Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End Of Christmas 2010

OK, this is it, the last Christmas share of 2010.  We're having our family Christmas tomorrow, so I'll be busy with that all day, and I'm tired of having to work on these things every night.  Not only have I tried to post something every day since Thanksgiving, I've been recording these since the beginning of September, so I've been at this for a while.  Not that it isn't fun, I enjoy it quite a bit, but I need to take a little break.  Don't worry, though, the Christmas should be back in July with Christmas in July.  For now, I'm closing with a random record pulled from the leftover stack of stuff.  The folder I created for my Christmas vinyl this year has about 1900 songs in it, and as of this record, I've converted a little over 1300 of those to MP3.  They only become MP3s when I'm done with the recording and the artwork, so that means I've finished up roughly two thirds of what I started.  That's a better average than most years. Much of what I record is stuff that I can't share, since it's on CD or available for legal download somewhere.  I enjoy recording all sorts of records, so I usually record what looks interesting then check later if I can share it or not.  Now I need to go through and put artwork with all those leftover albums that I've got in there.  But this is the last one you'll see, at least for this year.  Please have a Happy New Year and download The Canterbury Choir-While Shepherds Watched (MGM 10" E147, Mono, 1952).  Hope you enjoyed all the music this season!

1. Angels We Have Heard On High
2. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night
3. Away In A Manger
4. O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel)
5. In The Bleak Mid-Winter
6. What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
7. Coventry Carol
8. We Three Kings Of Orient Are


One Last Remaster

Before I finally finish up with the 2010 Christmas sharity, I have one last remastered recording for you.  I remembered that my old share of this Ethel Smith Christmas record came from some vinyl that had been played pretty long and hard.  There's a reason you're supposed to change those needles occasionally, folks.  I think this copy was in much better shape, but it's still not perfect.  This isn't my favorite collection of Christmas music on the organ, but it's not bad.  Please be my guest and download this new and improved version of Ethel Smith-Christmas Music (Decca DL8187, Mono, 1955).  This record was later reissued in an abridged version on Vocalion entitled Silent Night-Holy Night.  That's the cover you see down at the bottom. Oh, and the original issue on 78 and 45 EP had yet another cover, you can see that one here.

1. Silent Night
2. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
3. O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel)
4. The First Nowell
5. Oh, Little Town Of Bethlehem
6. Angels We Have Heard On High
7. Adeste Fidelis (O, Come All Ye Faithful)
8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
9. White Christmas
10. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
11. Good King Wenceslas
12. Jingle Bells


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Indulgence

Once again, you'll have to pardon my straying from the pure and simple and into the realm of whatever distracts me for the moment.  I ripped another 78 tonight, and this one is a whole horse of a different color from last night's affair.  Pinning down a date for this one is a bit tough, though.  I found 1908, 1910 and 1911, all of which I'm sure are correct, but I'm not certain exactly which release or take I've got here.  This is a massive single-sided 12" record that spins at 78 RPM on the Victrola label.  After I'd played with the EQ, I did a bit of compression on it, so it plays at something closer to a uniform volume all the way through.  Before I did that, the quiet parts were really too quiet, and the two loud spots were too loud and had what I think was some sort of groove wear in them, too.  I think it sounds better now.  But I just can't get over the fact that this record is 100 years old and I played it!  And to think I almost didn't pay the exorbitant sum of $3 when I found this at the thrift store.  That's way too much for an old 78!  Please be my guest and download a sample copy of Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Contralto With Orchestra-Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night) (Christmas Hymn) (Victrola 88138).  Again, comments, critiques, suggestions, complaints, concerns, all are welcome.


Big thanks to all of you who gave me some feedback on yesterday's post.  I tried using the EQ software from the ClickRepair folks, but I didn't think it sounded as good as the stuff from Audacity.  I didn't know enough about it to change the default settings, so I'll have to go back to it at some point once I have a better idea of what I'm doing.  I did notice that when I ran this file through ClickRepair, it had to do a lot less work than the one from yesterday, so maybe that crack was adding to the noise.  I still need to work on cleaning these things before I record them.  I'm still a little afraid of them, so I am treating them like eggshells.  I think I have the tracking force set at 2.5 grams.  The needle itself on the tonearm looks to my eyes to be cocked a little to one side, but I don't see a way to adjust that.  I wonder if the tonearm itself is bent?  That's what I get for buying pawn shop record players.  And as far as taking pictures of the labels instead of scanning them, I'll have to give it a try.  Maybe I can make it work for something that small.  Shooting LP covers that way never works out very satisfactorily.  I'll try to post a before and after sample soon, too, as soon as I get a better handle on what I'm doing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Minor Indulgence

So, couple of weeks ago, I finally found a nice, modern turntable that spun at 78 RPM.  It was at a pawn shop and the price was pretty good, even without a headshell or needle.  Of course no place local had a needle that would work on the old records, although the guy at Sam Ash tried to tell me I didn't need a special needle.  (He also told me there was a cartridge in the package I bought, but it was just a needle...  Moron.)  So I ordered a cartridge and it arrived today.  I've been playing all evening, figuring out how to remove the old RIAA curve and put a correct curve in place, how to strip out the low frequency sounds, how to remove some of the surface noise without stripping out any of the sound.  All things I do with my usual album recordings, sorta, but all completely different on these records.  So the first recording I got into a pretty decent shape was a square dance version of Jingle Bells that I grabbed the other day from the Goodwill Bargain Barn just before it was thrown in the dumpster.  It's even cracked, but I couldn't hear it in the recording.  I think I did a pretty good job of it, but I'd love to hear some critiques from those of you who have more experience in such things.  I recorded in Audacity in stereo, removed the clicks in ClickRepair, which mixed it down to mono, then back to Audacity for removing the RIAA curve, then some re-EQing.  I don't remember exactly what I did or didn't do to get this final version, since I went back and forth so many times.  I also didn't scan the record 'cause I think it's not gonna do that crack any good to sit on a scanner bed.  Anyhow, please give a listen to Carson Robison And His Pleasant Valley Boys, Calls By Lawrence V. Loy-Jingle Bells (RCA-Victor 10" 78 RPM 20-1832, 1946).  Lemme know what you think.  good, bad, indifferent, whatever.  I want to learn to do this right.  :)


Lundstrom 2

As fate would have it, I found a second Christmas LP from The Lundstroms in the archives, so I had to record it.  I'm always one for complete sets.  So if you downloaded the first one, you have to download this second one.  There are probably more, but they'll have to wait until I find them.  This is The Lundstroms-Colorado Christmas (Tempo/Message R-7230, Stereo).  I wonder if I could get a collection of Christmas songs featuring all 50 states?  Hmmm, I can think of quite a few just off the top of my head...

1. Jesus Christ Is Born
2. Colorado Christmas
3. Beauty Of The Snow
4. I Can Hardly Wait Till Christmas
5. Now I'm Not Lonely At Christmas
6. Why Isn't Everybody Singing Allelu
7. Sing Along Christmas
8. Christmas Medley
9. Christy's Christmas Prayer
10. I Needed A Savior To Care
11. Our Love Is Like The Mountains


Lundstrom 1

I was trying to remember why I ripped this LP and I'm having a bit of a hard time of it.  I've got dozens, no, hundreds of Christmas LPs put out by religious groups, from church choirs to monks and nuns to high schools, you name it.  So why this one?  I think it's because I saw a track by The Lundstroms on an Andy Cirzan mix once, and that immediately makes it something I need.  Problem is, I don't remember which track it was, and this is not the Lundstroms only Christmas record.  But give this one a listen, maybe you'll find something on here that you like.  I'll keep looking to see which track was used by Mr. Cirzan and on which comp.  This is The Lundstroms-Christmas With The Lundstroms (Tempo R-7198, Stereo)

1. The Messiah Has Come
2. I Know How
3. Didn't He Shine
4. Christmas Medley
5. O Holy Night
6. Country Christmas
7. Daddy Will Be Home For Christmas
8. Mr. Snowman  (This is the one that sounds the most like something Andy would use, so maybe this is the track...)
9. Little Stranger In A Manger
10. It's Christmas



Since it's below freezing outside, does this mean I get to go ice skating after work? That's plenty of time for the ponds to freeze over. Now if I only had some ice skates. And if I could skate.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just This Side Of Crazy

OK, here's one I really should have gotten out at the beginning of the sharity season, but I didn't have both records or the picture sleeve.  I'm not even sure where to begin.  Dora Hall was married to the owner of Solo Cups.  She wanted to be a famous singer, so her husband decided to facilitate that.  He gave away her records with the cups and put her on TV in her own specials surrounded by the best stars his money could buy, but all in vain.  As far as anyone knows, no one ever bought a single one of her records, but they're thrift store staples to this day because they were free.  But the ones I have weren't free, I had to buy them, and the owner of the record store looked at me funny when I did.  Actually, before the sharity season began, I had the record and sleeve you see above, and I was pretty excited about finally having a sleeve.  The ones down below all showed up later, including both a new single I didn't have, and another issue of the same single with a new picture sleeve and label.  Some years ago, I shared out the flip side of the one above, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree.  I shared the Blue Christmas side over at FaLaLaLaLa a few years back, but never here.  The single below was completely new to me a couple of weeks ago, and boy was I excited.  I'd always wondered where all the covers of the great Aretha Franklin song Kissin' By The Mistletoe were, and here I stumbled onto one.  Unfortunately, like all of her releases that I've heard, it's not very good.  Dora Hall was probably in her sixties when she embarked on her singing career, and while the instrumental accompaniment is the best that money could buy, her vocals leave a lot to be desired.  You'll see.  Please download a couple of singles from Dora Hall (Premore PR 10028 & Calamo PR 1024/1025 aka Premore PR 1025).  Is there any more Christmas music out there by Mrs. Hall?  If so, please let me know!

Blue Christmas
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
Give Me Your Heart For Xmas
Kissin' By The Mistletoe


Better Than Most

This little album should scare off those folks who think I'm just sharing the bottom of the barrel stuff here after Christmas.  Truth is, I always share bottom of the barrel stuff, it's just disguised by the occasional halfway decent posting, and this is one of those.  I don't know a whole lot about Muriel Smith, and I don't even remember buying this record, but I found it in my collection one day right next to Mireille Mathieu, so I grabbed and recorded them both. I knew what I was going to get with that other one, but this one, not so much.  Muriel sings with an operatic voice, but it's always nice to listen to.  Sorta reminds me of Marion Anderson.  I don't think you'll be disappointed if female vocals are your thing.  This is Muriel Smith With The Peter Knight Orchestra And Chorus-The Glory Of Christmas (Philips BL7586, Mono, 1963).

1. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
2. This Is The Truth Sent From Above
3. Old French Carol (Quelle Est Cette Odeur Agréable?)
4. The Three Kings From Persian Lands
5. Lullaby (Wiegenlied)
6. Sister Mary Had'a But One Child
7. L'il Boy How Ol' Are You?
8. Ring Out, Wild Bells
9. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (Reprise)
10. Silent Night, Holy Night
11. Christmas Begins With Christ
12. Glory, Glory
13. Sweet Little Jesus Boy
14. I Wonder As I Wander
15. The Holly And The Ivy
16. Christmas Cradle Song
17. Worship The King
18. Silent Night, Holy Night (Reprise)


Holiday Favorites After The Holiday

Time for another record in my desperate attempt to hold on to the holiday for a few more days.  This is one of those records I grabbed strictly for the cover.  I knew Sutton was a budget label, and the back cover of this one being nothing but ads didn't help.  But I liked the cover, and it turns out the singing is quite nice.  There's even a marathon five and a half minute long version of We Three Kings on here that's kinda interesting.  I can almost hear the choral director telling them to do it again, only slower.  So if you're still looking for Christmas music to download, here is The Peter Christianson Choraleers Sing Holiday Favorites (Sutton SU 97X, Mono).  I'm sure that somewhere out there in the world, these same versions have been released as being by The Caroleers.  Who knows what the original artist was named...

1. We Three Kings
2. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
5. Away In A Manger
6. Joy To The World
7. Silent Night
8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
9. The First Noel
10. O Come All Ye Faithful
11. Angels We Have Heard On High
12. O Holy Night


Sunday, December 26, 2010

From Cuba To Puerto Rico

From Cuba we move a couple islands over to Puerto Rico, and more Christmas music that I'm afraid I don't recognize.  Nice album cover though.  Perhaps you'll enjoy Cantares De Navidad (Gay Songs For Christmas) (Marvela-Puerto Rico Record Mfg. Co.  MVLP-48, Mono).  I think this one is much newer than those two Cuban records.  I think the liner notes mentioned stereo releases, so that alone makes it more recent in origin, at least by a few years.

1. Cantares De Navidad-Trio Vegabajeño
2. Vispera De Reyes-Duo Irizarry De Córdeva
3. Cada Navidad-Felipe Rodriguez
4. Los Tres Reyes Magos-Trio Vegabajeño
5. En Esta Navidad-Gloria Y Domy
6. Nuestra Navidad-Johnny Rodriguez
7. Los Reyes No Llegaron-Felipe Rodriguez
8. Noche De Paz-Trio Vegabajeño
9. Lamento De Navidad-Felipe Rodriguez
10. De Tierras Lejanas-Toñin Romero
11. Las Campanas De Navidad-Johnny Rodriguez Y Su Trio
12. A La Zarandela-Conjunto Cibaeño


More Cuban Christmas

To tell you the truth, I think I'd forgotten about all these Cuban Christmas records I'd recorded this year.  They were some of the first records I sat down and recorded for Christmas back in September.  I was excited that I had found so many of them, but after recording the first few, I grew tired of not being able to sing along, or hum along, or even recognize most of the tunes.  So I moved on to more familiar stuff, not even recording the majority of the stack I'd pulled out, and forgot all about them.  But as I shared out more and more stuff, the remaining stuff got less and less and their visibility increased.  So I'm just getting to them now, the day after Christmas.  If this sort of thing excites you, I hope you enjoy them, but they don't do a lot for me.  This next one is a various artists affair straight down the line, and I don't think I recognized a single song on this one.  Please download Noche Buena Bailable Cubana (Christmas Dance Date In Cuba) (Panart LP 3001 (Titles Noche Buena Bailable Criolla on record label), Mono).

1. Noche Buena Criolla-Virgen De Regla, A Toda Cuba Le Gusta El Son-Senen Suarez And His Orchestra
2. En La Noche Buena-Trio La Rosa
3. Recuerdos De Ayer-A La Loma De Belen, La Mora, Si Muero En La Carretero, Si Me Piden El Pescado-Senen Suarez And His Orchestra
4. La Mora-Orquesta De Antonia Maria Romen
5. Mosaico De Congas-Chenchere Guma, Traigo Un Tumbao, Mirala Que Linda Viene-Senen Suarez And His Orchestra
6. Parranda De Navidades-Unknown Artist (This song was listed on the label (see below), but without an artist...)
7. Cha Cha Cha De Navidad-Julio Guiterrez And His Orchestra
8. El Guanajo Relleno-Orquesta De Neno Gonzalez
9. Sueno De Navidad-Orquesta De Julio Gutierrez
10. Alegre Navidad-Orquesta America
11. Noche Buena Guajira-Nico Saquite Y Sus Guaracheros De Orienta
12. Te Deseo Felicidades-Rene Marquez And His Orchestra


The Day After

I've been giving this a lot of thought.  Since our family Christmas celebrations have been moved to at least next Friday, there's no real reason to quit the Christmas sharity here at Ernie (Not Bert).  Well, no reason other than sheer exhaustion, but that's never stopped me before.  I've still got a lot of vinyl in the pile that I've already recorded, scanned and need to get out there.  And I missed a few days of sharing when I was sick, so you really deserve at least a few more items.  Who cares if only a handful of people will see it now that the majority of the season is over?  I can always reshare it next year.  But the lucky few of you who are still around, well, you'll already have it!  So let's spend a little time in Cuba here with one of the entries from Capitol's second go-round of Christmas LPs from around the world from 1958.  Lot's of stuff on here that I didn't recognize, but a few American songs are thrown in for those of us who can't appreciate the Cuban songs.  There are two different artists here, one who does the American stuff (in Spanish though) and a group who handle the local Christmas ditties.  I'm thinking I really should have shared this out with my other Caribbean and South American records, but I must have forgotten.  And maybe I should have shared it for the day when I get my hands on all the Capitol Of The World Christmas records, but that may be a while.  (Some of them are easy to find, some of them seem to be rare as hen's teeth...).  But I'm gonna go ahead and share it tonight, and if I'm not too lazy, I've got some more Cuban Christmas I can share with it.  All pre-revolution stuff, though.  I think Castro outlawed Christmas afterwards, or at least put a serious kibosh on it.  This is Christmas In Cuba (Capitol T10165, Mono, 1958).

1. Pampanitos Verdes-Coro De Madrigalistas
2. San Jose Al Niño Jesus-Coro De Madrigalistas
3. Blancas Navidades (White Christmas)-Fernando Albuerne
4. Canto De Navidad Guajiro-Coro De Madrigalistas
5. Al Niño Le Gusta El Son-Coro De Madrigalistas
6. Noche De Paz (Silent Night, Holy Night)-Fernando Albuerne
7. Flores De Pascua Benditas-Coro De Madrigalistas
8. Pastores A Belen-Coro De Madrigalistas
9. Amor En Navidad-Fernando Albuerne
10. Venid Pastorcillos-Coro De Madrigalistas
11. Cancion Alegre De Navidad-Coro De Madrigalistas
12. Amor Y Paz-Fernando Albuerne


Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Of Mixed Blessings

When the light hit the old dead tree behind Mom and Dad's house just right this evening, it made for a much better picture than I expected. You've seen this tree plenty of times before, but mostly in closeup with a hawks or a kestrel or even a woodpecker in it, but never in a wide angle full-color shot like this. I think you've even seen it with the full moon in the frame (not that I can find a link for that...). But here it is in it's field, surrounded by the vegetation that's dead due to a quick freeze a couple weeks ago. It was about 66 degrees F this afternoon, nice weather for shorts and short sleeves. Today was Christmas, but it almost didn't feel like it. Not because of the weather though, but because most of the scheduled festivities for the day were canceled. Our families usual big get-together had already been put of until New Year's Eve because one of the cousin's couldn't make it until then. And then we were supposed to have dinner at my brother's house, but his whole household got sick and canceled. Then Mom was not-quite over being sick, so she really wasn't able to do much. So at the last minute I called a friend and asked if maybe they had a little room at their table for me and my Dad, and sure enough, we got to go over there and spend a few hours celebrating over a fine meal that still had plenty of leftovers even though there were twice as many people at the table as planned. I guess that's what Christmas is all about. No, not the weaseling your way into someone elses's celebration, but sharing what you have with those who might otherwise have gone without. We certainly didn't need to go anywhere else and eat, we could have thrown something together, but it was nice to be able to celebrate together. Long story, but I had to have something to go with a nice picture of a dead tree. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Kestrels

I showed you the cranes I saw today, and here is a pair of kestrels. I'd never seen kestrels on this side of the road before, and these aren't the same ones who live on the side my parents live on because I had just seen one of them on their favorite tree about a quarter mile away. So I was pretty blown away when I saw not one but two of them on top of this old dead pine. On my way in in the morning, I'd seen something at the top of this tree, and thought it was just a dove. Then later on I walked down the street with my long lens to shoot those cranes and realized there was a kestrel. So I took a lot of pictures and was quite happy. Only later when walking with my mom did I look again and see that there were now two kestrels. Well, in honor of that, I actually climbed through a gate and wandered out into the pasture to get as close as I could. This was one of the last shots I got before they decided I was too close and flew off in opposite directions. But I think this is probably the best picture I've ever gotten of wild kestrels, and to have two of them in the same shot, that's just a small Christmas miracle!

Return Of The Christmas Cranes

Three years ago on Christmas I brought you a picture of some sand hill cranes in the back pasture at my parents' house.  And today I'm bringing you a picture of four of them walking down the road.  Once again, they hung out for hours.  They were there when I arrived around noon, and they were still hanging around when I left after five.  I think someone down the road feeds them, so they were hanging around waiting for a handout.  Seeing four of these guys together is no big deal, I've shown you groups that big before.  It's usually two adults and two full-grown children that haven't left yet for their own new families.  I think they stay together until it's almost time to start raising the next batch of little ones, then the youngsters fly the coop, so to speak.

It's Christmas!

Finally, it's Christmas.  No shares today, go spend some time listening to all the stuff I gave you earlier.  I'll be with the folks.  Have a good one.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas (Eve)

In a tradition dating back to 2006, I end my Christmas Eve sharing with this record.  It's designed to be played for the little ones right before bedtime tonight, so hopefully you have enough time to get it and play it.  I'd hoped to get more goodies up for you today, but I spent the whole day Christmas shopping, and tonight I have to wrap everything up.  If I don't talk to you again, I hope you have a Merry Christmas.  Now, go download 'Twas The Night Before Christmas (RCA Camden CAS-1101, Stereo, 1968).


Leibert Upgrade

One of the things I regret not finding time to do this year was to run through the entire Dick Leibert Christmas discography.  It took years of work, but I've got almost all of the Christmas stuff he did.  I think there's one Reader's Digest release I don't have, but that one won't elude me forever.  One of the surprises I discovered some time back was that this LP was released in stereo.  How did I find that out?  Why, I found the stereo record!  And now I'm sharing it with you.  However, the stereo release drops two songs from the mono release, since I guess they couldn't fit all that stereo sound into the vinyl somehow.  It happens.  So if you want to hear everything, you're gonna have to download this stereo one and the mono one I'm resharing down at the bottom of the post.  It won't kill you.  This is Dick Leibert-Christmas At Radio City With Dick Leibert (Westminster WST 15017, Stereo).  Not sure when they put this on vinyl.  I think it was a tape release before they could press stereo records.

1. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
2. O Tannenbaum
3. O Sanctissima
4. Deck The Halls
5. Fairest Lord Jesus
6. What Child Is This?
7. Good King Wenceslas
8. The Christmas Song (O Holy Night)
9. Silent Night
10. Joy To The World


From back in 2007, here's the mono version, including two songs not on the stereo copy above.  Please download Dick Leibert-Christmas At Radio City (Westminster WP 6035, Mono, 1956).

1. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
2. O Tannenbaum
3. Adeste Fideles
4. O Sanctissima
5. Deck The Halls
6. Fairest Lord Jesus
7. What Child Is This? (Greensleves)
8. Good King Wenceslas
9. The Christmas Song (O Holy Night)
10. Angels We Have Heard On High
11. Silent Night
12. Joy To The World


Santa In The 70's

Here it is, Christmas Eve.  Seems like only a month ago I started sharing out Christmas record with you folks.  I've got a few more to go here, so don't think that this little party is over.  Far from it.  But I do need to go out and do a little shopping today.  Not that I'm one to procrastinate, but I've procrastinated.  I know fewer and fewer people are stopping by and downloading, but that's OK, I'm still at it for you hard-core Christmas folks who love this stuff as much as I do.  So here's a share you may find hard to love.  It's a handful of stories told by Santa Claus, but they aren't exactly up there with O Henry or Clement Moore.  Give 'em a listen and you'll see what I mean.  This is Christmastime Stories As Written By Marie White And Told By Santa Claus Featuring The Michelle Scott Singers (Chiodo/Scott DM-761, Stereo, 1976).

1. The Puppy Who Wanted A Boy For Christmas
2. Santa's Secretary
3. Just To See Santa Come
4. Harry, The Christmas Turkey (By Fair Means Or Fowl)
5. The Day Santa Was Arrested


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Remastered Klein

I'm on a roll tonight!  I haven't gotten six posts up in a single day in weeks.  See what you can do when you're healthy, only work half a day, and get tomorrow off?  Perhaps next year I'll just take the whole month off work to post sharity, I think they'll understand.  Anyhow, this is a slight remastering of a non-Christmas album that has proven to be very Christmassy.  I first shared a few tracks from this during Christmas in July 2009, and I liked them so much, felt they were so in the spirit of the season if not the letter, that I decided to share the whole thing, which I also did in 2009.  In fact, it was one of my very few new shares in 2009 after my hard drive went south for the winter and never came back.  A month or so ago I found my original WAV files still on the new HD, and I ran them through ClickRepair to make them sound all that much better.  So that's the remastered version you're downloading tonight.  Unlike many of the other carillon albums I share on here, this one features studio accompaniment from an orchestra and chorus, and I think that makes a huge difference in the general listenability of the carillon.  Why don't you give this one a download and let me know if it's everything I'm making it out to be?  This is John Klein With Orchestra And Chorus Arranged And Conducted By Leo Addeo-Bells In Toyland-John Klein At The Sun Life Centenary Carillon (RCA Victor LSP-3832, Stereo, 1967).

1. March Of The Toys
2. March Of The Lead Soldiers
3. Haydn's Toy Symphonette
4. Doll Dance
5. Sweet Nutcracker!
6. Dancing Doll
7. The Toy Trumpet
8. Toyland
9. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
10. Knight Of The Rocking Horse
11. Toy Train
12. Syncopated Clock


Bells, Now In Stereo

Perhaps you're tired of the kiddie albums.  Would you rather hear some nice Christmas bells?  I thought so, but you're gonna get 'em anyway.  This is a stereo update to an old mono share from 2008, and it sounds loads better in stereo.  It's better than those carillon albums, if that's what you're expecting.  Can make nice instrumental backgrounds while you're doing your station breaks on the radio, hint, hint, hint, just be sure to give me a little bit of radio love.  Please be my guest and download The Holiday Bells-Ring The Bells On Christmas Day (Kapp KS-3038, Stereo, 1963) from your choice of three different download sites down beneath the track list.

1. Silent Night
2. Angels We Have Heard On High
3. The First Noel
4. Joy To The World
5. Jingle Bells
6. Oh, Christmas Tree
7. O Sanctissima
8. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
9. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
10. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
11. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
12. Deck The Halls
13. O Come All Ye Faithful
14. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
15. Away In A Manger
16. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
17. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
18. Good King Wenceslas
19. Jolly Old St. Nicholas


Christmas With Heidi

As I mentioned in my last share, here's a re-share of an album very similar to that last one.  I've actually heard from people who had this doll, but not as many as I think it would take to tell me she was ever very popular.  I'd put this almost in the Little Marcy category, only without the preaching.  (Speaking of Little Marcy, guess what I recently found and should be able to share with you next year?  I wonder...)  So if you missed her the first time around in 2008, please download Heidi-The Night Before Christmas (Majorette M-304, Mono, 1965).

1. Introduction
2. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
3. Silent Night
4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
6. O Christmas Tree
7. Deck The Halls
8. Frosty The Snowman
9. Joy To The World
10. The First Noel
11. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
12. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
13. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
14. And The Night Before Christmas Story


Christmas With Tammy

Who's Tammy, I hear you asking?  I'm not sure.  Some doll, I guess, who had a whole bunch of accessories you could buy for her, including this Christmas record.  If that sounds a little familiar, maybe you're thinking of Heidi, The Pocketbook Doll, who also had a Christmas album, which I shared with you back in 2008.  (In fact, I think I'll reshare that one out next...).  I don't know if these dolls knew each other in real life, but if you look close, the record labels have the same address on them.  Hmmmm...  I think this one is the better product.  It's got some funky organ going on in the background, and it's got Pepper, who shows up in there somewhere to tell Tammy the story of Christmas.  How's that for excitement?  So, did any of you have one of these dolls?  Was it something special, or just a cheap substitute for Barbie?  Leave us a comment, let us know.  In the meantime, download a little holiday cheer from Tammy-Merry Christmas With Tammy (Little World Records (Ideal Toy Corp., Midnight Music) LW-906, Mono, 1965).

1. Intro
2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
3. O Christmas Tree
4. Deck The Halls
5. Silent Night
6. Winter Wonderland
7. Joy To The World
8. Greensleeves
9. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
11. O Come All Ye Faithful
12. Jingle Bells
13. The Story Of The Night Before Christmas-With Pepper!
14. We Wish You A Merry Christmas


Back To Mono

Most of the time here at the blog, I try hard to bring you the stereo version of an album, if it exists, only sharing a mono copy if that's all I can find.  And if I later find a stereo version, I'll upgrade the share.  In this case, I'm going to make an exception.  Why?  Just look at that cover!  That's one of the greatest Santa's ever on an album cover.  Why they changed it for the later stereo release on vinyl, I'll never know.  You don't have to download the mono sound if you don't want to, but I'm going to throw it up here anyway.  You can download the stereo version down at the bottom of this post, but you'll be missing out on this great horn-playing Santa Claus, and you wouldn't want that, now would you?  This is The Deutschmeister Band, Conducted By Julius Herrmann-Christmas Carols (Westminster WP 6024, Mono, 1953).

1. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
3. Good Christian Men Rejoice (In Dulci Jubilo)
4. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
5. Good King Wenceslas
6. O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
7. From O'er The Hills Of Fair Judea
8. The First Noel
9. Joy To The World
10. Away In A Manger
11. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
12. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
13. O Tannenbaum
14. Silent Night, Holy Night
15. Deck The Halls
16. Wassail, Wassail


I originally shared out this stereo version with you back in 2008, and it's very good.  But the cover could be better (see above).  So for listening, I suggest you download The Deutschmeister Band, Conducted By Julius Herrmann-Christmas Carols (Westminster WST 15048, Stereo). No clue when they put out the stereo on vinyl.  I suspect it was available on tape before it was on wax, but I don't know the details.  Note that some of the titles have been changed a wee bit, too.  Odd.

1. In Dulci Jubilo
2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
3. Good King Wenceslas
4. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
5. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
6. O Come All Ye Faithful
7. From O'er The Hills Of Fair Judea
8. Silent Night
9. Deck The Halls
10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
11. Wassail, Wassail
12. O Tannenbaum
13. Joy To The World
14. Away In A Manger
15. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
16. The First Noel


A Holiday Toast

Here's another record from an artist that I first discovered during Christmas in July.  You never know when the knowledge you gain somewhere odd is going to prove useful, so go study those July posts!  In this case, it's a small brass band sponsored by a major liquor distiller located in a dry county.  Odd, I know, but stranger things have happened.  I think many of you will really enjoy this one, if any of you are still around.  After missing a few days, and Christmas being only two days away, I doubt if I'll get many downloads, but I have to try.  This is Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band-Homegrown Christmas (Spring Branch Productions SB-3, Stereo, 1978).

1. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen
2. Silent Night
3. O Come, All Ye Faithful
4. Good Christian Men, Rejoice
5. Angels We Have Heard On High
6. Joy To The World
7. The First Nowell
8. O Holy Night
9. What Child Is This?
10. Carol Of The Bells
11. O Tannenbaum
12. Good King Wenceslas
13. Coventry Carol
14. Deck The Halls
15. The Holly And The Ivy
16. Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For Children

It's rare that I pay much attention to records that aren't in their sleeves, or in this case, a record in a generic sleeve.  But it's entirely possible that this generic sleeve is all this poor budget-label record ever had.  Since I recorded this, and did a little research on it, I've decided this was most likely originally a set of 78s on the Musicraft label.  And better yet, it was shared out over at Kiddie Records Weekly.  That gives me a nice chance to point you over in Ford's direction so you can download the wonderful assortment of Christmas goodies he's got for you.  Better hurry, though, 'cause Santa Claus turns back into a pumpkin on Boxing Day!  If you'd like to hear my recording of this abridged Nutcracker, please be my guest.  This is Milton Cross-Nutcracker Suite For Children (Royale 18140, 10" 33 RPM, Mono).


A Gift

Ah, it's good to be up and out of the bed finally.  That's certainly not the sickest I've ever been, not by a long shot, but it sure picked a bad time.  I've got so much to do here in these last few days before Christmas, and I'm not even counting all the things I'd hoped to do here at the blog.  But I'll try to get a few choice goodies up for you, since you've been so nice to me while I was ill.  This share is a record that Buster over at Big Ten Inch Record gave to me.  I couldn't believe he was being so generous with such a great record, but it turns out that he had two.  Also, it turns out to not be as great as I'd hoped.  Though there's a long list of stars on the front cover, they all sing as one big chorus with only two tracks featuring soloists. But since one of those tracks features Bob & Dolores Hope dueting on Silver Bells, I'm not gonna complain too much about the rest of the record.  So fire up your download finger and help yourself to The Voices Of Christmas With Les Brown And His Band Of Renown-Hark, The Stars Of Hollywood Sing (Coral CRL 757307, Stereo).  Thanks, Buster!

1. Jingle Bells
2. The First Noel
3. O Come All Ye Faithful
4. Coventry Carol
5. Deck The Halls
6. Winter Wonderland
7. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
8. Silver Bells-Featuring Dolores & Bob Hope
9. The Carol Of The Bells
10. It's Christmas Time Again
11. Gloria In Excelsis
12. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
13. I Wonder As I Wander
14. Good King Wenceslas
15. O Holy Night
16. The Stranger with Silent Night- Featuring Reginald Owen


Coming Soon

I'll be back right after dinner.  Feeling much better.  Thank you for all your well-wishes.  I felt a little like Ferris Bueller when I saw this.  :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


No new Christmas records posted today, I'm afraid.  I've been under the weather all weekend.  I think I'll live, but I don't have the ability to concentrate and make a new post or two.  If I did, it would come out horrible, I just know it.  So I'll try this again tomorrow.  Christmas is almost here, and I have so much to do...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ring Those Bells 2

If you liked that last album with the hand bells, you'll like this one to, because it's more of the same.  What makes this one more interesting is that it's one of the very first albums to come out on Audio Fidelity, one of the great labels of the fifties and sixties.  This one predates the invention of the stereo record, so it's mono, and that may help explain why it's so hard to find today.  There wasn't much call for monophonic music on an audiophile oriented label like Audio Fidelity, so it was never reissued.  Many of the releases on Audio Fidelity are staples of the used bins at thrift stores, but I'd never seen this one before.  My front cover looks like you see it above, but it's a somewhat unique gatefold cover that opens from the center of the back side.  (I've seen and shared something similar here.).  When I found a copy on eBay while researching this, their copy didn't look like mine, and it took me a while to figure it out.  Their inside is my outside.  So I don't know which way is correct.  On mine, the outside looks like this:
And the inside looks like this:
If mine's been folded inside out, it's been like that for a long time.  I didn't want to force it back the other way, and it really didn't want to go.  So take your pick of what you want to call the inside and outside, front or back.  The music here is similar to that last handbell record I shared, only it's mono, and a bit more sedate.  You can download it for the music or as an historical curio from one of the great, yet gone, labels.  This is The Berkshire Bell Ringers-Berkshire Bell Ringers (Audio Fidelity AFLP 1804, Mono, 1956).

1. O Come All Ye Faithful
2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
3. Cantique De Noel (O Holy Night)
4. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
5. Joy To The World
6. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
7. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
8. Silent Night
9. First Noel
10. I Wonder As I Wander
11. We Three Kings
12. Carol Of The Bells
13. Rise Up Shepherds And Foller
14. Good King Wencelas (It says 'Wencelas' on both the labels and the sleeve...)