Saturday, November 24, 2007

Missing Music

Hold your horses, don't get all excited. There is no download here. I don't even own this record, all I own is the sleeve. Sometimes I come across empty sleeves and I have to buy them just for the great pictures. This is not one of those cases. This picture of somebodies house decorated for the season is not very impressive. What is impressive, and what makes me post this here is the little note at lower left. "Chimes By Chimeatron". That's something I want to hear. What is a Chime-A-Tron and where can I get one of my own? Anybody out there got a copy of this that the want to share? Please? Judging from the back cover, there was even a stereo version of this released, but I've never seen anything other than this empty sleeve. Just for the record, this is George Chiainia At The Organ And Chimes-Music Of The Holiday Season (Colonial LP-272). C'mon, somebody out there must have this record...

Used Music-Track Three

Here's the third installment in my thrift store Christmas compilation compilation. This time I dug up something that was mentioned on the blog last year. Again, it was something I already had but didn't know about. This is Tony Sandler and Ralph Young performing Mister Santa from Happy Holidays-Album Seven (Creative Products (Capitol) For True Value Hardware, SL-6730, 1971). Yep, that's right, this is the next LP in the set from the one I shared last night. What can I tell you, I don't hunt far for my music sometimes...

Previous Tracks:
The Sanborn Singers-Jingle Bells
Les Baxter Orchestra And Chorus-Hang Your Wishes On The Tree

Merry Music

Here's an updated version of a post from last year. I love when I get the chance to revisit something I've shared out earlier, either with a cleaner copy, or bonus tracks, or, as in this case, a stereo version. Good stereo always opens things up, allowing the music to fill the room and pull you into the middle of the sound. Anyhow, please download and give a listen to the stereo version of Frank Chacksfield And His Orchestra-Music For A Merry Christmas (Richmond S 30056, 1959).

Arthur, Arthur

Here's a much less complicated Arthur Godfrey share. This LP came out some 14 years after the last record(s) I shared, and on a different label. It's much more kiddie oriented, which is a good thing in this case. I've only ever seen this one copy, so I think this might be a little rare. My copy used to belong to a library, so it isn't in the best of shape, and it was in mono to begin with. But I think you'll enjoy it. This is Arthur Godfrey With The Richard Wolfe Children's Chorus-All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth (RCA Camden CAL-1092, 1967). I think I may have labelled some of the files with the LP name Christmas Is For Children, but I don't think that's actually the title. I'm not getting enough sleep at night trying to keep up with this blog...

Christmas With And Without

Bear with me a little bit, I'm going to try to keep all this straight. My share tonight is Christmas With Arthur Godfrey And All The Little Godfreys. Problem is, that's not just a single album. First I had the one shown above. I've had it for years but it was all scratched up and wouldn't play. Then I found another one that I could play and I recorded it. Then while searching for The McGuire Sisters Christmas LP, a search came back with this LP. Well, not exactly this LP. Look close at the LP cover shown below, and you'll seed that there is an extra Christmas ornament on the wreath, and sure enough, who's in that ornament but the McGuire Sisters! So I tracked down another copy of the LP, and there are the McGuire girls performing Frosty The Snowman. Reading up a little on Mr. Godfrey, I see that he wasn't the easiest guy in the world to get along with, so maybe he got in a tif with the McGuires, and removed their song from his album. So, what you're going to download is my original rip of the McGuire-less LP, with an added track in there of just the McGuire Sisters song. So you'll see that there are two track 7's. Now, did you follow all that? But what about the green cover down at the bottom of this post? Well, that's a 3x7" EP version of the album that I was recording just for kicks to see if I could get cleaner copies. (I didn't get cleaner copies. In fact, some of the songs from the EP have skips in them. I throw them in there just so you can see they are actually shorter, I don't expect you to actually listen to them.) It turns out that the EP version has edited versions of several songs. And you though collecting Beatle records was complicated! Just for the search engines, the other artists on these albums include Julius La Rosa, Janette Davis, Frank Parker, Marion Marlowe, The Mariners, Lu Ann Simms and Haleloke Kajauolopua.

So here are your download links: Christmas With Arthur Godfrey And All The Little Godfreys (Columbia 12" LP, CL 540, 1953) or Christmas With Arthur Godfrey And All The Little Godfreys (Columbia 3x 7" 45 RPM EP, B-348, 1953). And just to confuse matters more, I spotted the EP set in a little box today (mine is a multi-sleeve envelope type format), as well as three different single 45s. Did I mention that after all that, the music on here is surprisingly good. No wonder this guy was on TV for so long.

Stand by for more, much less complicated, Arthur Godfrey!

Update: This one is out on CD now, although it's a little hard to tell. There's a collection on the Jasmine label that includes all the songs from this LP, plus all the songs from the McGuire Sisters Christmas LP. Not sure how they got stuck on there, but who am I to question how such things work. You can order this from Amazon via this link.

Oodles Of Doodles CCCX-Christmas 2007

This great image comes from the back side of Peggy Lee With Orchestra Conducted By Billy May-Christmas Carousel (Capitol ST 1423, 1960). It's a classic Christmas album and this is a classic Christmas doodle!

Music From Town

Here's a rerun from two years ago that I still think is just great. This is Christmas Greetings From The Town Pipers (HiFi R418, 1959). It's really good stuff that you never hear anymore. And for the record, I still don't have the stereo version. Maybe someday...

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...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Moon

Not long after Thanksgiving dinner was over last night, the nearly-full moon rose. As usual, I snapped a few pictures of it. Someday I'm going to get an even longer lens with even more glass out at the end of it so I can take some really impressive picture of the moon. Wait and see!

Used Music-Track Two

Here's another cool track from a thrift store Christmas compilation, this time a record originally produced by Capitol for True Value Hardware stores. It's hard to believe that really great music like this was available at you local hardware store. Of course I'm picking and choosing pretty hard here, but hopefully you'll see what sort of gold is available on these albums that no one pays any attention to anymore. I want to give props to Brainwerk at Check The Cool Wax who first made me aware that these tracks were out there on this comp. As is too often the case, I already had the record in the collection, but hadn't paid enough attention to what was on it. Here's the great Les Baxter Orchestra And Chorus performing Hang Your Wishes On The Tree from Happy Holidays-Album 6 (Creative Products (Capitol) for True Value Hardware, SL-6669, 1970).

Previous Tracks:
The Sanborn Singers-Jingle Bells

Christmas Around The TV

Speaking of television, I just got an email from Diane Werts, writer for Newsday, reminding me that she's got a big huge list of upcoming Christmas TV specials available for you to look at. I first heard about this list over at Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace Else, and then again over at FaLaLaLaLa, so it seems to be making the rounds. Oh, and she's got a book about all those TV specials, too. Check it out. (Ha, get it? "Check it out." Like people still go to the library and check things out...) I wish I had time to watch TV in the next month, but I'm too busy recording and sharing Christmas music with you guys. Oh, well. My brain thanks you.

Speaking of Christmas and television, there's an episode of The Osbournes that show the family looking a the stage set for an upcoming Christmas concert. I only saw it once, but I remember thinking there was a great Christmas song playing during the scene, and I wanted to know what it was. To this day I haven't seen the episode again, or heard the song. Anybody know what I'm talking about?

Not For Sale

Here's an album from long, long ago. Not only a long time in years, but a long time in spirit. I couldn't find much info on this LP out on the wide, wild internet, but judging by the info on the sleeve, this was a giveaway when you bought a Magnavox product, possibly a TV, back in the fifties. But it wasn't just a no-name group of session musicians they hired. No, it was a company chorus that actually competed in national competitions and won! There's a little note right there on the front of the album, telling how these folks won first prize at the Chicagoland National Music Festival. Magnvox must have been proud of them. They also hired Virgil Fox, wizard of the organ, to fill things out a bit, with some solemn interludes between the acapella numbers. Fans of vocal choruses should enjoy this little lost slice of history. Please download Christmas Favorites Sung By The Magnificent Magnavox Chorus (Magnavox). If anybody knows any more about this record, please leave me a comment. I'd love to know the history of this record. For the curious, I posted a doodle or two from the flipside of this record back during Christmas in July.

Oodles Of Doodles CCCIX-Christmas 2007

Here's a bonus snowman from the flipside of the LP I just shared with you, Swing Along With Santa's Snowmen (Craftsmen C 8040). How 'bout that great mustache and the candy cane? I love these doodles!

Snowmen? In Florida??

This is one of my favorite covers of all the stuff I'm sharing out this year. I walked into the Goodwill store, and there it was, right on the front of the rack. All those great snowmen looking back at me with their varied expressions, I knew this would become a share on the blog. I had no idea what kind of music it would be. I hoped for something like swing, but what I got was a Chipmunks ripoff. It's not bad though. There's a nice little narration that runs through the record, but it's too short, really. This is from the Craftsmen label, a subsidiary of notorious budget label Precision Radiation Instruments. Now that you know that, you won't be surprised by the horrible surface noise and relatively low fidelity of this recording. But you can still enjoy it. Help yourself to Swing Along With Santa's Snowmen (Craftsmen C 8040).

A Romping Holiday

What have we got here? Why, it's "A Romping Holiday", of course. I found this RCA Victor tag earlier this year, and knew I had to save it to share with you during my Christmas Share-A-Lot celebration. Those of you who've hung around the blog for a bit know that I love these little taglines that appeared on the cover of RCA Victor popular series records from 1959 to 1961 (or so...). I'm still working on a complete list, but I'm starting to think that maybe that's impossible. Or at the very least, improbable. This particular tag doesn't actually come from a holiday record, but it's still a great slab of vinyl It's on the cover of Bob Thompson, His Chorus And Orchestra-Mmm Nice! (RCA Victor LSP-2117, 1960). I think this record may be on CD now...Maybe not. Wait, here it is. And it features Sandy Warner on the cover, better known as the cover girl on all those Martin Denny records.

Three Ray

This is the third rerun from Ray and the singers. This one unfortunately isn't unique, as it seems to be a re-recording in stereo of the previous share. But maybe you prefer to listen with two ears instead of just one, so I'm making it available here for you. If you're interested, here's The Ray Charles Singers-Christmas At Home (MGM SE-4166, 1963). New stuff coming up later, promise!

Two Ray

The second rerun of the day is another record from Those Ray Charles Singers. This one is full-on holiday music, unlike the last one that included songs about the season alongside the Christmas tunes. I don't have a whole lot to say about this one that I haven't said over the past two years, so just go out and download The Ray Charles Singers-Here We Come A-Caroling (MGM E3467, 1956) if you don't have it already.

One Ray

The first of three reruns today is this great LP from The Ray Charles Singers. This record is on MGM, but many people know these singers from their many LPs on the Command label. I won't bore you with a lot of talk here, just go download The Ray Charles Singers-Winter Wonderland (MGM E3387, 1956). You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Used Music-Track One

As if I haven't already gone overboard with the Christmas music sharing today, I want to start building a compilation album, too. I thought of a great theme when I heard someone else's compilation called Used Music. I wanted to pull together a collection of music from those Christmas compilation LPs you see in the thrift stores all the time. You know, the ones that used to be available in gas stations or grocery stores, or in this case, from your Amway dealer. Track one of my collection is Jingle Bells by The Sanborn Singers from Sounds Of Christmas (Columbia Special Products for Amway P 12474, 1974). The Sanborn Singers were an in-house group that performed at Amway conventions and what-not, so I think that this collection is pretty much the only place to get this track. They've got another song on there, too, that I might share with you later if you're good. Everything else on the LP is the regular-issue Columbia artists filler stuff, like Johnny Mathis, Percy Faith and Mitch Miller. But this track? WOW!

Make-Up Music

I feel a little bad about sharing two half-albums with you on my first day out of the gate, so here's a little bonus flexi-disc. I discovered this at a Goodwill store many months ago. When I carried it up to the register, the salesgirl had no idea what it was. I think she suspected it was a piece of garbage that should have been thrown away, not sold. So she let me have it for free. Best nothing I ever spent! This record contains one track, a medley of Adeste Fidelis, O Little Town of Bethlehem, The First Noel, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Silent Night and Joy To The World. No idea where it originally came from, so if anyone has any info, please share. Here's The Mundell Lowe Ensemble-The Sounds Of Christmas (Ameridisc Red Flexidisc). I think I've shared out stuff featuring Mundell Lowe around here before, but never anything under his own name. I've seen him on the backs of many LPs.

Last Year (And The Year Before That)

Over the past two years, I've shared out over 120 albums with you, roughly sixty each year. Last year, I reposted almost everything from the first year, meaning that you had access to all of my shares, even if you missed the previous year. To do that this year would kill me, so I'm only going to repost some of my favorites from the past two years alongside the new stuff. However, most of those old shares are still available if you know where to look. Here is a pretty complete list of all the shares from last year, so if you follow all these links, you'll be able to download many of my shares and catch all the stuff that I'm going to have to leave out this year. I haven't checked all the shares to be sure they're available, but if something's gone, please leave me a note and I'll try to get it back up for you. This list should keep you busy for the next few months... :)

Thurlow Spurr And The Spurrlows-Christmas; Time For Song
Christmas Surprises From The Ralph Hunter Choir
Thurlow Spurr And The Spurrlows-Go Tell It On The Mountain
Domenico Savino-Music For Christmas Eve
Domenico Savino-Hi-Fi Christmas Party
Yogi Yorgesson-Yingle Bells
John Klein-Let's Ring The Bells All Around The Christmas Tree
John Klein-Noel Bells
Robert Way-New England Sleigh Ride
Ruth Welcome-Christmas In Zitherland
John Klein-The Bells Of Christmas
Herbie Koch-Christmas Bells Of Stone Mountain
Raymond LeFevre-Merry Christmas
Henri Rene-Home For Christmas
Paul Mauriat-The Christmas Album
David Rose-Merry Christmas To You
Lionel Barrymore-A Christmas Carol
Gary Mann-Blues For Baby Jesus
Loretta Young-The Littlest Angel/Gregory Peck-Lullaby Of Christmas
Sy Mann-Everybody's Christmas Favorites
Gisele MacKenzie-Joyeux Noel
Gisele MacKenzie-Christmas With Gisele
The McGuire Sisters-What Child Is This
The McGuire Sisters-Ave Maria
The McGuire Sisters-Greetings From The McGuire Sisters
'Twas The Night Before Christmas
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer And Other Christmas Favorites
John Davidson-My Christmas Favorites
The Mexicali Brass-Winter Wonderland
Christmas With The Mexicali Brass
Tijuana Voices Sing Merry Christmas!
A King Family Christmas
Christmas With The King Family
Marilyn King-My Favorite Things
The Rainbow Sound Of Bianco-Joy To The World
A Visit From Saint Nicholas
Lorne Greene-Must Be Santa
The Ray Charles Singers-Christmas At Home
Felix Slatkin-Season's Greetings
Lynn Anderson-The Christmas Album
Merry Christmas From Buck Owens And Susan Raye
Mitch Miller-Christmas Songs And Carols
Merry Christmas With The KE-Notes
The Jimmy Joyce Singers With Orchestra by Billy May-A Christmas To Remember
The Pied Pipers Sing Favorite Christmas Carols
The Moishe Oysher Chanukah Party
Saint Patrick's Cathedral Choir Sings Christmas Carols
Saint Patrick's Cathedral Choir Sings Christmas Songs-Volume 2
Christmas With The Don Les Harmonicats
Nelson Riddle-Avon Wishes You A Happy Holiday And A Joyous New Year
Nelson Riddle-The Christmas Song
Hugo Winterhalter-Christmas Magic
Hugo Winterhalter-Sleigh Ride
Hugo Winterhalter-Blue Christmas b/w White Christmas
Muzak Christmas
Bob Coe-White Christmas/Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
Richard Keys Biggs-Christmas Bells
The Sisters Of Divine Providence-Christmas Mosaic
The Happy Crickets-Christmas With The Happy Crickets
Woody The Woodchuck-Christmas Sing Song
The Surfers-Christmas From Hawaii
Emilien Allard-Noels au Carillon de l'Oratoire Saint-Joseph
Skitch Henderson-Winter Holiday
The Ray Charles Singers-Winter Wonderland
The Ray Charles Singers-Here We Come A-Caroling
George Feyer-Echoes Of Christmas
Arthur Lynds Bigelow-Ring! Christmas Bells
Christmas In Cleveland
Eddie Dunstedter-The Bells Of Christmas
Eddie Dunstedter-The Bells Of Christmas Chime Again
The Three Suns-Uncle Mistletoe/Sleigh Ride
Leo Addeo-Organ And Chimes Play Christmas Carols
The John McCarthy Chorale-Merry Christmas Sing Along
The Town Pipers-Christmas Greetings
Big Tiny Little-Christmas With Big Tiny Little
George Wright-Merry Christmas
George Wright-Christmas Time
The Sandpipers-Frosty The Snowman
101 Strings-Christmas Moods
The Lighthouse Singers-Christmas Carols Volume II
Lew White-Christmas Time
Billy Crystal-The Christmas Song
Merry Christmas From The Command Family Of Recording Stars
Ashley Miller-Christmas Carols
Songs To Sing At Christmas Time
Merry Christmas From...
Dennis Day-Christmas Is For The Family
Holiday People-Holiday Disco
Max Fagen-Christmas Disco Party
Warner Bros Stars-We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Ephrem Zimbalist, Jr.-Adeste Fidelis
Mitch Miller-Be A Santa
Cyril Stapleton-Children's Christmas Album
Ethel Smith-Christmas Music
Godfrey Malcolm & Fredrico-Chimes Of Christmas
Menudo-Feliz Navidad
Jose Melis-Christmas With Melis
Charo-(Mamcita) Donde Esta Santa Claus
Bruce Woodman-Christmas Carols With A Latin Lilt
60 French Girls & The Christmas Bell Ringers-Joyeaux Noel
Yank Lawson & Bob Haggart-Hark The Herald Angels Swing
William Clauson-Canciones De Navidad
Natal No Brasil
The Snap-On Male Chorus-Carols Of Christmas
A Kimball Christmas
Christmas Classics 1963
Frank Chacksfield-Music For A Merry Christmas
The Three Suns-Christmas Party
The Three Suns-Your Christmas Favorites
The Three Suns-The Sounds Of Christmas
The Three Suns-Raggin' The Scales
Lester Lanin-Christmas Dance Party
A Christmas Sampler
Dick Leibert-Sing And Rejoice
Dick Leibert-The Sound Of Christmas
Dick Leibert-The Happy Hits Of Christmas
Dick Leibert-A Merry Wurlitzer Christmas
Buddy Cole-The Organ Plays At Christmas
Buddy Cole At The Pipe Organ-Pipes And Chimes For Christmas
Ray Conrad-The Cotton Pickin' Lift Tower
Six Family Mountain-Takin' A Ride With The Wind
Spencer Ross-Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Merriest Of Christmas Pops
Fred Waring-Twas The Night Before Christmas
Fred Waring-Nutcracker Suite
Pete Fountain-Candy Clarinet
David Wayne Narrates The Little Star Of Bethlehem
Eddie Layton-Organ Music For Christmas
Mike Douglas-My Kind Of Christmas
Sammy Kaye-Christmas Day With Sammy Kaye
Sammy Kaye-Christmas Serenade
Sammy Kaye-Year 'Round Favorites
The Moog Machine-Christmas Becomes Electric
Avon Campaign 21
Danny Robinson-Deck The Halls
Buddy & Bunny Burden-Christmas Favorites
A Family Christmas Album
Slim Boyd-Christmas Country Style
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

Good Grief, what a list! Is that even all of them? Sorry I couldn't get them in some sort of order. I think they're close to the order I shared them out in, which doesn't do you any good when it comes to finding anything. But you'll figure it out, I have faith in you. :)

Sisters Three

Here's another rerun from late in the year last year that you may have missed. This is one of the few records that had eluded me for many years so I had to break down and buy it off of eBay for a small fortune. I take some small pride in the fact that nearly all of the records I share with you here on the blog are things that I find at thrift stores for one dollar or less. But not this one. You don't have to pay for it, though, you get to hear my copy. So here's The McGuire Sisters-Greeting From The McGuire Sisters (Coral CRL 57225, 1958) for your enjoyment. I've got a track from The McGuire Sisters on an Arthur Godfrey record coming up later this season, so stay tuned. Also, more Christmas McGuire Sisters can be found here and here.

Update: This one is out on CD now, although it's a little hard to tell. There's a collection on the Jasmine label that includes all the songs from this LP, plus all the songs from the Christmas With Arthur Godfrey LP. Not sure how the McGuire Sisters got stuck on there, but who am I to question how such things work. You can order this from Amazon via this link. Wait, maybe I'm mistaken. Try this disc instead.

Would You Like A Ford With That?

I had no idea what I was going to get when I bought this record. Well, I thought I did, but I didn't. I found the empty cover in a huge stack of records, and decided I needed to find the actual vinyl. Half an hour later I found it further down the pile inside the gatefold of another LP. (Usually I don't find the records missing from empty sleeves, but that's going to be another series of posts sometime soon...) The music is almost exactly what you think it is just by looking at the cover above, but you don't know the rest of the story. A little internet research told me that The Going Thing were actually a manufactured band, put together by Ford for use in marketing campaigns and promotional tours. I guess they took the idea from The Monkees. They recorded a few albums that were only released to Ford employees, then went their separate ways when advertising trends changed. Rumor has it that Karen and Richard Carpenter were members for a brief time, but their career took off before they had to wear too much velour. Anyhow, I think you'll enjoy the smooth, inoffensive sounds of Christmas 1968 With The Going Thing (Private Pressing for Ford XCSV-141473, 1968). Note: The first track on here (and longest) is a spoken introduction and holiday wishes from John Naughton, a bigwig at Ford at the time. The whole record is only 17 minutes long, and it's only recorded on one side.

Where I Left Off Last Year

Here's a record I first shared out last year right at the end of the season, so it's possible that many of you missed it. This is one of the records that I am always on the lookout for in the bins, because all I have is this mono copy, and it's pretty beat. I would love to get a stereo copy in nice shape, but I'm only willing to pay a buck for it (I'm cheap!). I think I originally paid a quarter for this one, and it sat in my collection for years before I ever played it. Boy, was I surprised! This is a really great album that should be on every one's playlist! So if you don't have it already, please go download Gisele MacKenzie-Christmas With Gisele (RCA Victor LPM-2006, Mono, 1959). You can also check out an earlier EP from Gisele that has many of these same tracks on it. It may not give you any more music, but it does give you another picture of Mademoiselle Gisele.

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.

Oodles Of Doodles CCCVIII-Christmas 2007

It wouldn't be Christmas around here without some great Christmas doodles. These little bits of artwork adorned the back sides of records back in the days when record companies tried to save money by printing the back covers in B&W instead of full color like the front covers. I've been sharing these since the very beginning of the blog, and as you can see by the Roman numeral 308 above, I've shared out quite a few. I don't think I have enough Christmas ones to post one a day this season, but I've got quite a few I hope to share with you during the next month. Today's wintry scene comes from the flipside of Season's Greetings From Perry Como (RCA Victor LSP-2066, 1959). I don't think I've seen any reissues of these great old albums that include the original rear artwork. Many of them even omit the original artwork from the front! (That's another goal of mine this holiday season. I've scanned many original LPs from my collection, and I want to share that original art with you. If you have a reissue CD without the original art, you'll be amazed at what you're missing. But that's for another day...)

Hooray For The Salvation Army Band

I agonized over what I was going to share with you first this year. I finally decided on this little gem. I picked this up a couple of months ago at a huge Salvation Army store in North Tampa. I flipped past it, then went back to take a closer look. It didn't really look like a holiday record at first, but something made me look that second time, and thank goodness it did. This is one of the more interesting records I have to share this year. The Joy Strings were actually a band assembled by The Salvation Army in England. Most bands I've heard associated with The Salvation Army are brass bands that don't play very well, but this is nothing like that. These guys can rock with the best of them, at least the best of the mid-sixties. I'm only sharing out the first side, as it's the only side with Christmas songs, but it's still plenty of songs for you. This is the earliest recording of O Little Town Of Bethlehem done to the tune of House Of The Rising Sun that I've found. It's great! So welcome to this year's Christmas share-a-thon, and go get my first share, The Joy Strings-Well Seasoned (Epic BN 26321). Reading up about The Joy Strings tells me that they have other Christmas albums out there, but they may have only been released in the UK. Anyone got any those they'd like to share? ;)

And So It Begins

Well, Thanksgiving dinner (2, actually) is over. The turkey is gone, the diet Mountain Dew is all guzzled, and I'm sure my sugar is through the roof. That means it's time to open up the vault and start with the Christmas music. You get to listen to it and I get to share it. Over the next month I hope to bring you some of the best and some of the worst Christmas records that vinyl ever had to offer. Everything I share is stuff that I own and ripped myself from scratchy old vinyl. I've recorded it over the past 4 months, one record at a time, scanned the covers in, converted everything to MP3, tagged it all, uploaded it, and now I'm gonna post it. If I should inadvertently post something that's on CD, please let me know, I'll get it taken down immediately. If there is a problem with something I post, please let me know, I'll try to get it fixed. If you have a question, please ask it. I usually post all the info I have about an LP, but the comments are great places for other folks to share their knowledge. There are plenty of people out there who know more about this music than I do, and they sometimes stop by and share tidbits. Plus I just love to get comments about my shares. If you come across something that has been deleted, please leave a comment and I'll try to get it back up. Unless, of course, it's something that is on CD now, in which case I usually post a note and a link to somewhere that you can visit to buy the music. All of my stuff is shared out using RapidShare. I know some of you don't like it because you have to wait an hour between downloads. Please consider getting a month-long subscription for about $15. You'll be happy you did. Sometimes RapidShare goes down, so if it doesn't seem to be working, just give it a few hours and try again. Anything else I wanted to mention? Not that I can think of. I hope you enjoy the Christmas music and may it make your season a little bit brighter!

PS: If you use any of my stuff in your Christmas mixes, I'd love to hear it. Drop me a line and I can hook you up with an address if you'd like to send a hard copy. Or if you share it out on the web, please put a link in the comments! Thanks again!

Now, how about some music?

Turkey Lurkey

You think of odd things when you're visiting home for the holidays. I remembered a play that I was in back in second grade. I thought that I was the turkey, but reading the news coverage tells me that I wasn't. Maybe I sang in the chorus or something. I remember getting to wear feathers at some point. Anyway, here is the original article from the Lakeland Ledger dated 27 Nov, 1977. I'm on the left, Robert Williams is the turkey with the broken arm, and Jennifer Sparks is the love interest. Or something like that. Anyhow, that's me, thirty years ago...


As I've done for the previous two years, I have a song that I share out for Thanksgiving. It's a rousing track that will surely get you going as you head to the turkey table. Here is Spencer Ross-Thanksgiving Day Parade (Columbia 4-41532 7" 45 RPM single, 1960). I hope you enjoy it! Oh, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tomorrow Is The Day

Not long now, folks. Not long now.

Eleven Years And Counting

Some months back I found the ultrasound above in a pile of photos somewhere. I wanted to post it in November to mark the 10th anniversary of my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. Then I noticed that the date on this was May of '97. This scan was taken several months after the diagnosis because I was having trouble keeping food down. I know that I was originally diagnosed in November, because there was some concern over whether I would be out of the hospital in time for Thanksgiving or not. Turns out that I was out in plenty of time, but it took years before I was able to enjoy a holiday centered around food again. But I guess the real point of the story is that I missed my tenth anniversary, and this is the eleventh year I've survived. Anyhow, I saved the scan above because I always thought it odd that they found a little, distorted Playboy bunny deep in my liver. Imagine that...
I hope everybody out there has a great Thanksgiving, and realize that we all have something to be thankful for.

Pigs On The Barby

Still plenty more pictures from the Australian Pink Floyd show to share, including this little surprise. If you're going to see them soon, I apologize for ruining all their surprises, but these pictures are just too cool to share. All during the show, we had been hoping they would play some music the LP Animals. Eventually they played Pigs (Three Different Ones) (I was hoping for Sheep myself, but you can't always get what you want), and sure enough, a few minutes into the song, here comes the pig! He was an ugly fellow, with glowing red eyes, big tusks and a rather nasty disposition. But more importantly, he looked cool. The audience went crazy when he first appeared, but it wasn't the last surprise of the evening.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Still More Aussie Floyd

One of the great things about the Australian Pink Floyd show was that they played music from all phases of Floyd, from the early psychedelia of Astronomy Domine & Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun to the Roger-less Division Bell. They also took visuals from all eras as well. Above is a bit of the imagery from Pulse, and below is a picture of Floyd founder Syd Barrett.

Another part of the fun of Aussie Floyd is their incorporation of Australian culture into the Floyd mythos. In the shot above, you can see their pink kangaroo making an appearance on the Wish You Were Here album cover. He shows up a lot throughout the concert. The shot below shows an image taken from the Floyd box set, Shine On. These guys did as good a job with the visuals as they did with the music.

More Aussie Floyd (Not Uncle)

As I mentioned, I saw The Australian Pink Floyd Saturday night in Atlanta. They played at the Fox Theatre, a great venue right in downtown Atlanta. This was the same theater that saw the premier of Gone With The Wind way back in 1939. We had visited the box office earlier in the day to find out if I could bring my camera in or not. Turns out that they permitted cameras, but only point-and-shoots and cell phones. So my big SLR was out. I borrowed a friend's camera, and spent about 30 minutes trying to learn how to operate it in the dark. I was still finding my way around it when we arrived. My first shot was the marquee out front, where I had to block traffic for ten minutes waiting for the coming attractions to loop back around to the faux Floyd.

Once inside, this was what we saw. I spent some more time trying to make adjustments to the camera, finally settling on a maximum aperture of f2.8 (depending on the focal length) and an exposure time of 1/30 to 1/60 of a second, depending on what lights were lit on stage. The ISO was set to 400, so if you look close you'll see quite a bit of grain in these shots, especially the ones I've cropped a lot. But they are still pretty good for shooting in the dark.

The concert began with a complete performance of Wish You Were Here. Not just the song, but the whole LP. They didn't hold anything back, throwing themselves into the performance right off. If you've ever seen the real Pink Floyd, you'll recognize many of the visuals. Even the stage state mirrors the real Floyd. The round rear-projection screen is vintage Floyd. The pyramids are a typical motif, as is the diver below in Mono Lake. Very impressive.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Week Of Thanksgiving

Yep, that's right, Thanksgiving is here, and long-time readers of the blog know what that means. The rest of you will just have to stay tuned. In the meantime, this lovely shot is Bridal Veil Falls in Bedford Reservation in Ohio. Gotta love that fall color!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Aussie Floyd

Through the miracle of an unsecured wireless router, my laptop is suddenly online. That means I can show you a picture of the concert from last night, less than twelve hours after the fact. What you see above is the Australian Pink Floyd, in all their reflected Floyd glory. Much, much, much more to come when I get back to my own computer.