Wednesday, November 30, 2011


First off, apologies for not posting anything at all yesterday. I was tired from working all day, and to tell the truth, I'm pretty tired tonight, too, but I've got to get something up for you guys. And what a something I have tonight. For the first time since 2007, I've found a Christmas release from Burl Ives that I don't think has seen the light of day since it's release in the early seventies.  The record in question is a collection of Christmas songs claiming to the favorites of US presidents past (and at the time, some fairly present).  There's nothing on here that's going to take the place of Holly Jolly Christmas in the national psyche, but for those who love a Burl Ives song at Christmas, this is a great discovery.  But there is a bit of a mystery that needs to be worked out, and perhaps my readers can help.  I've found mentions of this record online in a few spots, but it shows a different catalog number, and I think it mentioned narration.  My record doesn't have any narration, just the music.  Is it possible there were two different releases of this record?  Mine's an old library copy (you can see the stamp on the label scan below, and I think there was a card taped to the back side that was pulled off causing a giant gap in the liner notes...sorry), and perhaps those were different than the versions sold to the general public?  Anyone have this record or remember it?  Anyone?  OK, anyhow, this is Burl Ives, Music Conducted By Tony Mottola-Christmas At The White House (Caedmon TC 9102, Stereo, 1972).  Listening to this as I post it, I remembered that at least one of the songs is performed to a non-traditional melody.  And there are some interesting stories in the liner notes about how they decided what songs were favorites of what presidents, and how they found some of the more obscure songs.  Interesting stuff to a Christmas music buff, I think you'll really enjoy this.

1. The Little Drummer Boy (Richard M/ Nixon)
2. Joy To The World (John Adams)
3. Adeste Fideles (Thomas Jefferson)
4. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Zachary Taylor)
5. While Shepherds Watch'd Their Flocks By Night (George Washington)
6. Silent Night (Lyndon B. Johnson)
7. Christmas On The Sea (Theodore Roosevelt)
8. We Three Kings Of Orient Are (Abraham Lincoln)
9. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (Ulysses S. Grant)
10. Shout The Glad Tidings (Andrew Jackson)
11. Silver Bells (John F. Kennedy)
12. Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Laden (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

PS-I forgot I shared another rare Burl Ives track back at Christmas And A Half of 2008, but I don't think the share is any good anymore. Perhaps I should repost that one sometime...  Or the Monkey Joe track for that matter.


Ernie said...

For those of you who take the time to read and/or leave a comment, here are links to the two collections I mentioned that feature tracks by Burl Ives tracks. Enjoy!

Wings1295 said...

Wow - Amazing find!

Stubby said...

I read the track list before I read the whole piece and, for a moment, I thought you'd uncovered a recording of Richard Nixon singing "Little Drummer Boy". LOL. I'd pay good money to hear that.

"Let me make this perfectly clear
I have no gift to bring
Uh, pum-pum"

Ernie said...

I seem to have misspelled Tony Mottola's name in the track tags. Sorry about that. You should all fix it after you download it.

Auntie Knickers said...

Interesting selections! I wish someone could post a Burl Ives album I used to have and foolishly sold or gave away -- it's not available on CD and has some old songs like "King Herod and the Cock" and "Down in Yon Forest," as well as the Huron Carol (Twas in the Moon of Wintertime.)

Allyson said...

Thanks for this post! My husband loves Burl from his childhood days. Some very interesting songs here, but I have to say, the liner notes on the back are the best part of this album.

As for being too tired to post, I totally understand that! Thanks for taking the time out of your free time to think of us.

Rob said...

Awesome share! Politics and Christmas collide in a really great record. Never seen this one before. I also grabbed the two collections. Very cool.

Thanks for all the hard work!

Krispi said...

Thanks Ernie, great stuff!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate all you do, and for nothing but the occasional thanks!
I'd say you're entitled to days off whenever you want. Thank you.

Chris in Cary said...

Ernie, you picked a good'un to share out at the end of a long day. Thanks!

Chris in Cary said...

Auntie Knickers, I think I have a (downloaded)copy of the Burl Ives that you're looking for. Was it titled "The Twelve Days of Christmas"? I don't access to it right now (at work), but will pull it out and upload this evening if that's the one you're looking for

edwardswill said...

-Gracias por los comentarios, los leo todos, son muy interesantes.
-Gracias Ernie por su hermoso trabajo de servicio a nosotros.
-Me gustó mucho los arreglos musicales.

harpo said...

Fantastic album! Thanks so much!

Chris in Cary said...

Auntie Knickers, I did have the one you are looking for. You, and anyone else interested, can find it at

Auntie Knickers said...

@Chris in Cary, thank you so much! I've been missing this one ever since our move halfway across country (and being persuaded to give up my record player) deprived me of it.

James of whychristmas said...

Really loving this one Ernie! And I've never heard this tune for Joy to the World before. Have to see if I've got it in any of my Christmas sheet music books.

Ernie said...

New, remastered link:!hUcSjApD!XrpaQ2KYoRokoXuqOE5rPdYXRKgLEOUx6BcUo34dKhQ

Still looking for the educational version...