Saturday, November 24, 2012

Reheated Candy

Today's remaster is this piece of faux psychedelia from Decca. They decided to jump on the hippy bandwagon with a cool cover and an interesting band name, but the music doesn't really match the cover. If you want a truly psychedelic Christmas experience, go find your self a copy of Rotary Connection's Christmas album, or maybe Paul Revere & The Raiders.  Those are truly tripped out affairs.  This one, not so much.  It's still decent Christmas music though, and it sounds better than ever.  This is the same copy I shared with you back in 2008, I've never seen another one pop up, so it can't be too common. Most of my remasters are different copies than the originals, either because I find a better one, or I can't find that old copy in the stacks of Christmas vinyl.  But I re-ripped it, ClickRepaired it, noise-reduced it, cut it up, normalized it, and now I'm resharing it.  This is The Candy Store-Turned On Christmas (Decca DL75147, Stereo, 1969).

1. Jingle Bells
2. White Christmas
3. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
4. Winter Wonderland
5. The Little Drummer Boy
6. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
7. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
8. Silver Bells
9. Frosty The Snow Man
10. Auld Lang Syne


Disco Reindeer

Nothing will get a record into the 'Save For Christmas' pile faster than a track with the word Disco in the title. That explains how this rather innocuous looking record on a religious label got to be the share of the moment.  Track two features a track called 'Rudolf, The Disco Reindeer', and that's all you need to know.  It may be disco-lite, but it's still disco.  Go put on your boogie shoes, then come back and download Joel Gentry And The Skylarks-Christmas Joy-Instrumentals (Skylite SLP 6195, Stereo, 1978).  Oh, and Jingle Bells has a little Smokey & The Bandit flavor to it.  I can't explain it, you'll just have to listen to it.

1. White Christmas
2. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem
3. Silver Bells
4. Away In A Manger
5. Jingle Bells
6. Rudolf, The Disco Reindeer
7. The Christmas Song
8. Little Drummer Boy
9. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
10. Silent Night


Listen To This

Long story here. I've had this album for ages.  I wanted to share it several years ago, but I couldn't get it divided up into tracks.  It's 37 tracks are divided only into two sides, and there are many, many songs on here from different countries that I am not familiar enough with to tell you when they start and stop.  And I suppose it doesn't help that this is one of the worst Christmas records I will ever share with you.  Well, worst implies bad, and it's not bad, it's just very difficult to listen to for any period of time.  I've been hard pressed to listen to any of the tracks all the way through, and many of them are only a minute long.  You see, this was recorded from singing wineglasses, a little trick I saw on Real People once growing up, where someone fills wineglasses with a little water, then spins a wet finger around the edge in such a way that the glass begins to vibrate.  The structure of the glass and the level of the water determine tone, and with a whole lot of practice and a lot of glasses, you can make a song.  Mr. Hansen made an entire album, and probably a career in exactly that way.  My parents and I tried it in the kitchen immediately after the show, and while we made a little noise, no one would call it music.  Anyhow, the first time I recorded this, I tried to cut it into individual songs and couldn't get anywhere.  I kept coming up with more tracks than what's listed on the sleeve.  I tried again this year, and I think I finally got it right.  There are some familiar songs that you can use to guide you through this, but many of them are somewhat obscure (to me, at least) carols that are hard enough to recognize, but play them on a wet wine glass and good luck!  Having said lots of negative things about this, you should still download and listen to it.  This is likely to be the most unique Christmas music you hear all season, unless The Captain revisits his Christmas steam whistle.  Please have a listen to Einar Hansen On The Eighteenth Century Glass Instrument-Christmas Music From Around The World (MGM E3277, Mono, 1955).

1. Argentina: A Maiden Was Adoring God The Lord
2. Austria: Silent Night
3. Australia: Ring Out, O Bells! Your Peals Today
4. Africa: Glory To That Newborn King
5. Belgium: De Aenbidding Der Herders (Shepherds' Christmas Song)
6. Brazil: Glad Christmas Bells
7. Canada: Where Were You, O Maiden? (D'ou Vients-tu, Bergere)
8. China: Chen Mei Ke (Lord, For Thy Revealing Gifts)
9. Czechoslovakia: Lullaby Carol (Hajej, Nyjej, Jezisku)
10. Croatia: Happiness The Sun Is Bringing (Cestit Sviety)
11. Denmark: On Christmas Shopping (Hvilken Voldsom Traengsel Og Alarm)
12. Ecuador: Sweet And Precious Jesus (Dulce Jesus Mio)
13. England: God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
14. Finland: In The Silence Of This Night (I Denne Stille Nattens Fred)
15. France: Angels We Have Heard On High (Les Agnes Dans Nos Campagnes)
16. Greece: Thy Birth, O Christ
17. Germany: A Mighty Fortress (Ein'feste Burg)
18. Holland: A Child Of Beauty Was Born To Us (Ons Is Gheboren Een Kinderkijn)
19. Hungary: Angels From Heaven (Menyböl Ar Angyal)
20. India: What Child Is This? (An Adaptation Of Greensleeves)
21. Ireland: Carol (Amhran Nodlag)
22. Italy: Sleep, O Holy Child Of Mine (Dormi, Dormi O Bel Bambin)
23. Japan: Lowly Shepherds Of Judea
24. Mexico: The Rocking Of The Child (El Rorro)
25. Norway: Idenne Sode Juletid
26. Portugal: O, Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
27. Philippines Islands: Pagka-Tao (A Tagalog Carol)
28. Poland: Rockabye, Jesus (Lulajze Jezuniu)
29. Russia: Glorious Yuletide, Glad Bells Proclaim It
30. Puerto Rico: Shepherds At Bethlehem (Pastores A Belen)
31. Scotland: Child In The Manger (Leanabh An Aigh)
32. Switzerland: Christmas Carol (Weihnachtslied)
33. Spain: Catalan Christmas Song (Canso Da Nadal)
34. Sweden: Christmas Is Here Again (Nu Har Vi Jul Igen)
35. United States: Jingle Bells
36. Venezuela: Nino Lindo
37. Wales: Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly


Friday, November 23, 2012

A Real Shiner

Since I already sorta let the cat out of the bag on this one on my Torrents post, I'll go ahead and throw it up here as an official post.When I spotted that cover, I thought it was yet another repackaging of those same old kiddie records from Peter Pan or Synthetic Plastics or Precision Radiation or their ilk, but I was wrong.  This was a real, though short-lived, label, and a real, though little-known, artist.  I think they were looking for a different audience than who would really appreciate this music, but whatever, at least they got it out there.  Merv Shiner was a country artist who had a huge hit with Here Comes Peter Cottontail back in 1950, and he stayed active in the music industry for many years after that, looking for another hit like that one.  He never really found anything that took him back into the public eye like that song did, but he did release some interesting stuff, including this Christmas record.  Maybe the Christmas Kiddie label was attached to appeal to fans of his Peter Cottontail days, I don't know.  But it's a nice record, and good luck finding a copy for yourself.  This is the only one I've ever seen, and I nearly passed it over.  That just goes to show you kids, buy every single Christmas record you see, and sort out the garbage later!  That said, why don't you go ahead and download Merv Shiner-Greatest Christmas Kiddie Hits (Certron Corporation CS-7012, Stereo, 1970).  1970, that sure was a great year!

1. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
2. Little Drummer Boy
3. Oh, Little Town Of Bethlehem
4. Here Comes Santa Claus
5. Twas The Night Before Christmas
6. Frosty The Snowman
7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
8. White Christmas
9. Pancho's Snowball (this right here is the track you want for your Christmas mix!)
10. Jingle Bells
11. Away In A Manger
12. I Saw Mommie Kissing Santa Claus


Oh, Snap!

I spoke to Dad earlier this evening, and of all the Christmas shares I've ever shared, this was the only one he mentioned. I don't know that it's his favorite, but it was certainly on his mind. So I went ahead and made sure that this was the next one out of the remaster pile. First shared out by me all the way back in my inaugural year of 2005, this one has come back time and again, but it's always sounded exactly the same.  I think you'll agree once you've listened that it now sounds much, much better.  You also get a nicer scan of the cover, both front and back, and this is the first time you've been able to see the record labels, too!  See all the benefits you get with remastered shares?  It's like what's old is new again!  So, to hear it again for the first time, here is The Snap-On Male Chorus with Carols Of Christmas (RCA Custom Record Dept. SOLP 6363, Mono).

1. Awake, Awake
2. Away In A Manger
3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
4. Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
5. Spirit Of Christmas (A Medley)
6. Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
7. Cantique De Noel
8. God Rest You Merry Gentlemen
9. Deck The Halls
10. Carol Of The Drum
11. Silent Night
12. Jingle Bells


Get Maxwell (Not Smart)

In a pattern that I'm afraid might become all too common this year, I first saw this LP over at CaptOT's place, A Christmas Yuleblog.I love Robert Maxwell and I love harp albums.  Oh, and I think you already know that I love Christmas music, so this was a great match.  It's been four years since the Captain shared it, and I've since found my own copy or two, so I figured I could go ahead and share my copy.  Doubly so since he's not sharing too much over there these days.  I've even had requests from other folks to repost his copy, but I don't do that sort of thing.  This is my copy, my scan, my rip, the whole nine yards.  There's nothing I can tell you about this album that he didn't say better over there, except I think his copy was from Canada, and mine is not.  It's a regular US release on the budget Lion subsidiary of MGM.  I think this LP came to market just as stereo was becoming the way to go, and without a stereo version to push, they sort of let it fall into obscurity.  I see that again and again with items released in '57-'58.  It's a shame, because it was good music.  Anyhow, this is Robert Maxwell And His Harp-40 All-Time Christmas Favorites (Lion (MGM) L70081, Mono, 1958). All 40 tracks are crammed into 8 medleys, so it's not nearly so long and expansive as that Will Kennedy record with 'only' 36 tracks.

1. Jingle Bells; Winter Wonderland; Santa Claus Is Coming To Town; Jolly Old St. Nicholas; White Christmas
2. The Christ Child Is Born; Dear Baby Jesus, Now Rest In Sleep; All Through The Night; O Sanctissima; Chanson De Noel
3. Here We Come A-Caroling; Lullaby Carol; Lullaby, Thy Little Tony Child; Masters In This Hall; Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
4. I Saw Three Ships; Born Is He, The Child Divine; Listen, Listen, Children Dear; Good King Wenceslas; O, Tannenbaum
5. Deck The Halls; It Came Upon A Midnight Clear; We Three Kings Of Orient Are; Angels We Have Heard On High; The First Noel
6. O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel); Away In A Manger; The Moon Shines Bright; The Holly And The Ivy; What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella; I Wish You A Merry Christmas; O Little Town Of Bethlehem; Joy To The World
8. Christmas Eve Is Here; Sing We Now Of Christmas; O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles); Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Silent Night


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Renewed King

One of my goals this year was to revisit a lot of my old shares and remaster them using some of the new equipment, technology and experience that I've gained over the years.I've learned a lot since I first started doing this back in, what, 2005?  I've been through half a dozen different turntables, at least as many needles, three computers, four or five different pieces of software, countless versions of that software, and, perhaps most importantly, a whole lot of experience.  So getting the chance to go back and rerecord some of my favorites was nice.  It let me rediscover a lot of the things I'd forgotten and I hope you'll feel the same way when you listen to these records.  This is the first of what I hope will average out to about one a day.  I'm going to do this rather than re-share old things this year, so if there's something in the archives you're looking for that's not currently available, cross your fingers and hope that I've found the time to remaster it this year.  This first record is something I shared out in 2009, but I'd recorded it sometime earlier, choosing not to share it because I didn't want to step on the toes of The King Of Jingaling who'd shared it FaLaLaLaLa some years earlier.  His rip was in mono, but mine was a stereo copy, so I eventually shared mine.  And now I'm sharing it again, with what I hope is better sounds and almost certainly a higher bit rate.  Please be my guest and give another listen to Wayne King And His Orchestra With The Wayne Robinson Singers-Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Decca DL 74438, Stereo, 1963).

1. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
2. The Christmas Waltz
3. Winter Wonderland
4. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
5. Jing-A-Ling-A-Ling
6. White Christmas
7. Carol Of The Bells
8. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
9. Snowbound
10. Silver Bells
11. Christmas In Killarney
12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

PS-This cover has been used elsewhere over the years, just in case it looks familiar to you.

Christmas On The Moon

This is a record I meant to share last year, and I had it recorded, but never found the time to scan the artwork. I finally managed to get it done this year, so here it is for your enjoyment. This is one of those classic albums of the outsider art world, sort of a so-bad-it's-good thing.  I don't know much about it, or Tim Dinkins himself, so I'll let the music speak for itself.  This is Christmas On The Moon With Tim Dinkins (Cartwheel LP-CW-112-A, Stereo).

1. Santa's Rocket
2. The Empty Chair
3. Two Little Stockings
4. I Won't Let You Lick My Candy Bar (by Susan Kay)
5. Just A Little Birdie In A Coo Coo Clock
6. Merry Christmas
7. The Wise Ole Owl (by 'Mystery Guest')
8. Ole Pop Reindeer
9. Christmas Message
10. Christmas Comes To Everyone
11. A Little Boy's Letter To Santa
12. Tinkle Toes


Where To Begin

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to share first this year. Every year I worry about it much more than I should. So I finally decided that the first thing I would share would be the first thing I recorded for you back in August, right after the end of Christmas In July. (What?!? You don't know about Christmas in July? Then by all means, go look at some of the posts from July!) Anyhow, where was I?  Oh, the first share.  This is my first share.  The only reason I grabbed it first back then was because it was something I had never seen before, it bragged about having 36 songs on it, and it was not recorded at 33.3RPM.  Yep, that's right, this is a very elusive 16.6 RPM record!  Never seen one before?  Well, they exist, but mostly as kiddie records or spoken word things, rarely as regular music.  And with a name like Stereo Christmasland, how could I really go wrong? So I set things up and played it at my regular 33 and a third setting, then using the magic of science, I was able to slow it down to the right speed, chop it into all 36 full-length tracks (no medleys here!) and share it with you.  It's not the best music I'll share with you this season, but it's far from the worst.  This is Will Kennedy's Stereo Orchestra-Stereo Christmasland (Dancetime 12" 16-2/3 RPM LP WK-5000-S, Stereo).  I never did find a year on this one, anybody care to try and pin it down?

1. Rudolph, The Red Nose (sic) Reindeer
2. Greensleeves
3. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
4. I Saw Three Ships
5. O Tannenbaum
6. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
7. Silent Night
8. Over The River And Through The Woods
9. Adeste Fidelis
10. Joseph O Joseph
11. Deck The Halls
12. By The Christmas Tree
13. Unto Us Is Born A Son
14. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
15. Good King Wenceslas
16. Come, All Ye Shepherds
17. Jolly Old St. Nicholas
18. Joy To The World
19. Winter Wonderland
20. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
21. The Christmas Song
22. Angels We Have Heard On High
23. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
24. Wassail Song
25. The First Noel
26. Shepherds, Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep
27. White Christmas
28. O Sanctissima
29. Away In A Manger
30. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
31. Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming
32. We Three Kings
33. O Holy Night
34. O Come, Little Children
35. The Holly And The Ivy
36. Jingle Bells


(For those of you who don't know about torrents, ask your local computer expert.  I really can't explain it, and it's sorta scary...  I'm going to try them for a while and see how they go.  If bandwidth becomes an issue, or I get a call from Comcast, they're going away quickly!))

Welcome Christmas!

I have a problem. I'm addicted to Christmas music. All year long I haunt the thrift stores, looking for random bits of Christmas music.  But not the same old Bing Crosby Christmas album, mind you, I'm looking for the stuff that's fallen between the cracks of history, the things that no one remembers or that no one cares about any more.  Nothing thrills me more than finding some album or single or even a crusty old piece of shellac that I've never seen before, anything that has Christmas or Holiday or Snow or Santa or Reindeer in the title.  I pay the $0.99 and rush home with it to see what sort of treasure it might be.  Most of the time it's nothing special, but every once in a while, it's a piece of gold.  What I've learned over the years is that if it's a piece of gold, you can buy it from Amazon or iTunes or some other such place.  But even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while, and I find the occasional piece of tarnished silver, which I then polish up and share here at the blog during the holiday season.

Most of you have been here before (I've been doing this for years and years and years now) and you know the drill. I record all this music that I share from my own collection. I scan the images in myself, which is somewhat laborious, believe me, and then I share it with you.  During the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's, I'll share out dozens of records that most people have never heard of, things that you can't download anywhere, or buy on CD or vinyl at those rapidly disappearing places called 'Record Stores'.  These are things that for the most part time has forgotten.  There are good things and bad things, but they are all interesting in their own way.

By the time you read this, it should be just after lunch on Thanksgiving, and I'll be at my Aunt's house for the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Who knows when I'll be able to get back to a computer, so I'm queuing up a couple of posts that should give you a good introduction to what you should expect around here for the next month or so. If you see something you like, leave me a comment, tell your friends, spread the good word.  If you don't see anything you like, sorry.

The little cards you see here are from two of the later records in the Goodyear series, some things I had never seen before, and I suspect many of you have never seen them, either, which is why I'm putting them up here. They were stuck to the outside of the shrink wrap, which had never been removed, so they survived the nearly 40 year trip (1973 & 1974, I think) into the future for me to find.  Look close at one of the cards and you'll see that they mis-spelled CYCLE.  This was probably in the days where such things were hand-set on a printing press.  Poor intern working that day probably lost his job over that.  Anyhow, stay tuned, and the Christmas goodness will start popping up.  Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Anybody know anything about torrents?  I'm giving some thought to sharing files via torrents this Christmas, but I'm not sure about all the particulars.  I made a test file, but I'm not sure how it's working.  Anybody want to click it and let me know what happens?

Johnny Nash-Prince Of Peace (2012 Remaster)

If you've already got a torrent client installed, does this magnet link work?

Merv Shiner-Greatest Christmas Kiddie Hits