Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Rare Burl

One of the great voices of Christmas is Burl Ives.  Right up there with Bing, Elvis, Dean and maybe Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Burl Ives just says Christmas to a few generations of Americans.  And this is some of his Christmas music that you've probably never heard.  He recorded this for the Caedmon label in the early Seventies, and as far as I can tell, it didn't go far.  Burl seemed to hop labels a lot, releasing albums for Columbia, Decca, Word, Disney and undoubtedly others, along with singles too numerous to count.  The theme of this record was Christmas music that was a favorite of certain presidents, or at least assumed to be.  Historical records are scant as to which president preferred Jingle Bells over I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day, but there are some and these are the ones they dug up.  I first shared this out in 2011 and it was one of my great prides of that season.  Please give a listen to Burl Ives, Music Conducted By Tony Mottola-Christmas At The White House (Caedmon TC 9102, Stereo, 1972).

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)

I'm convinced there is another version of this record that features narration about each of the songs in addition to the music.  I've never seen it, but I'd love to score a copy.  Anybody out there got one they can spare?  Anyone?


Buster said...

The second version is unknown to me - I've never seen this one in the wild, for that matter.

The voice of Christmas for me is and always will be Frank.

Ernie said...

Frank's Christmas music is OK, but I don't think it's near his best work. Dean, on the other hand, now that's good stuff! :)

Geordie said...

The voice of Burl Ives also just says Christmas to a few generations of Canadians. The Rankin/Bass production of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer has been part of my Christmas tradition for as long as I can remember. (My actual memories begin in the very early seventies.) It's big with much younger Canadians as well: my 1984-born sister-in-law loves "Holly Jolly Christmas."


barba said...

i like christmas songs by rolf harris and phil spector (or, as i call them, 'rolf and phil'). in fact, i'm hoping for a holiday lp from spade cooley. it doesn't have to be hi-fi. above-average-fi or even below-average-fi is good enough for me. i just get tired of these holier-than-thou types singing even holier music as if it was written for them.

Jack said...

"Holier-than-thou types," as opposed to Rolf Harris who is serving time in Australia for sexual offenses.

barba said...

i guess it’s always tempting to be on the side of the angels. and if untempted, at this time of year they’ll keep singing o’er your plain until you are. such etherial sirens just annoy me. give me a singing sinner… a choir of drug addicts… mother stabbers… father rapers. i like to know what i’m dealing with. and i think that rolf singing christmas music is a good way to keep is cockatoo cool. i’d much much rather have rolf than, say, pat boone with his perennial creche envy, or doris day second-guessing the virgin mary. but if he ever decides to do an album of hand bell carols, or organ muisc. then you can lock him in solitary and throw away the key.

Kwork said...

I agree about Rolf doing Christmas songs. The album shared a few days ago was one I'd missed the first time around, or don't remember, as I thought it was great! For me, a person's artistry is not their personal life, and I can separate them. Otherwise, I wouldn't be listening to much music. LOL!
As far as this one, I remember it the first time, but grabbed it again as much of my music disappeared in a hard drive crash. Thank you Ernie.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for resharing this Ernie. I believe this was the last of Burl Ives' Christmas music I did not have. Wow it's a love hate with me and Burl. Of course Holly Jolly Christmas is a standard that can not be touched but this album is dreadful in spots. I am still very happy that you shared this though.

Lennonka said...

Dear Ernie!

Can you reupload this album?

Thank you very much!

Ernie said...

OK, link updated. Still looking for that other version with the narration...

Lennonka said...

Thank you very much!

Ernie said...

2018 link:!hUcSjApD!XrpaQ2KYoRokoXuqOE5rPdYXRKgLEOUx6BcUo34dKhQ

Somebody got the educational version they want to send me? Please?

Kyle G said...

Could you repost it? Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Ernie said...

Whoops, looks like the link above is to Booker T. Here's a new link to the old Burl:!dRcUUA4K!qC8UYcEVKzhlw8ZW858ylhHguaFZarVrt4UMEZ1LD7I


Kyle G said...

You're amazing! Thanks so much!