundo Ros from Heath vs. Ros Round 2 (London Phase 4 SP 44089). This is my favorite version yet of this oft-repeated track. Some of you may remember it from last year when I shared it out at FaLaLaLaLa during the summer. Well, it's back, and every bit as great now as it was then. Imagine these two big bands shoved into one room, going full blast into the 20-channel mixer, and that's exactly what it sounds like. This one's a keeper for sure!

Track two is Merry Christmas Polka by Lawrence Welk from Music For Polka Lovers (Mercury Wing SRW 16210). I didn't realize until too late that this was fake stereo. Sorry about that. Still a neat track, though.

Track three is Sleigh Ride, as recreated in stereo by it's writer, Leroy Anderson, on the LP Leroy Anderson Conducts Leroy Anderson (Decca DL 78865). I'm certain this song predates the stereo era, so this has to be a recreation of the original, but it's still good. Anderson's stuff was crying out for stereo, even though it was written years ahead of the invention.

Track four is Vaughn Monroe doing the classic Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow from There I Sing/Swing It Again (RCA Victor LSP-1799, 1958). Again, this is a later stereo re-recording of the original hit by the original artist. He sounds a bit older in this one than I'm used to, but you'll still enjoy it.

Only six days left, then a long break until the fun starts up again in November. I'm hoping Santa brings me a new needle or two for my poor old turntable, 'cause I'm afraid I'm going to wear this one out! Here's the link to today's tracks. Enjoy!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Christmas In July-Part 24

Honest, I'm trying to get one of these shares up every day, but it's getting tough. I guess I should have planned things out a little better. It's going to take some work to see this thing through for another week. But I'm sure I'll get it. Now what am I sharing today? Oh, yeah...

Two versions of Brazilian Sleigh Bells. The first is the long-promised original by Percy Faith from Carefree (Columbia CS 8360, 1961). Percy had done this track in a slightly different arrangement earlier, before the advent of stereo, but I can't find that version. This one is good enough to tide you over. The second version is from our friend George Wright from his LP Encores At The Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ (HiFi/Capitol SW-91090, 1956). I had a mono copy on HiFi, then I stumbled aross a stereo version, but it was on the Capitol label. 1956 is too early for stereo, so I suspect this is a re-recording, but I can't prove it. Maybe I'll go back and grab the mono version just to see how different it sounds.

The third track is Winter World Of Love from Billy Vaughn and the LP of the same name (Dot DLP25975, 1970). Nothing very exciting here, I'm afraid. Billy was getting a little out-of-touch with the cutting edge by this point, if he was ever really there.

The fourth track is Ice And Snow by Eddie Wayne and Group from the cheapo LP The Ping Pong Sound of Guitars In Percussion (Coronet CXS-139). It's a pretty decent track (I actually recorded the whole LP) but the title of the album is pretty misleading. There is very little percussion going on, but some competent guitar work. There's also plenty of sax here, and even some piano, that makes it worth a listen. You'll enjoy it, I'm sure.

There you go, four more tracks towards the complete Christmas collection. Here's the link, so you hipsters go get it!

The Last Full Week In July

This week's calendar picture is a great shot of the Cleveland Museum of Art, located adjacent to the campus of Case Western Reserve University. Look closely in front of the building and you can see Rodin's The Thinker. Cool, eh?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Christmas In July-Part 23

Day 23 of Christmas in July, and post 900 on Ernie (Not Bert). I wasn't sure if I'd keep up with this blog when I started it, but I think I'm doing pretty good, don't you? The share for today is two versions of one song, and three versions of another. Can you dig it?

Song one is The Skater's Waltz, first as done by George Wright on the Wurlitzer pipe organ from Sweet And Low (HiFi L1011, 1963), and the second version is Will Glahe from The New Beer Barrel Polka (London Phase 4 SP 44069).

Song two is the Leroy Anderson classic Sleigh Ride. Version one is by Ian Fraser from For The Young At Heart (Richmond RPS 39009), probably my favorite of these three versions. Number two is Don Baker from his LP Cocktail Hammond (Capitol T1099). Last but not least is by the venerable Boston Pops with the even more venerable Arthur Feidler conducting, from the LP of Leroy Anderson covers Fiddle-Faddle, Blue Tango, Sleigh Ride (RCA Victor LSC-2638, 1962).

There you have it. Another five splendid Christmas tunes from the elves at Ernie (Not Bert). Download and enjoy!

Level Best

Here's another shot from Hoover Dam showing Lake Meade. You can see from the discoloration on the rocks that the lake was at a pretty low level. Normally, the white rock is under water, which also explains why it's white. The water leaches out the iron that caused the red coloration. Now you know.

Christmas In July-Part 22

OK, for the third time already this month, I missed a day. I get in the middle of something, and then I can't get to the computer, and then I miss a post. But you'll get it, don't worry. I'm posting twice today to make up the difference. This post is sort of a hodge-podge, but then, aren't they all? If I had a theme, then you might start to think I was planning ahead, and that's just not the case.

First up today is High On A Windy Hill by Marty Gold from his Stereo Action LP It's Magic (RCA Victor LSA-2290, 1961). First time I heard this I knew it could be a Christmas track. The sound effects at the beginning sound like something from the soundtrack to a Rankin-Bass Christmas special.

Track the second is I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by The Mills Brothers from Memory Lane (Decca 8219). I know I've shared multiple versions of this track out before, but it's well worth repeating, I think.

Track three is Greensleeves by Dick Leibert from Leibert Takes Richmond (Westminster WST 15009). Ordinarily, Mr. Leibert can do no wrong in my book, but this track is a little weak. You may like it though. It's very sedated, to put it mildly. Again, this is a title I've shared before and will most likely share again. Or maybe I'll share What Child Is This instead.

Track four is yet another version of Snowfall, this time by George Shearing from The Shearing Touch (Capitol SM-1472). I know I just shared out a bunch of versions of this same song, but I didn't have this one then. I just bought this record over the weekend. That's the way it goes, I suppose. It does feature Billy May conducting the orchestra, so quit complaining.

Stay tuned for a second post later tonight to get me back on track. Oh, here's the link. Enjoy!