Saturday, July 26, 2008

Christmas In July In A Hurry 2008-Day 26

I'm going to go ahead and post the download link for the Christmas in July stuff for today, but I don't time to type in all the info on all the tracks. The share today is nine versions of songs from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. There's some good stuff in here, but you'll have to take my word for it. I'll post all the contents later.

Early Morning Moon

Sure enough, I was able to drag myself out of bed for a few minutes this morning around 5 am to get you today's moon picture. We're down to less than half of the face being visible, so it's starting to get interesting. You can work your way in reverse (it'll look like it's waxing instead of waning) by clicking here.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 25

Hello, and welcome to day 25! Well, it's actually day 26, but I'm a little behind. I hope today will be the day I catch up. Let's jump right into the shares, shall we. Today you get ten different versions of What Child Is This. Well, to tell the truth, you get one version of What Child Is This and nine versions of Greensleeves, since they have the same melody, just different words. But all of these are instrumentals, so just sing the Christmas words, and no one will be the wiser.

First, the version that's actually entitled What Child Is This is provided by Jack Conner & Ralph Carmichael from the album I Love To Tell The Story (Christian Faith Recordings JC 243). You remember this one from last week, it features the marimba and vibraharp.

Second is the only variation on the title of Greensleeves, that being Variations On Greensleeves, by Grace Castagnetta from the album A Siena Pianoforte Concert (Counterpoint (Everest) CPT 1503). You may remember Grace Castegnetta from a Christmas LP last year featuring that same pianoforte.

Now, eight different versions of Greensleeves by eight different artists from eight different albums. Raymond Lewenthal from Moonlight And Keyboard (Westminster XWN 18403), The Melachrino Strings from Music For Reading (RCA Victor LPM 1002, 1954), Mantovani And His Orchestra from Greensleeves (London LL 570), Julian Bream from The Golden Age Of English Lute Music (RCA Victor Red Seal LD-2560, 1961), George Feyer from Golden Waltzes Everybody Knows (Decca DL 4455), De Wayne Fulton from An Evening At The Warehouse Restaurant (Safari SS-1001), Chet Atkins With Dennis Farnon And His Orchestra from Chet Atkins In Hollywood (RCA Victor LSP-1993, 1959), and Andre Kostelanetz And His Orchestra from World-Wide Wonderland (Columbia AKS-1). How's that for a diverse group of artists? Well, OK, so it's not that diverse, but it's up there.

Here's the download link, go get yourself a mess of marginal Christmas music. And don't forget about all the shares back in 2006 and 2007.

Good News And Bad-I received an email from George Feyer's daughter-in-law last night, and she tells me that the family is in the process of making all his recordings available for legal download. That's the good news. The bad news is that I can't share it with you anymore, but I think the good outweighs the bad. So keep checking back and hopefully I'll have some information about when and where you can download some tasty George Feyer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Deer

Since I am celebrating Christmas in July around here, maybe it's time I bring you a picture of a deer from the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo. I didn't get any really good pictures because this guy was busy trying to get into his shelter out of the rain, but the door was closed and locked. Poor thing. I originally thought this was a reindeer, but I think I was mistaken. Looking at their website closely, I think this is a Thorold's Deer. I really should have paid more attention to the signs at the zoo...

Christmas In July 2008-Day 24

Surprise! That's right, I'm going to get two posts up today, and that means I'm only going to be one day behind. With a little luck, I'll get that one caught up tomorrow, and then I'm back on schedule for the end of the month. Hooray! Now, what have I got for you in this post?

Tracks one and two are both Winter Song. Version one is by The Wittnauer Choraliers, Eugene Lowell, Director and the album There's Music In The Air (Longines-Wittnauer Watch Company, Red Vinyl 12" LP). This was a promo LP for the Longines-Wittnauer Watch Company, but you probably knew that from the catalog information. I'm not sure, but I suspect there is a connection here to the Longines Symphonette Orchestra and the associated record label. Version two is from The Gene Lowell Chorus and their LP Halls Of Ivy (Warner Bros. W 1244, 1959). I wonder if Eugene Lowell and Gene Lowell could be the same person? Odd coincidence there...

Track three is We Need A Little Christmas by The Parris Mitchell Voices, from the album The Parris Mitchell Voices Sing The Hit Songs From Sweet Charity, Fiddler On The Roof, Mame & Man Of La Mancha (Pickwick PC-3056). Yes, it's that annoying Pickwick label again. At least this seems to be something they recorded themselves, instead of a reissue of something they licensed on the cheap.

Track four is a rousing rendition of Deck The Hall by Brass Of The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Alfred Newman. This is from the LP Hallelujah! (Capitol P8529), from which I've shared another track already.

Track five? How about a version of Percy Faith's Brazilian Sleigh Bells? This is by The Golden Strings and the album is Golden Strings Around The World (Recar 2070).

The sixth and final track is Afternoon Of An Elf by Erroll Garner from the LP Afternoon Of An Elf (Mercury MG20090). The liner notes tell me that he performed this track, as well as all the others, with a broken index finger. The man's got skills.

And there you go, another six tracks. Not too far to go and we'll be at the end of the month. But there's still plenty of music to share between now and then. Here's the latest download link, so get going. And you know by now why you want to go back to 2006 and 2007.

Moon Over My House

Here's your daily moon shot. This was early this morning outside the front door of the condo. She's almost half gone now. I'm going to have to work awfully hard to drag myself out of bed tomorrow when I don't have to get up and go to work. And all for a simple picture of the moon. Wish me luck. You can work your way backwards through the series by heading here.

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Leopard

No great pictures of this leopard for you, I'm afraid. These shots are all I got of him as he paced back and forth way at the back of his enclosure at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo last month. I think he was trying to wear a groove in the floor deep enough to allow him to escape. That's just my guess...

If you had your heart set on leopard pictures, you can check out the snow leopard pictures from the same trip to the zoo, and I bet if I look hard enough, I could find some leopard pictures from Big Cat Rescue.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 23

It's finally Friday! Seemed like I'd never get here. And it's time for Christmas in July, the 23rd edition. Yes, I'm still two days behind. I hope to get caught up someday. Today you get three versions of Baby, It's Cold Outside and three more versions of I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm. How's that for a combination?

OK, first the three different versions of Baby, It's Cold Outside. My first, and favorite, is by Homer And Jethro With June Carter (later June Carter Cash) from The Worst Of Homer And Jethro (RCA Victor LPM-1560, 1958). I've been holding onto this all month to share, but I saw just the other day that they mentioned it at WFMU's Beware Of The Blog. Great minds and all that... Version number two is by Pearl Bailey from The Definitive Pearl Bailey (Columbia CL 985). You heard a little more Pearl earlier in the season. Version three is by The Stereo Brass Choir from their album Stereo Dialogue For Brass (Columbia CS 8290). Imagine for a second what this one might sound like. Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like, just with more surface noise. Enjoy!

And three more versions of I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm. I don't know if you really needed any more versions of this, but here they are. Version one is a medley of I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, Ev'rything I've Got and Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home, and it's by Ronald Fitzroy And His Orchestra from the LP Party Dance-Along (Master MAL 3011). Version two is by Poliakin, His Orchestra And Chorale from The Best Of Poliakin (Everest SDBR 2,003, 1960). And lastly, you get a version from The Arthur Murray TV Dance Orchestra retitled Fox Trot: I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, and coming from the album Arthur Murray's Music For Dancing (RCA Victor LPM-1909, 1958).

And there you have it, six more tracks for Christmas In July. Here's the download link, get to clickin'. And don't forget 2006 and 2007. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Morning Moon

What is this, the sixth moonshot in a row I've brought you? That's a pretty good streak for me. I'm not known for getting a picture up every day, much less taking a specific picture each day. This was the phase of the moon this morning around 6:30 AM, EDT. She's fading away fast, but there should still be plenty of good photo days left before she disappears completely. I think this is a pretty good picture, since I actually shot it though a very light haze of thin clouds. I didn't think it would come out this well when I took the shot. But I don't see any trace of the clouds that I know were there.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 22

We're down to the final ten days of Christmas in July (maybe...). Today is the 22nd share, and it's a real mish-mash of stuff.

Where to start? How about with the Virgin Mary, a track by Walter Raim from his LP Hootenanny For Orchestra (Liberty LST-7332). Sorta interesting, but not very Christmassy.

Track two is a medley including La Dolce Vita Nella Villa Di Fregene, Can Can & Jingle Bells. I think I cut out a couple of songs after this one, but there was a clear pause at the point I cut it, so you won't notice. This is from the soundtrack to the film La Dolce Vita (RCA Victor International FOC-1, 1961), and there was precious little performer info on the sleeve, so I credited it to the composer, Nino Rota.

Track number three is called Blue Christmas, but it's not what you think it is. Elvis never sang this song. This is from the soundtrack to The Apartment (United Artists UAS 6105, 1960), and it's performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra.

Track four is a neat little song called Holidays by Paul Mauriat from the album Theme From A Summer Place (MGM/Verve MV-5087, 1972). You can download Paul's Christmas LP elsewhere at the blog.

Track five is Holiday Parade by David Whitehall And His Music, from the LP Moonglow And Music (RCA Camden CAL 271 "Featuring the Compositions and Arrangements of Domenico Savino"). For more parade music, go here, and for more Dominic Savino, try here.

Track six is Gesu Bambino, played on the marimbas! Bet you've never heard that before. This is by Jack Conner with a little help from Ralph Carmichael. The album is called I Love To Tell The Story (Christian Faith Recordings JC 243), and you'll be hearing more from it later on.

Tracks seven and eight are both Go Tell It On The Mountain. The first version by The Princeton Seminary Choir, from their album of the same name (RCA Victor LPM-1903, 1959) (you heard from this one earlier in the month), is the Christmas one that I grew up with. The second version by The Undergrads from the album Bluegrass Hoot On Campus (Somerset SF-21600) is, unfortunately, not a Christmas version. They've changed some of the words to give it a folk feeling, and perhaps to link it to Bob Dylan. You'll see what I mean when you give it a listen.

There you go, eight more tracks, but I'm still two days behind. I hope to get caught up this weekend, just in time for the last week of shares. Here's your download link, so go for it. And as usual, go get the shares for 2006 and 2007 if you don't have them already.

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Lemurs

Talk about your cute and cuddly animals! These guys have cats beat hands down. These are ring-tailed lemurs, and I shot these pictures during my visit to the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo last month. None of these pictures convey the way these fellows look at you. Their eyes look like they are emitting light instead of collecting it. They look at you and you feel like they're emitting some sort of radiation at you. It's weird.

Oh, and how about that striped tail? My cat has a striped tail, but it's nothing as spectacular as this thing. I suspect they could use it to signal incoming planes if they needed to.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Moon In The Morning

Here's the next shot in my series of pictures showing you the waning moon. This is from this morning, about 6 AM. You can look at all the previous pictures here, here, here and here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Seals

Things move quickly around here. Tonight I go from grizzly bears to harbor seals in the blink of an eye. These guys were nearly impossible to get a good picture of. Back and forth they swam in their little pool, surfacing only briefly for a breath, and always at the far end of the pool. So you'll have to make do with these few shots. I'm pretty sure these pictures are all of harbor seals, but I won't guarantee I didn't get a picture of a sea lion by mistake. It's hard for me to tell the difference, since none of these really look like the pictures at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo website. Someday I'll learn to pay more attention to the signs at the place I'm visiting. And maybe take a picture of it, too.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 21

And here's the second post today for Christmas In July. With this post, I'm only one day behind instead of two. Unfortunately, I have to work late tomorrow, so I may fall back behind again, but we'll see. The second share of today features eight different tracks, covering three different songs. Well, technically, one of them is a recitation, but you'll see.

Let me start with four different performances from Handel's Messiah, specifically, his Hallelujah Chorus. I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of this piece, since it usually comes out as a muddled mess of voices, all shouting at the top of their lungs trying to drown out everything within earshot. But maybe you'll like it. Version one is by the Brass Of The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Alfred Newman, from the album Hallelujah! (Capitol P8529). This is probably my favorite version, only because there's no one singing, it's all trumpets and assorted other brass instruments. Version two is by The Roger Wagner Chorale and their album Virtuoso! (Capitol SP 8431). What's with there albums featuring exclamation points in their titles? Version three is a great version played on the steel drums by The Real Thing Steel Band from The Clay House Inn Presents The Real Thing Steel Band (Edmar ELPS 1111 (Sponsored By The Coca-Cola Bottler In Bermuda)). This one is really out there. Version four, and probably my least favorite, is by the great Patti Page from the soundtrack album Elmer Gantry (Mercury MG 20599). You can pick her voice out in only a few places, which is a shame.

The next song, featured in two different version is I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony). You've got Coca-Cola to thank for this one being counted as a Christmas song. It's inclusion in a holiday commercial way back in the seventies has made it a seasonal treat for millions of hippie children. Version one is by Chet Atkins from the LP Chet Atkins Picks On The Hits (RCA AHL1-4754, 1972) and version two is by Ray Conniff And The Singers from their LP I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (Columbia KC 31220).

The last track, as promised, is a recitation of the Longfellow poem I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day as read by Arnold Moss from the album Parnassus-A Treasury Of The Spoken Word: Words To Live By: Prayers And Inspirations (Decca DL 9045). I've heard this one set to music, but this is a spoken word record, so what do you expect? Short but sweet.

And there you have it, seven more tracks for your July enjoyment (bringing the total so far to 129!). Well, I guess you can dig these out again come December, if you really want to. Here's your download link for the day. And don't forget the tracks in 2006 and 2007, they've been waiting a long time now for you to come and download them.

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Grizzly Bears

How about some grizzly bears for today's animal pictures? These are from my trip to the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo last month, as you probably know by now. I'm slowly working my way around the entire zoo in no particular order, and tonight I've gotten to the grizzly bears. These guys were huge! That's all I can say about them. They were big. I'd hate to run into one of these fellows in the wild. In their pen, they were cute and cuddly as could be, looking like big brown teddy bears, but I'm sure they are nothing like that in the wild. Just look at those claws. Imagine what they could do to you, to say nothing of the teeth these guys have.

I don't know exactly what the problem was, but both of the grizzly bears in the habitat I saw had some fur problem. Maybe it's mange or something, but they were missing large patches of fur, and the fur they had left looked a little ratty. I hope they're getting some treatment for whatever the problem is.

Another Day, Another Moon

Here's the latest moon shot for you. I didn't think I was going to get this one, though. First time I went outside this morning, it was overcast and you couldn't see the sky. Ten minutes later, I tried it again, and there it was, big as day. Be sure to compare this picture to the previous three days here, here and here. She's just waning away to nothing.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 20

Are you ready for day 20 of Christmas in July? Well, ready or not, here it comes. Tonight you get six different versions of the Irving Berlin chestnut, I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm. I don't know how you can go wrong with this track. I already brought you five other versions this month, so this post brings the total to eleven different versions!

Version one is actually a medley of Say It Isn't So, I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm and Isn't This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught In The Rain) by The Melachrino Strings And Orchestra from The Ballads Of Irving Berlin (RCA Victor LSP-2817, 1964).

Version two is by 101 Strings from their album The Best Loved Songs Of Irving Berlin (Alshire S-5005). Is there any song that the 101 Strings didn't cover somewhere? I doubt it.

Version three is by Ray Noble And His Orchestra from We Danced All Night (RCA Camden CAL 380).

Version four is by organist Jesse Crawford and comes from the album Poet At The Pipe Organ (Decca DL 8565).

Version number five is by blog favorite the Frankie Ortega Combo and the LP Twilight Time (Masterseal MS-83). I should record this whole LP and share it out at some point. For more Frankie Ortega, check out here, here and here.

Lastly, version six is by The Francis Bay Big Band and an LP entitled either A Salute To Les Brown or Sentimental Swingers (Omega OSL 25), depending on where you look. Gotta love budget records.

That's it, nothing too exciting. Here's the download link, go get 'em, tiger! For more holiday goodies, check out this day in 2006 and 2007.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Camels

For some reason, I didn't take many pictures of these camels at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo. I guess I just wasn't too excited by them. They look a little ratty, if you see what I mean. I guess those clumps of hair are where they are shedding. You'd think that by the end of June, when I took this picture, they'd be done shedding their winter coat, but I guess not. Way at the other end of the zoo from where I saw these guys, they had other camels that you could ride. I passed on that.

Shoot The Moon

Are you tired of my moon pictures yet? Not me, I love these things! This was early this morning, just before the sun came up. As you can see, it's getting smaller every day. Compare this one to here and here to see how it's changing day to day. I'm going to have to see how long I can keep this up. Wish me luck!

Christmas In July 2008-Day 19

Hello! And welcome to day 19! I've got a real hodge-podge of stuff for you tonight, so I'm going to jump right in.

I'm starting off with three tracks by the Princeton Seminary Choir-Dr. David Hugh Jones, Director, all from their album Princeton Seminary Choir (RCA Victor LPM-1903, 1959). The tracks are O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, Jesus, Gentle Babe (A Joyous Christmas Song) and I Wonder As I Wander.

Track four is another version of I Wonder As I Wander, this time by Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians, Dorothy Arms, Soloist. This is from the soundtrack to the Fred Waring Broadway production, Hear! Hear! (Decca DL 9031). Who knew he had his own Broadway show?

Track five is Sweet Gingerbread Man by Michel Legrand. This is from the same album, The Concert Legrand (RCA BGL1-1028), as the track I shared from Mr. Legrand earlier this month.

Track six is O Tannenbaum (Oh Pine Tree) from The Roger Wagner Chorale and the LP Folk Songs of The Old World, Volume 2: Western Europe (Capitol P8388).

Track seven is an unexpected version of The Little Drummer Boy as performed by The Pipes And Drums And Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and their album of the same name (RCA (UK) PL25087, 1977). Gotta love those bagpipes!

Track eight is The Marvelous Toy by The Chad Mitchell Trio, from the album Singin' Our Minds (Mercury SR 60838, 1963). You had another song from this LP earlier in the year.

There you go, another eight song day. I think maybe I need to try to share a little less and get caught up. We'll see how that goes. Anyhow, here's the download link, now go get to downloadin'. And there's always the shares from 2006 and 2007 if you want more.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Red Panda

Isn't he cute? This is a red panda, and he is a ball of energy. Look close at all these pictures, and you'll see that none of them are really in sharp focus. He was running around both times I walked past his cage, never stopping to take a breath or to let me get a clear picture. But at least he was having a good time. Zoo animals that seem too sedentary make me nervous.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 18

Suddenly I find myself two days behind again, and I haven't even got anything good to blame it on. Well, it's going to take some work to get out of this hole, so just bear with me. Tonight is a big share of eight tracks, featuring four versions of The Skater's Waltz and four versions of Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers. I've already brought you multiple versions of each of these this month, but I've got lots and lots of them to share. Let's jump right into it, shall we.

First, the four different versions of Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers. Version one is by Paul Lavalle And The Band Of America and the album The Big 18 All-Time Great Marches (MGM SE 4114). Version two is from Jack Fina and his LP Kitten On The Keys (Dot DLP 25268). Number three is the Irving Fields Trio and the LP Latin Dance Date (RCA Camden CAL 350). Track four is by the Columbia Salon Orchestra, from the album Quiet Music-Volume 1 (Columbia CL 510). I've been trying to get all the volumes in this series for over a year now, but without much success. I think I have five of the ten volumes, but they seem to be next to impossible to find.

Now, let's see, oh, yes, the versions of Waldteufel's The Skaters that I promised. Since my last post, someone informed me that the correct title of this piece is Les Patineurs Op. 183. Well, now I know where all the confusion comes in, it's just a translation error. I'll begin with a properly named Les Patineurs (The Skaters) Op. 183 by the Philharmonia Promenade Orchestra, conducted by Henry Kipps from the album Waldteufel Waltzes (Angel 35426). I apologize for the quality of this one (It has at least two small skips in it) but it was all I had. I bought it Saturday, and I think it was just too hot to be record shopping. When I put it on the turntable, you could see a terrible warp in it every time it spun around. I did my best to get something out of it, but it's not perfect. Anyhow, on with the shares. Version two is Skaters Waltz by The Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band from the LP Sour Kraut In Hi-Fi (RCA Victor LPM-1453, 1957). This one is supposed to sound like that. Trust me. Version three is The Skater's Waltz by Eric Vaughn with The Medallion Strings And Percussion and the album The Sound Of The Blue Danube-Wine, Women And Waltzes (Medallion (Kapp) MS-7519). The fourth and final version for today is The Skaters-Waltz, Op. 183 by The Philharmonia Orchestra, Herbert Von Karajan, Conductor and the LP Philharmonia Pop Concert (Angel 35926). There you go, four more version and four more variations on that title.

Happy now? That's eight more tracks you can dump into the Christmas in July folder on your hard drive. It's getting pretty full at this point. Here's the download link, in case you were looking for it. And click the links for 2006 and 2007 for more shares from the past two years of Christmas in July.

Another Moon

Compare this shot (from Saturday night) to the ones from Friday night, and you'll see that the moon is indeed getting smaller. Waning, I guess they call it. Fifteen more days and it will be completely gone! Whatever will we do then? (I didn't tweak this one any, just cropped it down so it filled the screen.)

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Giraffes

Don't worry, I've still got plenty of animals to bring you from the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo. Next up is the giraffe, well known as the tallest animal out there. I'm not sure what's up with those knobs on the top of his head. I guess maybe they are some sort of horn, but I don't know. I also read that their tongues are blue, but I didn't notice that as I watched this one eating. I'm sure if I had, I would have gotten some pictures of it.

20 Years Ago

So, I went to my 20 year high school reunion last night. Lots and lots of people there, some that I remembered, a few I didn't. I'm afraid I didn't recognize a lot of people that I probably should have, but thankfully they gave out name tags to make it a little easier to tell who was who. This was my table, with four of my old compatriots and their spouses. I think I was one of the few unmarried ones there. Everyone was talking about the wives and kids, and all I got to talk about was the cat. Oh, well, maybe in another 20 years...