Sunday, July 01, 2012

Christmas In July 2012-Part 1

You know what day this is, right?  It's July the first, and that must mean it's time to begin celebrating Christmas in July here at Ernie (Not Bert)!  Every July since 2006, I've spent the month sharing little bits of Christmas music with you, but not the same albums I share out during December.  No, July is reserved for bits of non-Christmas albums that are a bit Christmassy, either because they sound a little like Christmas, they mention Christmas, or perhaps they are honest-to-goodness Christmas songs tucked away where you might otherwise never find them.  It's a fun little hobby of mine, to find these things that others have overlooked, record them from the original vinyl and share them with the world.  I hope you'll enjoy them.  This year, I've worked especially hard not only to find these hidden gems, but to get most of them recorded ahead of time, thus allowing me to know about how many I have to share, and to maximize my sharity per day.  I think I'm going to set another record this year, beating last year's mark of 427 tracks!  With this many songs in the folder, my goal is to share a minimum of 12 tracks per day, which is basically an entire Christmas album!  You'll find I'm not a very good sequencer, though, so don't expect the smooth flow of a classic Christmas album.  It's more likely to resemble a thrown-together album from your favorite budget label, with different styles, types, volumes, eras, etc, all thrown into a single playlist, but mixed with a little love.  As usual, all tracks come from my own personal record collection, ripped by my own two hands from a cranky old Numark turntable, recorded into Audacity, filtered through ClickRepair, tagged & MP3d in iTunes and shared out via MediaFire.  Any questions, just ask.  Oh, there is no album artwork, mostly because I'm too lazy to scan the hundreds and hundreds of album covers necessary.  What else?  Same as last year, I've going back and re-recorded a lot of tracks that I shared in previous years, either because I found a new, cleaner copy, a stereo copy, or just because I think I do a better job now than then.  I hope to keep these reruns to less than half of the shares, but I think you'll enjoy the old stuff anyway as a reminder of what great music is out there.  So, without too much ado, welcome to Christmas in July 2012, and let's jump into the deep end!

01. Snow by The Budapest Children's Choir-Valeria Botka And Dr. Laszlo Czanyi, Directors from the album The Budapest Children's Choir At Carnegie Hall (RCA Victor Red Seal LSC-2861 (From Part 4 "Winter"), Stereo, 1966). Since most of the east coast of America is in the middle of a heatwave, why not start out with some snow-themed tracks? These should held cool you down and get you in the mood.

02. Snow-Snow by Monte Kelly from Sensations In Sound And Moods I Love (Essex Records 2x7" 45 RPM Es-Exp-111, Mono, 1954), a set of two 7" records that I found without sleeves. Interesting, but I wish I knew more about this.

03. Snowbound by John Davidson-Arranged And Conducted By Nick Perito from what I believe is his first album The Young Warm Sound Of John Davidson (Colpix SCP 485, Stereo, 1965). You did know that John Davidson was a singer before he was a gameshow host, right? This tune was the title track for a Ferrante & Teicher seasonal LP before this version, and the common thread is writer and bandleader Nick Perito, who worked on both albums.

04. Winter Song by The Gene Lowell Chorus from Halls Of Ivy (Warner Bros WS 1244, Stereo, 1959). This is the first song I'm sure is a rerun from days of old. This is one of those songs that I keep an eye out because it's fairly likely to turn up outside of the usual Christmas or seasonal albums.

05. The Friendly Beasts by Children's Choir Under The Direction Of Mabel Stewart Boyter from A Joyful Sound-Songs For Children (Word W-3137-LP, Mono, 1961). The month is young and this is my second share of children singing. Hopefully, this trend isn't too annoying. At least they are professional children on a real label, not some vanity pressing from a junior high school. But don't worry, I've got plenty of those waiting for you, too.

06. Hallelujah by The Eric Rogers Chorale And Orchestra from the album Glory, Glory, Hallelujah (London Phase 4 SP 44028, Stereo, 1963). The first appearance of the Handel classic this month, and most certainly not the last.

07. Wedding Of The Painted Doll from Fred Hartley and the LP The Twin Pianos Of Fred Hartley (Richmond (London) RPS 39003, Stereo, 1962). Not really a Christmas tune, but I've been fairly liberal with the themes of dolls and toys in my collecting this year. I hope you don't mind.

08. Bells Of St. Mary's, played by Jerry Byrd on his album Satin Strings Of Steel (Monument MLP 8033 (Reissue of Memories Of Maria MLP 4008), Mono, 1962). I like to find versions of familiar songs on unfamiliar instruments, or at least in unusual settings, and this song on the steel guitar fits in with that theme quite nicely. Can you dig it?

09. Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy by guitarist Laurindo Almeida from Reverie For Spanish Guitar (Capitol SP 8571, Stereo, 1961). You're going to see lots of songs from The Nutcracker show up around here during Christmas in July. I've tried to keep it tamped down to a dull roar, and I don't remember recording any entire side-long versions this year, but you never know. If I ever run short of tracks, there are a whole lot more dime-store versions in the pile to be recorded.

10. Ave Maria by Lawrence Welk-Violin Solo By Dick Kesner-Vocal By The Glee Club from Songs Of Faith (Coral CRL 57191, Mono, 1957). The first of many different versions of this song, as well as others of the same name. I can't even keep track of them all. Are they all Christmas, well, sorta.

11. Greenwillow Christmas (Carol) by The Melachrino Strings from Music From Frank Loesser's Greenwillow (RCA Victor LSP-2229, Stereo, 1960). A rerun around these parts, but this time in Stereo, so certainly worth a reshare.

12. Good Night Sweet Mind by Ogden Nash With Music Composed And Conducted By Glenn Osser from The Fanciful World Of Ogden Nash (Capitol SW 1570, Stereo, 1961). I just found this LP yesterday, and I went ahead and recorded the whole thing! Ogden Nash is just great in my humble opinion, and I hope you think so as well. This is the first of two tracks I'll share with you this month, and this one didn't pop out at me as being appropriate until I heard it. You'll wonder why it's here until he gets into his story a bit, then you'll understand immediately. The cover on this one is by Hirschfeld, with his very recognizable fluid style and NINA in the haircut. Should I mention the great Ogden Nash Christmas album?

13., 14. & 15.Introduction To 'A Visit From St Nicholas', A Visit From St. Nicholas, Segue-From Christmas To The Civil War (Excerpt) by the great Vincent Price from the LP America The Beautiful (Columbia Masterworks ML 5668, Mono, 1961). Wow, this is what makes hunting for Christmas music so much fun. I was so excited when I found this album last year, I almost shared it out during Christmas, but I knew it would make a great contribution to Christmas in July, so I held off. Why I'd never heard of this before, I have no idea. I mean, one of the greatest masters of American horror, a movie icon, and he recorded a Christmas story! This is just great. I've broken it into three tracks, an introduction, the story, and a coda that links this to the next recitation on the album. Those of you wanting to put this on your own Christmas albums will probably just want to use that middle one, but I wanted you to get the full experience.

OK, that's day one and a whole lot of typing. I hope I can keep this up. Sharing 12 or more tracks for day is a whole lot more work than two or three. We'll see. But remember, comments are like fuel to bloggers. Here's the link, see you all tomorrow.



Badgercat said...

Hot dog! Here we go! Thanks Ernie.

The Blue Carbuncle said...

What better way to celebrate Canada Day than with Yuletide tunes ... we are after all the homeland of Santa's Workshop ... never mind what those lying Norwegians say! I'll get in an early "Thanks!" to St. Ernie patron saint of 78's.

Mike said...

Thank you very much for the tunes and all the hard work that goes into sharing them. I'll surely be peeking in all month long.

Andrew said...

I just wanted to say thanks for all you do! I've been following your posts for years and you're still the best out there. Keep posting, and thanks for the sharity.

theresa said...

Loved The Bells of St. Mary's; and the one from the Nutcracker...and does it get any better than Christmas with Vincent Price?

Thanks for all your hard work. It looks like it's going to be a unique "Christmassy" month!

Laurie said...

Fantastic as always! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that Vincent Price track is a treat!

Thanks a lot!

Greg S said...

WOW The Vincent Price tracks are priceless. I never knew of this one. I have all of his ghost story recordings from Dave (Thank you Dave) which are awesome but this one is a definite for my next years comp. Thanks again Ernie for all that you do. You make a hot July in the midwest a lot cooler!!! Cheers!

Sally June said...

I have been waiting for this since forever! Thank you Ernie and bless your little pea-pickin' heart!!

Ernie said...

Thanks, Sally, but I think you're confusing me with a different Ernie. Next you'll be telling me how great Martha White flour is! :)