Saturday, July 21, 2018

Christmas In July 2018-Day 21

Three weeks in, still going strong, though I do need to get busy and record some more stuff.  Only a couple weekends left to crank out some songs.  And tonight is a little special because there is a theme!  I found a large collection of barbershop records a few months back and I flipped through a couple hundred of them, trying to find Christmas music.  And tonight, you get to hear the results of that search!

1. The Bells Of St. Mary's by The Easternaires from their LP Once Over Lightly (RCA Victor LSP-2263, Stereo, 1961).  I believe this was the oldest one I found, and it was something on the great RCA label that I hadn't seen before.

2. The Secret Of Christmas makes it's first appearance by The Vocal Majority, a well-known barbershop chorus, from the LP With A Song In Our Hearts (Private Pressing VM-1000, Stereo).  Like many of these, this was a multi-artist collection.

3. The Secret Of Christmas appears again, this time by The High Society from On The Road Again (Good Vibrations GV 214, Stereo).  I've tried all month to not repeat any songs in the same night, but since it's more barbershop and came from the same collection, I'll bend the rule a bit.  And it's a good song. And this one is ladies singing, not guys.

4. Toy Soldiers On Parade by Mission Viejo Chapter-Sweet Adelines from Phoenix-35th Annual International Convention & Competition (Sweet Adelines 2xLP SHX-81-48, Stereo, 1981).  Well over 3/4 of the records I pawed through were by female groups.  I guess they're part of an organization called The Sweet Adelines.  Only barbershop association I knew about was the SPEBSQSA, but I guess they've changed their name now.

5. White Christmas by The Tetrachords from Early Portraits (Private Pressing TS81-749/750, Stereo, 1981). All of these tracks are really good!

6. Why Doesn't Santa Claus Go Next Door? by Mission Valley Chapter Of The Sweet Adelines Under The Direction Of Gloria Sandstrom, from Sweet Adelines, Inc. 1976 International Convention (Century Advent Recording USR 9851, Stereo, 1976).  A song I've never heard before!  Sweet!

7. Winter Wonderland by Roger Blackburn from Barbershopping In Brass (Sunrise MK 37-128, Stereo, 1972).  Not exactly barbershop, but I guess he got his inspiration from there.

8. Entr'acte by Duke Ellington And His Orchestra from Nutcracker Suite/Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1 And 2 (Odyssey (Columbia) 32 16 0252 (Originally issued 1960), Stereo, 1980).  And that's it, only 8 barbershop songs, so I have to fill up the rest of the share with Nutcracker tracks.

9. Waltz Of The Flowers by Antal Dorati Conducting The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra from Britten: The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a (Mercury MG 50055, Mono, 1955).  Good stuff.

10. March by Vienna Festival Orchestra Conducted By Herbert Grossman from Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Suite/Nutcracker Suite (Whitehall WH 20012, Mono, 1959). Not so good stuff, but adequate.

There you go, ten more tracks, and most of them fit the theme!  Wish I could do that every day.  Maybe if I put more time and energy into this sharing...


Friday, July 20, 2018

Christmas In July 2018-Day 20

Day 20 already?  Seems like only yesterday we were still back in the teens.  Oh well, on with the show!

1. The Bells Of St. Mary's by John Duffy from John Duffy At The Mighty Columbia Square Wurlitzer (Liberty LRP 3004, Mono, 1955). Nice organ track for you to start things off.

2. Born In Bethlehem by The Journeymen from their LP Coming Attraction-Live! (Capitol T1770, Mono, 1962).  Another good Christmas track from an old folk album.

3. Waltz Of The Flowers, your only Nutcracker Track today, by Vienna Festival Orchestra Conducted By Herbert Grossman, from the album Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Suite/Nutcracker Suite (Whitehall WH 20012, Mono, 1959).  I think this was the most recent Nutcracker version I recorded.  Not sure if I'm done recording them yet, but maybe.  Depends on what else I can find in the stack to share.  Sure is easier to record a handful of tracks from one album instead of one track each from a handful of different albums.

4. Christmas On The Farm by The McLain Family Band from the self-titled LP The McClain Family Band (Country Life Records CLR-2, Stereo, 1973).  Now this is the sort of thing I like to find. And maybe the only bluegrass song of the season.

5. Hallelujah From "The Messiah" by Brass Of The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Conducted By Alfred Newman, from Hallelujah! (Capitol SP8529, Stereo, 1960).  No voices, just brass.

6. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Paul Anka, Arranged And Conducted By Sid Feller, from Swings For Young Lovers (ABC Paramount ABCS-347, Stereo, 1960).  Nice version that I finally found in stereo.

7. Mary Had A Baby by First United Methodist Church, Cullman, Alabama-Sanctuary Choir, from A Celebration In Song (Prestige 80-157, Stereo, 1981).  I think this is the newest of the tracks I'm sharing tonight, and it's still almost 40 years old.

8. Suser Die Glocken Nie Klingen by our old friend Willie Dittrich and his album The Singing Zither-Christmas Music & Old Time Hymns (Jim Loyd Presents 1002 (WMT Radio, Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Stereo).  Not sure about this song, but it was on the Christmas side of his LP so I have to assume it belongs here.

9. We Three Kings by The United States Air Force Band-Brass Choir from the LP set Serenade In Blue-Series Eleven (Programs 131-143) (United States Air Force 7xLP Suggested Air Date: October-December 1969, Stereo, 1969).  Plenty of good tracks pulled from this one this year.

10. The Wedding Of The Painted Doll by Ray Bohr from Ray Bohr And The Radio City Music Hall Organ (Audio Veritas Productions Z 564521/2, Stereo).  We started with organ, so we end with organ.  Nice symmetry there.

That's it, ten more tracks for the twentieth day.  Enjoy!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Christmas In July 2018-Day 19

Day 19, we're getting there...  It's about that time of the month when I start asking if anyone has a favorite track or two.  I've got a small handful of tracks already in the "Best-Of" folder, but it's by no means full.  Let me know if there's anything you've especially enjoyed so that I don't miss any really good tracks I may have forgotten about.  And now, some music...

1. Sing Silent Night by C.W. McCall from his LP Rubber Duck (Polydor PD-1-6094, Stereo, 1976).  I could swear I've shared this one before, but I can't find it on the blog or on my PC, so my mind may be playing tricks on me.  It's a great track, even if Mr. Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller had a huge hand in it's creation.  He was involved with all the C.W. McCall stuff as far as I know, even Convoy, years before he got the idea to make music for American Gramaphone.

2. Rocking by 1978 Chamber Singers-Robert Summer, Conductor, from their LP University Of South Florida Chamber Singers And University Singers (Suncoast Recording Service KM 4471, Stereo, 1979).  Another track from this good album.

3-11. Another complete set of tracks from The Nutcracker Suite. Same artists, same albums, you know the drill.  I'm too lazy to detail everything.  A couple of the introduction tracks are short, so I threw in an extra track to make you feel like you're really getting something.

That's it, thanks for playing tonight.  And don't forget to leave me a comment about your favorite songs thus far.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Christmas In July 2018-Day 18

Hello, and welcome to day the 18th!

1. Faraway Christmas Blues AKA Far Away Blues (Xmas Blues) by Johnny Otis Orchestra With Little Esther And Mel Walker from the collection The Complete Savoy Recordings With Johnny Otis (Savoy Jazz 2xLP SJL 2258 (Originally Released 1950), Mono, 1984).  I normally don't grab things from latter-day compilations, but this comp is from over 30 years ago, and the original recording was probably only available on 78, so here you go.  And it's so good!

2. March Of The Toys by Frederick Fennell And Orchestra from Frederick Fennell Conducts Victor Herbert (Mercury MG 20954, Mono, 1961).  About the only thing I remember about this was having to record it a bunch of times to get the levels right.  It just gets louder and louder and louder as it marches along.

3. Northern Lights by Helmut Zacharias And His Magic Violins, from the album Smörgåsbord For Strings-A Musical Trip Around Scandinavia (Decca DL 8753, Mono, 1958).  I shared this one with you last year, but from the original UK release, I think.  This is the US pressing, with slightly different titles. Still a great track!

4. Ave Maria by Leontyne Price, Soprano With The Choir Of Men And Boys Of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Fifth Avenue, New York City-William Self, Master Of The Choir-George Decker, Organist, from My Favorite Hymns (RCA Victor Red Seal LSC-2918, Stereo, 1966).  Good stuff.

5. Greensleeves by Don Allen from Pop Goes The Organ (Time Series 2000 S/2167, Stereo, 1965).  Yawn.

6. Jingle Bells/Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer by Willie Dittrich from his LP The Singing Zither-Christmas Music & Old Time Hymns (Jim Loyd Presents 1002 (WMT Radio, Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Stereo).  I don't have to tell you how happy I was to find zither music to share!

7. March Of The Little Lead Soldiers by Del Castillo from Half & Half (Concert Recording CR-0028, Stereo).  No much of a Christmas song, but close.

8. Put A Little Love In Your Heart, again not really Christmas, but brought back to life through it's inclusion in the holiday movie Scrooged, and almost a Christmas song ever since.  This version is by Leslie Uggams With The Jimmy Bowen Orchestra And Chorus, from her album Just To Satisfy You (Atlantic SD 8241, Stereo, 1969).

9. The Village Of St. Bernadette by Andy Williams, Orchestra Conducted By Archie Bleyer, from The Village Of St. Bernadette (Cadence CLP-25038, Stereo, 1960).  Very early Andy here.  Did you know that his very first solo single was a Christmas record?  Yep!

10. Winter by Cliff De Young And Group from the soundtrack to the TV movie Sunshine (MCA MCA-387, Stereo, 1973).  Short but sweet, and one of the three credited writers is John Denver.

Ten tracks, over and out.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Christmas In July 2018-Day 17

Here's my first day this year where I don't have time to tell you what all is in the download, other than I think there is only one short Nutcracker two-song medley.  Other than that, it's great stuff.  When I get time, I'll try to come in here and type it all up, but this way I don't miss a day of posting.  Thanks for your understanding!


Monday, July 16, 2018

Christmas In July 2018-Day 16

Day 16!  That's past the halfway point of July!  Hopefully by now you've found a few favorite tracks, and you aren't completely tired of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.  So tell me what your favorites are so far, and in exchange, you only get one long medley about dancing mice and shoe-throwing little girls.

1. Still, Still, Still by The Merrill Staton Children's Voices from the educational album International Song Time (Silver Burdett Company 86 380, Mono, 1968).  I was excited to find this after discovering a great Christmas version of the song last year, but I'm afraid this one may miss the mark.  They seem to have stripped all the holiday references from it.

2. The Star Road by First United Methodist Church, Cullman, Alabama-Sanctuary Choir, from A Celebration In Song (Prestige 80-157, Stereo, 1981).  Does anyone listen to these Church group songs more than once?  I think it's pretty rare to find one that stands up to repeated listening.  And I think it also makes a difference if you've ever performed in a similar group.  In that case, you may listen and sing along.

3. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers, an old standard by Eddie Dunstedter, an old standard himself, from the LP Mister Pipe Organ!-Eddie Dunstedter At The Morton Pipe Organ (Capitol T1128, Mono, 1959).  If you don't have any Eddie Dunstedter Christmas music in your library, then you need to try harder!

4. Alle Jahre Wieder/O Tannenbaum/Ihr Kinderlien Kommet, a German medley from our new old friend Willie Dittrich, pulled from his LP The Singing Zither-Christmas Music & Old Time Hymns (Jim Loyd Presents 1002 (WMT Radio, Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Stereo).  Gotta love the zither!

5. Medley: Gold And Silver Waltz; The Skaters Waltz by The Living Strings-Arranged And Conducted By Johnny Douglas from Waltz Time With The Living Strings (RCA Camden CAL-855, Mono, 1965).  Sometimes I find it hard to believe how wildly popular the whole Living series was in the sixties.  I mean, this stuff was competing against The Beatles and The Stones...

6. Winter World Of Love by The Les Reed Orchestra & Chorus from The Spectacular Les Reed Composer Of... (Chapter 1, London 2xLP BP 39004/5, Stereo, 1972).  I guess I didn't realize that Les Reed had written enough hits for a double album.  And I'm not sure I know who Les Reed is...

7. Hallelujah Chorus, a not-unpleasant version by 101 Strings, Recorded Under The Direction Of D.L. Miller, from their album Inspiration And Meditation (Somerset SF-16600, Stereo, 1962). I've certainly heard worse, and so have you, probably right here at the blog.

8. My Favorite Things, your favorite non-Christmas Christmas song, by The Airmen of Note from Serenade In Blue-Series Eleven (Programs 131-143) (United States Air Force 7xLP Suggested Air Date: October-December 1969, Stereo, 1969).  One of my favorite finds of the year! What can I say, I'm easy to please.

9. Panis Angelicus by Bob Beck At The Chapel Organ from The Grotto Organs In Reverie (Adon, Oregon Ltd. V8844, Mono).  Obligatory pipe organ content, beware of blast!

10. Miniature Overture; March; Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy; Russian Dance (Trepak); Arab Dance; Chinese Dance; Dance Of The Reed Pipes, a mega-medley by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted By Sir Adrian Boult from Sir Adrian Boult Conducts Suites From Tchaikovsky's Ballets The Nutcracker And Sleeping Beauty (Capitol SP 8690, Stereo, 1967).  You're welcome!

Ta-da!  Another ten tracks, and a pretty good selection, me-thinks!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Christmas In July 2018-Day 15

15, that's almost halfway through the month!  Time flies when you know Christmas is coming.  Let's jump right in!

1. Stille Nacht by Willie Dittrich from The Singing Zither-Christmas Music & Old Time Hymns (Jim Loyd Presents 1002 (WMT Radio, Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Stereo).  Really happy with this one, and I found it just in time to share it with you this month instead of next year.  Some of the best Christmas zither since Ruth Welcome!

2. Button Up Your Overcoat by Tom Hazleton from DTOC Command Performances-For Members Only Vol. 2 (Detroit Theater Organ Club No Number, Stereo, 1973).  More organ that you aren't going to find anywhere else!

3. Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring-The First Noël, a nice piano medley by Tedd Smith from Meditations (RCA Victor LPM-1636, Mono, 1958).  This is a nice one.  I hesitate to even call it a medley, it's closer to a mashup.  It seems like he's actually playing both songs at the same time and it works really well.  This is another one I brought home recently.  Now I need to see if this one got released in Stereo.

4.-10. An entire Nutcracker Suite consisting of Overture Miniature, March, Chinese Dance, Arabian Dance, Dance Of The Mirlitons, Waltz Of The Flowers and, wait, I forgot to grab a Sugar Plum Fairy.  Hold on, it's not too late, I guess you get 11 tracks tonight.  OK, the artists are all the usual suspects, with spoken word introductions by Peter Ustinov and Deems Taylor.  You don't really need all the info on these, do you?  The info is in the track tags, I promise. When I get done at the end of the month, you can put them all back in their proper artist-album folders.