Friday, July 31, 2009

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Thirty First

Well, here it is, the 31st. I thought we'd never get here. Since it's the last day of the month, you get some Happy New Year songs, and a few versions of Auld Lang Syne. Yeah, so I'm predictable.

Let's start with the first version of Auld Lang Syne. This time it's part of a medley by The Ames Brothers from the various artists LP Let's Have A Party (MCA Special Markets/Decca DL 734615). The full name of the song is Good Fellow Medley: Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here-For He's A Jolly Good Fellow-Auld Lang Syne. Gotta love the Ames Brothers.

Version two is by The Men Of The Robert Shaw Chorale, Robert Shaw, Conductor, from the record A Chorus Of Love (RCA Victor Red Seal LSC-2502, 1960). This is a pretty straight-forward version.

Version three is the first curve ball I have for you. This one is entitled Auld Lang Syne (Wenn Wir Heut' Auseinandergeh'n), and as you might be able to tell, it's in German. The artist is the Gunter Kallmann Chorus With Orchestra And Bells and the LP is Songs For My Love (4 Corners Of The World FCS-4226). If you enjoy foreign-language versions of familiar songs as much as I do, you're going to love this one.

What next? Oh, another track from the Kathy Lecinsky album I gave you some Christmas tracks from the other day, Look At The Holidays (A Good Apple Record PB 1586, 1982). This song is called The New Year Is Coming.

And, to wrap things up, I have three different songs called Happy New Year. The first version is from one of those albums I can't tell you about, and I can't tell you the artist. You'll understand. The second version is by The McGuire Sisters from the LP Children's Holiday (Vocalion VL 3685). I brought you a couple of Christmas tracks from this one the other day, also. This is the same music as from their Christmas LP, but they add a little bit of narration to it, so it's worth sharing again.

Last but not least, I've got this third version of a song called Happy New Year by Gordon Jenkins, His Orchestra And Chorus. There are a couple of things about this one that make it special. First, it's the second version of this song I've brought to you by Jenkins, who also wrote it. Oddly enough, this one has a female vocal and the other one has a male vocal, so it's sung from a slightly different perspective. The second thing is that I pulled this one from a reel-to-reel tape, a first for the blog. It's recorded from I Live Alone (Kapp Stereo Tape KTL 41074) and I've never seen the vinyl. I found the tape almost a year ago, and just last night I dug a reel-to-reel player out of storage, hooked it up and recorded it. I think the sound is really good, with only the slightest hint of tape hiss. And there is no surface noise or clicks or other vinyl noise to be heard here. So enjoy this special song. Also, listen to the lyrics and tell me if some of it doesn't sound a little bit, well, suggestive, especially in this female-vocal version.

And there you go, seven tracks for the last day of the month here. Thanks a lot for playing. Here's the download link. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Thirtieth

Hello! And welcome to day thirty! Hope you're in the mood for some Christmas music.

Where to begin? How about five songs from The Nutcracker as performed by Ernest Ansermet With The Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden from the LP Ballet Favorites-Highlights From The Nutcracker, Carnaval, Coppelia, Giselle (RCA Victrola VICS-1066, 1964). I know I've given you plenty of Nutcracker songs this month, but I couldn't resist this one more half an album. Hope you enjoy it.

Next up are six songs from a demo LP put out by a carillon manufacturer. The LP is The Beautiful Sound Of Bells (Universal Audio Corp For The I.T. Verdin Company UAS-865-62883, 1973) and the songs are Bells On Parade, Ding-Dong Merrily On High, O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel), O Sanctissima, Silent Night Holy Night & White Christmas. You either like carillon music or you don't, so here you go.

Track 12 is a song called Mary Had A Baby as performed by The New Paltz Choir, a small church group out of New Paltz, New York. The LP is titled Sing Joyfully (Silver Crest Custom NP-62880). I think you'll like this one.

Last, and certainly not least, we come to my favorite track of the night, and one I almost missed. Someone left a comment on the blog and we spoke back and forth about some Chritmas music. He tipped me off to a track I missed from the LP Meredith Wilson's Here's Love (Columbia Special Products-Special Archive Series CSRP 8899, 1963) as performed by The Merrill Staton Voices. It's called That Man Over There, which doesn't appear to be a Christmas song at first glance, but as soon as you listen to it, you'll realize it is. I shared another track from this LP way back near the beginning of the month.

There you have it, 13 tracks on the next to the last day of the month. Here's the download link, and I'd better see you back here tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Twenty Ninth

Day twenty nine. Not far now...

The first two tracks for tonight are from a record designed for pre-school through grade four, so if you aren't in that age group, you might get bored with these. The two tracks are The Christmas Bell Story and I Love The Winter by Kathy Lecinski from her album Look At The Holidays (A Good Apple Record PB 1586, 1982). What can I say? It is what it is.

From kiddie records we go to a little Urban Contemporary, or at least contemporary to the Eighties. How about a little Ray Parker Jr with Christmas Time Is Here from the album Chartbusters (Arista AL8-8266, 1984). Yes, this is the LP that features Ray in the big Ghostbusters symbol and of course features that song. (I for one don't think it sounds anything like a Huey Lewis song...)

Track four is a nice piano version of Greensleeves by John Curtis and the LP Moonlight (Whitehall WHS 40019). I think this is my last version of this song for the year. Aren't you happy?

Track five, The Skaters' Waltz by The Strings Of The Symphonia Royale. I think the longer the name of the orchestra, the more likely it is to not be a real group. Hmmmm. Anyhow, this is from the album The World's Most Beautiful Waltzes (Grand Award GA 33-376). Got a little Enoch Light connection in that one, I think.

The last two tracks are going to be a mystery. The titles are Kris Kringle and Stille Nacht (Silent Night), but that's all I can tell you about them. Same deal as back in December when I couldn't tell you about a track I was sharing. I don't want to bring the weight of the World down on my humble little blog. They're worth your time, trust me.

That's it. Seven more tracks. Here's the download link, see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Twenty Eighth

Are you ready for the twenty-eighth day of Christmas in July? Well, I know I am. I'm ready for this thing to be over with so I can go back to watching TV in the evenings. Here we go...

The first three songs are jazzy adaptations of the winter part of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I was hoping for more, but this is what I got. The artist is The Günter Noris Trio, and the LP is Four Swinging Seasons-The Günter Noris Trio Plays Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" (Capitol International SP-10547). The three movements are entitled Winter-Allegro Non Molto: Colder Than, Winter-Allegro: Slippin' In The Snow and Winter-Largo: Fireside Fun. With titles like that, I was hoping for so much more...

Anyhow, the next three tracks are by one of those great girl groups, The McGuire Sisters. The first two tracks are from the LP Children's Holiday (Vocalion VL 3685). I almost didn't even listen to this one because I assumed the holiday songs would be the same as the Christmas songs on their Christmas LP that I used to share with you, but have since discovered is on CD. But I was only half right. The songs are the same, but there's added story and narration that I think adds a lot to the recordings. So here are the songs Children's Holiday and The Cactus Christmas Tree. You'll dig these.

The third McGuire Sisters track is their version of Ave Maria from the LP In Harmony With Him (Coral CRL 757303). I shared this with you some time ago, but it was from a later collection of tracks, so I wanted to give you a version that was straight from the source, so to speak. I think you'll enjoy this one.

The seventh track tonight is a bonus version of Ave Maria as performed on the trumpet, and it lasts an extra long seven and a half minutes! This is by Rafael Mendez, Symphony Orchestra Conducted By N. Tejada, from his LP Trumpet Showcase (Decca DL 74636). Gotta love it.

That's all for tonight. Here's the download link. See you right back here tomorrow night!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Twenty Seventh

We're in the home stretch now! Day 27 and counting.

Let's start out with the last Burl Ives track I have for you this month. I think this makes three of his I've shared with you for the month. This time it's The Deepening Snow from True Love (Decca DL 4533). The chorus and orchestra on this one is handled by Owen Bradley, Nashville big-wig.

Track two is Song Of The Bells from Leroy Anderson. I grabbed this one from Leroy Anderson Conducts His Music (Decca DL 8954). I don't know that it's got anything to do with Christmas, but I like it.

Track three is White Christmas by Dennis Day. This is not the same version as the one I shared out with you from Christmas Is For The Family. This one is from the various artists LP 21 Of The Greatest Popular Songs Of All Time As Selected By Billboard Music Week (Pickwick BL-21). I think they released this album to capitalize on some greatest hits list put out by Billboard. It features cheap label knock-offs of the big hits from that list.

Track four is The Bells Of St. Mary's as performed by the Brass Of The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Conducted By Alfred Newman, from the LP I shared a bit with you last year, Hallelujah! (Capitol SP8529). This time, it's in stereo, so you can listen with both ears.

Track five is Hard Candy Christmas, not as performed by Dolly Parton, but the version from the original soundtrack to the musical The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (MCA MCA-3049, 1978) by The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas Company With The Rio Grande Band. If that's not specific enough for you, the songs is credited to Pamela Blair, Donna King, Louise Quick-Bowen, Lisa Brown, Becky Gelke, Jan Merchant, Carol Chambers, Marta Sanders, Debra Zalkind & Joan Ellis on the back sleeve.

Track six is one I thought I'd shared out with you long ago, but I can't find where I did, so here it is now. This is Snowfall by Henry Mancini And His Orchestra from the album The Mancini Touch (RCA Victor LSP-2101, 1960). Good version, but what else would you expect from Mancini?

Is that it? I think so, six songs. Here's the download link, get 'em while you can, only a few days left.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Best From July Of 2008

Here it is, the collection you've been waiting for since August of last year. This is the compilation I put together of 32 of the best tracks I shared out during last year's Christmas In July. It's taken me months to select all the tracks, but I just threw some art together here in the last hour or so, I hope you don't mind too much. But it's not about the art, it's about the great music. Here's the tracklisting with links to the day when I first shared the track in question.

01. Sauter-Finegan & Their Orchestra-Sleighride
02. Homer & Jethro With June Carter-Baby, It’s Cold Outside
03. Ted Heath & His Music-Alpine Boogie
04. The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra-Blue Christmas
05. The Real Thing Steel Band-Hallelujah Chorus
06. Brass Of The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra-Deck The Hall
07. Ray Conniff & The Singers-I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing
08. The San Sebastian Strings With Rod McKuen & Anita Kerr-And Everyday Was Christmas
09. Erwin Halletz & His Orchestra-Hungarian Sleigh Ride
10. Greg & Steve-Jingle Bell Rock
11. Pearl Bailey-Jingle Bells Cha Cha Cha
12. Joe Cain & His Orchestra-I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm Cha Cha Cha
13. Ken Griffin-Kringle’s Jingle
14. David Whitehall & His Orchestra-Holiday Parade
15. The Sun Tones-The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot
16. The Four Rascals-I’ll Be Home For Christmas
17. The Pipes And Drums Of The Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards-The Little Drummer Boy
18. John Graas-Land Of Broken Toys
19. Jack Fina-Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
20. Edmundo Ros & His Orchestra-The Skater’s Waltz
21. The Johnny Mann Singers-Snow
22. The Gene Lowell Chorus-Winter Song
23. Ahmad Jamal-Snow Fall
24. Georgia Gibbs-Looks Like A Cold Cold Winter
25. Joe “Fingers” Carr-Snow Deer Rag
26. Walter Carlos-Three Dances From Nutcracker Suite
27. Tomita-Snowflakes Are Dancing
28. The Modern Jazz Quartet-Variations On A Christmas Theme
29. The Chad Mitchell Trio-The Virgin Mary
30. Jack Conner-What Child Is This
31. Dennis Farnon & His Orchestra-Winter Wonderland
32. Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra-Auld Lang Syne

And there you have it. Hope you enjoy it. These tracks are a real labor of love. Oh, wait, you're probably looking for the download link. Sorry about that, I got carried away for a second there. Did I miss any of your favorite tracks from last year? Let me know...

(This thing isn't even finished uploading yet, and I've already found a typo in my track listing. Well, it's pretty minor, so I'm leaving it. Sorry. Now I've found two. I need a proof reader. Three...)

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Twenty Sixth

Here's your installment of Christmas In July for day 26. Today's shares all celebrate the holiday by featuring the word Holiday in the title. None of them really have anything to do with the holiday in question, but at least one of them does actually mention Christmas. Let's begin...

Tracks one and two are both from the great maker of holiday-titled music David Rose, and neither of them are the track you're thinking about right now. Both tracks come from the greatest hits collection entitled The Very Best Of David Rose (MGM SE 4155). The two tracks I grabbed for you are titled Holiday For Flutes and Holiday For Trombones. The one you're thinking of is comin' up next.

Track three is the one you thought you were getting before, but didn't. This is Holiday For Strings as performed vocally by The Voices Of Walter Schumann from the LP Lyrical Music For Listening-The Voices Of Walter Schumann (Capitol T297). I found this a few years ago and thought it was a pretty impressive version, so I figured I'd share it with you today.

Track four is by Glenn Miller with Vocals by Kathleen Lane, Every Day's A Holiday from the collection Collector's Choice-Vintage Glenn Miller (Columbia LE 10420). This is the one that mentions Christmas, alongside a number of other holidays.

Track five is the final track I have to share with you from the soundtrack Cinerama Holiday (Mercury MG 20059, 1955) as performed by Jack Shaindlin Conducting The Cinerama Symphony Orchestra. The title is Cinerama Holiday March. I like it and I think you will too.

Track six is the great Billy May performing Brassman's Holiday. This one comes from the sampler LP Stereo Showcase (Capitol SKAO 1268), a sort of answer to RCA Victor's famed stereo samplers of the same period. Well, I guess pretty much every label had samplers like this at the time.

Track seven, the final one, is Bugler's Holiday by Leroy Anderson, he of Sleigh Ride fame. I pulled this from the LP Leroy Anderson Conducts Leroy Anderson (Decca DL 78865). Oh, the label credits James Burke, John Ware & Raymond Crisara with cornet playing on this one. You'd think they'd credit a bugle player, but I guess not.

There you have it, seven more holiday tracks for you. Hope you enjoy them. Here's the download link, see you tomorrow!