Saturday, December 09, 2017

John, Not David

A very special selection for you today, at least as far as I'm concerned.  This is a record I'd been looking out for since some years ago when I first learned of it's existence.  This is a sister record to the Burgess Meredith record I've been sharing out for a while now, but it seems to be much rarer.  Both were put out by The E.F. MacDonald Company of Dayton, Ohio.  I'm thinking it was something they sold to other companies to use as a promotional item, the sort of thing your insurance company or favorite car salesman might give to you as a Christmas present.  This one must not have been very popular because it just doesn't turn up in the usual places.  In addition to the Meredith piece, this is the only one I know of that features custom-recorded music.  (There's also one that collects up some great Christmas hits on the Dot label, but nothing unique turns up on that one.)  So if you're interested in such things, and want to hear O. Henry's great Christmas story, The Gift Of The Magi, please download O. Henry's The Gift Of The Magi (The E.F. MacDonald Company EFMX62A\B, Stereo, 1962).

1. The Gift Of The Magi-John Carradine-Original Music Composed, Arranged And Conducted By Joe Reisman
2. Adeste Fidelis-101 Strings
3. O Holy Night-Les Djinns
4. Silent Night-101 Strings
5. Noel-101 Strings
6. He Is Born A Divine Child-Les Djinns
7. Hark The Herald Angels Sing-101 Strings

You may know who John Carradine is, you may not.  You may know his son David a little bit more.  And it turns out the Les Djinns featured in two songs on the back are the same as those featured on the great Christmas album 60 French Girls-Les Joyeaux Noel.  In fact, they're the same tracks, used through the magic of licensing! And I'm sure that fans of cheap Christmas music need no introduction to 101 Strings!

Friday, December 08, 2017

A Clown For Christmas

I wasn't going to post anything new tonight, but then I remembered that CaptOT was doing his radio show tonight! So I had to sit here at the computer to listen to him, and while I'm listening, I scanned this single in for you. I got this record for free many years ago because it had a hairline crack in it.  I was still able to get a pretty good recording of it, and I think you'll enjoy it.  Couldn't put a date on it, I'm afraid, but maybe some McDonald's expert will come around and tell us exactly when and where this gem came out.  Notice that it's not just from McDonald's, but McDonald's Drive-In Restaurants.  I'm sure that's an important clue to the origin of this record.  Give it a listen and let me know what you think.  This is Ronald McDonald-The Night Before Christmas (Compliments Of McDonald's Drive-In Restaurants, 7" 45 RPM, Mono).


A Wise Man

I was reminded of this old share from 2011 this morning when my friend Lee over at Music You (Possibly) Won't posted his annual collection of Line Material sides.  It's a great collection of stuff that you should head on over and download if you haven't already.  We spent a few years digging all those up, and I suspect his collection is as large and as good as anyone else, probably better.  Now if someone would just collect up all the paper ephemera that came with those records...  But I digress.  Lee attributes the high quality of those records to the participation of John McCarthy, who to the best of my knowledge released two Christmas records to the American market.  One of those was a unique offering for the RCA Record Club, which you can find at my post from last year, and this one. I won't pretend that this as good as the Line Material sides, but it's the same conductor, so it's at least related a bit. This is The Regency Choir-John McCarthy, Conductor-Three Wise Men (Columbia CS 9382, Stereo, 1966).

1. The Bells Of Christmas
2. Jesus Garcia
3. Silent Night
4. Pat-A-Pat-A-Pan
5. The Bells Of Bethlehem
6. Do You Hear What I Hear?
7. Three Wise Men, Wise Men Three
8. Heavenly Night
9. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
10. O Bambino (One Cold And Blessed Morning)
11. O Come, All Ye Faithful


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Christmas Olympics

Your selection of the day is this sorta-seasonal LP featuring a couple of holiday tunes, some wintery stuff, and some other stuff that really has nothing to do with anything, but it's all pretty well done.  The Omega label has always stood for cheap stuff as far as I ever knew, but then I saw this and thought I'd take a chance.  It's pretty good, but the tracklisting is quite odd.  Some of the tunes here just don't belong, but I think you'll enjoy them.  This is The Ralph Sutton Quartet-Jazz At The Olympics (Omega OSL-51, Stereo, 1961).  This appears to have been linked somehow to the 1960 Winter Olympics, but the date I found fit it is 1961, so maybe it didn't come out right away.  Or maybe my date is wrong, who knows? Oh, and it's live, but well recorded.

1. Winter Wonderland
2. Button Up Your Overcoat
3. I've Got Me Love To Keep Me Warm
4. I'll Follow You
5. Hot Buttered Rum
6. Let It Snow
7. I'm Shooting High
8. Winter Weather
9. I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling
10. Squaw Valley Blues

I remember finding this record the very first week after Christmas last year, and thinking I was going to have something good to share this season!


Another little goody for you here, something that I first shared back in 2011, but tonight I found my old WAV files and decided to go ahead and encode it at a higher bitrate for you.  Same music, same rip, just hopefully a little better sounding.  I'm still looking for what I suspect is another version of this release that features a bit of narration about each song.  I forget exactly why I think there is such a version, something about the text on the back of this one, I think.  But if you have such a thing and want to share, please get in touch with me.  And if you'd like to take a look at a short want list from me, please click here.  Plenty of things out there I'd love to hear, cause I don't have it all...yet!  Please enjoy 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)


The End Of Last Year

I believe this was the very last thing I posted before Christmas last year, about the time folks quit thinking about Christmas music and turn their thoughts to the coming year.  It was also one of the very few shares that stayed live all through 2017 which means people kept downloading it all year long, at least once every thirty days.  That's pretty unique among all the music I share with you guys, and this is a unique record.  It's all original Christmas music, and it's all pretty interesting.  It sounds to my ears like the soundtrack to a TV special that never was, though I remember finding a mention somewhere online that it had been optioned for a TV special at one point that never happened.  I've been trying not to revisit too much of the stuff from last year just to give you fresh new stuff, but I figure this one is worth highlighting for those folks who may be new or missed it somehow.  (There's a ton of stuff from last year still available in the archives from last year. I went through and reloaded a bunch of it in the past few weeks, so be sure you scroll back through it, there are gems to be had!)  Here once again is The Chuck Bird Orchestra And Singers-The Spirit Of Christmas (Santa Records SC3131, Stereo, 1976).

1. A Holly Holly Holly Holly Day
2. Snow Flakes
3. Under The Mistletoe
4. A Christmas Lullaby
5. A Toy Train
6. How Much Longer
7. The North Pole Polka
8. A Perfect Christmas Tree
9. Merrily On His Way
10. The Echo Of Christmas
11. The Elf Parade
12. Merry Christmas


Wednesday, December 06, 2017


Back to the request lines, here's another oldie from my inaugural season, 2005, though I remastered it in 2011 for slightly better sound.  After the success of the soundtrack to The Third Man, zither music had a moment lasting a few years.  And few proponents were as prolific as Ruth Welcome.  She put out a dozen or more records in a span of maybe ten years, including this great Christmas LP.  You may not be familiar with the instrument, but you'll love the sound of Ruth Welcome-Christmas In Zitherland (Capitol ST 1782, Stereo, 1962).

1. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear/Lo, How A Rose Is Blooming/Angels And Shepherds
2. O Little Town Of Bethlehem/What Child Is This?/O Come Little Children/Away In A Manger
3. O Holy Night/Coventry Carol/Angels From The Realms Of Glory/Silent Night
4. Jingle Bells/Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
5. I'll Be Home For Christmas
6. Silver Bells
7. The Christmas Song
8. Winter Wonderland
9. White Christmas


Tuesday, December 05, 2017


You might remember me sharing out the record above some years back, featuring narration by none other than Bing Crosby.  We'll it turns out that they've recently reissued it on both CD and vinyl, so if you want to purchase a legit copy, head on over and get your self a copy! It's good stuff!  For the search engines, this is The Bonaventure Choir And Children's Chorus-Bing Crosby-Narrator-The Bible Story Of Christmas-The Traditional Carols In Gospel Sequence (World Library Productions WLP 8, Mono, 1957).  When they contacted me to tell me they were going to reissue this, they were nice enough to send me a picture of the original tape box below.  Pretty cool!

Apaka's Back

From way back in the dark ages of 2007, here's a Christmas EP from the shores of beautiful Hawaii.  The cover, unfortunately, is not as beautiful.  I think the manufacturing process did something to it that left it susceptible to some sort of nasty oxidation as you can see.  I've seen several of these over the years, and they've all succumbed to one degree or another. (Some Mercury label stuff of the same vintage exhibits a similar problem, though it's not all of them.)  Later on, I found the cover below which has the same catalog number and the same tracklist, though it's survived the years in much better shape.  I dropped it into the download, so if you want to change it, be my guest.  This is Christmas At The Hawaiian Village With Alfred Apaka And The Hawaiian Village Serenaders (Hawaiian Village HV-EP-2, Mono).

1. Winter Wonderland
2. Joy To The World (Hauoli Ka Honua)
3. Jingle Bells-Mele Kalikimaka
4. Silent Night (Po Hama 'U')


The Sound And The Color

At some point in the past few years, I found a stereo version of this one, but I haven't seen it lately and have no idea what I did with it.  So in the meantime, I'll reshare this mono version with you that I first shared out in 2012.  It'll have to do until I dig up my stereo copy.  This is The Sound & Color Of Christmas from Seeburg Background Music (Seeburg 700189, Mono).  This was a secret share at one point last year, for those folks who take the time to read and leave me comments!  So you may have seen it around here since that original post back in 2012.

1. Medley: We Wish You A Merry Christmas; Carol Of The Bells
2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
3. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
4. Angels We Have Heard On High
5. Good King Wenceslaus
6. Coventry Carol
7. Carol Of The Drum ("Little Drummer Boy")
8. Deck The Halls
9. I'll Be Home For Christmas
10. Medley: Shepherd's Carol; Patapan
11. O Christmas Tree
12. Here We Come A-Caroling
13. The Christmas Waltz
14. God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen (I swear, that's how it's punctuated!)


Crash, Bang, Boom

From the request lines, here's an oldie from 2010 that features local sounds from around Houston, Texas. This is another one of those records that got no comments the first time around, yet somehow people still stumble across it and want to give it a listen.  So it goes.  This is Crash's Christmas Album To Benefit University Children's Hospital At Hermann (CCA Records 1-1986 (Houston, TX), Stereo, 1986).

1. Crash-The Christmas Song
2. Dave Ward-I Saw Mommie Kissing Santa Claus
3. Sir Shaun Rabb-Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
4. The Concert Chorale Of Houston-Carol Of The Bells
5. Paul Christy-Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
6. Jim Westmoreland-Frosty The Snowman
7. Milo Hamilton-A Visit From St Nicholas
8. Dave Ward, Pat Hunt & Tommy Lee Bradley-O' Little Town Of Bethlehem
9. Matt Alan-Jingle Bell Rock
10. Kevin Bass-O' Come All Ye Faithful
11. Marvin Zindler And The Miracle Minstrels-Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
12. The Concert Chorale Of Houston-Coventry Carol
13 George Grenias-Silver Bells
14. The Concert Chorale Of Houston-Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
15. Crash-White Christmas


Monday, December 04, 2017


Don't look now, but I'm going to share something with you that I probably shouldn't.  Something that I found just this weekend in it's super-rare stereo version, something great and wonderful that's really, really hard to find.  Take a look at the cover scan above and I'm sure you can figure it out.  If you've never heard or seen this before, it's part of a series of all four seasons, recorded in 1957 (though I'm not sure if the stereo is from the original sessions or a later re-recording).  It's instrumental and it's lush.  If you like that sort of thing, you're going to love this.  It's not strictly Christmas, but there are some Christmas songs on there.  Mostly it's cold-weather themed stuff, though a couple of tracks I can't explain.  It's all good, though, so go grab it.  Unlike most everything else I share, I put a password on this one.  That password is "ErnieNotBert", without the quotes.  Give it a listen, I think you'll like it! (For the curious, the mono version of this was a secret share some years ago.  I think this one is a significant sonic upgrade!)


Jimmy Jams

I got a request to throw this one back up, then another request for the same thing.  I thought that was a little surprising, but then I realized it was the same person requesting it multiple times.  *Sigh*  Be sure you do what it says on the cover of this one and open before Christmas, you won't be disappointed.  This is a later stereo remaster of something I first shared way back in 2005, and it's more than worth your time.  Please download and enjoy The Jimmy Joyce Singers With Orchestra Conducted By Billy May-A Christmas To Remember (Warner Bros WS 1237, Vitaphonic Stereo, 1958).

1. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
2. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
3. An Old Fashioned Christmas
4. Jingle Bells Around The World
5. Christmas Hop
6. Medley Of Foreign Carols
7. Round About Christmas
8. Santa Claus Sleigh Ride
9. The Story Of Christmas
10. Christmas Dinner Country Style
11. Reprise Medley
12. Medley Of English Carols


Sunday, December 03, 2017

Not Quite Jazz

Part of my big haul of Christmas singles from Banana Records yesterday was this 7" from Scholastic Records.  I thought it was one of the ones you used to get from them that told a story along with a book you were supposed to read like we used to get in school, but I think instead this was a demo for a book of Christmas carols they put out.  You can find various mentions of the book around the internet, and even a few mentions of the record (like at Discogs), but very little is made about the fact that it's attributed to Carla Bley.  I have to assume this is the same Carla Bley well known for her work in the jazz field, starting not too long before this record was released.  The music on it is more vocal than jazzy, but it's not entirely bland.  I'm not familiar enough with Carla to say if that's her voice or not on the tracks, but one of you may be able to help say yes or no.  About my only knowledge of Carla Bley is that she released an album with Nick Mason, the drummer for Pink Floyd. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure this is going to be something you've never heard before.  Please enjoy Carla Bley-Six Songs From A Wreath Of Carols (Scholastic Records 7" 33 RPM CC 0603, Mono, 1968).

1. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
2. A Christmas Carol
3. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
4. Coventry Carol
5. Silent Night
6. O Christmas Tree

And thanks to Christine Petton of St. Louis, MO, for putting her address labels on her record all those years ago.  I couldn't get the labels off, though I was able to remove her signature from a few spots.