Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Drumming Allowed

Here's the deal. You need to read this earlier post first, then come back and read this one. OK, now that you're back, take a look at this LP. Doesn't look anything like the other one, does it? Same group name on the sleeve, but different album title, different album cover, even one different song name on the back. But it turns out to be the same album, released two years later. What happened to cause this? A little song called Little Drummer Boy. But the earlier album didn't have a song on it called Little Drummer Boy, right? Right. It had a song called Carol Of The Drum. Turns out to be the exact same song, but some legal mumbo jumbo had happened that made it a 'different' song, and Harry Simeone had made it quite a popular song. Lee can explain it better, as can Jack Halloran's daughter, so go read their eloquent posts. You can download all the same songs again if you'd like before you go. Actually, these aren't' exactly the same songs. They appear to have been re-recorded in stereo for this release, but you'll have a hard time telling the two apart. So here is The Jack Halloran Singers-The Little Drummer Boy (Dot DLP 25233, 1959). (Oops, I just noticed that I chopped a couple of medleys into individual tracks on this share. Sorry about that. Take a look at the back cover in the ZIP file if you want to see what went where.) I also found this different cover below. How can you compare this to the one above, and how can either of these hold a candle to the original?


  1. Ernie, I have yet another different cover.

  2. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This album takes me back to when I was a child and discovered this gem among my parents' record collection. I was going to make mp3s out of them, but our copy is so scratchy. Best Christmas present I've gotten this year.

  3. Ernie,

    It is not true as you stated in your post that Jack Halloran re-recorded these songs when the LP "Christmas Is A-Comin'" was re-packaged and re-released as "The Little Drummer Boy" in 1959. All of these songs were recorded in true stereo in 1957 for the original "Christmas Is A-Comin'" LP.

    The reason why "Christmas Is A-Comin'" was only released in mono, and not stereo, is because even though the record companies had the ability to record in stereo at that time (and had so since 1954), they had not yet developed the technology to get stereo vinyl discs to the consumer. That didn't come until 1958 (the year after this album was recorded), which was when the first Westrex cutting head for vinyl discs became available and stereo vinyl discs finally began to be released to the general public.

    So the next year, when Dot Records re-packaged and re-released "Christmas Is A-Comin'" as "The Little Drummer Boy" in 1959, they took advantage of the new technology and did so in stereo.

    Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri

    aka Christmas Music Guru


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