Saturday, August 02, 2008

Chanukah In August-Day 1

I didn't want to leave any of my Jewish friends out, so here are a couple of Chanukah songs I found in the past month that I wanted to share. Both of these come from the kiddie-oriented records I shared with you a couple of days ago.

Track one is simply entitled Chanukah and it's by Steve Clayton & Gail Contini from their album Holidays To Sing About (Ultrasound ULT 3420, 1979).

Track two is Spin, Dreidel, Spin by Sing & Learn from Holiday Songs (Macmillan, 1987).

Well, it's not much, but it's all I've got. Here's the download link, but I don't think you get to light a candle today. I've shared Chanukah in August songs before, but it's been a while.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 32

Surprise! Did you think I was done? Just because it's August doesn't mean I can't still celebrate a little bit of Christmas in July. In fact, what I've got here are the last few tracks that I had ready to go, but didn't manage to squeeze them in anywhere else, plus a couple of tracks that I never got around to recording last month, but didn't want to leave them lying there until next year. It turns out to be a fairly big pile of spares, actually, so here goes!

The first five tracks are from a record put out by The Music Company Of North America called New Music Directory-Concert Band Edition (The Music Company Of North America MCNA 1986-2, 1986). These are sample songs for which they will sell you the music and arrangements and your school band performs them at concerts. I found these to be a little interesting, but nothing you're going to write home about. The songs include A Charlie Brown Christmas, December Fireside, Greensleeves, Happiness Is Christmas and Only Santa Knows.

Next up are three tracks by Andre Previn Conducting The London Symphony Orchestra from the album entitled Andre Previn Conducts (Angel S-37021, 1974). These include Fantasia On "Greensleeves", March Miniature From "The Nutcracker" and Waltz Of The Flowers From "The Nutcracker". I had hoped to share out several side-long collections of music from The Nutcracker this year (Like last year), but I didn't get around to it. Maybe next year.

Track nine is Suite No. 1, Op. 43: Marche Miniature by The Boston Pops Orchestra, Arthur Fiedler, Conductor from the LP Marches In Hi-Fi (RCA Victor Red Seal LSC-2229, 1958). Is this from The Nutcracker also? I'm not sure... And you've seen this LP earlier in the month. Plus, you've seen the actual LP before...

Track 10 is Skaters Waltz from the album Dance Party (Plymouth P-12-83) by the Plymouth Dance Orchestra. Nothing too exciting, I'm afraid.

Track eleven is Sleigh Ride by Thomas Hascomb Conducting The International Theatre Orchestra from the album Music Of Leroy Anderson (Hurrah HS-1011). I could have brought you plenty of different versions like this from various Leroy Anderson tributes, but I tried to limit myself. You're welcome.

Track twelve is another Tchaikovsky, this time it's spelled Tchaikowsky: March From The Nutcracker, Op. 71 by Arthur Winograd Conducting The Virtuoso Symphony Of London, taken from the LP Marches For Children (Audio Fidelity FCS 50,007, 1959).

Track thirteen. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day. The Simon Sisters. The Simon Sisters Sing For Children (Columbia CR 21539, 1973). One sisters name is Lucy, the others name is Carly.

Last but not least is another Victor Herbert medley, this one encompassing Ah! Sweet Mystery Of Life, Sweethearts Waltz, March Of The Toys, Toyland, Streets Of New York and Thine Alone. It's performed by Andre Kostelanetz And His Orchestra from the LP Music Of Victor Herbert (Columbia Masterworks ML 4430). If nothing else, it's long.

There. Now I'm done. Everything else in the Christmas in July 2008 folder is either a repeat that I didn't catch before recording it, or a mono version that was later supplanted by a stereo copy, or not really a Christmas tune. Here's the download link. Oh, and there was a day 32 in 2007, but not 2006.

Big thanks to everyone out there who downloaded some tracks. Especially those of you who took the time to comment. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves. Don't forget to come back after Thanksgiving, there might be a tune or two here worth downloading. Maybe...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Christmas In July 2008-Day 31

Happy New Year! I mean, happy 31st of July! That's right, it's the end of the month, and that means there's only one way to celebrate. How about 16 different versions of that old chestnut, Auld Lang Syne? And only three of them are from Guy Lombardo!

Let's begin with the great Jo Stafford who passed away earlier this month. Her version comes from the LP Jo Stafford Sings Songs Of Scotland With Words By Robert Burns (Columbia CL 1043).

Version two is by The All-Star Orchestra Conducted By Bobby Byrne from the LP The Great Themes Of America's Greatest bands (Grand Award G.A. 33-392). You got another track from this LP earlier in the month.

Version three is a barbershop version by The Nighthawks, taken from their album The Nighthawks (Chord OBW-6211).

Version four is by George Hamilton IV, Arranged And Conducted By Don Costa, from the album George Hamilton IV On Campus (ABC-Paramount ABC-220).

Version five is from Guy Cheney and the LP Everybody Sing (Mercury MG 20131). I'm guessing this LP was in response to all those Sing Along With Mitch albums, but I'm not certain. You'll see what I mean.

Version six is by The Gene Lowell Chorus and the album Halls Of Ivy (Warner Bros. W 1244, 1959). I think I shared something else from this album, too.

Version seven is from the great Jerry Colonna and the album Let's All Sing With Jerry Colonna (Liberty LRP 3046), where it wraps up the side-long medley on side one. I hope you don't mind, but I edited out all the other songs.

Version eight is an unedited medley called Auld Lang Syne: Skye Boat Song, Bonnie Dundee, Hundred Pipers, Auld Lang Syne, and it's by the Dagenham Girl Pipers from their album The World Famous Dagenham Girl Pipers (Capitol T10125).

Version nine is still another medley, this time including May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You, Now Is The Hour and Auld Lang Syne by Ralph And Buddy Bonds from the LP Open House With Ralph And Buddy Bonds (Epic LN 3492).

I'm getting tired of typing... Version the tenth is the last medley, this time entitled Swingtime In Scotland: The Campbells Are Coming; Comin' Thro' The Rye; Loch Lomond; Auld Lang Syne. It's performed by The Daphne Hellman Quartet on the album Holiday For Harp (Columbia Harmony HL 7167). This is another record you've seen before this month.

Number eleven is from the unstoppable Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra from the LP The Wonderland Of Bert Kaempfert (Decca DL 74117). This was the only track that I recorded and lost this month. For some reason, after I had recorded and tagged it, the file got corrupted and showed as zero bytes. So I had to redo this one.

Number twelve is The Russ Williams Orchestra from A Tribute To The Big Bands (Tops-Mayfair 9660S). Yes, it's from a cheap label, but at least the record is on cool yellow & black marbled vinyl!

Lucky thirteen belongs to Knuckles O'Toole, or, if you prefer, Dick Hyman, and his album Sing A Song With Knuckles O'Toole And His Singin' Gang (Grand Award GA 240 SD). I went to an art show recently by Dick Hyman's wife, but neither he nor she were in attendance. Shame, I wanted to get one of my records signed.

Numbers fourteen and fifteen are both by Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians. They form the intro and finale to the performance captured on the LP The Guy Lombardo Show Recorded Live At Lake Tahoe (Capitol ST 1393).

Number sixteen is again Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians, this time in a hi-fi re-recording from the album Guy Lombardo In Hi-Fi (Capitol W738). You got a much more exciting song from the record earlier in July.

I'm sure you're tired of hearing Auld Lang Syne at this point, so here's a little bonus 17th track. It's Happy New Year from Janeen Brady, from one of the kids records I first shared yesterday, I Have A Song For You, Volume 2-About Seasons And Holidays (Brite Music, 1980).

And that's it. Hope you're happy. Here's the download link, and don't miss the shares from 2006 and 2007. My fingers hurt...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Christmas In July 2008-Day 30

With this post, I should be caught back up, which is a good thing, since it is the next to the last day of the month. But let's not get sidetracked with semantics, lets just enjoy the music. This post shares out tracks that I grabbed from records designed to entertain and educate children. Before you get your hopes up, these all date from between 1979 and 1989, so there's nothing here too exciting.

Let's start with Ev'rybody's Good For Christmas by Steve Clayton & Gail Contini from the album Holidays To Sing About (Ultrasound ULT 3420, 1979).

Track two is Jingle Bell Rock by Greg & Steve from the LP Holidays And Special Times (Youngheart VR009-R, 1989). This is the only non-original song in the bunch.

Track three is Sleigh Bells-Russia by Catherine Slonecki from the album Children's Songs Around The World (Activities AR 56, 1989).

Track four is Santa's Coming from the album Holiday Songs (Macmillan, 1987) credited to no-one in particular, so I credited to Sing & Learn, the name of the series of records it seems to be from. They've changed up the number of reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh from eight to ten. Not sure why.

The rest of the tracks are all by Janeen Brady from the album I Have A Song For You, Volume 2-About Seasons And Holidays (Brite Music, 1980). They are I Like To Play In The Snow, Playful Little Jack Frost and The Very Best Part Of Christmas Time.

That's it, seven more songs, though I'm afraid none of them are as good as my favorite track in this vein, What If Snowflakes Came In Flavours. Here's the download link, now get busy and download them. Don't forget the shares from 2006 and 2007, and don't say I never gave you anything.

Welcome To KSC

When you visit Kennedy Space Center, they don't have little girls dressed as Mickey Mouse to greet you, they have people of indeterminate sex dressed as Apollo-era astronauts to greet you. And the red stripes indicate that this was the commander of whatever mission he or she might be on...

Christmas In July 2008-Day 29

Day 29, here we go! Another day of seemingly random tracks with nothing really to link them together. It's getting close to the end, so I'm sort of just blowing some things out.

Let's start with the only two tracks that have any sort of link. Both of these tracks are by The Modern Jazz Quartet from their LP Plastic Dreams (Atlantic SD 1589, 1971). The two tracks are titled England's Carol and Variations On A Christmas Theme, but you'll recognize them as God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and The Twelve Days Of Christmas. I don't know why they felt the need to rename them here. Maybe they get higher songwriting royalties or something.

Track three is We Three Kings Of Orient Are by The Brass Of The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Conducted By Alfred Newman from Hallelujah! (Capitol P8529). I've already brought you other Christmas tunes from this LP here and here.

Track four is I Love To Tell The Story/Angels We Have Heard On High by Jack Conner, from another album I've shared tracks from with you before, I Love To Tell The Story (Christian Faith Recordings JC 243). Gotta love that marimba sound!

Track five is March Of The Toys from Frederick Fennell And Orchestra from the album Frederick Fennell Conducts Victor Herbert (Mercury Perfect Presence Sound Series PPS6007). I thought I'd shared this one before, but I can't find any sign that I have, so I must have been mistaken.

Track six is the only version of My Favorite Things that I've shared all year. Got lots of versions in the pile, but this is the only one I recorded. It's by Richard Hayman And His Orchestra and comes from the LP Rogers And Hammerstein's The Sound Of Music (Mercury Wing SRW 16228). Actually, it looks like I've got a typo in there and called him Mannerstein. Odd...

The seventh and final track is a nice version of Our Winter Love by Al Caiola, from his LP Greasy Kids Stuff (United Artists UAS 6287, 1963). You can always count on some good guitar work from Mr. Caiola.

There you have it, seven more Christmas in July tracks. Here's the download link, now have a blast. And as usual, don't forget about 2006 and 2007.


I tried to get you a shot of the moon today, but it wasn't there. It was a little cloudy when I went out to shoot it this morning, and I couldn't find the little tiny sliver of the moon that I was expecting. I couldn't even find it later in the day once the sun had come up. I guess it's gotten so small that it fades to nothing in the bright daylight. It was a fun series while it lasted, but I think the fun is over now. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Going, Going

I've been saying it's almost gone for several days now, as it gets smaller and smaller each morning, yet I continue to shoot the moon, so to speak. This was this morning right after 6 AM. It's almost too low in the sky for me to be able to see it over the buildings across the street. We'll see what happens about 8 hours from now when I check tomorrow morning. You can follow the progress from the last couple of weeks by going here next.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 28

Here we go with Day 28! Three groups of two tracks each, plus a spare track for a total of seven more Christmas in July songs.

The first two tracks take us to Russia, or, at the time they were recorded, the Soviet Union. Song one is Christmas Carol by The Don Cossacks-Serge Jaroff, Conductor, from their eponymous album (Columbia Masterworks ML 5296). Number two is Snowflakes by The Red Army Ensemble from their eponymous album (Vox STPL 513.180). That's a whole lot of eponymous going on...

The second two tracks take us from Russia over to Japan, and electronic artist Tomita and his album Snowflakes Are Dancing-The Newest Sound Of Debussy (RCA Red Seal ARL1-0488, 1974). The two tracks are Snowflakes Are Dancing and Footprints In The Snow. And yes, that is a Moog you hear on these.

The third set of two tracks brings us back to the United States with The Chad Mitchell Trio. Song one is The Virgin Mary from the LP Reflecting (Mercury MG 20891). Song two is Cherry Tree Carol from the album Typical American Boys (Mercury MG 20992). I brought you two other tracks from the Mitchell Boys here and here earlier in the month.

The lonely single track is Teardrops Falling In The Snow by Molly O'Day And The Cumberland Mountain Folks. It's a tearjerker from their album The Unforgettable Molly O'Day And The Cumberland Mountain Folks (Columbia Harmony HL 7299). Not very Christmassy, but that mention of snow sneaks this one in under the wire.

There you go, seven more tracks, but I'm still one day behind. Here's the download link, and don't forget about 2006 and 2007. Goodnight!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Christmas In July 2008-Day 27

Not long now! We're getting near the end of Christmas in July, and I'm again a day behind. I'm also running out of tracks to share, but I think I've got enough to make it, if I can just find time to get in here and record some music. But I've got today covered with six tracks you need to have, so here goes.

I'm starting out with three more versions of Snowfall. The first of these is by the great Earl Grant from his LP Fly Me To The Moon (Decca DL 74454, 1963). This is actually a stereo version of a track I shared in an earlier year of Christmas in July, so I guess technically it's a rerun. One version that's not a rerun is by Billy Maxted's Manhattan Jazz Band from their LP Satin Doll (Liberty LRP-3492). And probably the best, or at least most different, version I've brought you of this great track is the version by Ahmad Jamal, retitled Snow Fall, from the live album Ahmad Jamal's Alhambra (Cadet LPS 685, 1961). This one mixes it up a bit instead of following the same old Claude Thornhill arrangement. I think you'll like it.

Next up are two versions of The Jolly Coppersmith. Version one is from Karl Von Stevens And His Orchestra and the album In The Land Of Oom Pah Pah (Mercury MG 20241). With an album title like that, you probably know what to expect from this version. Number two is by The Nickelodeons At Paul Eakin's Gay Nineties Village and the album Nickel Music (Audio Fidelity AFSD 5960). This time, the group name tells you all you need to know.

The last track is something I found just today in a thrift store in Daytona Beach. It's Greenwillow Christmas (Carol) by The Melachrino Strings from their LP Music From Frank Loesser's Greenwillow (RCA Victor LPM-2229, 1960). I've got a vocal version of this somewhere that I don't think I've ever shared out, but it was the only version I'd ever heard, so it was nice to finally find another. Again, I think it's something you'll like.

That's it, six more tracks towards the complete collection. Here's the download link, now go get 'em. And you know all about 2006 and 2007, I don't have to tell you that you can still download the Christmas in July shares from those two earlier years.

Are there any songs you folks can think of that I'm not sharing here that I should be? Not a specific song really, but something that you think is a Christmas tune that I'm ignoring. I know Jolly Coppersmith is not really a Christmas tune, but I've seen it included on Christmas albums. I've been looking for other titles I can share that I'm not familiar with, and I'm throwing it open to the floor. Perhaps Moonlight in Vermont? Anyone? Anyone?

Moon Over Daytona

I may have missed the moon on Sunday, but I got the one this morning. This was a little before 6 am this morning, just outside the hotel I was staying at in Daytona Beach. I'm pretty sure it would have looked exactly the same if I had shot it here in Sarasota, I just happened to be in a different spot. There's really not too much left here, so I don't know how many more days I can shoot it. It's getting harder and hared to get the right exposure, too. But that's my problem, not yours. The previous shot I actually got in this little series is here.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 26

As promised, I'm back to tell you what I shared out a couple of days ago for the 26th day of Christmas in July. I ran out of time that day, so I just threw up the post really quick with very little information about you'd find inside the download. That didn't stop quite a few of you from going ahead and downloading it, so I hope you enjoyed what you got. Now, for those of you who were waiting to see if there might be something of interest in there, here's the skinny:

Track one and two are Carmen Dragon Conducting The Capitol Symphony Orchestra in Arabian Dance and Chinese Dance from Nutcracker Suite. These come from the album I Like Tchaikovsky (Capitol SP 8617), which I thought was a Beach Boys LP when I first picked it up. There's a cute blond girl on the cover, and she's enjoying herself at the beach while wearing a t-shirt that says I Like Tchaikovsky. I guess they were trying to reach a younger crowd with this one. I had recorded the same two tracks earlier, only in mono, from the LP Orientale (Capitol P8453), but I figured you'd prefer the stereo versions.

Track three is Chinese And Russian Dances From "The Nutcracker" by Efrem Kurtz Conducting The Philharmonia Orchestra from the LP Melodies Of The Masters, Volume VII: Music Of The Imagination (Capitol A 8569), part of a set of various artists conducting classical music designed to enrich you and your children's lives.

Track four, Dance Of The Sugar Plums, by Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians, from the album Hear! Hear! (Decca DL 9031), the Broadway soundtrack I shared from earlier. I shared out an EP-length version of The Nutcracker Suite from Fred and the Pennsylvanians here.

Track five is Valse des Fleurs from "Casse Noisette" (which is a fancy way of saying Waltz of the Flowers from Nutcracker Suite) by Mantovani And His Orchestra from the LP An Album Of Ballet Melodies (Decca (UK) LK 4161).

Track six is another version of Waltz Of The Flowers from the LP Conduct Your Own Orchestra (Golden Record GLP 47) credited to The American Society Pan-Harmonic Orchestra, Bell-Mall Band & Golden Chamber Players Under The Direction Of Mitch Miller. Took a lot of people to make that track, evidently.

Track seven, is yet another Waltz Of The Flowers, this time by Andre Kostelanetz And His Orchestra from their collection Kostelanetz In Wonderland-Golden Encores (Columbia CL 2078 "Produced by Betsy Cohen Record Club").

The fun continues with track eight and another version of Chinese Dance from the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of London, Conducted By Artur Rodzinski and the album Mysterious East (Westminster WST 16003). I loved the cover on this one. I'll have to scan it in and share it with you some day.

The last, and I think, best track from Saturday was Three Dances From "Nutcracker Suite" by none other than Walter Carlos (who doesn't love the Moog?) from the LP By Request (Columbia/CBS XM 32088). This one is good stuff.

So there you go. Now you know what's in the package. If you didn't already get it, here's the download link. If you did already get it, did you remember to go back and get the stuff from the same date in 2006 and 2007? I doubt it.

Missing The Moon

I hate to admit it, but I didn't get a moon picture for you Saturday night or Sunday morning. I was up too late Saturday night seeing the new Batman movie, and I didn't get up until it was daylight Sunday morning. I could see the moon, but it wouldn't have been much of a picture. So to make up for missing the moon, I present you with the next best thing. These are pictures of the Moon, just really close and just a really small piece there-of. I drove over to Kennedy Space Center, paid my admission, rode a bus out to the Saturn V Center, and found the little piece of the Moon they keep there for tourists to touch. It's the little triangle you see above. I doubt that it started out as a triangle, but once they'd done their research, that's what was left. It's mounted under much Lexan in the little kiosk you see below. If you weren't paying attention, you'd miss it. And it's hard to pay attention, really, since there's a Saturn V rocket hanging over your head, and it's really, really big. It tends to draw your attention away from this small piece of the Moon.

The little plaque above tells you about the rock and it's composition. I stood there for a few minutes telling people it was warm to the touch, but I don't think anyone believed me. Several people were afraid to touch it, actually, and that was before I tried to tell them a story! The picture below shows me trying to get my grubby paws on the rock and bring it home for my collection, but it was well cemented in place. That was as close much of my fingers as I could get on it. Trust me when I say it's well protected.