Monday, July 20, 2009

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Eighteenth

Yep, we're making progress now! Day eighteen already, and it's only the twentieth. Sigh... What do I have for you tonight? A real hodge-podge of stuff.

We start out with a version of Sleigh Ride done at a rather languorous pace. I don't know why exactly that is, but it's different. The artist is The Alma College Concert Band-Samuel Jones, Conductor, and the album is The Kilties Go Concert (Recorded Publications Company 32M-98121/2, Alma College, Alma, Michigan). This is another one of those homemade records, pressed up by a bunch of people without a recording contract. I love these.

Track two is a rousing version of Go Tell It On The Mountain by the Lee Patterson Singers from Oh Happy Day (Fontana (UK) 6434 001). I think this is a budget label thing from England, but it still sounds good. There's an odd noise in this that I think is the singer taking a deep breath before he starts singing each time. Odd...

Track three. March Of The Toys, as played on a carillon to great effect by John Klein, accompanied by Leo Addeo, from that old standby Bells In Toyland (RCA Victor LSP-3832, 1967). I've shared several tracks from this one with you this month, and I'm not done yet. And they've all been winners, that's the amazing thing. Maybe I should record the whole thing and share it out at Christmas? Also, am I the only one who notices a distinct cimlarity between parts of this song and parts of that US Air Force song? Something about "off they go, into the wild blue yonder..." Maybe it's just me.

Track four is something a little more modern, but something I've needed to record for a while now. And when I sat down to make the recording, the record is warped badly. Luckily, this track is the last track on the side, so the effect of the warpage is minimal. But then it started skipping in the last 30 seconds of the song. Took me half an hour of playing with it to get rid of that. The ones you think are going to be a quick rip always wind up being the hardest. So, what song could possibly be worth all that trouble? It's Ray Stevens 80's rerecording of his 60's Christmas tune, Santa Claus Is Watching You, this time from the LP I Have Returned (MCA Records MCA-5635, 1985). I've always liked this song, with it's, err, unique line-up of reindeer. I wish I could afford one of those 45s on Mecury where he did this orginally, but I haven't stumbled across one in my price range yet.

Last, and maybe least, is an odd number from a budget collection. It's Jimmy Soul performing Rockin' Santa from A Shindig-Hullabaloo Spectacular (Gladwynne GLS 2004). Or at least it's something close to that. The fidelity on this is horrid, I'm sure it is a recording pulled from scratchy old vinyl as played on that big old console hi-fi in your grandmother's living room, with the needle flipped over to 78 instead of LP. And I think the name of the track is supposed to be Rock 'N Roll Santa, but you be the judge. Anyhow, I still felt the need to include it for your perusal.

So there you go. Here's the download link. Now I have to go record some more music before I run out of shares for you guys. It's getting a little tight at the moment.


Badgercat said...

All versions of Sleigh Ride are worth it! Thanks.

As for Alma's a nice little Presbyterian school. Their choir performed one year at our church and was - like Ernie's Christmas in July downlods - worth it.

Badgercat said...

I just listened to the Alma College version of Sleigh Ride and realized it was a "band" version.

Their choir "was" worth it when they sang at church.

This version is interesting to say the least. I feel as if I'm at halftime of a bowl game... :)

Randy said...

"Maybe" you should share that John Klein album at Christmas? "Maybe"?!

If you're waiting on some feedback, here it is: pleeease share that LP with us. The music (and your rip) sounds terrific!

Thanks so much for everything.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I'm 99 percent sure I have that Stevens single. If so, I'll rip it for you.

I also have a pre-Mercury NRC label Christmas Stevens--White Christmas and Happy Blue Year.

stubbysfears said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, Lee, but those NRC tracks are piano only, no vocals, right. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

PS--I have that Jimmy Soul track on a Spin-O-Rama LP from 1963. It didn't sound any better there.

Ernie said...

Lee, didn't you share out at least one of those Ray Stevens tracks back at Christmas? I have some vague memory of that.

Surely that Jimmy Soul came out as a 45 at some point...

stubbysfears said...

If the Jimmy Soul track had been on a 45--even as a B side--I'm sure it would have turned up in Neely's book or Pettillo's or even the Dave Marsh masterpiece.

I think it was probably a demo (maybe even a demo recorded on vinyl) submitted to record companies prior to signing, but never "officially" released, later sold out the back door to capitalize on the success of "If You Want To Be Happy".

I could be wrong, of course. I frequently am.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Yes, I post Happy Blue Year last Christmas. And it looks like I posted Santa Claus Is Watching You just once (in 2005).

Well, now we know I have it. The Internet makes a wonderful general file.

stubbysfears said...

Very much after the original discussion, here, but CaptainOT had the instrumental NRC Ray Stevens single on his 2008 Yuleblog Sampler.

Lots of goodies in that one. And the links are still good!

PS--word verification is very cute. "prolygo," as in "I'll proly go to the store later."